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Breaking: PDP rejects presidential election results

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Nigeria’s main opposition party, PDP, has rejected the yet to be concluded result of the presidential election.

The results are currently being announced in Abuja with less than a third of Nigeria’s 36 states already announced.

The PDP, in a statement by its national chairman, Uche Secondus, however, said the results being announced do not tally with what the party has collated across the country.

“Firstly, I want to categorically state that our collation centers have all original results from every polling unit, in every ward, in every Local Government Area (LGA) in Nigeria, of which the international community is well aware, implying all results currently being announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is incorrect thus unacceptable to our party and people,” Mr Secondus said.

Read his full statement below.

Our Democracy is Under Threat
Protocols:

1. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is forced to take a stand and make the following pronouncements at this crucial point because our democracy is under threat of derailment.

2. Firstly, I want to categorically state that our collation centers have all original results from every polling unit, in every ward, in every Local Government Area (LGA) in Nigeria, of which the international community is well aware, implying all results currently being announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is incorrect thus unacceptable to our party and people.

3. Secondly, officials of both President Buhari’s government and the All Progressive Congress (APC), working with INEC officers, have tried to alter the course of history and disenfranchise our people through the cancellation and manipulation of figures for results already announced at polling units, nationwide, in Local Government Areas (LGAs) where our party, the PDP, had commanding votes; this must now be resisted by every well meaning Nigerian.

4. Thirdly, the ruling party’s strategy has indeed been murderous, undignified, and disrespectful of the wishes of the electorate, our people and the international community who have been in solidarity with our nation as we attempt to strengthen our democracy and its institutions.

5. Fourthly, in full view of the watching world, and despite efforts by our great party and its agents to adhere to every laid down provision for the 2019 general elections, the APC in collusion with INEC have taken aggressive steps, mostly through inducements, manipulation and incarcerations, using the elements of state power including the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigerian Army in particular, alongside other organizations including the Department of State Security (DSS) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to silence the voices of our long suffering people; this is disheartening, considering the terms of the Peace Accord, which called for impartiality and non-partisanship by members of our security organization with constitutional roles to play during this civic exercise.

6. Fifthly, as results trickled in on the Sunday, February 24th, 2019, clearly putting the PDP in the lead, the ruling party and President Buhari dispatched high-ranking officials to coercively influence outcomes in different geopolitical zones in the country. For example:

I. The minister of the interior, was dispatched to the North West of the country

II. The Secretary of the Government of the Federation was dispatched to the North East of the country; while the

III. The Attorney General and Minister were dispatched to the South East and South-South regions.

7. With the INEC IT server hacked by agents of the APC to manipulate results, we can with certainty state that results from the following polling units have, for example, been tampered with, note:

i. Sarkin Dawaki ward in Doma LGA – Nassarawa state

ii. Doka ward in Doma LGA – Nassarawa state

iii. Agyaragin – Tofa ward

iv. 10, 000 illegal votes added to already announced results in Wurno LGA in Sokoto state

v. Additionally, violent and destructive attacks have been meted out to officials while counting at Lafia St. and police barracks polling units.

8. As if these provocations are not enough, our agents and officials are constantly arrested and in many cases locked-up for complaining that Card Readers were not in use in many Northern states, implying that all results from the Northern part of the country where Card Readers were not used should be voided in accordance with INEC guidelines.

9. I also believe, the arrest of Eng. Buba Galadima, who has been a great symbol of what is courageous about our people goes to show that one man’s ambition is greater than our collective good, and most probably worth the blood of all Nigerians.

10. In that context, I call for Buba Galadima’s immediate and unconditional release, as well as that of all officials and agents of the PDP, in the Southwest, who were mostly arrested on the eve of the elections where intimidation became the APCs sole election strategy.

11. Despite these provocations, intimidation and attempts to hijack our democracy and change the course of history, I must, in fact, convey to our good people the fact that the PDP is on course to victory and the Presidency; therefore, remain resolute and steadfast, because our party shares in your uncertainty and suffering, which must decisively come to a good end for us all.

12. Finally, and once again, we appeal to the leadership of INEC to remain impartial and not become willing agents to disenfranchise our people and derail our democracy, because the world is watching, and history will indeed pass judgment.

In addition, to the international community; we welcome your support for our democracy and extend our gratitude with great hope for our democracy.

Prince Uche Secondus
Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

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“Passage of life pension Bill, a desperate coup against Bayelsa people”—Group

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A group, the Bayelsa Against Eelection Violence Initiative (BAEVI) has kicked against the recent passage by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly of a bill to provide for monthly lifetime pension for its members, describing the action as a desperate coup against the people. 

According to the group, the presentation of same to Governor Henry Seriake Dickson for assent is the height of legislative rascality and desperation and, to say the least, an economic coup against the state.

The group, the Bayelsa Against Eelection Violence Initiative (BAEVI),in a statement issued  yesterday in Yenagoa, said the passage of this repugnant bill at a time when government has consistently screamed blue murder over dwindling state income and rising liabilities,” speaks to a clear lack of moral compass on the part of our reprentatives to put the public good first in all things and ensure the equitable and beneficial use of scarce state resources.”

The group, in the statement, signed by its President, Hon. Preye Johnbull and Secretary, Egba Father,  the doctrine of the fruit of the poisoned tree readily comes to mind here and renders nugatory the veiled, surreptitious attempt to endanger the public interest. If the tree is poisoned, it’s fruit can by no means be sweet but bitter. A good motive for committing a crime doesn’t necessarily absolve the culprit of the guilt and consequences.”

“The truth is that Bayelsa legislators are already comparatively sufficiently provided for under the subsisting remuneration package, and there is no need whatsoever to add a lifetime pension to sweeten the deal and enhance their exit package when the state civil servants are hardly well catered for, unemployment rate is hitting the roof and the lack of critical infrastructure such as power and industrial expansion has stifled development and brought the state practically to its knees. What with the backlog of gratuities of retirees and unpaid salaries of local government workers.”

“If the legislators strongly feel that they deserve to be included in monthly pensions then by the same token they must pass social security laws to enhance the welfare of the unemployed, physically challenged, bursary allowances and scholarships funding for tertiary students, the widows, single parents and all economically disadvantaged segment of the population.”

“The heightened social tension resulting from this melodramatic theatre of the absurd is  steadily building to a deafening crescendo and Governor Seriake Dickson must, without bathing an eyelid, throw this putrefying bill to where it rightly belongs; the stinking dustbin of history.”

“Unless something is done urgently to reverse this mindless rape of our commonwealth, the unsettling equal and opposite reaction could be that Bayelsans could be forced to take to the streets to register their displeasure and deploy every legitimate means to ensure its abrogation.”

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Breaking: NJC Approves Buhari’s Request To Extend Tenure Of Acting CJN Tanko Muhammad

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The National Judicial Council (NJC), has approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to extend the tenure of the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad.

The council in a statement by its Director Information, Soji Oye, stated that the approval followed several deliberations during a meeting which was held last week Thursday.

Mr Oye noted that contrary to reports that the NJC was going to meet next week on the extension of Justice Muhammad’s tenure, the council, however, meet on April 18, 2019, which resolved to the approval of his extension.

“The attention of the National Judicial Council has been drawn to an online newspaper and daily newspaper Report stating that the Council would meet next week to deliberate on the extension of the Acting Appointment of Honourable Dr Justice I. T. Muhammad CFR, as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

“Contrary to the above, the Council actually met on Thursday 18th April 2019 and at the 88thMeeting considered and approved the request of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for the extension of the Appointment of Hon. Dr Justice I. T. Muhammad, CFR, as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria for another three (3) months and Council has since forwarded its approval to the President”.

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How I got N1.2b cash from Fayose, others, by bank chief

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The Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday heard how the N1.2 billion allegedly given to former Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose from the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) was moved to the state.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is trying Fayose for allegedly receiving and keeping N1.2 billion and $5 million said to have been stolen from the ONSA.

Testifying before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, the 11th prosecution witness, Mr Sunday Alade, said he was the Akure, the Ondo State capital Branch Manager of Zenith Bank Plc in 2014 when the money was moved to his branch.

Led in evidence by prosecuting counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), the witness said he got a call from his Head of Operations asking him to prepare to head to Akure Airport to receive some cash from a customer.

“On June 17, 2014, I was in my office in Zenith Bank, Akure. I received a call from my Head of Operations, Abiodun Oshodi, that a customer would be coming to make a deposit into his account with the bank.

“He said in order to provide security, we should arrange for a bullion van to go to the airport to pick the cash.

“After an hour, Oshodi came and said the customer had arrived. He introduced Abiodun Agbele as the customer.

“He said we should prepare to go to the airport. I asked for time to arrange for security, but they said that won’t be necessary as they had sufficient security. They came with MOPOL (mobile policemen) and some soldiers in a Hilux van,” Alade said.

The witness said he joined Oshodi and Agbele to the airport, along with the bullion van and the security men.

He added: “At the airport, we waited for a few minutes before the arrival of the aircraft. Three individuals came out of the aircraft.

“Two of them walked away. The remaining person introduced himself as O. Adewale. The cash was offloaded into the bullion van and we drove to Zenith Bank in Akure.”

Alade also said when he and the others got to the bank, the money was counted in his presence.

According to him, Oshodi, Adewale and Agbele were also present at the bank.

“The money was counted in our presence. It was N724 million. We were informed that there was a balance. We went back to the airport and picked N494 million.

“The total cash amounted to N1.219 billion. Another aircraft brought the N494 million.

“I gathered that the cash was lodged in three bank accounts – those of De-Privateer, Spotless Investment and Ayodele Fayose.

“I also understand that some cash was taken away that day by Mr Agbele.”

Asked who Adewale was, he said: “Adewale O. introduced himself as (former Minister of State for Defence) Musliu Obanikoro’s ADC (aide-de-camp).”

On whether or not he knew those who walked away from the aircraft after it landed, the witness said: “One of them resembled Obanikoro. I never met him in person. But he resembled the person I saw on television and newspapers.”

Under cross-examination by defence counsel Ola Olanipekun and Olalekan Ojo, both SANs (for Spoless Limited, Fayose’s co-accused), the witness said he did not know where the money came from.

Asked if he knew what the money was meant for, he said: “Not at all.”

The witness said it took 10 days to process the cash.

Responding to a question by Ojo if he submitted a bulk cash register to the EFCC on the transaction, the witness said: “No.”

Ojo showed the witness a statement of account belonging to Spotless Investment.

He was asked to identify entries for October 6, 2014, September 5, 2014 and December 6, 2014.

Alade said the entries showed the transfer of N11.173 million each described as “mortgage repayment” and “mortgage loan liquidation”.

He added: “But I didn’t know anything about the transactions.”

To this, Ojo said: “Don’t worry.”

Before the trial began, Jacobs said he was involved in an accident and had to come to court in crutches.

The lawyer asked the court to allow him take only one witness, but he did not disclose when or where he had the accident.

He was seen wearing a heavy bandage brace on his right foot without a footwear.

There was also no indication that the case would be transferred to another judge.

EFCC Acting Chairman Ibrahim Magu reportedly wrote to the Chief Judge, asking that the case be withdrawn from Justice Olatoregun and re-assigned to another judge.

Magu was said to have expressed lack of confidence in the judge.

But no reference was made to the purported letter to the CJ by the EFCC acting chairman.

Fayose had pleaded not guilty when he was arraigned on an 11-count charge on October 22, last year.

EFCC said the former governor and Agbele, who is facing a different charge, allegedly took possession of N1,219,000,000 on June 17, 2014 to fund Fayose’s 2014 governorship campaign.

The commission said Fayose “reasonably ought to have known” that the money “formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: criminal breach of trust/stealing”.

EFCC said the former governor, on the same day, received cash payment of $5 million from Obanikoro without going through a financial institution.

The commission said the sum exceeded the amount authorised by law, thereby violating the Money Laundering Act.

Justice Olatoregun adjourned till May 10 and 14 for continuation of trial.

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