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Sorry, I don’t think Atiku is coming By Fredrick Nwabufo

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I have pondered on Atiku Abubakar’s case against President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential election petition tribunal. I have also cerebrated on the counter arguments of the president.

By my ratiocination, the arguments of both parties are nourished with so much ridiculousness that the case itself appeals more as comic relief.

The president underpropped his argument with the claim that Atiku is not a citizen of Nigeria by birth, and that he ‘’ought not to have even been allowed in the first place, to contest the election’’.

Truly, the Nigerian constitution prescribes citizenship by birth as a requisite for the office of the president.

But where did President Buhari get the ‘’genius’’ of his case from? From a man, he sent pythons after in Afaraukwu, Umuahia, Abia state.

Months before the election, Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), actuated the controversy about the origins of the PDP presidential candidate.

Kanu claimed Atiku is a citizen of Cameroon and not of Nigeria, having had his place of nativity in a part of Adamawa that was a portion of northern Cameroon until the plebiscite of 1961 which wedded that area of Cameroon with Nigeria.

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Atiku was born in Jada in November 1946 before the matrimony.

Buhari hung his case on this claim, and also argued that votes cast for Atiku were worthless.

In fact, Abba Kyari, chief of staff to the president, who appeared before the tribunal, reinforced this claim.

Let me ask stupidly. Why did the president not hinge his case on the substance of Atiku’s petition, which is the outcome of the February election? Why did he underpin his argument on the claim of a fugitive?

I admit, Atiku’s ‘’citizenship quandary’’ as it relates to the office of the president is a grey area in Nigerian law that the courts will have to interpret to enrich the jurisprudence.

But the bigger issue, I think, is still the substance of his petition. Did Buhari really defeat Atiku in the election?

Atiku also brought on an aspect of ludicrosity in his argument with the claim on Buhari’s certificate. I think the president’s ‘’ missing certificate’’ slant he propagandised detracted from the meat of his case.

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Let me ask stupidly. Besides the sensation of the president being un-certificated, how does the claim buttress his case?

Already, courts of different jurisdictions (high court and appeal court) have dismissed suits filed on this claim. Recently, the supreme court dismissed an appeal seeking the disqualification of Buhari on the grounds that he did not submit his academic credentials to INEC.

In fact, the constitution does not specify ”certificate” as a prerequisite for the office of the president.

Section 131 (d) of the constitution says: A person shall be qualified for election to the office of the president if – he has been ‘’educated’’ up to at least school certificate level or its ‘’equivalent’’.

The ringtone here is ‘’educated’’. Education is beyond the four walls of school. Travelling, attending conferences, seminars, workshops and high-powered meetings as well as managing agencies, departments, companies and businesses are all part of learning and education.

Also, Atiku’s claim that an INEC server, which contained the real figures of the election, put him in the lead, could have been the coup de grace if had a much convincing argument to substantiate it.

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The former vice president asked the tribunal to order INEC to grant him access to its server and smart-card reader records. He claimed that from the data in lNEC’s “server’’, the results from state-to-state computation showed that he had a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari who had 16,741,430 votes.

But INEC shrieked at the sound of ”server”.

Yunus Usman, INEC counsel, in a counter-affidavit, asked the court to reject the application.

“They are asking us to bring something we do not have. My Lord, the commission did not deploy such technology infrastructure in the last general election,’’ he said.

The electoral umpire has been emphatic in its position that there is no server for the 2019 election. But I believe, the witnesses Atiku called did more to pooh-pooh his claim of ‘’server’’ than INEC did.

So, where there are two ridiculous cases; the tad ridiculous will take the day.

Really, I do not think Atiku is coming.

Politics

Police vow to bring killers of Gov. Obiano’s aide to book

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The Assistant Inspector-General of Police  (AIG) in charge of Zone 13, AIG Danmallam Mohammed, has vowed to bring killers of the Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Willie Obiano on Security, late Azubuike Ekwegwalu, to book. 
Mohammed, who made the pledge on Monday in an interview with newsmen in his office at Ukpo near Awka, described the incident as “sad and most unfortunate.”
The AIG said he had directed the Anambra Police Commissioner, CP  John Abang to commence an investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“I am sure that the commissioner of police will intensify intelligence to track down the criminals and make sure that they are brought to book.
“The people of the state should not express fear or have sleepless nights over the development.
“They should know that in larger societies like this, there are pockets of crimes,” he said.
The AIG assured the people, especially family members of the deceased, that the culprits would be apprehended, no matter how highly placed they were.
He also expressed concerns over the increasing wave of cultism in the state, warning cultists to denounce their membership or face the wrath of the law.
The Newsmen recalls that Ekwegbalu, 43, was allegedly stabbed to death with a kitchen knife at his residence in the  Commissioners’ Quarters, Awka, by unknown assailants on Sunday.
The Police Command’s Spokesman in the state, SP Haruna Mohammed already said a suspect seen within the premises around 1:30 a.m. on a fateful day had been arrested for further investigations.
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JUST IN: Lebanon’s government resigns over Beirut blast

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Lebanon

Lebanon’s government resigned Monday as the fallout from last week’s deadly explosion deepened a political crisis in the country’s blast-ravaged capital.

Prime Minister Hassan Diab said he would resign alongside all of his ministers.

“We will back down and stand with the people. We need to open the door for the people,” he said in an address to the nation.

The move comes after enraged protesters and world leaders alike demanded political reform following the Aug. 4 blast that killed almost 160 people and injured thousands more.

Protesters took to the streets of Beirut again Sunday with a video showing what appeared to be tear gas canisters being fired at demonstrators who had congregated in a street near the parliament.

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Last week’s blast, which sent a mushroom-like cloud into the sky above Beirut’s port, dealt a blow to a country already on its knees.

Nearly a week since the devastating explosion, public anger shows no signs of abating.

The blast was triggered when a warehouse fire ignited hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate, according to Diab.

It sent a shock wave that scarred the coastline of Beirut, destroying hundreds of buildings and leaving many homeless.

The protesters blame the ruling elite for chronic mismanagement and corruption that is believed to be behind the explosion and the country’s broader issues.

“You literally blew us up. We have nothing left to lose,” a group of protesters screamed at a demonstration on Saturday.

The scenes of public fury came as world leaders pledged millions in emergency aid to the country’s explosion-ravaged capital in a teleconference co-organized by France and the United Nations.

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President Donald Trump was among the participants, as well as leaders from Gulf Arab states, China and the European Union.

“The international community, Lebanon’s closest friends and partners, will not let Lebanese people down,” the chair of the conference said in a concluding statement on Sunday, according to the French mission to the U.N.

The participants agreed to help meet the immediate needs of Beirut and the Lebanese people through emergency assistance programs and agreed it would be “directly delivered to the Lebanese population.”

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They warned that any support of the economic and financial recovery of the country would be contingent on Lebanese authorities committing to economic and political reforms demanded by the Lebanese people, according to the statement.

The government’s resignation, however, is not a panacea for Lebanon’s problems.

The country is facing its worst economic crisis in its modern history and is afflicted by skyrocketing unemployment, rising prices and a plummeting Lebanese pound. Hunger is spreading throughout the country of 6.8 million people.

 

NBC

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Ondo 2020: Akeredolu blasts Mimiko for abandoning projects

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Akeredolu, Mimiko

For the first time in his over three years stay in office, Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Monday, came hard on his predecessor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko.

Governor Akeredolu said his predecessor abandoned projects begun by late Olusegun Agagu.

Akeredolu said the Ondo seaport project envisioned by late Agagu was abandoned by Mimiko.

He said the seaport would have become a reality if Mimiko had continued with the vision.

The Ondo Governor said Mimiko also abandoned the Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa as well as left six months unpaid salaries.

Governor Akeredolu said he would defeat all candidates from other political parties in the October 10 governorship election.

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Akeredolu who spoke during the flag-off of distribution of palliatives donated by the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) promised to complete the seaport project before the end of his second term.

He said over 200,000 households have received palliatives since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Akeredolu stated that apart from the most vulnerable that got palliatives, patients in the hospitals; the sick, pregnant, and women and nursing mothers also received palliatives.

He said the items donated by CA-COVID would get to 50,000 households.

His words:

“We have been forced by COVID-19 outbreak to review downward our budget just like every other State and the Federal Government, but nevertheless God Almighty has made it possible for us to continue to pay salaries and the implementation of our various shining across the State.

“Let us not be in doubt that a new foundation has been laid for Ondo while the sun is shinning. Port Ondo is on the way. By the grace of God, I will complete it.

“If previous government had shown concern, we would have had a seaport. Agagu started it but we had a government that abandoned it.

“That government abandoned OAUSTEC. Come on Saturday and see the wonderful work we are doing there.

“We have been in the office for about 42 months and have paid salaries and allowances for 48 months. The six months extra being the carry-over debt from the immediate past administration, despite our lean purse since we took over.”

Chairman of Ondo COVID-19 Palliatives Committee, Pastor Akin Olotu, said individuals that did not benefit from the other phases of distribution would be reached out to.

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Spokesman of Mimiko, John Paul Akinduro, did not pick calls to his phone.

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