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JUST IN: Buhari Wins Second Term, Beats Atiku By 3.9m Votes |The Republican News

Buhari-2019

President Buhari watches INEC results announcement on televission

 

** President defeats Atiku by over 3.9 million votes

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has won his re-election bid as he polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat his closest rival, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party in the presidential poll conducted on February 23.

Atiku polled 11,262,978 to lose the election with a margin of 3,928,869 votes.

This is according to the Independent National Electoral Commission’s collated figure of votes from all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory released on Wednesday morning.

Though INEC has not formally declared Buhari as the winner as of the time of writing this report, the President has met all the requirements the constitution requires a candidate to meet before such could be declared the winner.

According to the constitution, a presidential candidate must have nothing less than 25 per cent of votes cast in at least two-thirds or 24 states of the federation. The candidate should also have majority votes in the election.

With the figure released by INEC at the national collation centre in Abuja on Wednesday morning, the incumbent President has more than 25 per cent of the election in over 24 states.

He also defeated his closest rival with 3,928,869 votes.

Atiku also had 25 per cent of the total votes cast in over 24 states but lost the poll when the simple majority rule condition is applied.

While President Buhari won in 19 states, Atiku won in 17 states and the FCT.

The states Buhari won are Bauchi, Borno, Ekiti, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara.

Atiku won in Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Ondo, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Taraba and the FCT.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had earlier said the last lap of the announcement of the election result would start by 3am on Wednesday.

INEC had started the collation of the results on Monday with the declaration of results from 11 states and the FCT, during which Buhari won seven states leaving Atiku with four and the FCT

The collation of results for the 2019 Presidential election continued on Tuesday with Niger State where Buhari with 612, 371 votes beat Atiku who scored 218, 052.

There are 2,375,568 registered voters across the 15 Local Government Areas of the state and 911,964 accredited voters.

The state recorded a total vote cast of 896,976 and 851,937 valid votes. 45 votes were rejected while 71,200 were cancelled.

In Jigawa State, President Buhari scored 794,738 votes against Atiku’s 289,895 votes.

Jigawa with 27 LGAs, has 2 ,104, 889 registered voter population of which 1,171,801 were accredited to vote. However, 1,149,922 of this number voted in the election in the state.

The recorded valid votes for Jigawa is 1,106,244 while 43, 678 votes were rejected.

Kaduna State also went to Buhari with 993,445 votes as against PDP’s 640, 612 votes.

Atiku fought back in Anambra State with 524,738 votes as against the APC’s 33,298 votes.

Adamawa State also went to the PDP

Atiku won with 410,266 votes against Buhari’s 378,078. Atiku is from Adamawa, which has 21 LGAs and 1,959,322 registered voters. The number of accredited voters in Saturday’s poll is 874,920.

The total valid votes are 811,534 while the number of rejected votes is 49,222 giving a total number of 860,756.

The APC candidate also won in Lagos State by defeating the PDP candidate with 580,825. Atiku polled 448,015 votes in Lagos.

Edo State with 18 Local Government Areas and 2,150,127 registered voters, went to Atiku of the PDP with a vote of 275, 691 as against Buhari who scored 267,842 votes.

The number of accredited voters in the poll was 604,915, while the number of total valid votes are 560,711. The total rejected votes was 38, 517, giving a total vote cast of 599, 228.

The number of cancellation which was carried out in 48 polling units is 42,176.

The vote of Benue State went to Atiku as he pulled a narrow margin victory over Buhari with a figure of 356,817 as against APC’s 347,668.

Benue with a voter population of 2, 391,276 has a total vote cast of 763,872, while the number of valid votes cast is 728,912.

The rejected votes are 34,960 while 122,989 votes were cancelled in 172 polling units.

Plateau State also gave its vote to Atiku as he scored 548,665 while Buhari scored 468,555.

The registered voter population is 2,423, 381, while accredited voters for the election are 1,074,042. The total valid vote is 1,034,853 and the total vote cast is 1,063,862. The number of rejected votes are 28,009.

Buhari thrashes Atiku in Bauchi

In Bauchi State, INEC said Buhari polled 798,428 votes.

INEC Collation Officer, Prof. Alhassan Ghani, said this at INEC National Collation Centre in Abuja on Tuesday.

Ghani also Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University, Kashere, Gombe State, said Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, scored 209,313 votes to place second.

He said the state had 2,453,512 registered voters, out of which 1,075,330 were accredited for the election.

Ghani added that 1,061,955 votes were cast, out of which Buhari scored 798,428 votes, while Atiku scored 209,313 votes.

According to him, a total of 1,024,307 valid votes and 37,648 invalid votes were recorded during the election.

Buhari wins Ogun with 281,762 votes

Buhari also won in Ogun State with 281,762 votes.

The state Collation Officer, Prof. Joseph Adeola, announced the result at the National Collation Centre in Abuja on Tuesday.

Adeola said Atiku scored 194,655 votes to place second.

Adeola, who is also the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Akure, put the total number of registered voters in the state at 236,887, total vote cast, 605,938, and number of total valid votes was 564,256.

He, however, said election was cancelled in 11 polling units which cut across six Local Government Areas of the state having a voting population of 9,680.

Atiku records slim victory in Oyo

In Oyo State, Atiku in a keen contest defeated Buhari by a margin of 1,461 votes.

The Oyo State Collation Officer of INEC, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, announced the final accumulated results in the state after the collation exercise in Abuja.

Abdulkareem said that 905,007 voters were accredited for the voting, adding that at the end of the exercise. Atiku garnered 366,690 votes while the APC candidate scored 365,229 votes.

Buhari records landslide victory in Kano

Buhari won in Kano State by a landslide victory.

INEC Collation Officer in Kano State, Prof. Magaji Garba, the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara State, who announced the result at the National Collation Centre in Abuja, said Buhari polled 1,464,768 votes to defeat his opponents in the poll.

He said Atiku came second with 391,593 votes, while Donald Duke of Social Democratic Party got 635 votes to place third.

According to him, Obadiah Mailafia of African Democratic Congress scored 591 votes, Yabagi Yusuf of African Democratic Party polled 439 votes and Mr Omoyele Sowore of African Action Congress,416 votes.

He said total registered voters in the state stood at 5,391,581 out of which 2,006,410 voters were accredited.

The collation officer announced that the number of total votes cast was 1,964,751, out of which 73,617 votes were rejected.

He added that votes in 17 out of the 44 Local Government Areas of the state were cancelled with a total of 43,900 voters affected.

Buhari floors Atiku in Katsina

Similarly, INEC announced that Buhari won the election in his home state of Katsina by an overwhelming margin.

According to Prof. Fatima Mukhtar, the Collation Officer for the state, Buhari polled 1,232,133 votes to defeat his PDP opponent, Atiku, who scored 308,056 votes.

Mukhtar said the state had 3,210,422 registered voters and that 1,628,865 of them were accredited for the election.

She added that the state recorded 1,619,185 votes, with 1,555,473 valid and 63,712 rejected.

Atiku defeats Buhari in Cross River

But Atiku defeated Buhari in Cross River State after scoring 295,737 votes against the APC candidate’s 117,302 votes.

Atiku won all the local government areas except Etung which was cancelled because of violence and Bakassi where voting did not take place in four of the 10wards but results of six wards were recorded.

The presidential and National Assembly collation officer for Cross River State, Prof. Akin Ibhadode, released the figures in Abuja on Tuesday.

Atiku triumphs in Bayelsa

Meanwhile, INEC declared Atiku winner in six LGAs of Bayelsa State.

INEC Returning Officer, Prof. Zana Akpagbo, who announced this on Tuesday in Abuja, said Atiku polled 197, 933 votes to beat Buhari of the APC who polled 118, 821 votes.

“From the eight LGAs in Bayelsa, we have a total valid votes of 321, 767, total accredited voters, 344, 237, votes cast, 335, 856 and rejected votes are 14, 089.

“Total registered voters are 923, 189,” Akpagbo announced.

Bayelsa State has eight LGAs. Buhari won in two -Nembe and Southern Ijaw, while Atiku won in Brass, Ogbia, Yenagoa, Kolokuma/Opokuma, Sagbama, and Ekeremor LGAs.

Buhari beats Atiku by 313,259 votes in Zamfara

In Zamfara State, Buhari defeated Atiku with 313,259 votes.

This was announced by the Returning Officer of the poll, Prof. Kabiru Bala, at the end of the collation of results on Tuesday in Abuja.

Bala said while Buhari polled 438,682 votes, Atiku scored 125,423 votes.

He however reported that many of the local government returning officers complained of attacks by either bandits or hoodlums leading to the rejection of a total of 18,785 votes across the 14 Local Government Areas of the state.

INEC declares Buhari winner in Kebbi State

Buhari also won in Kebbi State having polled 581,552 votes to defeat Atiku, who scored 154,282 votes.

The result was announced at the National Collation Centre of 2019 Presidential Election on Tuesday in Abuja by the Collation Officer, Prof. Haruna Bichi, the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University, Dutsinma, Katsina State.

He said the total registered voters in the election were 1,820,697.

“A total of 756,605 votes were valid while total votes cast was 803,755 out of which 47,150 was rejected,” he said.

Atiku wins Taraba poll with 374, 743 votes

Atiku won the election in Taraba State, according to state Collation Officer, Prof. Shehu Iya, who is also the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Madibo Adamawa, University of Technology, Yola.

Iya said Atiku polled 374, 743 votes in the state, while Buhari polled 324,906 votes.

According to him, out of the total 1,777,105 registered voters in the state, 777,105 eligible voters in Taraba State were accredited, while 741, 564 votes were cast.

He noted that the total number of valid votes was 712, 877, while 28, 627 votes were rejected.

Atiku wins Imo with 334,923 votes

Atiku also won in Imo State after polling 334,923 votes out of 542,777 total votes cast in the state.

The result was announced on Tuesday at the INEC National Collation Centre in Abuja, by the State Returning Officer, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba.

Ozumba, also the Vice-Chancellor, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Enugu State, said Buhari polled 140, 463 votes at the poll.

According to Ozumba, the state has 2,037,569 registered voters, 585,742 accredited voters, while 31,191 votes were rejected.

He said the election was cancelled in 97 polling units in 12 LGAs of the state with 63,078 registered voters in the affected areas.

PDP wins in Delta

With 594,068 votes, the PDP candidate also won in Delta State, according to INEC.

The Collating Officer for the election in the state, Prof. Seth Jaja, who announced the result in Abuja, said Buhari came second with 221,292 votes.

Jaja said Atiku won in 23 LGAs out of 25 in the state, leaving the remaining two for Buhari.

Jaja said the state had 2, 719, 313 registered voters, and that 891, 647 voters were accredited for the election.

He announced that total valid votes cast were 829,762, while 52, 492 were voided.

Segun Olugbile, Olusola Fabiyi, Friday Olokor, Success Nwogu, Ramon Oladimeji, Afeez Hanafi, Ademola Babalola, David Olorunsogo, Tunji Bosun and Ada Wodu (Punch)

 

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Presidential Election: Afenifere Endorses Buhari, Osinbajo For 2019 |RN

The Afenifere leaders, led by Pa Ayo Fasanmi, held the meeting at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Building, Secretariat Agodi, in Ibadan.

Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

Notable leaders of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural and political organisation, Afenifere, rose from a meeting which lasted for about three hours on Thursday, in Ibadan, capital of Oyo State, and endorsed the candidature of President Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for re-election in February 2019.

x states in the South West, also fixed January 29, 2019 for an official declaration for Buhari and his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo.

The Afenifere leaders, led by Pa Ayo Fasanmi, held the meeting at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Building, Secretariat Agodi, in Ibadan.

The resolution was reached by Yoruba leaders including former governor of old Oyo state, Dr. Omololu Olunloyo, former deputy governor of Lagos and Oyo states, Prince Biodun Ogunleye and Iyiola Oladokun, respectively, Dr. Abayomi Finnih; son of the late Pa Adekunle Ajasin, a former governor of old Ondo State, Tokunbo, and former commissioner for Lands in Osun State and son of Chief Bola Ige, former Minister of Justice, Muyiwa. The roll call also included Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, Mr. Ayo Afolabi, Prof Adebayo Ademudi, Oladosu Oladipo, Tajudeen Olusi, and chairman of Ekiti State chapter of Afenifere, Chief Akin Fasae.

Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting, Fasae said: “We have decided to host Yorubaland in Ibadan, on January 29, next year. It is to proclaim the support of Yorubaland for president Buhari in 2019, and also, to tell the whole world that Afenifere, which Chief Obafemi Awolowo (former premier of the Western Region) created before he left, is still intact as a progressive movement. And any Afenifere person, who is not in the progressive, is not part of us. “We are now telling the Yoruba people and the whole world that Afenifere, as enunciated and enacted by Chief Awolowo is still intact and we are going to support president Buhari and Prof Osinbajo; come the presidential election in February 2019.”

Giving more information about the January 29, 2019 Declaration, Fasae said that “the owner of the mandate of the Yoruba people is APC. The six governors of Yorubaland are APC. Speakers of all Houses of Assembly in Yorubaland are APC. So, we have six speakers.

“Those people in other group of Afenifere, none of them has ever contested election. Go and research it. So, they don’t have any mandate. The Afenifere we are talking here has the mandate of the Yoruba people, and you will see them here, all of them,” and added that Osinbajo and progressive

leaders of Yoruba nation would attend the January 29 declaration. Fasae dismissed the notion that Afenifere should not be playing partisan politics by endorsing a political party.

“Yoruba, as a nation, must have a political interest. So, when they tell us this is their political interest, as Afenifere, we must support them. This is just the point. We cannot say because Afenifere and Yoruba people want this, then, we’ll run away from them. No, we don’t do that.”

In response to the endorsement of the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, by the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), Fasae said: “The Afenifere we know in Yorubaland is progressive. And this is where we are in Ibadan. The other Afenifere that is talking about Atiku is the Ayo Adebanjo. They are not part of us. They are usurpers in the group.”  (The Sun)

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2019: Only God Can Stop Buhari From Winning – Bature |The Republican News

“Only God can stop Buhari from winning the 2019 presidential election. You will remember this day… only God will stop Buhari and not Atiku Abubakar.”

Gyang Bere, Jos

 

Rufus Bature, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and candidate for Plateau North Senatorial District, believes that only God can stop President Muhammadu Buhari from winning his election and not PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. He said it is a taboo for his people in Northern Plateau to be refugees and enslaved in their own land.

What are your fears about President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid?

Honestly, I do not have any fear. Only God can stop Buhari from winning the 2019 presidential election. You will remember this day that I said only God will stop Buhari and not Atiku Abubakar. Buhari will win his election without any obstruction. I am not a Prophet but from what I see, and what I hear, Buhari will win the election. I have the confidence that Buhari will get more votes in Plateau and in all parts of the country than he got in 2015, because different groups are mobilising for massive votes for him and the APC in 2019. I have not seen anybody that will thwart his re-election, not even Atiku Abubakar.

APC is swimming in trouble waters following the outcome of its party primaries where some governors have insisted that the national chairman must resign, don’t you think that it is a sign of defeat for the party ahead of the 2019 general elections?

You should expect that everybody will want to belong to a house that is very busy and if that is so, you will expect these intrigues, squabbles and blabbing in the APC. But at the end of the day, I am assuring you that APC will come out stronger and victorious in 2019.

With this crisis, don’t you think your National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole should resign?

Why should he resign? Unless they have found him wanting with clear cases of mismanagement, clear cases of corruption or cases of ineptitude. If he is not found wanting in any of these why should he resign? One thing with him is that as a Labour man, he has been so combative to an extent that people are not comfortable with him but I believe that he should give a little ear to whoever has a complaint. Like thepresident said, he should not bar people from going to court, if you genuinely feel that you are aggrieved, you can seek for redress in the court of law because that is what our constitution says. The Constitution of APC cannot be above the Constitution of Nigeria; therefore, I agree with Mr. President that whoever feels aggrieved should seek redress in any court of law.

Lalong came into power in 2015 on the basis of protest votes, do you still believe that he will win in 2019?

I am very optimistic that APC will form the government in Plateau State, it will form the government at the national level and I am optimistic that I will be part of the government that will be formed at the national level. We are all human beings, nobody is 100 percent right, we have our weaknesses; we are looking at these weaknesses and trying to make amend. But I believe rational thinking people and people who are objective on the Plateau, considering the circumstances that we met when we came on board and looking at what this government has done, will treat us fairly, we need to be looked at from our performance and not from any sentimental issue or bias point of view.

Most Plateau people and the Beroms who are the majority in the Northern zone are affected by killer herdsmen attacks and they appear not too comfortable with the APC government, how will your party win election when the people appear angry with APC?

We started APC on the Plateau together with the current governor, I know how many people voted APC from my own constituency, despite that and to be magnanimous in victory, Governor Lalong appointed me as Secretary to the Government, if it was just because of the vote that my people gave, I wouldn’t have been the Secretary to the Government. One of the first thing we did together was to look at this issue of crisis, and the first person that the governor consulted was the Gbong Gwom Jos. The second Group of people was the Fulani, we started a meeting, which culminated into a committee that was set up; it sat for months and brought up a very germane recommendations and the government started implementing some of the recommendations, which brought peace until the recent carnage.

What happened in the state is like a baby that is sucking breast and all of a sudden he was pull off the breast, you will certainly hear a striking cry, that is what happened. My other folks who were predominantly in PDP never believed that any government can emerge outside PDP, they were not ready for anything call hand-over, they were not ready to believe that it was not a PDP person that was going to emerge, therefore whatever that this government is doing that is good, they have never seen the good in it. If the government that I served were not magnanimous in victory, we would not have the appointment that we have. I have the record because I was the Secretary to the Government, all the political appointments that were made; even though they might not be quality but quantity wise, no single tribe on the Plateau has up to half of the appointments that the Berom people have, I stand to be corrected.

The governor was magnanimous enough in the Northern zone to allow me to nominate people into positions of Special Adviser, Senior Special Assistants, Board members, commissioners and so on. Infact, in Berom land, 95 percent of the appointees were nominated by me. We have built roads that are spread all over the local government areas that did not even vote for him. The governor said we are all Plateau people and therefore, they should benefit. Sometimes I feel so sad when people say this government has not done anything for Berom people, it is very glaring that this government is an all inclusive one. Lalong’s government is not anti-Berom.

At what point will you say this issue of land grabbing started in your home, Barkin-Ladi?

It has been there since 2001, there are many communities that were sacked and the people never went back to their land. So it is not today, it did not start under this government; if you go to Riyom Local Government area, you will see the same thing. This thing started right from the onset and because it was not nip in the bud, it continued unabated. When you go to Gashish you will see what I am talking about, I wept the day I went there. It was not in 2015 that this land grabbing started, it has been there for a very long time.

But do you believe that the Military are colluding with the Fulani herdsmen to attack your people just like Gen. TY Danjuma (Rtd) alleged in Taraba?

I have heard people saying that but I don’t have any incontrovertible evidence to prove that the Military is colluding, I don’t have any evidence. People might have their own evidence but I as a person don’t have any evidence.

What do you suggest the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari should do to the people of the area before 2019?

I appeal to him to do what he has said through the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo when he came to sympathise with the victims of the crisis and the president repeated it when he came to Jos recently. He said nobody who has been chased out of his community that will not go back unless he does not want; he is making every effort to make sure that people go back to their communities. One thing I want to emphasise, is that we must learn to respect, tolerate and understand one another, it is very important. When the lands were grabbed the other time, nobody made any effort to reclaim and take the people back to their communities.

You mean the PDP government did not make effort to take displaced persons back to their homes in the state?

Yes, of course. Nobody made any effort; today President Buhari is trying to take these people back to their communities even those who left since 2001 but some people are being very critical about it. It is unfortunate that some are saying is it only now that the government is concerned about the people; we are aware that things have happened, what did the leaders do during that time that the people were first displaced? I don’t want to start making comparison, all I want is that the people should be treated fairly, we should do justice, whether there was justice or no justice, we will be accountable for our own period. Whatever happened during the PDP period, is for them and will be judge by what they did, but as far as we are concern, we are doing what we believe is right, we are doing what we believe is just.

Plateau North Senatorial Zone is predominantly PDP, how do you intend to emerge APC Senator from the zone?

I want to contest that presumption that the Northern zone is predominantly PDP. If you look at the combination of members of the House of Assembly, about four of them are APC and four of them are PDP; for House of Representatives, out of the three of them, two are APC, while the senator is PDP and the governor is APC. APC is the home of Plateau North as far as I know. PDP was the government in power during the 2015 elections and the governor was from the Northern zone that was why some people thought that PDP was strong in the zone. But with what is on ground now, APC is in total control of the zone and the 2019 election result will show clearly that Northern zone is predominantly APC.

You resigned your position as Secretary to Government of Plateau State, to run for the senate. What is the motivation?

As a human being, everybody should have an ambition; I have had the opportunity of serving Plateau State in the House of Assembly for eight year, representing my constituency, Barkin-Ladi. My performances at the House of Assembly then are there for people to talk about; and having served in that capacity and not just a member of the House but as a leader of the minority in the House, I did my utmost best. We were the Guinea pigs that came in, in 1999 after a lonely political arena in Nigeria; with robust workshops and seminars held within and outside Nigeria, to give us a good start. I feel that the knowledge I acquired then while in the House is still with me and therefore I feel I should deploy the knowledge at a higher level. The experience which I had while in the House of Assembly for eight years and having been out of government for another eight years and returning to serve as Secretary of Government now in a ruling government; were the things that propelled me to seek for the position of Senator to represent Northern Zone of Plateau State.   (The Sun)

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APC Has No Governorship, Other Candidates In Rivers, Appeal Court Rules |RN

On October 10, 2018, a High Court in Port Harcourt nullified the nomination of Mr Tonye Cole as the APC governorship candidate in Rivers

Tony John, Port Harcourt

The Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, on Wednesday confirmed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State will not field any candidates during the 2019 General elections when it dismissed the appeal filed by the factional Rivers State APC Governorship Candidate Mr Tonye Cole.

The Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division also confirmed the judgment of Justice Chinwendu Nwogu that Rivers State has no ward executives, local government executives and State Executives as it dismissed the appeal filed by Sacked Rivers State APC State Chairman, Mr Ojukaye Flag-Amachree.

The Court of Appeal Port Harcourt Division Special Panel Chaired by Justice Abubakar Yahaya dismissed the two appeals for lack of merit.

The third appeal which centred on the judgement by Justice Chinwendu Nwogu was dismissed because it was filed out of time and therefore statute barred. Delivering his judgement Justice Yahaya, said the appeal against the Justice Chinwendu Nwogu High Court judgement on the party Congress crisis lacks merit, adding that the application for joinder failed to observed the 14 days rules of Appeal.

Delivering judgement on the substantive appeal number CA/PH/198 which bordered on Justice Nwogu’s judgement, the panel ruled that the Ojukaye faction failed to seek leave of court before appealing against the judgement.

Justice Yahaya ruled that the judgement delivered at the lower court was a consent judgement, adding that Ojukaye faction should have done the needful legally before approaching the court. Counsel to Ibrahim Umar and 22 others, Mr Patrick Luke said that the rulings of the Court of Appeal confirm that the judgement by Justice Chinwendu Nwogu remains valid and is still subsisting. Counsel to Ojukaye Flag-Amachree, Emenike Ebete noted that the court heard the three matters and in her wisdom arrived at the rulings confirming the judgment of Justice Chinwendu Nwogu.

He said: “Arguments were taken but the Court in its infinite wisdom held that in appeal 461, that is the substantive appeal, that the consent judgement of the High Court of Rivers state and by provision of the constitution, we ought to have sought leave of court to appeal against that consent judgement. That is their own decision and they struck it out.

“The one for the candidates and the party state executives, we were dismissed on the ground that it was a pre-election matter, that we did not bring the application within 14 days after decision was delivered on October 10. What that means is that, we will approach the Supreme court to contest the judgment.”

On October 10, 2018, a High Court in Port Harcourt nullified the nomination of Mr Tonye Cole as the APC governorship candidate in Rivers; on the ground that his nomination is a function of illegality and unconstitutional acts.

The court also nullified the state’s APC senatorial, House of Representatives and House of Assembly primaries conducted on the premise of the illegal ward congresses.

The High Court further nullified all the elections of Rivers APC Ward Executives, Local Government Executives and State Executive Committee that arose from the illegal ward congresses.

In a judgment delivered by Justice Chiwendu Nwogu, in a suit filed by Ibrahim Imah and 22 others, against the APC, the court declared that the ward congresses of Rivers APC were illegal because they were not conducted in line with the APC Guidelines and Constitution.  (The Sun)

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Guber Elections: Okorocha, Amosun’s Threat A Concern To APC |RN

     National Chairman, All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole

Kamorudeen Ogundele, Abuja

 

The All Progressives Congress is worried by the decision of some aggrieved members, including the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibukunle Amosun, and his Imo State counterpart, Rochas Okorocha, to shun the APC governorship candidates in their states,  The PUNCH has learnt.

Some members, who were aggrieved by the party’s primaries, had vowed to work against the APC candidates in their states.

Besides the two governors, some lawmakers, who could not secure the party’s tickets have also vowed to work against the party’s candidates, except the President.

The APC National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, had earlier on Wednesday said the party could win the governorship elections in Imo and Ogun without the support of Okorocha and Amosun.

It was, however, learnt that despite the statement of Oshiomhole, the party leaders were concerned that some aggrieved members could spoil the chances of the APC.

This, a source said, informed the decision of the party to convene a consultative forum with governorship candidates, state chairmen and secretaries at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja on Thursday.

The source stated, “The party is disturbed by the tales from some states and decided to tackle the issues head-on so as not to play into the hands of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.

“We know the party is waiting in the wings and looking for those who will be spoilers among us, so we have decided to be ahead of them.”

Another chieftain of the party, who would not want his name revealed because of the sensitive nature of the issue, cited Imo, Ogun and Zamfara states as places with high number of dissenters.

Okorocha, Amosun and the Zamfara State Governor, Abdul-Azeez Yari, are aggrieved that their preferred candidates did not get the tickets of the party.

The source said, “In Imo, Governor Rochas Okorocha has allowed his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, to pick the nomination form of another party while he remains in the APC to contest the senatorial seat. We see this as handwriting that the governor will work against the party in the governorship election.

“His position and body language is sending wrong signals to our members, so we need to quickly move in to motivate our members in order to heal many wounds as may be possible. Many of them think the crisis must be handled fast to avoid a gale of defections.

“Also in Ogun, the governor has said he is working towards the re-election of President Buhari but said he would work against the party’s governorship candidate.”

Plateau Governor, Simon Lalong, confirmed this fear in his opening remark at the consultative meeting.

Lalong said, “We have started to hear people say that they will campaign for the president, not the governor. The party structure is one and if they are not going to campaign for the governor, don’t campaign with us.

“Raise another structure in Abuja and remain in Abuja because if you come you are likely to dilute the message of the APC.”

Lalong urged the APC to release the campaign council so as to start working for the party.

“That is why I am also of the opinion that the earlier you release the campaign council, the better. Some of the items we intend to build into our campaign slogan are also for the president,” he added.

According to a communiqué signed by the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Issa Lanre-Onilu, the consultative meeting resolved that party leaders must campaign for all candidates of the party (presidential, governorship and legislative positions).

“A situation where leaders engage in selective support by picking and choosing candidates to campaign for and support is anti-party.

“The Enugu State Chairman, Ben Nwoye, distanced the state chapter from the condemnable actions and utterances of a senatorial aspirant in the state, Mr Osita Okechukwu,” the communiqué stated.

The meeting also called on governorship candidates to run an issue-based campaign centred on the unprecedented achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration which is evident in all the states of the federation.

It urged the party’s governorship candidates to run an inclusive campaign by bringing onboard former aspirants.

The communiqué added, “The party’s governorship and other stakeholders were also encouraged to domesticate ongoing peace and reconciliation efforts by the National Working Committee.

“The consultative meeting passed a vote of confidence in the NWC led by the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole. The NWC was urged to continue its effort to protect the best interest of the party and pursue efforts to achieve peace and reconciliation in the party.”

Speaking earlier at the opening, Oshiomhole said the consultative meeting was called to get feelers from states and to chart a way forward for the party’s victory in the 2019 general elections.

He lamented that there were some aggrieved members working with governors in states ruled by the opposition to ensure the APC did not have candidates.

“I am aware that we have some instances where some people have to go to court. And they are in two parts. There are some who are asking the court to declare them as the winner…where people are going to court to claim that there were no primaries such persons are not looking for solutions. Such persons are more or less agents of the opposition because if the court were to uphold their prayers, it means our party would have no candidate in such states. And the implication is that opposition will win such states.”

Oshiomhole said members had the responsibility to work wholeheartedly to deliver our candidates in their respective states.

“To be honest, l think that each and every one of you has one important role to play. Your actions could help the process of reconciliation and it could also deepen division. It would be helpful. No matter what anybody from outside who is helping you to reconcile with those who contested with you, your action would be far more potent in the process.”

Oshiomhole urged the candidates to woo over those who contested the party’s tickets against them.

“For example, in constituting your campaign organisation, if you find that there were those who wanted to be governors like you and who indeed have what it takes to be governors but the system can only produce one candidate, l think it would be best for you to identify such persons and bring them close and integrate them into your campaign organisation or if possible ask them to head the campaign.”

Also speaking, the Niger State Governor, Mohammed Bello, stressed the need to bring back aggrieved members.

“What we should do is to extend hands of fellowship to them and like the national chairman said, make them part of your campaign council. It will help to douse tension and give them a sense of belonging so that by God’s grace when we win in 2019, we must carry them along.

“The reconciliation committee is a good effort but we should set up similar committees at the state level. What we are doing in Niger State which we feel can help in other states is to refund the money they used in buying the forms. It will help douse a lot of tension. It is good that we are one united APC and together on one platform.”   (Punch)

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God Will Punish, Obasanjo, Atiku By February Next Year, Says Oshiomhole |RN

Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

 

National Chairman, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Adams Oshiomhole, has said that God will punish former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, when President Muhammadu Buhari defeats them at the 2019 presidential election.

The former Edo State governor, who spoke to newsmen after receiving APC women leaders from Edo State, who paid him a solidarity visit in his office in Aso drive, in Abuja, also reminded Obasanjo that he swore that God should punish him if he ever supported his former deputy, Atiku, to become the president.

He further noted that the ruling party is much more stronger in Ogun and Imo states despite grievances of their governors, Ibikunle Amosun and Rochas Okorocha, respectively, stressing that APC will work hard to deliver the governorship candidates of the party without them.

Asked his fears for 2019 elections, he said: “I will rather tell you my hopes and that is that Buhari will win by getting more votes than he got before. Nobody has said that Buhari is a thief, but who said that the other person is a thief was the person he worked with.

“If you are working with me and I said that you are thief, that God will punish me if I support you and when you are confused because your supply line has been chopped off and you enter a new deal, come back to say I now support you, that God you invoked with your name to punish you if you support that person is about to go to work and He will go to work in February next year. He will punish you thoroughly and punish the person he is supporting in favour of Nigeria,” he said.

While describing the governors as poor students of history who had forgotten where they came from to join the APC, Oshiomhole said argued that some APC governors have no electoral values any longer.

“Our popularity in Imo and Ogun states are much higher. What you don’t know and Nigerians always made me surprise by thinking that once you are a governor, you have electoral value. Yes, we have overwhelming majority of the APC governors with electoral value but we also have others without electoral values.

“I can concretely tell you today that in Imo state, APC will win more votes. As I said, it is about numbers and my focus is about the ordinary Imo electorate because the governor, his Commissioner for Happiness and the son in-law have only one vote on that day.

“But those mechanics, market women, school teachers and workers whose salaries are unpaid for years that have the same weight of votes. They are excited about the new possibilities of a new government coming with new idea free from all the encumbrances of the present system. I am very confident in Imo.

“Also, in Ogun state, don’t forget that the vice president is from Ogun state. We cannot focus on one person and not on the other. Ogun is one of the most enlightened state in the country and that is where Chief Awolowo came from. “They have a huge history in a political kingdom headed by one person.

When a child ran out of his father’s house to bear a new name according to history and the Bible, he returned when the weather thoroughly beat him as a prodigal son. That is why APC has prodigal sons. Those who think that their political future is tied to are poor students of history.

“They forget that some of these people thinking that they are invisible have run election before and lost deposit until they abandoned their parties and joined us. If they return back, history will repeat itself,” he said.   (The Sun)

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BREAKING: Dino Melaye “Decamps” From APC To PDP |The Republican News

By Chukwu David

Dino Melaye

 

Senator Dino Melaye, yesterday, alleged that the Nigerian Police made two attempts to kill him, while he was being prosecuted for alleged arms peddling and sponsorship of banditry in Kogi State.

Melaye, who was appearing in plenary for the first time since April when he was arrested by the Police and taken to court for prosecution for allegedly sponsoring criminals in his home state, made the allegation while expressing his appreciation to his colleagues, constituents and other Nigerians for standing with him during his travails.

According to him, the Police wanted to kill him first through a harmful substance, and second, through injection but noted that God protected him in the alleged attempts.

He also requested the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, to direct the Sergeant-At-Arms, to provide him with a comfortable seat at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wing in the Chamber, pending when he would fully recover.

The lawmaker said that his request was informed by the circumstance of his present condition of health, pointing out that he was not comfortable to sit at the All Progressives Congress (APC) wing of the Chamber.

He, however, did not categorically say that he was defecting to the opposition party.

Though some APC members fought to stop the traumatized senator from having his request granted, the President of the Senate, noted that since the demand was anchored on the health of their colleague, he had no option than to allow him to sit where he believed would facilitate his quick recovery.  (New Telegraph)

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Atiku, A Big Influence In Nigerian Politics |The Republican News

Atiku-Abubakar-Speech

Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar

Olaide Oyelude, Katsina

The Katsina State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Salisu Majigiri, has said former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar is a factor in Nigerian politics whose presence or absence in any political party will be greatly felt.

Majigiri said this at the Katsina State PDP secretariat shortly after welcoming members of the state chapter of the former Vice-President’ s “Atiku Project 2019” formerly in the All Progressives Congress to the PDP on Tuesday.

The leader of the group, Ghali Yusuf, put the number of those who defected to the PDP at 10,000.

The PDP state chairman, who referred to  Governor Aminu Masari’s  recent comments that Atiku’s defection to the PDP would have no impact on the APC, declared  that  the governor was not being sincere.

Majigiri said, “Former Vice-President Abubakar Atiku is a major factor in Nigerian politics. He is a big fish. There is no political party that he joins that will not feel his impact. Even President Buhari acknowledged this when he expressed condolences to the APC National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, over the defection of former Vice-President to the PDP.

“So, Governor Masari is only being sentimental. The governor knows that the APC has lost a strong and influential party member. He (Masari) is just pretending. Atiku is a factor. The APC’ s loss is our gain in the PDP.”

Meanwhile, the PDP state chairman has said that a former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Alhaji Umar Gwajo-Gwajo, who defected to the APC on Monday, had yet to officially notify the PDP of his defection.  (Punch)

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PDP Will Not Win Any Seat In Abia Come 2019 – BB Apugo |The Republican News

A member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prince Benedict Benjamin Apugo has said that the APC would win Abia, in 2019.
President Buhari last week went back to London over his health condition; do you think the president is still capable of carrying on with the affairs of the country effectively?
Mr. President has gone for a medical checkup just like any other human being could have done; I don’t see any strange thing in it. It is the people who are mischievous that are creating all these nonsense. But we here are praying that God Almighty will continue to grant the president good health to continue with the good intention he has for this country. I don’t think anybody should have cause to fear, he will return safely and continue with his good works.
The leadership of the National Assembly has come out openly to condemn the anti-corruption war by the present administration. What’s your take on this?
Well, the problem is that these people who are corrupt are fighting back but I don’t know the extent they will go. We need a strong judiciary to be able to handle these corruption cases. You see, when a corrupt person who looted his state goes to the senate, you bring a bill for anti-corruption court,  what do you think the person will do?” You think he will let it sail through? That is exactly what is happening. I don’t think the strategy being employed for the anti-corruption war is bad, but the people fighting back are making it look childish because most of them in the senate there are supposed to be in jail. Like my own former governor, he is supposed to be in jail. So, that is why it looks like nothing is happening. They are not supposed to say those words they said the other day. It makes mockery of the red chamber, they should guard their utterances and not to betray the trust the people have in them.
We were told that Gov Okezie Ikpeazu visited you last week Thursday for the first time since he became governor, how do you feel about the visit?
Well, I am an Abia indigene. You see sometimes our people don’t know how to play politics, for the fact that people belong to different political parties should not make them enemies. But because of the selfish posture of certain people that have managed Abia politics, that is why it looked like heaven fell down when Gov Okezie Ikpeazu came to pay me a courtesy call. Last week Thursday was the first time he was visiting since he became the governor. So, he is our governor and I use this opportunity to congratulate him for his victory even though it was Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) internal matter, but it is victory and I congratulate him for that.
People are of the opinion that the governor’s visit was a bit late, do you see it that way?
Well, people are entitled to their opinions, they might see it that the visit came very, very late, but the fact remains he visited and I have accepted him. I accepted him because he is not TA Orji’s governor; he is governor for all Abians. Like I have always said, within this period he is governor of Abia State, he should use it to answer his name which is Ikpeazu, not TA Orji because I believe he has been answering the name of his predecessor. He (Ikpeazu) is a young man who should have his name immortalised for what he will do in Abia State.
Now that Ikpeazu is going to be the governor of the state till 2019, do you think he is going to bring the much needed infrastructural development to Abia State?
If he wants to immortalise his name, like I told him when he visited me, he should work for Abia people and forget about using Abia money to give T.A Orji as a way of paying him back for facilitating his election. I am repeating it; he should use such money to develop Abia state instead of sharing it out to people who do not mean well for the state.
What are those things you will want the governor to do while in office?
I made the governor to understand that we cannot develop Abia without an outlet and the easiest outlet Abia should have is the Airport, whether it is cargo or airstrip where somebody can fly from Abuja or Lagos and land, go round Abia and see places to enable him or her decide on the type of investment he would want to invest in, in the state. I advised the governor on job creation and also on the need to develop our tourist sites that will enable people to visit Abia state because nobody is coming here; the immediate past governor, T.A Orji killed this state. Nobody comes to Abia state and if people don’t come, how would they know that there is a place call Abia state? I advised him on these and I believe very strongly will do something about them.
Do you see the visit as a way of trying to reach out to the opposition particularly those in the APC?

People may be saying with the visit, I will now be interested in what Abia state government is doing. But the fact remains that  over the years because of what has been happening, I have not been interested in Abia state government. I am interested in Abia state, not the government. I will be interested in Abia government if Gov Ikpeazu starts implementing one or two of those things I have asked him to do. I’m not talking about APC, if the governor wants to join APC he is free to join. APC is a political party that anybody can join and a lot of people are joining now. But when we say people are free to join APC, not people like T.A Orji because he is a political liability and will remain perpetually so.
What is your advice to those that contested the election with the governor and later took him to court, but lost?
My advice is that Ikpeazu should embrace them, he should even visit them and they too should take it as a game. I have said it earlier that because people are in different political parties should not make them enemies. So, Ikpeazu should embrace them, so that they can all work together for the interest of Abia people. And if they have advice, they should go and give him, Ikpeazu should open his hands and door and receive them. Ikpeazu should not be afraid of T.A Orji again because now, he has gotten some people backing him unlike before when he felt it was only T.A Orji that was backing him.
Abia state is controlled by PDP; recently you said your party APC will win the state in 2019. How possible with that be?
APC will make it in 2019. If Ikpeazu wants to join my party, like I said earlier, he is free, in fact everybody is free except the person I told you earlier is a political liability and everybody knows that. But if it is PDP, forget about that because it cannot win even council election.
APC will win in all the zones. Forget about what T.A Orji’s boast the other time, where he said he has never lost any election and he will continue to win. Where did he win the election? Did he win by getting three votes in his boot as a sitting governor? We know how he has been wining the elections and he knows that those things that have been aiding him are no longer there. He is now like a short distance runner who had always been aided by the wind to win his race and suddenly the wind ceases and the runner crashes out.
T.A Orji did not win anything; it was all those nonsense that happened during former President Goodluck Jonathan that aided him, he did not win anything. Even in our village here, when he backed some people to contest our village election, he lost all in Ibeku land and he has now resorted to using the court to remove the person that won. But we will make sure it does not happen.                   (The Sun)

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Saraki Reveals In Shocking Letter How Tinubu Plotted To Islamise Nigeria

Image result for bola tinubu

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has again maintained that he is paying the price for what he calls “the original sin” – opposing the choice of a Muslim-Muslim ticket, by the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the 2015 Presidential election.

In a message that was sent to Post-Nigeria, Saraki said: “About a year ago, President Bukola Saraki wrote this article, and with the release of the book ‘Against The Run Of Play’, by Olusegun Adeniyi, I thought to share the article with you, so that you can have a good understanding of the issues.’’

Recall, that this article had been written before, in response to a piece by Celebrity Journalist and Ovation Publisher, Dele Momodu.

Saraki, denied that he fell out with his party for striking a deal with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to win the Senate Presidency, in June 2015.

The Senate President, who is currently facing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, on allegations of false declaration of assets, said: “Most people talk about the Senate Presidency position, but this was not my only offence.

“I have also been accused of helping to frustrate some people’s opportunity to emerge as President Muhammadu  Buhari’s running mate. But I have no problem with anybody.”

His reference to a Muslim-Muslim ticket, is believed to be an allusion to former Lagos  State Governor, Bola Tinubu, a Muslim, who reportedly wanted to be the running mate to Buhari, before Yemi Osinbajo, a Pastor, was picked.

Saraki, also a Muslim, had said it was not going to be politically smart to field an all-Muslim ticket.

“My concern was that it would not be politically smart of us to run with a Muslim-Muslim ticket. I doubt if we would have won the election if we had done this, especially after the PDP had successfully framed us a Muslim party. I felt we were no longer in 1993,” he said.

“Perhaps, more than ever before, Nigerians are more sensitive to issues of religious balancing. This… was my original sin. What they say to themselves among other things, was that if he could conspire against our ambition, then he must not realize his own ambition as well.

“For me however, I have no regrets about this. I only stood for what I believed was in the best interest of the party, and in the best interest of Nigeria.”

THE FULL ARTICLE

My dear brother Dele, let me thank you most sincerely for your article last weekend, “My Candid Letter to Saraki.” I take everything you said in that article to heart and I must commend you for your candidness indeed and the sincerity of your intentions.

As you said in your article, you are someone I have known more by reputation than by any personal relationship, until recently when we struck up some personal acquaintance based on our shared political interests, especially during the last presidential election. However, I understand why you had to sound so defensive for knowing me at all and had to publicly map the boundaries of our relationship. We have got to that point in our country when we no longer believe that anyone could stand for anything based on principles and convictions alone. Moreover, in the growing culture of media crucifixion and presumed guilt; it is rare to find a voice like yours that calls for fairness and justice.

I would have simply sent you a text message or call you up for your candid advice to me, which I take seriously. But I feel the need to make some clarifications on some of the issues you raised. One of them was that in seeking to be Senate President, I struck a deal with the PDP and made it possible for one of them to be the Deputy Senate President. I know this is the dominant narrative out there, but it is far from the truth.

I did not do any deal with the PDP. I did not have to because even before the PDP Senators as a group took the decision to support my candidature on the eve of the inauguration of the 8th Senate, 22 PDP Senators had already written a letter supporting me. What I did not envisage was a situation where some members of my party would not be in the chambers that day, especially when the clerk had already received a proclamation from the President authorizing the inauguration of the Senate. Pray, if a team refused to turn up for a scheduled match and was consequently walked over, would it be fair to blame the team that turned up and claimed victory? I believe those that made it possible for PDP to claim the DSP position were those who decided to hold a meeting with APC senators elsewhere at the time they ought to be in the chambers. What the PDP Senators did was to take advantage of their numerical strength at the material time. They simply lined up behind Senator Ike Ikweremadu while those of us from APC voted for Senator Ali Ndume. It was a game of numbers, and we were hopelessly outnumbered. If the PDP had nominated their own candidate for the Senate Presidency position that day, they would have won. It was as simple as that.

Secondly, I don’t know if you were aware that in the build up to Senate inauguration, the National Working Committee of the APC sent two signals. The first signal specified how leadership positions in the National Assembly have been zoned. While we were trying to give effect to this decision, the second signal came, which contained names of people to which these zoned position had been allocated. What was not acknowledged was that the President of the Senate is not an executive president. He is primarily one of 109 senators. Therefore, I cannot decide by myself who gets what in the Senate. Therefore, when they said I defied party directive in the choice of principal officers, they are invariably ascribing to me the power that I did not have.

My dear brother, most people talk about the Senate Presidency position, but this was not my only offence. I have also been accused of helping to frustrate some people’s opportunity to emerge as President Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate. But I have no problem with anybody. My concern was that it would not be politically smart of us to run with a Muslim-Muslim ticket. I doubt if we would have won the election if we had done this, especially after the PDP had successfully framed us a Muslim party. I felt we were no longer in 1993. Perhaps, more than ever before, Nigerians are more sensitive to issues of religious balancing. This, my brother, was my original sin. What they say to themselves, among other things, was that if he could conspire against our ambition, then he must not realize his own ambition as well. For me however, I have no regrets about this. I only stood for what I believed was in the best interest of the party and in the best interest of Nigeria.

Now to the substantive issue of my trial. As you rightly noted, this trial is not about corruption. And I am happy that since my trial started, people who have followed the proceedings have now understood better what the whole thing is about. I have had opportunity to declare my assets four times since 2003. Over those years, the Code of Conduct Bureau had examined my claims. There was no time that they raised any issues with me on any item contained in my declarations over those twelve years. This is why you should be surprised that while I am being tried by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, the witness and the evidence supplied against me were all from EFCC.

Like you, I have an abiding faith in the judiciary. May God forbid the day that we would give up on our judicial system. However, the onus is not on me to prove that I have confidence in the judiciary; the burden is on my prosecutors to prove to the world that justice is done in my case. If the process of fighting corruption is itself corrupt, then whatever victory is recorded would remain tainted and puerile!

Some people have wondered, why has Saraki been “jumping” from one court to another instead of facing his trial? To those people, I would say that I have only gone to those courts in search of justice. Strange things have happened, and they are still happening. For example, Section 3(d) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act states that the Bureau shall refer any breach or non-compliance to the Tribunal. However, where the person concerned makes a written admission of the breach, no reference to the Tribunal shall be necessary. It was on this basis that the case against Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was dismissed in 2011, by this same judge in this same Tribunal on the grounds that he was not given an opportunity to deny or admit to any breach before he was brought before the tribunal. This was the ruling that I relied on in making my case. But what did the judge say? That he had judged in error in 2011 and he had since realized his error and departed from it. My question is whether a Tribunal of first instance has the power to reverse itself. I should expect that everyone would be worried if justice is applied differently to different people. However, in spite of my fears, I remain hopeful. Why? Because the judiciary does not end with this Tribunal.

Do you know the genesis of my real problems with President Goodluck Jonathan? I have had a touchy relationship with him, but the turning point was in September 2011 when I moved a motion on the floor of the Senate that exposed the N2.3 trillion fuel subsidy racket. I remain proud that I was the Senator that blew the lid on the most elaborate corruption scheme ever in this country. But after that I became a marked man. My security was withdrawn. I was invited and re-invited by the EFCC and the Special Fraud Unit. I was even declared wanted at a point. I believe I am still one of the most investigated former governors in this country. I have no doubt that if the Jonathan government was able to find anything against me, they would not have allowed me to go unpunished.

Let me make this point clearly. I do not expect to be shielded from prosecution because of my contribution to APC, if there was genuine basis for such action to be taken against me. But I have every reason to expect not to be persecuted by the party that I contributed so much to build. The New PDP may not have given APC victory in 2015, but it was an important factor in the dynamics that produced that victory. And with all sense of modesty, I was an important factor in the formation of New PDP; in leading that group to the APC; in ensuring our group’s support for the candidate during the primaries and in mobilizing substantial resources for the election. For these, I have not expected any special compensation. Rather, I only expect to be treated like every loyal party member and accorded the right to freely aspire!

Some people have complained that I have been taken Senators with me to my trial. But I did not force them to follow me. The Senators have freely accompanied me to the Tribunal not because they are loyal to me as Abubakar Bukola Saraki, but because they are committed to the principle that produced me as the President of the Senate. The same principle that produced Ike Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President and produced Ali Ndume as Majority Leader. They see all of us in the Senate leadership as manifestation of their jealously guarded right to freely choose their own leaders. Because they know they made us their leaders without any external interference; they are confident that they retain the power to remove us whenever they so wish. They also know what this trial is all about. They believe I am being victimized because they have expressed their right to choose their own leadership. This is why I am not in any way perturbed by my absence in the chambers during this trial. Because I was not imposed on the Senate, I feel confident that the Senate will protect its own choice whether I am present or not. It is never about me. It is about the independence of the legislature. It has always been so since 1999. It is so today and it would be so in 2019, it would be so in 2023, and as long as we practice a democracy that operates on the principle of separation of powers.

My dear brother, let me end by observing that I am not alone in this trial. On trial with me in this process is the entire judicial system. On trial with me are our entire anti-corruption institutions and our avowed commitment to honestly fight corruption. On trial with me is our party’s promise to depart from the ways of the past, a promise that Nigerians voted for. And I dare say, on trial with me is our media; and their ethical commitment to report fairly and objectively. In the end, it is my earnest hope that whatever we do will ultimately ennoble our country.     (Post-Nigeria)

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