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Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa Recuse Self As Chairman Presidential Election Petition Tribunal

Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa

The President of Court Appeal,  Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa has recused herself as the Chairman of 2019 Presidential Election Petition Tribunal hearing the petition against the election of President Muhammadu Buhari. Bulkachuwa voluntarily withdrew from participating in the hearing of the case shortly after the unanimous decision of the panel dismissing the application filed by the petitioner.

The ruling was delivered by a member of the panel, Justice Peter Ige.

She said that she took the decision for personal reasons and to avoid a situation where another female Justice will  face same issues presented to the court.

She said that the four man panel will continue with the case pending the announcement of the new chairman of the panel.

But the tribunal held that the petitioners have not placed enough materials of evidence before the court that the president of court of appeal will be biased in the matter.

The remaining four members of the panel have continued with case.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and it’s Pesidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar on 16th of may 2019 filed a motion asking an order to ensure that Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa be recused from further sitting of the tribunal or participating in the proceedings in the petition and be replaced by another Justice of the Appeal Court.

They also averred that Justice Bulakchuwa is the biological mother to Aliyu Haidar-Abubakar a prominent card-carrying member of the All Progressive Congress.

It further averred that being the wife and mother of prominent card-carrying members of the APC which is the third respondent in the petition before the tribunal, there is every likelihood of bias if Justice Bulkachuwa remains as a member of the panel.

They also asserted that at the inaugural sitting of the tribunal the president of the appeal court while delivering her speech said “elections are held in Nigeria every four years into elective positions, no matter how well the election is conducted there are bound to be complaints.”

Her decision to step down is seen as a test of transparency of the process.(Sahara Reporters)

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Facebook Busts, Close Pages Of Israeli Firm Used To Sway, Public Opinions, Elections In Nigeria, Africa, Others

Deletes 265 fake accounts targeting Nigeria, others

Senator Iroegbu and Godsgift Onyedinefu with Agency 

Facebook has busted an Isreali-led campaign to sway elections in Nigeria as well as targeted countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The social  media giant on Thursday said it had removed 265 Facebook and Instagram accounts, pages, groups and events linked to an Israel-based firm due to what it called “inauthentic behaviour” targeting users in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.

The move is part of wider efforts by Facebook to address concerns over privacy lapses and hate speech in social media.

Facebook said the “inauthentic” activity originated in Israel and focused on Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Angola, Niger and Tunisia as well as in Latin America and Southeast Asia.

“The people behind this network used fake accounts to run pages, disseminate their content and artificially increase engagement,” Nathaniel , head of cyber security policy at Facebook said in a statement.

He identified Israel’s Archimedes Group as the source of some of the activity.

“This organisation and all its subsidiaries are now banned from Facebook, and it has been issued a cease and desist letter,” said Gleicher.

Archimedes was not immediately available for comment

Gleicher said Archimedes had 65 Facebook accounts, 161 pages, 12 events and four Instagram accounts. Some 2.8 million accounts followed one or more of these pages.

Read also: https://therepublicannews.net/2019/05/18/frank-timi-commends-facebook-us-firm-for-exposing-buharis-fake-news-israeli-political-consultant-firm/

He said that the individuals involved also represented themselves as locals, including local news organisations, and published allegedly leaked information about politicians.

“The page administrators and account owners frequently posted about political news, including topics like elections in various countries, candidate views and criticism of political opponents,” Gleicher said.

“We’re taking down these pages and accounts based on their behaviour, not the content they posted.”

He added that around 812,000 dollars was spent for advertisements on Facebook paid for in Brazilian reals, Israeli shekels and US dollars with the first ad running in 2013 2012 and the most recent last month, Gleicher said.

“We have shared information about our analysis with industry partners and policymakers,” he said.

Similarly, Amnesty International on Thursday called for Israel’s government to ensure that an Israeli company, whose spyware has been linked to a WhatsApp breach that may have targeted human rights groups, be held accountable for the way its software is used.

Amnesty on Tuesday filed a petition in Israel seeking the revocation of NSO Group’s export licence and said that it was up to the government to take a firmer stance against export licenses that have “resulted in human rights abuses.”

Israel’s Ministry of Defence declined to comment.

WhatsApp, a unit of Facebook, said on Tuesday that a security breach on its messaging app may have targeted human rights groups.

According to Eva Galperin, Director of cybersecurity at San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, WhatsApp told human rights groups it believed the spyware used was developed by Israel’s NSO.

A second person familiar with the matter also identified spyware from NSO.

Amnesty said in an emailed statement that NSO has “again and again demonstrated their intent to avoid responsibility for the way their software is used,” and that only government intervention would change that.

NSO has not commented on any specific attacks, but following the WhatsApp breach it said it would investigate any “credible allegations of misuse” of its technology which “is solely operated by intelligence and law enforcement agencies”.

NSO’s biggest shareholder, Novalpina Capital, said in a statement that it intends to bring NSO’s governance into alignment with UN principles and will seek insights from Amnesty and other groups “into how best to achieve this important goal.”

WhatsApp, one of the world’s most popular messaging tools which are used by 1.5 billion people monthly, said it had notified the U.S. Department of Justice to help with an investigation into the breach.

And it encouraged its users to update to the latest version of the app, where the breach had been fixed.

One target of the new WhatsApp exploit was a United Kingdom-based human rights lawyer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

The United Kingdom-based human rights lawyer is helping a Saudi dissident and several Mexican journalists mount civil cases against NSO for its alleged role in selling hacking tools to the Saudi and Mexican governments, which they alleged were used to hack into their phones.

NSO says it sells only to law enforcement and intelligence agencies pursuing legitimate targets, such as terrorists and criminals.

Novalpina, in a May 15 letter to Amnesty signed by founding partner Stephen Peel, said Novalpina was “determined to do whatever is necessary to ensure that NSO technology is used for the purpose for which it is intended.

“The prevention of harm to fundamental human rights arising from terrorism and serious crime – and not abused in a manner that undermines other equally fundamental human rights.”

Credits| Reuters, NAN

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PDP To Buhari: Order Probe Into Missing N14trn Corruption Before May 29 |RN

President Muhammadu Buhari

By Ike A. Offor

The main opposition party in the country, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has called on President Buhari to immediately order for investigation into the missing N14 trillion before 29th May, which is date of inauguration for the second term in office. The party urged Buhari to do this today in a press statement. Below is the press statement as it was given by the party today.

PDP also challenges Prof. Itse Sagay to compile list of those who are behind this missing huge amount of money in the country. This is obviously a mock of previous attempt to name and shame suspected corrupt people, who were allegedly mostly the names of the members of the opposition party.

Press Statement

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) charges President Muhammadu Buhari to, within 14 days, account for the humongous corruption and treasury looting, under his watch, amounting to over N14 trillion, before the May 29 expiration date of the disastrous All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration.

The PDP insists that President Buhari must show his integrity by opening up his tenure for investigation, the same way his Presidency is demanding of other elected officials in the legislature and state governments across the country.

The party charges the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, to help the nation by advising President Buhari to present his stewardship for investigation for alleged corruption, instead of his (Sagay) unnecessary fixation on court rulings on Rivers State.

The PDP notes that the Buhari-led APC administration is going down in history as the most corrupt administration ever; a stinking sanctuary of treasury thieves that thrives in manipulation, deception and official concealment.

It is totally unpardonable that President Buhari, despite his claimed integrity and zero tolerance for corruption, not only superintended over an administration that reeks and wallows in ocean of corruption but also refused to allow any investigation into earth shaking corruption under his watch.

The PDP therefore demands that the Buhari Presidency should order investigation into the whereabouts of N9 trillion ($25billion) allegedly stolen in his Ministry of Petroleum Resources, through under-hand oil contracts as detailed in the leaked NNPC memo.

The Buhari Presidency should also explain the circumstances surrounding the alleged corruption in the handling of the N2.6 trillion oil subsidy regime, particularly the alleged N58 hidden tax per liter which Nigerians have continued to bear since the fuel price increased from PDP subsidized cost of N87 to presumably unsubsidized cost of N145 as well as the reported stealing of N1.1 trillion worth of crude oil using 18 unregistered companies, allegedly linked to members of the cabal at the Presidency.

The PDP challenges President Buhari to allow an investigation into the alleged looting of over N40 billion Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) funds; the over N45 billion allegedly looted from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS); the alleged siphoning of $322m repatriated funds; the alleged extortion of N1.2 billion through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, as well as the billions stolen under the ‘tradermoni’ project, among others.

Unless Mr. President has something to hide, he should within the next 14 days, allow for an independent inquest into these allegations of corruption .

Signed:

Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

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BREAKING NEWS: Appeal Court Delivers Judgement On Osun State Gubernatorial Poll |The Republican News

The court of appeal sitting in Abuja has just overturned the ruling of the tribunal which had declared Senator Adeleke as Governor Elect.

The candidate of the APC, Oyetola had approached the appellate court challenging the ruling of the tribunal which declared the candidate of the PDP winner of the Osun Gubernatorial poll conducted in September 2018.

Details later….

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The Evil I Feared In PDP Has Befallen Me 10 Times In APC – Okorocha |The Republican News

Rochas-Okorocha
                                       Rochas Okorocha

Olusola Fabiyi, Kamarudeen Ogundele and Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

The outgoing Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, on Tuesday lamented that he had been afflicted with more evils in the ruling All Progressives Congress than he would have suffered if he had been a member of the Peoples Democratic Party.

He regretted that the APC had inflicted what he called the greatest devilish political machinations against his person 10 times more than what he would have been inflicted with if he were to be a member of the PDP.

Okorocha spoke with journalists in Abuja.

The embattled governor however said he would remain in the ruling party despite alleged moves to frustrate him out of the APC.

He accused the National Chairman of the APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, and other unnamed leaders of the party of working with the Independent National Electoral Commission to kill his senatorial ambition.

This, he said, was being done by ensuring that he did not get his certificate of return as the duly elected senator for Imo West Senatorial District.

He said there were moves to damage his political career by his enemies.

Okorocha, who was elected governor in his first tenure as a member of the All Progressive Grand Alliance before he joined others to form the APC, said it was regrettable the evil that made him to dump the PDP for the ruling party had become more fiery.

He said, “The evil I feared in the PDP has befallen me 10 times in the APC. Last week, I wrote a letter to INEC for the first time informing them of their wrongdoings and illegal actions to withhold my certificate on mere allegation of duress which was never founded, neither was there any committee set up to investigate the matter.

“So, INEC on its own believed the reports of the Returning Officer without investigating the authenticity of the accusation. So, there was no issue of fair hearing at all.

“What is important here is that INEC does not have the power to withhold the certificate of return, having declared the result.

“I believe the INEC chairman is up to a game with the chairman of the APC, who is being used to frustrate my coming to the Senate, and this is politically motivated. I’ve given INEC enough time to correct itself and do the needful and issue me my certificate of return but to no avail.

“Many things have happened so far and these should be of concern to everyone. INEC that made the submission to the tribunal has gone back, requesting to withdraw it because the submission was defending its declaration. But because the submission seems to be in my favour, they have said they want to withdraw the affidavit which is out of time.

“The withdrawal was made by one of their members of staff who said that Festus Okoye, a commissioner in INEC, had threatened to sack him if he did not withdraw it. So, there is a huge threat going on in INEC.

“Festus Okoye is presently being used as the hatchet man; he has gone to the tribunal in Imo asking for the withdrawal of the affidavit that has been filed defending the APC.”

Okorocha wondered what the electoral body would do with the certificate of return.

He added that the image of the commission had been “bastardised.”

He said, “I wonder what they want to do with the certificate, if they don’t give it to me, who will they give it to?

“Maybe they will give it to Festus Okoye because he is from my senatorial district but what they are doing is presenting INEC as a lying organisation and that is dangerous for our democracy because, as it stands right now, the image of INEC is bastardised.

“What it means is that tomorrow somebody can withhold the certificate of return of anybody because you don’t like his face, because you feel that he wants to politically challenge you in future.”

Although he is said to be close to President Muhammadu Buhari, Okorocha however said he did not want to bother the President with such an issue especially as it concerns INEC.

“If you know the President well, you will know that he will never intervene as he will only keep mute. But whether President Buhari speaks or not, INEC should do the right thing by giving me my certificate of return,” he added.

Return to a democratic party, PDP tells Imo gov

Meanwhile, the PDP has urged Okorocha to return to its fold, saying the views of its members will not be discarded.

It also said that unlike the APC, there was no one or group that could lay claim to the ownership of the PDP.

The National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, who spoke with one of our correspondents, said the PDP “will always treat its members with respect and allow for robust debate on issues affecting the party and our members.”

He added, “Unlike the APC that is owned and controlled by different cabals, the PDP is owned by the people and they are the ones that determine its present and its future. So, I will expect all those that are suffering and smiling, all those who have been beaten by rain and chased out of the party they formed and the house they built without a solid foundation to return to their natural abode where there is peace and tranquility.”

Efforts to reach the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, were unsuccessful.

He neither returned phone calls nor replied to a text message sent to him by one of our correspondents as of the time (8:30 pm) of filing this report.

CJ rejects Okorocha’s petition, refuses to re-assign CoR suit

Meanwhile, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adamu Kafarati, has rejected Okorocha’s petition in respect of his suit challenging INEC’s refusal to issue him a certificate of return as a senator-elect.

Okorocha had petitioned Justice Kafarati requesting that the case be withdrawn from Justice Okon Abang of the Abuja Division of the court and be reassigned to another judge of the same division.

The governor had anchored his petition on a claim that the opponents to his suit were confident before hearing could commence that Justice Abang would rule in their favour.

On April 18, the date fixed for the hearing, Justice Abang announced his decision to withdraw from the suit after seeing the petition.

The development came barely a week after the first judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, also of the Federal High Court in Abuja, withdrew from the case.

Justice Taiwo had withdrawn from the case after being accused of likelihood of bias by two parties to the suit.

He withdrew from the case on April 10, following which it was reassigned to Justice Abang.

But indication has emerged that Justice Kafarati had rejected Okorocha’s petition seeking the re-assignment of the case to the third judge as the matter came up before Justice Abang on Wednesday.

It was learnt that the Chief Judge returned the case file to Justice Abang on being satisfied with his response to Okorocha’s petition.

At the Wednesday’s proceedings Okorocha, who is of the APC opposed the PDP’s motion seeking to be joined in his suit.

Okorocha, through his counsel, Mr Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN), objected the PDP’s application on the grounds that the application was brought in bad faith.

But PDP’s lawyer, Mr Stanley Imo, held that the objection to his client’s application for joinder by Okorocha was not well-founded.

Justice Abang agreed that the matter was time sensitive but assured all the parties of fair hearing.

He adjourned the matter until May 9 (Thursday) to rule on whether or not to join the PDP as a party in the suit.

INEC had refused to issue Okorocha the certificate of return on the basis that the Returning Officer for the February 23 election, Prof Francis Ibeawuchi, said he had announced the outgoing governor as winner of the senatorial election under duress.

Okorocha had subsequently filed his suit challenging INEC’s decision to withhold the certificate of return due to him as the winner of the election.  (Punch)

 

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Yoruba Will Produce Next President In 2023 – Afenifere |The Republican News

 

Aso-villa

Aso Villa

By Rotimi Ojomoyela

ADO-EKITI—THE Afenifere Renewal Group, ARG, in Ekiti State, yesterday, expressed confidence that the Yoruba nation would produce the country’s next president in 2023.

Speaking with newsmen in Ado-Ekiti, State Coordinator of ARG, Mr. Bunmi Awotiku noted that the body would play significant role in rallying the Yoruba nation for the realisation of the 2023 agenda.

He said: “The South West has been supportive of the policies and programmes of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and we shall continue to do so. We want him to succeed and he shall succeed by God’s grace.

“We would come to the round table and I can assure you that Yoruba would forge a common front this time around. We have learned our lessons as a people and we won’t allow internal fight or acrimony to deprive us this great opportunity like the presidency.”  (Vanguard)

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Reps Speakership: ‘Gbajabiamila’s Adoption Against 2023 Northern Interest’ — Arewa Youths Forum

Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila

By AZA MSUE KADUNA

 

A group under the auspices of Arewa Youth Awareness Forum (AYAF) has on Saturday kicked against the decision of the All Progressives Congress to adopt the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, for the 9th National Assembly speakership.

In a statement signed by the group’s Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary-General – Mohammed Sani-Kabir, Salisu Abdurrahaman and Ben Alege, also said the endorsement was against the collective interest of the north ahead of 2023 presidency.

Recall that, the APC had on Tuesday adopted Gbajabiamila when President Muhammadu Buhari hosted members-elect to a dinner at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The northern group supported House of Representative members-elect that were opposed to party’s candidate, saying that Gbajabiamila was not the best option for northern interest.

The statement accused the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu and its National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole of scheming for the 2023 presidency.

They said they were alarmed by the dictatorial and insensitive manners in which the party foisted the leadership on the two Chambers of the National Assembly.

The group urged the party leadership to allow members-elect to freely choose their principal leaders for the 9th National Assembly.

According to the group, the plot is railroading the National Assembly towards having a leadership that will benefit the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and the National Leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu for the 2023 Presidency.

The group said:”We are alarmed by the dictatorial and insensitive plot by the APC leadership for foisting leadership on the two chambers of the National Assembly.

“We are also concern by the fact that northern interests are being compromised with great implication for the future of the region.

“We also note with grave concern, the undemocratic posture of some party leadership which is already structuring a game plan for the APC’s 2023 presidential primaries and we note with delight the quiet but firm resistance of APC members who will not concede to being used for such game plans under the façade of party interests.

“We also urged lawmakers of northern extractions to resist any attempt by the party leadership to use them against the overall interest of the north.

They also warned that party leadership against disregarding the Nigeria’s Constitution by forcing particular members on the National Assembly, calling on the party to allow members to choose their leaders rather than “Tinubu and Oshiomohle forcing Ahmad Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila on the National Assembly.”

“It is risky for President Buhari, the North and the entire federation for one man to be in control of the Vice President, ruling party chairman, Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives,” the group added.
(leadership)

 

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