The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Thursday, raised the alarm over alleged plan by some people to cause crisis in parts of the country and accuse him of being responsible for the skirmishes.
He said the plan, being spearheaded by “unscrupulous and anti-democratic elements,” for coming weeks, was aimed at smearing his personality.
Atiku made the allegation in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja by his media adviser, Paul Ibe.
He said the strategy was for some people to be apprehended for causing skirmishes and be made to mention Atiku and some members of the PDP as their sponsors.
The former Vice President also called for the arrest of the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, for his unsubstantiated allegation against him.
The statement read, “We wish to blow the whistle as an early warning alert of the grandiose scheme being put together by some unscrupulous elements aimed at jeopardising the reputation of His Excellency Atiku Abubakar in the coming days and weeks.
“By the merit of what is beginning to unfold, there are plans to create some upset across the country whereby alleged perpetrators of such crimes will engage in phantom dropping of name of Atiku Abubakar and some senior personalities in the Peoples Democratic Party.
“Already, we are abreast of some other plans to plant fictitious stories in some mushroom media outlets aimed at discrediting Atiku and his political party, the PDP.
“It therefore becomes preponderant that we alert the public to this demonic plan and to say that it will be imprudent to compromise the peace and security of Nigerians in order to score a cheap political goal.
“Towards this end, and for the umpteenth time, we call on the Federal Government to be awake to its responsibilities of providing security and ensuring peace, and to desist from actions and utterances that are capable of exposing our fault lines.
“It is very unsettling that senior administration officials, especially those who are the mouthpiece of government will make reckless but calculated comments to tarnish the image of Atiku Abubakar and government will sit idly on it.
“With the conclusion reached by relevant security outfits that there is no proof to back the claim by Lai Mohammed that the opposition was planning to upstage the government, we demand that the information minister should be arrested for a breach of security and an apology tendered to Atiku Abubakar and the PDP.”
In its reaction, the Federal Government said the former Vice-President should have nothing to fear.
It said only the guilty were always afraid.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohamed, who spoke to one of our correspondents on the matter, said he would not say more than that.
“On Atiku’s statement, I guess the former Vice-President must have been reading, in recent times, James Hadley Chase’s 1957 thriller entitled. ‘The Guilty are Afraid.’ That’s all I have to say.”
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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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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.
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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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.
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 .
Kola Ologbondiyan National Publicity Secretary
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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.
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