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Travel Ban Will Cause Capital Flight, Push Economy Into Recession, Says Atiku |RN

  Former Vice-President Atiku abubakar, President Muhammadu Buhari

Niyi  Odebode, Olusola Fabiyi, Eniola Akinkuotu, Ade Adesomoju and Oladimeji Ramon

 

President Muhammadu Buhari’s travel ban on 50 Nigerians over the Executive Order 6, on Sunday attracted more condemnations.

The Peoples Democratic Party and the Coalition of United Political Parties had on Sunday slammed Buhari for the executive order, saying it was meant to cow opposition members.

But more Nigerians and groups including the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, a human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), the Coalition for Nigeria Movement led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and a civil society group, Access to Justice, on Sunday lambasted the President, describing his action as draconian, clearly arbitrary, repressive and illegal.

Executive order’ll lead to capital flight, recession  – Atiku

Atiku, in a statement by his media office in Abuja, warned that the Executive Order which was recently signed by Buhari would lead to capital flight and another recession.

He also said that the statement by the Presidency banning 50 unnamed Nigerians from travelling out of the country, purportedly on the strength of Executive Order 6, was undemocratic.

He described the travel ban as another form of intimidation ahead of the 2019 elections. Atiku said he abhorred  any act of criminality, either financially or otherwise.

The presidential candidate, however,  warned that the rule of law must be the guide at all times or society would descend into anarchy.

He said it was wrong for the President to act under a mere suspicion that the suspects were  believed to have property overseas and were involved in tax dodging or other alleged financial infractions.

The statement partly read, “We must be unequivocal in saying that we abhor any act of criminality, financially or otherwise, but the rule of law must be our guide at all times or society will descend into anarchy.

“Thus, we find it most undemocratic that in a nation governed by the rule of law, a President who swore an oath to abide by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, does this.

“If past events are to be the judge, these 50 individuals will conveniently be critics and opponents of the Buhari administration.

“This is nothing short of intimidation ahead of the 2019 elections. This is what the Buhari administration did in Osun where they froze the accounts of the Adeleke family and then illegally and clandestinely paid N16.7bn to the Osun State Government to facilitate the daylight electoral robbery.”

The former Vice-President said “the Nigerian constitution guarantees every Nigerian citizen freedom of movement and freedom of association.”

This constitutional right, he added, could not be taken away except by a court order.

Atiku said, “If the Buhari administration wants to curtail the rights of Nigerians, then it must go to court and obtain a court order. Anything short of this is unconstitutional and extrajudicial.

“This sudden dictatorial act brings to mind President Buhari’s comments for which he was condemned by the international community and by the generality of Nigerians.

“While delivering an address at the annual general conference of the Nigerian Bar Association on August 26, 2018, President Buhari has said ‘where national security and public interest are threatened or there is a likelihood of their being threatened, the individual rights of those allegedly responsible must take second place, in favour of the greater good of society.’

“That was not only a faulty interpretation of the constitution, the statement also betrays the dictatorial and authoritarian mindset of President Buhari because only he gets to decide who and what threatens national security.”

Atiku recalled Buhari’s Decree Number Two of 1984, which he said, criminalised truth telling if it did not please the President.

He said that the recent action of the President merely showed that “dictators can grow old, but they can’t grow into democrats.”

Atiku said, “Under the Buhari administration, Nigeria has witnessed an unprecedented capital flight out of the nation to the extent that we are not even listed amongst the top 10 recipients of Foreign Direct Investment in Africa in the latest ranking by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

“It is salient to note that we were number one under the last Peoples Democratic Party administration.

“Funnily enough, the Buhari administration was unable to stop Abdulrasheed Maina, their financier, from leaving the country after he was illegally brought back by them and reinstated to the federal service with double promotion.

“It is precisely this type of draconian orders that have chased investors away from Nigeria and it is precisely why Nigerians will chase this recession-friendly government away from power on February 16, 2019, so we can begin the job of Getting Nigeria Working Again.”

Executive order targeted at opposition – Obasanjo coalition

On its part, the Coalition for Nigeria Movement led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo lambasted the Buhari-led Federal Government for imposing a travel ban on 50 politically-exposed persons.

The CNM said this in a statement by its Director, Strategic communications, Akin Osuntokun, on Sunday.

According to the coalition, the ban, which was done in line with Executive Order 6, was a subversion of the rule of law, reminiscent of military decrees.

The CNM also described the new executive order as an attempt to muzzle the opposition.

The CNM said Buhari had been planning to use security agencies to achieve a hidden agenda hence his decision to compromise the nation’s security architecture.

The statement read in part, “Recall that journalists were jailed on account of a similar decree that criminalised any reporting that embarrassed his government. Against this background, what the Executive Order 6 portends is a significant step towards the creation of a police state.

“It is also against this background that the personalisation of the national security architecture makes sense. Otherwise, there would have been no need to continue to reinforce the lopsided and parochial subversion and subordination of the security agencies to a personality cult agenda, at every available opportunity.”

It’s counterproductive to FG’s anti-graft war – SERAP

Also, an anti-corruption advocacy group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, also condemned the travel ban, warning that it would be counterproductive to the government’s anti-corruption campaign.

The group, in a statement by its Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale, contended that the ban was “clearly arbitrary, repressive and illegal,” demanding that the Federal Government should lift it immediately.

This was as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ozekhome, argued that the travel ban was a usurpation of the power of the judiciary by the executive.

Ozekhome, who argued that the ban was targeted at the members of opposition political parties and voices critical of the Federal Government, described it as “an extreme panicky measure of desperation” by President Buhari ahead of the next year’s general elections.

SERAP, in its statement, argued that the travel ban violated both domestic and international laws that protect citizens’ human rights.

SERAP said, “The order banning 50 alleged high-profile corrupt Nigerians from travelling abroad without any legal basis and a judicial authorisation is clearly arbitrary, repressive and illegal, as it breaches constitutional rights and the country’s international obligations, which protect the rights to freedom of movement, to leave one’s country, to privacy, and to due process of law.

“Rather than performing its declared objective of preventing dissipation of stolen assets, the travel ban would seriously undermine the government’s expressed commitment to combat grand corruption and violate the country’s international human rights obligations.

“The travel ban will play right into the hands of high-profile corrupt officials by feeding into the narrative that the fight against corruption is targeted only at political opponents.”

On his own part, Ozekhome said the ban was a violation of the principle of separation of powers.

Falana, AJ ask Buhari to lift travel ban on 50 VIPs

Also,  a human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), and a civil society group, Access to Justice, faulted the travel ban.

Falana in a statement asked the President to immediately withdraw the travel ban, but Access to Justice called for the total cancellation of the entire PEO6, which it argued “is unquestionably anti-democratic and a veiled snare for citizens’ rights.”

“The PEO is also a gratuitous piece of dangerous precedent that opens the door to an uncontrollable dictatorship; it can be used arbitrarily and vindictively to fight and muzzle political opposition, and promote wholly politically-partisan objectives,” the Director of Access to Justice, Mr. Joseph Otteh, added in a statement on Sunday.

In separate statements on Sunday, Falana and Access to Justice, said the executive order could not be the basis for preventing suspects from travelling.

Falana described the travel ban as “superfluous” because either the court or the various anti-corruption agencies had already seized the passports of the affected persons.

He added that it was an “ingenious design to expose the Buhari administration to ridicule.”

He said, “If the Federal Government had done some background check it would have discovered that the names of the 50 VIPs have long been placed on security watch list while their passports have been impounded by the anti-graft agencies or the courts as one of the conditions for admitting them to bail.

“It is public knowledge that whenever the defendants wish to travel abroad for medical treatment they usually apply for the interim release of their passports. Since the courts have taken judicial notice of the perilous state of medical facilities in the country such applications are usually granted.”

He called on President Buhari to immediately withdraw the ban.

He said, “For the umpteenth time, I am compelled to caution the Buhari administration to wage the war against the menace of corruption within the ambit of the rule of law.”

On its part, the Access to Justice, in rejecting the travel ban, called for the reversal of the PEO6 which it said could be vindictively used to fight and muzzle political opponents, and promote wholly politically-partisan objectives.

Otteh said in the statement that the judgment on which the Federal Government anchored the decision for the issuance of the travel ban, made it clear that the Attorney General of the Federation who is the coordinator of the implementation of the PEO6 could not deny owners access to their assets without a court order.

Its director said in a statement, “It is also legally warrantless; the government claims the judgment of Hon. Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu on the case involving PEO 6, gives it authority to bar the named persons.

“This is so very untrue: the judgment clearly required the government to implement PEO 6 in a way that is consistent with the rule of law; the court ruled that the government (Attorney General) could not block, freeze or confiscate any funds or assets without an order of court! If the government cannot take property without an order of court, how could it legitimately bar persons (presumed innocent by the law), from exercising their rights to liberty and movement without an order of court?

“Access to Justice requests the Federal Government to immediately rescind this obnoxious Executive Order.

“In its stead, we ask for Presidential Executive Orders that mandate all persons and authorities, in line with the constitution, to obey all orders and judgments of courts immediately, release all persons ordered by courts to be set free, as well as pay reasonable living (minimum) wages to all workers!”

Why I don’t care about my travel ban – Fani-Kayode

However, a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, says he is not moved by the decision of the  Buhari-led government to bar him from travelling.

Fani-Kayode said in a statement that his passport had been with the courts and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission since 2008 thereby making it impossible for him to travel.

The ex-minister, however, said he pitied those who needed medical attention but had also been placed on the list of 50 persons not allowed to travel.

He said, “I could not give a damn that my name is on the list of 50 members of the opposition and prominent Nigerians that have been placed on a travel ban because nothing that Buhari does surprises me.

“I have not left Nigeria since 2008 because my passport has been with the EFCC and the courts for the last 10 years and they have refused to give it to me and allow me to travel. Those on the travel-ban list that need to travel abroad for medical attention or to see their loved ones are the ones I feel sorry for.

“For me, travel ban or no travel ban, I have no intention of leaving Nigeria anytime soon because I am one of those that will be on the forefront in the struggle to liberate our country and  ensure that we get Buhari out of power in the next few months.”

Fani-Kayode said Buhari had shown repeatedly that he was a despot and would do anything to muzzle the opposition in order to retain power.    (Punch)

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Executive Order 6: Court Backs Buhari On Seizure Of Looters’ Assets |RN

                                            President Muhammadu Buhari

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

 

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday validated the Presidential Executive Order 6 of 2018 which provides for the interim seizure of assets linked to ongoing criminal trials and investigations.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on July 5, 2018, issued the Presidential Executive Order, but two lawyers, Ikenga Ugochinyere and Mr Keneth Udeze, instituted a suit before the court to challenge its constitutionality.

Delivering judgment on Thursday, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu dismissed the lawyers’ suit for lacking in merit and affirmed that the President had the constitutional powers to issue the PEO as long as it did not encroach into the principles of separation of powers.

She ruled that the PEO was issued as a policy directive for the implementation of provisions of existing laws, adding that it also recognised the right of every citizen to approach the court for redress if aggrieved by the enforcement of the PEO.

The plaintiffs had on July 13, 2018, filed the suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/740/2018, arguing that the PEO contravened constitutional provisions.

They argued that by virtue of the combined effect of sections 5, 36 and 43 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the President lacked the power to issue the PEO.

They maintained that the President’s act or conduct in issuing the PEO interfered with or encroached into the ownership of assets or properties of any person who had not been found guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.

The plaintiffs had through their lawyer, Mr Obed Agu, joined President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, as the defendants.

But dismissing the suit on Thursday, Justice Ojukwu agreed with the defendants’ lawyer, Mr Tijani Gazali, that the PEO could only be enforced in line with the provisions of the law and did not amount to an infringement of the rights of the affected person, who also had the right to approach the court to seek redress.

She ruled that contrary to the plaintiffs’ contention, the Executive Order 6 did not violate the rights of citizens to fair hearing and to own property under sections 35 and 43 of the 1999 Constitution, but was informed by the President’s willingness to preserve suspected property from being dissipated while an investigation or criminal trial linked to it was ongoing.

“What the President has demonstrated by the Executive Order in question is his willingness to ensure the prevention of the dissipation of assets and funds connected with the commission of the offence of corruption and other related offences, until the determination of any corruption-related matter against the person or firm,” the judge held.

However, the judge made a little modification to the PEO which she noted seemed to give the AGF the discretion on when to seek the court’s permission to seize any property suspiciously linked to corruption or other criminal activities.

The judge, in modifying the order, directed that the AGF, who is assigned the coordinating role by the PEO, must, at all times, obtain a court order before seizing any asset.

While reiterating that the PEO must be implemented in accordance to the principles of the rule of law, she added that the coordinating role imposed on the AGF by the PEO was subject to Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution and must be predicated on the existence of facts.

The judge ruled, “It is pertinent that the honourable Attorney General of the Federation, as the overseer of the activities of all the law enforcement authorities listed in the 2nd Schedule to the Executive Order, should ensure due process and uniformity of purpose.

“It is the further opinion of this court that the honourable Attorney General of the Federation first obtains an order of the court in all circumstances before blocking or freezing or confiscating such funds or assets pending the conclusion of an investigation or legal action.

“An application may be made ex parte and if the court is satisfied with the averment and information contained in the application, the order may be granted.

“It is, however, recommended that an order of the court in that regard include a period of investigation or subsequent date. Where the court is of the opinion that the party to be affected by the order should be put on notice, the court should make that determination.”

Affirming the constitutionality of the PEO and the need to implement it in line with the rule of law, the judge ruled, “In the final analysis, what this court has to say is as follows:

“The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has powers under sections 5 and 315 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to issue Executive Orders on routine administrative matters, to state’s policies, especially for the internal operations of state’s agencies insofar as it does not step on the toes of legislative and judicial powers under the constitution.”  (Punch)

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You Made Illicit Money, Buhari Campaign Team Replies Atiku |The Republican News

                                                    Festus Keyamo

…says President has run economy well

 

Eniola Akinkuotu

The Director of Media for the Buhari Campaign Organisation, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), said Atiku made money through illegal means and cheating the system.

Keyamo said this during an interview with one of our correspondents on Tuesday.

He said Atiku was running private businesses as a customs officer in contravention of public service rules.

The senior advocate said Atiku’s only successful business was Integrated Logistics Services Nigeria Limited, popularly known as INTEL.

Keyamo said, “Firstly, the myth about Atiku’s business acumen is one of the biggest and fattest lies ever sold to Nigerians. He has never run a successful business. He only has one company, which is a cash cow through which he invests in other things and that company is known as INTELS.

“He acquired shares in INTELS in 1982 when he was still a customs officer which was in clear violation of the code of conduct for public officers where he acquired shares in a company that had something to do with the customs and government.

“The company is not run in a competitive manner but a monopolistic manner where all other persons are totally shut out. All governments in this country until now had been compromised by this company until now.”

He said Atiku’s university ran on public funds. He challenged Atiku to prove that the money used in running the institution was not government’s own.

Keyamo said the achievements recorded by the Obasanjo/Atiku administration were not extraordinary.

He said the boom in the telecommunications sector occasioned by the introduction of the GSM during the Obasanjo/Atiku era was not peculiar to Nigeria but happened simultaneously in many African countries.

The Buhari campaign director added that the debt forgiveness of $18bn under the Obasanjo was part of a mere G8 directive and was not limited to Nigeria.

Keyamo said although Buhari was not as rich as his opponent, the President had shown that he understood how to effectively run an economy.

The senior advocate added, “He has managed an economy effectively even in the time of economic recession occasioned by a terrible crash in oil prices. Under him, foreign reserves increased; he inspired investors to invest in critical infrastructure.

“He refused to retrench workers. He also released the biggest money so far for capital projects. In 2016, he released N1.2tn in capital releases and in 2017 they released N1.5tn despite an economic recession.”   (Punch)

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Buhari Hasn’t Run Any Successful Business Ever – Atiku |The Republican News

Buhari-Atiku2

Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Preisdent Muhammadu Buhari

Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja

 

The 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of never being a successful businessman.

In a statement from his media office in Abuja on Tuesday, Atiku said, “The open, democratic and free and fair election (something alien to the APC, according to Buhari’s own wife) on Sunday of His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, as the Presidential candidate for the PDP has clearly left the APC in a state of panic and confusion.

“On Sunday, the Buhari Campaign Organisation launched the first weak salvo. And on Monday, the APC’s National Publicity Secretary unleashed his own knee-jerk reaction, accusing Atiku of being desperate.

“Our response to the APC is to ask who is desperate between a Muhammadu Buhari who said, ‘If what happened in 2011 should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood’ and an Atiku Abubakar who said, ,‘Love and peace should not only be preached, but must also be put into practice for the sake of sustaining the peace in our land’?

“It is left for Nigerians to judge, but even a blind person can see that Nigeria has been ‘soaked in blood’ ever since she was unfortunate enough to have fallen under the leadership of a man whose words are destructive and never productive.”

In his response to the APC’s demand for Atiku’s scorecard in public office, the statement said, “Some of Atiku Abubakar’s achievements as Nigeria’s Vice President are that as head of the National Council of Privatisation, he superintended over the GSM revolution that saw Nigeria go from 50,000 to 100 million GSM lines, has added 500,000 direct jobs to the Nigerian economy and attracted $27bn to our GDP. Our question to President Buhari and the APC is how many jobs have they created?

“Another of Abubakar’s achievements is the successful privatisation of many public enterprises that hitherto consumed government resources without yielding a profit. In response, we ask President Buhari how many loopholes in public expenditure has he plugged? The spectacular failure of the 419 Nigeria Air is still fresh in the memory of Nigerians.

“Finally, the APC spokesman had the guts to question His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar’s source of wealth.

“We wish to remind APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, that Atiku Abubakar is not like President Buhari who has never run a successful private business throughout his life.

“Unlike Muhammadu Buhari, Atiku Abubakar is an expert job creator who has founded many successful and thriving businesses including the American University of Nigeria, Yola; a microfinance bank that has moved 45,000 families out of poverty and Rica Gado, a livestock feed company that has significantly reduced instances of herdsmen/farmers clashes by providing a business-friendly solution instead of asking Nigerians to give up their lands for cattle ranching or face death, as the Buhari government did.”

The statement added that unlike President Buhari, Atiku does not believe Nigerian youths are lazy. “How could he when 25,000 out of his 50,000 employees are youths,”? he asked.

It urged the Buhari Presidency and the APC to mention even one successful private endeavour that the President had successfully run.

“And by private enterprises, we are not referring to 150 cows that never increase in number, year in year out,” the statement added.    (Punch)

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I Was Voted Into Office To Fight Corruption – Buhari |The Republican News

                             President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, said the anti-corruption war of his administration was not negotiable.

He said it was a must for him to fight graft because that was one of the reasons he was elected.

According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, the President spoke while receiving a former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Mbeki, who heads the African Union High-Level Panel on Illicit Flows from Africa, was in Nigeria to give      Buhari, who is the current champion of AU Anti-Corruption Campaign, some updates.

The President said since his electoral promises to Nigerians included fighting corruption, he could not afford to let the people down.

He said, “For this administration, fighting corruption is non-negotiable. It is a must.

“We must fight corruption frontally because it’s one of the reasons we got elected.

“We campaigned on three fundamental issues: security, reviving the economy, and fight against corruption. It’s the reason we got elected, and we can’t afford to let our people down.”

Noting that the government was making progress on the anti-corruption war, “and not just talking,” the President said he was very pleased with the assignment the former South African President was carrying out for the African continent.

He submitted that when Africa was vigorous with the war against corruption, “we will eventually appeal to the conscience of the rest of the world.”

In his remarks, Mbeki said corruption was an African challenge that must be responded to, “as development challenges can only be met through the check of illicit financial flows.”

He said he was delighted that Buhari touched on the issue in most of his speeches, with the most recent being at the United Nations General Assembly last week.

“We are pleased with the way you take up the matter. Countries need the political will to stop the illicit flow. Nigeria has shown a good example.

“The more we are showing that we are acting as Africans, the easier to get the rest of the world to cooperate,” Mbeki said.   (Punch)

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Buhari Meets Tinubu Ahead Of Lagos APC Governorship Primary |The Republican News

Buhari-meets-Tinubu
                                Buhari meets Tinubu

Sesan Olufowobi, Olalekan Adetayo and Oladimeji Ramon

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met behind closed doors with the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

The meeting which was held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja, came barely 24 hours before the APC governorship primary for the state slated for Tuesday.

It was gathered that the state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, was, however, not part of the meeting Buhari had with Tinubu.

A Presidency source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the meeting to one of our correspondents.

“There was a meeting. But I don’t know what the meeting was about,” the source said.

Tinubu and other critical stakeholders in the party in the state had adopted Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu as their preferred choice for the party’s governorship ticket despite the fact that the state governor had expressed his intention to seek re-election.

The party leader had accused Ambode of deviating from the development blueprint prepared for the state.

While confirming the meeting between Buhari and Tinubu, another source in the camp of the former Lagos State governor, however, said nothing has changed.

He said, “You know that Asiwaju meets regularly with the President. They discuss party and the nation’s matters regularly. So there is nothing unusual about this meeting.”

When asked if Buhari had succeeded in resolving the matter, he replied, “What issue will be resolved when tomorrow (Tuesday) is primary?

“There is nothing to resolve. The people will elect their candidate at the primary on Tuesday.

“Asiwaju is back in Lagos from Abuja. Everybody is preparing for the primary.”

Ambode meets NWC panel, insists on credible primary

However, Ambode on Monday met with the panel appointed by the National Working Committee of the APC to conduct the primary in the state, insisting on a level playing field for all aspirants.

The governor, who spoke when he received members of the panel led by its Chairman, Mr Clement Ebri, said it was important that the election was free, fair and credible.

Ambode said he had no doubt that the panel would deliver a credible process, adding that such would go a long way to determine the future of Nigeria and the greatness of Lagos in particular.

“This is a star studded election team; the members are distinguished Nigerians in their individual and collective rights. There can’t be any better team than these distinguished personalities.

“I must tell you that what you have taken up may look like a political assignment, but history is on your side. You are being called upon to discharge a selfless service that would determine the future of this country and the greatness of this state.

“I receive this election team as being acceptable and credible to me enough to discharge its civic responsibility to the best of its ability; and to also say that whatever it is that is the outcome of the primaries, your presence has shown that this will be credible and this will be acceptable by me,” he said.

The governor, who recalled that he had gone through the same process with 12 other aspirants to emerge as the governorship candidate of the APC in 2014, said it was not out of place to have other aspirants contest for the same ticket.

“But all I seek is credible primary, transparent primaries and a level playing field.

“There were issues that we have raised and they have been put in form of a letter which I will pass to the chairman and I believe the committee will look into it judiciously,” Ambode said.

Earlier, Ebri, a former governor of Cross River State, said the panel deemed it fit to pay a courtesy visit to the governor as the number one citizen in the state.

“We have come to intimate you that this exercise is going to take place in the next few hours. The process we are laying out will ensure and guarantee transparency and credibility.

“We have people of integrity in this panel and I can assure you that we have the experience to conduct this exercise. We assure you of our sincerity and transparency and we seek your cooperation,” the chairman said.

He said a stakeholders’ meeting had been fixed for Monday evening at the party secretariat in Acme to enable aspirants and other stakeholders exchange ideas concerning the primaries in accordance with the democratic principles of the party.

Other members of the panel are Alhaji Ahmed Mahmud Gumel (Secretary), Mr Nze Chidi Duru, Chief Clever Egbeji, Senator Clever Ikisikpo and Ambassador Jerry Ugokwe.

‘Address Ambode’s allegations against Sanwo-Olu’

Meanwhile, activist lawyer, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has challenged the APC to come clean on the image and personality of one of its governorship aspirants in Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Adegboruwa’s challenge followed the allegations by the governor, that Sanwo-Olu, who sought to unseat him, was unfit to govern Lagos State because he had a criminal record.

Ambode had during a world press conference on Sunday alleged that Sanwo-Olu was once arrested and detained in the United States of America for spending fake dollar bills at a nightclub.

Ambode added that his challenger had undergone rehabilitation at the Gbagada General Hospital and was therefore unfit for governance.

In a statement on Monday, Adegboruwa said Ambode’s allegations against Sanwo-Olu were too weighty to be ignored by the leadership of the APC.

He argued that Nigerians deserved to know the true status of whoever would govern Lagos State.

He said, “Nigerians and Lagosians, in particular, deserve to know the true status of anyone aspiring to public office; not just in relation to health, but also his preferences, his financial status and all other areas of common concern. It is not proper to just wish this away.

“The APC, as a party, owes a sacred duty of disclosure. A sitting governor will not just wake up one day and be throwing allegations of mental instability against his opponent, who he knows very well, just for the sake of winning an election.

“The import of any serious health challenge for any person aspiring to the position of the governor of the largest economy in Nigeria is that of capacity.

It then raises the issue of a lame duck governor installed only as a figure head, but in truth not capable of governance.”

Crisis in APC, blessing for Lagos – Oyeniji

A governorship aspirant in Lagos State on the platform of the Alliance for New Nigeria, Mr Oluyinka Oyeniji, on Monday described the wrangling in the Lagos APC as a blessing to the people.

According to him, the crisis has provided an opportunity to dislodge “a few individuals who have for nearly two decades” ruled the state without accountability and transparency.

Oyeniji lamented what he described as uneven development in the state, arguing that under the current political arrangement, no governor in Lagos State could work independently.

The aspirant, who said the education and health sectors in Lagos State had been left in shambles, said, if elected governor next year, he would immediately declare a state of emergency in the two sectors.

He spoke ahead of ANN primaries in Lagos this week, according to a statement on Monday.

He decried the systematic dismantling of public institutions in the state and insisted that this could not have been the dream of the founding fathers of the state.  (Punch)

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PDP Berates Buhari, APC Of Posting Fake Presidential Primary Results |RN

Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja

 

The Peoples Democratic Party has accused President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress of posting what it called fictitious figures as votes secured by the President at the APC Presidential primary.

It said the plan behind the huge figure was to hoodwink Nigerians and create an impression of massive support for President Buhari ahead of the 2019 presidential election.

The PDP said the alleged resort to the allocation of figures had shown that Buhari and the APC had lost hope of winning genuine votes in the 2019 general elections and want to rely on the allocation of fake votes to attempt to rig the main election.

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, claimed in a statement on Sunday, that the Presidency forced the direct primary on the APC because of its determination to conjure figures ahead of the general elections.

He said, “Nigerians will recall that the PDP had alerted of intelligence reports that the Presidency forced a direct presidential primary on the APC so as to ‘eliminate delegates accreditation and pave the way for the allocation of millions of conjured votes, which they intend to use as a basis to authenticate the fictitious votes they intend to declare for President Buhari at the general elections.’

“The PDP had also alerted of how ‘very senior officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission including a blood relation of the President, who is in charge of the commission’s data centre, masterminded and pushed the plot.

“It is, therefore, ludicrous that 29 days after our statement, the Presidency and the APC staged a circus show in their party’s state secretariats, in the name of Presidential primary and came up with fictitious figures as votes secured by President Buhari.

“Nigerians were thoroughly amused as they see through the lies in APC’s allocation of fictitious 2.9 million votes in Kano, 1.9 million in Lagos, 802,819 in Katsina, in addition to other conjured figures in other states.”

Ologbondiyan added that what the APC and the Presidency failed to note was that Nigerians were already aware that no ballot allegedly took place and that such figures could not be tallied through mere voice vote involving few members of a derelict and disorganised party.

According to him, what counts in a general election is the participation of registered voters with Permanent Voter Cards and not fictitious figures from a padded party register or party members, many of who do not exist or hold PVCs.

Moreover,  he said that the APC did not have the number of members it was posting as having participated in the “circus”.

“We want the APC and INEC to know that our party is already privy to the polling centres in certain states which they are planning to use to allocate fake votes for President Buhari in the 2019 general elections and that we have also devised legitimate strategies of exposing and dismantling such plans ahead of the elections, just as the PDP did in Osun State,” he added.  (Punch)

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