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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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Frank Timi Commends, Facebook, US. Firm For Exposing Buhari’s Fake News Israeli Political Consultant Firm

Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar

by Ike A. Offor

Timi Frank, the former deputy national publicity secretary of All Progressive Congress, APC, and a political activist has publicly expressed his strong commendations for Facebook and the United States firm which exposed the Israeli disinformation company that has helped Buhari and APC to spread false and damaging news against the opposition party’s presidential candidate and the opposition party, PDP. Facebook has announced the closure of the Facebook page of the Israeli consultant company that has used its website and page to spread false news prior and after the 2019 presidential election. These fake news were used to sway the opinion of the Nigerian electorates, and helped to damage the image of Atiku Abubakar. Facebook said that it is doing more now to stop spread of fake news on its platform.

Facebook 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.

Below is the press statement from Mr Timi Frank:

Press Release

A political activist and former Deputy National Publicuty Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has commended a report released by a U.S.-based firm, Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, for exposing an Isreali-based political consulting and lobbying firm named Archimedes, who has been coordinating false reports on social media against former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

According to a news report published on Friday by Associated Press (AP), titled: “Isreali disinformation campaign targeted Nigerian election”, Frank said that Facebook had on Thursday banned Archimedes from the platform over its “coordinated and deceptive behavior” as well as conducted a sweeping takedown of dozens of accounts and hundreds of pages primarily aimed at disrupting elections in African countries, with some scattered activity in Southeast Asia and Latin America.

The report specifically revealed that the Isreali-based firm (Archimedes) worked for President Muhammadu Buhari to smear his leading opponent, Atiku Abubakar during the last general elections.

Reacting to the development through a statement on Saturday, Frank said that the world will gradually know all the evil secret behind the declaration of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of the last presidential election.

According to Frank, one of the pages that Facebook deleted on Thursday was filled with viral misinformation and direct attacks against Abubakar, the former vice president of Nigeria. The page’s banner image showed Abubakar as Darth Vader, the Star Wars villain, holding up a sign reading, “Make Nigeria Worse Again.”

He also quoted the AP’s report “that on the overall, the misleading accounts had reached some 2.8 million users, and the pages had engaged over 5,000 followers, according to Facebook’s estimates.”

While thanking Facebook for bringing down the fake accounts, Frank said that “Nigerians ought to be worried about how the APC-led government is spending huge amount of money just to discredit the rightful winner of the 2019 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar.

“I believe that if a lie goes on for 20 years, truth will definitely catchup with it one day. It will not be long before Nigerians will realise how desperate and fake President Muhammadu Buhari is in his bid to hang onto power.”

The political activist called on the international community to note the Associated Press’ report and the extent of damage done to the main opposition party in Nigeria and its Presidential candidate during the last general election.

“The AP’s report has clearly shown the level of lies sponsored against Atiku during and after the last general election. The campaign of calumny has not stopped but Nigerians should henceforth disregard malicious reports in the social media against the former VP,” Frank stated

Signed

Comrade Timi Frank
Political Activist
18/05/2019.

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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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PDP Slams Presidency For Saying Killings Under Buhari Lower Than Other Governments |RN

Buhari-returns-from-London

Olusola Fabiyi, Olalekan Adetayo, Eniola Akinkuotu, Friday Olokor, Adelani Adepegba, Olaleye Aluko and Olaide Oyelude

The Peoples Democratic Party, the Campaign for Democracy and the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership on Monday attacked President Muhammadu Buhari following the Presidency’s rating of killings under the current regime as lower than those of the past PDP governments.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, had said the abduction of the District Head of Daura, Alhaji Musa Uba, who is also the husband to President Buhari’s niece, Hajiya Bilki, showed that security agencies were not giving any town preferential treatment.

The abducted district head is also the father-in-law to Buhari’s Aide-de-camp, Col. Mohammed Abubakar.

Umar was kidnapped by yet-to-be identified gunmen at his residence in Daura, Katsina State last week Wednesday.

The President’s spokesman, who said this during an interview on Kakaaki, a breakfast television programme on the Africa Independent Television, argued that the number of people killed under Buhari’s watch was lower when compared with Nigerians that lost their lives under the past governments.

But the PDP urged Buhari to stop comparing the number of Nigerians killed under his administration with those of the party. Rather, the opposition party asked him to see the abduction of his town’s district head as an insult to the nation and a wake-up call for him to fight insecurity in the country.

Shehu had while responding to a question on the rising cases of banditry as evidenced by the abduction of the President’s in-law said, “Well, that has happened but I think that brings the message home that it is a national problem and that because the President comes from Daura, that is not to say there cannot be crime in Daura or Daura will be specially treated.

“The army said two days ago that there were clear pointers that these problems were beyond criminality.”

Shehu, however, scored the Buhari administration 98 per cent in the fight against insurgency.

He said, “If you ask me about the biggest security (challenge) we met on the ground, it is Boko Haram terrorism and I will score this administration 98 per cent coming this far because Boko Haram is now confined to the fringes of the Lake Chad. As a matter of fact, they jump in and out and mainly occupy communities that have not been re-occupied by their owners.”

Responding to a report by the acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu’s, claim that 1,071 persons lost their lives in crime-related cases across the country in the first quarter of 2019, Shehu said despite the recent rising killings, banditry and kidnapping, the figure was still better than that of the previous administrations.

The President said although he would not want to compare figures, the facts remained sacred.

Shehu said, “Yes, there has been a recent rise (in attacks) but this is not to suggest that this has never happened in the country and they are beginning just now because President Buhari is out of the country.

“You mentioned the numbers but I want to say from our own point of view in the Presidency, we have avoided comparing numbers because it will lead to the same criticisms that some people have made of being insensitive because even if it is one life of a Nigerian that is lost, it is important, it cannot be justified, it cannot be defended.

“But anybody who takes the trouble to check the Presidential website; at some point Femi (Adesina) had done the numbers and the staggering numbers put on display coming from the past are nothing comparable to these numbers but we will not take it likely.”

He also defended Buhari’s decision to travel to the United Kingdom for 10 days during the height of insecurity.

Shehu said the President was entitled to rest even as he claimed that Buhari was in firm control of the nation while in the UK.

The President’s spokesman said security agencies were doing their best but noted that things would not change overnight but would take some time.

Let kidnapping of Daura district head drive you to action, PDP tells Buhari

But reacting to the Presidency’s claim, the PDP called on President Buhari to “wake up and realise that he is leading a country of about 200 million people.”

The party also asked the President to consider the kidnapping of the district head of Daura, as an insult to himself and the nation.

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbodiyan, who spoke with The PUNCH, said the daring manner with which kidnappers had been operating in the country made the party to ask Buhari to return to Nigeria from London where he went for a “private visit” for 10 days.

Ologbodiyan said, “It is an insult that kidnappers could be that daring to the extent of going a few metres to his (Buhari’s) house and take away his district head.

“That is a worse form of insult to the President of a country like Nigeria. To us, nothing compares to that insult.

“This was one of the many reasons we asked him to abandon whatever he was doing in London and return home. If he had been asked how Nigeria was while he was there, what would have been his response?

“Now is the time for him to show that he still has energy, if he actually has, to work.

“We know that there were no bandits in this country, especially in the North-West before the elections. But they were the ones that brought mercenaries from other countries to this country for the elections.

“The President should therefore wake up and act as a leader, who is leading a nation of more than 200 millon people.”

Ologbondiyan also said it was sad that the Presidency could be comparing the number of deaths in particular administration with what was happening now.

While saying the PDP was not interested in the number of deaths before now, he said the President could quit if he felt the job was too much for him.

He said, “We are not interested in the number of deaths then and now because we are not morticians; we do not work at mortuaries. What we want is peace and a stop to the senseless killings in the country.

“The President came with a promise to change things positively. He did not promise that he would be taking the number of people killed in his administration and then compare the figure with other administrations when he is done.

“However, one thing is sure: we were not witnessing these daily killings, kidnappings, weeping, gnashing of teeth and sorrow during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the late Umaru Yar’Adua and President Goodluck Jonathan. They were never gang of failures.

‘If the President is tired as we could see now, he is free to throw in the towel.”

Buhari at risk of bandits’ attacks, say CD, CACOL

Also, two civil society organisations, CD and CACOL said if the Federal Government allowed the insecurity in the North-West to fester, the President might soon be attacked or abducted by the bandits.

The two organisations spoke in different interviews with one of our correspondents.

The CD National President, Usman Abdul, said, “Let me be emphatic. If President Buhari happened to be in Daura on that day when the bandits struck, the President might have been kidnapped also.

“Some of the pledges that the President made during the recent elections were things that bordered on security. Today, it is very unfortunate that the President’s in-law was abducted and the Senior Special Assistant, Garba Shehu, was lamenting.

“It is a shame that this government has not done enough to secure its citizens, which is its primary responsibility. On our part as a civil society organisation, we are not alarmed by Shehu’s statement because they have not met their primary responsibility to safeguard us and our property.

“It is laughable that this is the next level we are preparing for. Nigeria is at a crossroads. If Buhari was in Daura on that day, he might have been taken hostage too.”

Also the CACOL Director, Debo Adeniran, said, “What has happened in Daura and in that geopolitical zone may be due to intelligence gathering failure. If the intelligence system had been working, attacks would have been nipped in the bud.

“What I believe that the bandits want to prove is that if they wanted to get to our President, they could get him. Sometimes, the President goes to Daura to attend Muslim prayers and others. What the bandits are saying is that nobody is completely safe in this country. Also the security agencies must review their operational system.”

Presidency adding insult to Nigerians’ injury – ADC

On its part, the African Democratic Congress said it amounted to adding insult to Nigerians’ injury for the presidential spokesman to claim that the kidnap of the district head of the President’s town showed that security agencies were not giving any town preferential treatment.

The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Yemi Kolapo, said this in an interview with The PUNCH.

She said, “We are not talking about where these killings and abductions are taking place or who the targets are. What we are talking about is the increasing rate of insecurity in all parts of the country.

“By saying that what happened in Daura showed that no town is given preferential treatment, one will even think they stage-managed the kidnap so that they can say so.”

On the claim that the rate of killings under the present administration was lower than what was obtainable during the last administrations, Kolapo asked the Presidency to end the killings and stop comparing figures.

Sad, Buhari rationalising crimes, says MBYC

However, the Middle Belt Youth Council said it was sad that the Presidency could be rationalising crimes, saying Buhari was never serious about fighting crime.

Its President, Emma Zopmal, said, “At the outset of this menace, the Presidency was playing politics and pranks over insecurity, partly because it was not yet in their immediate domain. They were seeing it from afar so it did not really matter to them until now.”   (Punch)

 

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Nigeria Will Not Survive The 2019 Presidential Election – Femi Aribisala |The Republican News

Buhari-and-Atiku

President Muhammadu Buhari, PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar

***What we witnessed in the recently concluded election was the death knell of democracy in Nigeria.

 

For those of us who had hoped against hope, the 2019 presidential election has proved to be the last straw. We are now convinced that Nigeria is a hopeless case. This country is not just a major disappointment; it is decidedly firmly on the trajectory of a future break up.

Today, the silence in the Nigerian political space is deafening. Just look back to 2015 and before, when there was vibrant debate about almost everything under the sun. But now it is “siddon look.” We just had an election that was no election and more like selection. It was even more a mini civil-war, characterised by killings, voter suppression and intimidation, ballot-snatching and falsification of results.

There was even a case where the electoral umpire claimed he was made to declare a false result at gunpoint. But in spite of the bogus outcome of the elections, nobody is fighting anymore. Nobody is burning tyres today or demonstrating in the streets. Instead, people are watching and waiting to see what will happen. Surely, this cannot be the end of the matter.

Phyrric Victory

The so-called victors are jubilant, reading the eerie silence as mission accomplished. However, the omen is bleak and dire. It is always better when people express their feelings freely. That way, you know exactly where they stand. But when everything is bottled up as it is now, then you know we are in for trouble. Sooner, rather than later, the dam will burst.

There is definitely a cold war currently going on in Nigeria today, and it is a lull before the storm.

Only those who have been bought, or political sycophants looking for scraps of the stolen pie, are talking. They are giving back-slaps and high-fives to the phyrric victors. Meanwhile, wisdom and reason have concluded that Nigeria is a lost cause. No point waiting for another farce in 2023. Now is the time for all good people to leave the country; either physically or psychologically.

It is now clear that those who believe they have a future have no part in this failed and discredited state called Nigeria. To your tents, O Israel!

Those who make peaceful change impossible, make forcible change inevitable. But that is not to suggest military intervention is the answer. We have already done that and got the t-shirt. All the military did, in all their years in power, was to drag Nigeria through the mud. There is no point putting any hope in them again, after all, it is the same military men who hijacked the democratic system simply by taking off their uniforms and putting on agbadas.

Things Fall Apart

Seeing the template established in this fraudulent 2019 election, the inevitable conclusion, at least to me, is that this Nigeria cannot survive. The message of the 2019 election is that Nigeria is doomed to disintegration. Things have fallen apart and the centre cannot hold.

The message is that the powers-that-be are determined that we must be satisfied willy-nilly with incompetence. They say we must put up with economic failure. They insist our new status as the poverty capital of the world is to be commended. They tell us returning Nigeria to major debt status is next-level achievement. They tell us to celebrate abject failure as glorious success.

If you were to believe the lie, our leaders have resuscitated the naira. They have nullified power blackouts. They have removed the petroleum subsidy. They have reduced the pump price of petrol. They have created millions and millions of new jobs. Our hospitals are no longer consulting clinics. Life and property is now secure in Nigeria. Our agricultural sector has been suitably revamped.

So a new panoply of ambitious political mavericks came out, talking up public policy, debating the issues, offering new ideas for the renewal of the national mandate. Among these were Kingsley Moghalu, Oby Ezekwesili, Tope Fasua, Fela Durotoye and Omoyele Sowore. I shared their delusion in thinking the Nigerian political system was amenable to change.

Our leaders have achieved self-sufficiency in food production in Nigeria. They have killed corruption in the land. They have rebuilt our roads and bridges. They have defeated Boko Haram and rescued the Chibok girls. They have restored the reputation of Nigeria in the comity of nations. As a result of these glorious achievements, the current government not only won re-election, it did so with a resoundingly bigger majority than before.

Dashed Hopes

All this makes 2019 a major watershed in Nigerian political history. For some reason, hopes were rekindled during the campaigns; only to be dashed ruthlessly. The times are so bad, our situation so worrisome, that many presidential hopefuls came out of the woodwork. It was time to rescue Nigeria. It was time to change the dismal trajectory of the nation’s history.

Surely, even the blind can see that we cannot go on like this. Surely, these crop of current Nigerian leadership will be thrown out by a despondent electorate. It was time for a new page; a new departure. What we needed was our very own Mercutio proclaiming a plague on both the houses of our delinquent political establishment of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

So a new panoply of ambitious political mavericks came out, talking up public policy, debating the issues, offering new ideas for the renewal of the national mandate. Among these were Kingsley Moghalu, Oby Ezekwesili, Tope Fasua, Fela Durotoye and Omoyele Sowore. I shared their delusion in thinking the Nigerian political system was amenable to change. I believed with them that we are all fed up with the status quo.

So they formed new parties, toured the country, pumped flesh, marshalled new agendas; only to meet their Waterloo at the discredited polls. They obtained, or were awarded, an insignificant fraction of the millions of fabricated votes. So completely were they crushed that there is even talk now of making it difficult, if not impossible, for other parties to contest in future elections apart from the tweedledee and tweedledum of the APC and the PDP.

Failed Nigeria

The message of our Caesars in Abuja is without ambiguity: there is no room for change in the politics of Nigeria. Under no legal circumstances will those who have ceased power by deception and subterfuge willingly relinquish it for the sake of some nebulous construct called democracy. To hell with power to the people, they insist in one accord. Power belongs to the professional politicians in Nigeria, and forever so shall it be.

The Nigerian electorate itself is no better inclined. God says in the scriptures about the Israel of old: “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and my people love to have it so.” (Jeremiah 5:31).

The 2019 elections show that a substantial number of Nigerians, especially in the North, are convinced this failed country called Nigeria is the best that Nigeria can be. Indeed, if the verdict of the doctored polls were to be believed, then most Nigerians are very much in love with this malignant Nigeria.

They love a Nigeria that is poverty-stricken, where our leaders are thieves, armed-robbers and pen-robbers, where beggars and vagabonds roam the streets, where the illiterate and the uneducated are the champions of public policy, where human life is worthless and people are massacred in numbers every day. Nigerians, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), adore a Nigeria where truth has fallen in the streets and justice is an orphan.

Death-knell of Democracy

Never again. If there is anything to be learnt from the experience of the failed new idealists who ran for president in mushrooming parties this time around and lost their shirts, it is that Nigerian politics is a complete waste of time. The electorate has apparently never believed in the polls. They know their votes will not count. They know the only time politicians have any regard for them is during election campaigns.

The system has been rigged so that every election in Nigeria will now be determined by those who have filled the voting register with underage voters. So doing, your chances of being elected to high office are excellent if you are an incompetent, a crook, or a thief to boot. Otherwise, you don’t stand a chance.

So, if they can get a small bag of rice or garri from the charlatans running for office, or maybe even just N1,000 for their thumbprint, that will do just fine. If you can give them even more, so they can attack polling booths in opposition strongholds and make away with the ballot boxes, they are ready. If you can give them lunch, so they can incite a riot, so an election being lost is declared inconclusive, they will do it. Thereby, the victor becomes the vanquished.

As a result, we will not see the idealism of 2019 come 2023, should this misnomer we call Nigeria still exist by then. The newcomers are once bitten, twice shy. Even now, by the time we came to the gubernatorial elections, after the farce of the presidential, Nigerians had lost all interest in democracy. Most people did not even bother to come out to vote again.

Of course, this did not prevent states like Kaduna from recording more fabricated votes in the gubernatorial election than even Kano did fictitiously in the presidential election. In short, what we witnessed in the recently concluded election was the death knell of democracy in Nigeria.

So what is the answer?

Goodbye Nigeria

More and more people are going to vote with their feet. The industrious and the enterprising are going to seek greener pastures elsewhere, having concluded that Nigeria is a lost cause. They will go to Canada, to Australia, to those countries where merit is rewarded and excellence is the watchword. The smart ones who stay behind will start insisting on the dismemberment of this bogus contraption called Nigeria.

What the 2019 election tells me, in no uncertain terms, is that the future of Nigeria lies in the breakup of Nigeria. It is not what I want. It is not what I desire. But it is there in the cards.

I have written on several occassions that Nigeria should remain united. I said again and again that Nigeria cannot do without the Igbo. I have shouted in the wilderness that Nigeria cannot do without the North. But I have now reached the conclusion that, under the present circumstances, the breakup of Nigeria is inevitable. It is just a matter of time.

This is not a prediction: it is a warning. It is a call to arms. It comes from the realisation that the Nigerian political system has now been programmed so that every election will now be decided by those whose votes can be bought with 30 pieces of silver.

The system has been rigged so that every election in Nigeria will now be determined by those who have filled the voting register with underage voters. So doing, your chances of being elected to high office are excellent if you are an incompetent, a crook, or a thief to boot. Otherwise, you don’t stand a chance.

I congratulate all those who won infamous victories in the just concluded elections. But “send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”

(faribisala@yahoo.com; www.femiaribisala.com)

 

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Atiku Releases Details Of INEC Server ‘Proving’ His Victory Over Buhari In Presidential Election

PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar

•••Atiku to INEC: I got my figures from your server

Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deny that the results of the February 23 presidential election he tendered in his petition was not the authentic result and same recovered from its (INEC) server.

The former vice president insisted that his figures were from the INEC’s server.
Atiku’s latest position was contained in his reply to INEC’s reply to his petition before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.
INEC had declared President Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of the February 23 election, having polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat his closest challenger, Atiku, who polled 11,262,978.

Not satisfied, Atiku had, through his team of counsel, approached the tribunal to challenge the validity of Buhari’s victory.

Atiku, in his 139-page petition before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, stated that from the data in INEC’s server, the true, actual and correct results showed that he (Atiku) secured a total of 18,356,732 votes to against Buhari’s 16,741,430 votes.
The PDP presidential candidate stated that the results were from 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as there was “no report on server” about the election results from Rivers State.
INEC, on its part, dismissed Atiku’s figures, describing them as fake.

But, Atiku through his team of lawyers led by Dr. Livy Uzuokwu (SAN), in his reply, submitted that the server from which the figures he tendered were derived belong to INEC.
According to him, “In response to INEC’s reply to the petition, the petitioners plead that the scores published by the petitioner in paragraph 10 of their petition are the same scores officially published by INEC and the same result was also published by the INEC in its official website.

“The figures and votes were transmitted to the INEC Presidential Result’s Server 1 and thereafter aggregated in INEC_PRES_RSLT_SRV2019, whose physical address or unique Mac Address is 94-57-A5-DC-64-B9 with Microsoft Product ID 00252-70000-00000-AA535. The above descriptions are unique to the INEC’s server.”

He added that there is no conjecture in the votes and scores in the table pleaded by the petitioners and that the figures are factual.
“The spokesperson for Muhammadu Buhari’s Campaign Organization openly admitted that the data in question was in the INEC’s server when he wrote and submitted a petition to the IGP and the DSS asking the security agencies to investigate the PDP for allegedly hacking into the server of the INEC and obtaining the data in question.

“Specifically, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), the spokesperson of Buhari claimed in the said petition that it was Atiku who smuggled the data into the server. The petitioners hereby plead the said petition to the security agencies and the second respondent is hereby given NOTICE to PRODUCE them at the hearing. The petitioners also plead newspaper reports, television broadcast and news reports in the social media on the public admissions made by the 2nd respondent’s authorised spokesperson on the issue.”
He further revealed that he would, at the trial of the petition, rely on experts on Microsoft, IBM and Oracle among others.

The petitioner however denied that the website http://www.factsdontlieng.com was invented by them for the purpose of this case or at all and put the 1st respondent to the strictest proof of the allegation.
He further added that the contents and the results in the said website were generated from the INEC’s server.

“In addition thereto, the petitioners contend that INEC, through its officials, agents and Chairman, having represented to the general public, the electorate, and the petitioners, who acted on same, that results of the 2019 elections would be transmitted by electronic means, is now estopped from asserting anything to the contrary. In any event, the Electoral Act did not outlaw the transmission of election results by electronic means.

“The petitioner, in further response to paragraph 5 of the 1st respondent’s reply, state that the 1st respondent, through its Returning Office for Presidential Election, the Chairman of the 1st respondent, committed grave errors in the final collation exercise. For instance, in Form EC8E, by false crediting Okotie Christopher with wrong political party and wrong scores. In the same vein, he falsely credited Rev. Dr. Onwubuya with a wrong political party and wrong scores.

“The petitioners state that the final result as declared by the 1st respondent are those that were transmitted online to the website of the 1st respondent (www.inecnigeria.org). The petitioners visited the said website on several dates, one of the dates being Friday, the 12th day of April at 4:58p.m. The petitioners hereby plead and shall rely on the said final results as published by the 1st respondent on the said website.

“The petitioners state that the information, data, documents, footages, images and photographs relied on by the petitioners are products of officials of the 1st respondent are not false, skewed, suborned or spurious as alleged by the 1st respondent.

“Contrary to the evasive denial of the 1st respondent in paragraph 11 of its reply to the petition, the petitioners aver that the Table containing votes of candidates in paragraph 21 of the petition are not conjecture, but the result of the acts of the officials of the 1st respondent who complied with the directives and training instructions, of the 1st respondent on electronic transmission of votes as evidence in: i. The 1st respondent Training Manual on Elections Technologies (Use, Support and Maintenance) 2019; ii. Print out of votes of candidates from the Smart Card Reader Machine; iii. Printout of votes of candidates from the 1st respondent’s server.”

Responding to INEC’s objection that his counsel is not enrolled on the Supreme Court list, Atiku submitted that his petition, as filed, is competent and duly signed by a legal practitioner who is enrolled in the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1982.

“He is licensed to practice in Nigeria and is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. He has severally represented the INEC in previous election petitions since 1999. He was also the Honorable Attorney General of Imo State (1994-1996).”

New Telegraph recalls that the INEC, in Preliminary Objection to Atiku and PDP petition filed by its lead counsel, Yunus Ustaz Usman (SAN), contends that the petition is incompetent and/or lacking in merit, frivolous and respectfully pray this honourable tribunal to dismiss the petition.

The INEC had specifically denied the existence of electronic transmission of results as it is unknown to the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of the elections 2019 and put the petitioners to strictest of proof thereof.

Witness statement on oath of one Chidi Nwafor, an employee of the 1st respondent, and currently the Director, Information and Communications Technology averred that: “…That with particular response to the issue of server and electronic transmission and collation repeatedly referred to by the petitioners, I hereby say as follows:

“That as at date, there is no legal framework in place for electronic voting, transmission and collation of scores or results of the electioneering process.

“That the Smart Card Reader, till date, was used for authenticating registered voters, not for sorting, counting, transmission or collation as these processes are still manually done, given the state of the law.

“That the 1st respondent has no server that contains the purported results the petitioners are claiming they got from a purported server.

“That in spite of the scheme at the time, counting, sorting, transmission and collation of votes during the 2019 general elections, and the presidential election in particular, were all done manually and not electronically.

“That the purported figure of 37,668,305 being bandied by the petitioners as the actual number of accredited voters is unknown to the 1st respondent and never existed in its record. (NewTelegraph)

 

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