**UN deadline for U.K. to end its adminstration expired Friday
**U.K. clings to last African territory for ‘security reasons’
The African Union urged the U.K. to comply with a United Nations resolution calling for it to withdraw from the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, which is considered part of Mauritius.
The U.K. is under increased international pressure to give up its last territory in Africa since the International Court of Justice ruled that the 1965 excision of the islands from Mauritius had been unlawful. The UN General Assembly affirmed the ruling in May and set a six-month deadline that expired Friday.
Almost all African nations support the resolution. AU Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat “requests the international community to continue its support to the Republic of Mauritius for a complete decolonisation of the Chagos Archipelago,” according to a statement on the website of the organization.
The U.K. argues it can’t give up the Chagos Archipelago for security reasons. It’s leased the biggest island to the U.S., which runs a military base there that supports operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan. (Bloomberg)
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The Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police Force, Ikoyi, Lagos State, has secured the conviction of two fake visa agents, Ismaila Adefila and Busari Kabiru, who defrauded the United States consulate in Lagos of N50m.
The convicts were sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment each by Magistrate Folashade Botoku of the Igbosere Magistrates’ Court after they were found guilty of three counts bordering on conspiracy, forgery and stealing.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the convicts, who make payment for visa applicants, manipulated the visa receipt of one applicant through CorelDraw software to generate receipt for other applicants, depriving the US consulate of N50m.
It was gathered that the convicts filled their personal phone numbers and email addresses on the visa application forms of the applicants.
They were said to have doctored visa payment receipts of the United States of America B1 and B2 visa categories for over 350 applicants.
Our correspondent learnt that the convicts were arrested after the consulate petitioned the Commissioner of Police in charge of the SFU, Ikoyi.
During the trial, the lead investigator for the prosecution, DSP Lawal Audu, told the court that Adefila applied for one Abdulafiz Ijale and one Bankole Salau, using one visa receipt for both applicants, adding that over 350 application forms had the phone numbers of the convict.
Audu noted that after a detailed investigation, the convicts could not be linked to any institution, adding that they were also not visa procurement officers of the consulate.
He explained that they edited visa receipts issued by Guaranty Trust Bank so same could be used for other applicants who had booked appointments.
The police officer added that Kabiru, who admitted to defrauding one applicant, was arrested on the premises of the Nigerian Army Post Exchange (NAPEX).
Delivering her judgement, Magistrate Botoku held that the convicts had tarnished the image of the country through their actions.
“I am constrained to say that the defendants, by their acts have exhibited greed. They are part of a group that wants to reap where it has not sown and thus constantly bring the country’s reputation to disrepute. I have taken that into consideration in passing sentence.
“The first defendant is hereby sentenced to three years’ imprisonment each on count one and two, while he is sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment on count three, and the second defendant is sentenced to three years’ imprisonment on count one and two each and seven years’ imprisonment on count three. The sentences are to run concurrently,” she said.
Audu, who commended the judgment, said the conviction of the men would bring sanity to the NAPEX premises, where he said visa fraud had been prevalent.
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A Forbes-rated young Nigerian billionaire and CEO of Invictus Group, Obinwanne Okeke has been arrested by America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over a $12 million (N4.3bn) fraud.
He was arrested last week on the last day of his trip to the United States for allegedly defrauding top American companies of huge sums. Notably, he allegedly scammed $12m from a steel company by hacking into an executive’s office365 account and sending an email with a fake invoice to the purchasing department.
His arrest came after Special Agent Marshall Ward of the FBI and the team he heads opened up an investigation in July 2018, following a petition by Unatrac Holding Limited.
The charge sheet reads in part “In June 2018, Unatrac Holding Limited, the export sales office for Caterpillar heavy industrial and farm equipment, headquartered in the United Kingdom, contacted the FBI.
They reported that Unatrac had been victimised through an email compromise, which ultimately resulted in fraudulent wire transfers totalling nearly 11million US Dollars. After reviewing the documentation provided by the representatives, the FBI opened an investigation in July 2018.
“The FBI discovered that after capturing the legitimate credentials of Unatrac’s Chief Financial Officer, the accused was able to log in and access the CFO’s entire Office365 account, which included all of his emails and various digital files, the logs indicated that between April 6 and April 20, 2018, the intruder accessed the CFO’s account 464 times, mostly from Internet Protocol (IP) addresses from Nigeria.
“With full access to the account, the intruder sent fraudulent wire transfer requests from the CFO’s email account to members of Unatrac’s internal financial team. The intruder also attached fake invoices to the emails to enhance the credibility of the requests,” the investigator stated. The investigation, painstaking and far-reaching, lasted more than a year during which Obinwanne emerged as the principal culprit and has since been arrested while on his regular visit to the United States.”
Before his arrest, Obinwanne Okeke was a celebrated businessman who had a ‘grass to grace’ story on Forbes. The arrested suspect is said to be the 17th child of a polygamous father who died when he was 16, and he reportedly moved from one relative to another before moving Australia where he “did all kinds of jobs just to survive.” He became a viral sensation after he got featured in ‘Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30’ list in 2016.
It is not clear how he made the list of Forbes’ 100 Most Influential Young Africans 2018, it should, however, be noted that he founded the Invictus Group of Companies, an investment conglomerate dealing in construction, agriculture, oil and gas, renewable energy, telecoms, and real estate.
Invictus Group operates in three African countries, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zambia. His company was named as Africa’s Most Innovative Investment Company of the Year by African Brand Congress in 2017.
Obi recently got married, had a baby last month and got listed among 100 Most Influential Young Africans in 2018 alongside Davido, Falz, Ahmed Musa. He was also nominated for the All African Business Leaders Award for Young Business Leader (West Africa) in 2018. The AABLA Award is the most prestigious award for African businessmen/entrepreneurs.
The young Nigerian who accepted an offer to be a Contributor for Forbes Magazine and published his first essay in May 2017, has however been arrested by the FBI for allegedly being a fraudster which is popularly known as ‘yahoo-yahoo’ in Nigeria.
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•El-Rufai, Amaechi, Burata, MC Oluomo may be affected
•Says Nigerians not targeted
The United States Department of State has imposed visa restrictions on Nigerians responsible for undermining the democratic processes in the country, especially before, during and after the 2019 general elections.
Some of those suspected to have been affected by the new travel ban include the Governor of Kaduna State, who threatened to send foreigners or foreign observers “back in body bags”, and the former Minister of Transport, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi who was widely reported to have been denied Visa recently by the US Embassy in Nigeria as well as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai over the role of the Army during the elections, especially in Rivers State.
Sources also told Global Sentinel that the new rule affected many individuals who served in the government and some elected officials too.
“The visa restrictions may affect people like Amaechi, Akpabio, Buratai, El Rufai, Ganduje, Oluomo, likely but it says not directed at Nigerian people or new government,” the source clarified.
This was contained in a statement on Tuesday, signed by the Department of State Spokesperson, Ms. Morgan Ortagus, condemning those whose acts of violence, intimidation, or corruption harmed Nigerians or undermined the democratic process.
Ortagus who also announced this in her Twitter account, reminded that in January 24, 2019, the US government had warned that it would “consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for individuals responsible for undermining the Nigerian democratic process or for organizing election-related violence”.
To that end, she said, the Secretary of State is imposing visa restrictions on Nigerians believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria.
According to her, “these individuals have operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and undermined democratic principles and human rights”.
The Department of State Spokesperson, however stressed that the actions announced on Tuesday were “specific to certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people or the newly elected government.
“This decision reflects the Department of State’s commitment to working with the Nigerian government to realize its expressed commitment to end corruption and strengthen democracy, accountability, and respect for human rights.”
Read full statement
Imposing Visa Restrictions on Nigerians Responsible for Undermining the Democratic Process
The United States is a steadfast supporter of Nigerian democracy. We commend all those Nigerians who participated peacefully in the February and March 2019 elections and have worked to strengthen Nigerian democratic institutions and processes. As Nigeria marks the twentieth anniversary of a return to democratic rule this year, we remain committed to working together to continue to advance democracy and respect for human rights and achieve greater peace and prosperity for both our nations. We condemn those whose acts of violence, intimidation, or corruption harmed Nigerians or undermined the democratic process.
In a January 24 statement, the U.S. government said that we would consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for individuals responsible for undermining the Nigerian democratic process or for organizing election-related violence. To that end, the Secretary of State is imposing visa restrictions on Nigerians believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria. These individuals have operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and undermined democratic principles and human rights.
The Department of State emphasizes that the actions announced today are specific to certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people or the newly elected government. This decision reflects the Department of State’s commitment to working with the Nigerian government to realize its expressed commitment to end corruption and strengthen democracy, accountability, and respect for human rights.
A 53-year-old US millionaire, Stephen Bradley Mell, is facing a five-year jail term after he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl. It was reported that he once even put his private plane in autopilot mode for the purpose.
According to Gulf News, the mother of the teenager had approached him (Mell) so that he could give her flying lessons.
Mell of Bedminster, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to federal charges of engaging in interstate travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct and receiving child pornography in December 2018 and is now due for sentencing next Tuesday.
The father-of-three, who started his own charity, Air LifeLine, which flew children with medical needs anywhere in the US for treatment, was accused of having sexual acts with the teenager.
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Ex-Prime Minister of Burkina Faso, Paul Kaba Thieba
Paris –Secret documents leaked on the fiasco in Burkina Faso expose troubling information on the undercover activities of the American Multi-Billionaire Bill Gates in the small African nation and across the region. Intelicor veterans in Paris express unease as the Burkinabe government led by Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba resigned
A leading Intelicor veteran thinks that the reason why President Roch Marc Christian Kabore demanded the resignation of the Prime Minister is related to the matter of the proposed release of genetically modified (GMO) mosquitoes in Burkina Faso under the sponsorship of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The story began in January 2018, when Bill Gates pledged USD $45 million to the health initiative in Burkina Faso. Some felt that the funds were a decoy to cover bribery to top government officials for allowing the program to release the GMO mosquitoes in Burkina Faso. The GMO mosquitoes were programmed at Imperial College London under a grant from Bill Gates to sterilize natural mosquitoes and humans across the African continent over time
The terrifying news of the secret project for Human Sterilization of Africans with GMO mosquitoes alarmed African leaders, who quickly came down hard on President Kabore forcing him to act. Similar teams are working in Mali and Uganda. The homing endonuclease gene (HEG) that sterilizes the female mosquitoes also could be passed through saliva to humans during bites and the human in turn could pass it on through sexual intercourse to another human, in a cascade that could have the entire Black Continent exterminated before anything could be done about it. This is why 170 Global Groups called for Moratorium on the release of these new genetic extinction technology at the UN Convention
It goes to reinforce what critics have always said, that it is not about the mosquitoes but about making people sterile.
Investigations revealed that, of the $45 million dollars pledged by Bill Gates, $10 million dollars were earmarked for family planning
In the secret deal, the Minister of Health of Burkina Faso Professor Nicolas Meda appointed the wife of the Prime Minister Anne Thieba as ambassador for family planning
And so she has authority over the funds. However, some say that “it is to keep it within the family”, that raised the smoking gun prompting in-depth investigation by President Kabore and could have exposed the comprising evidence against Prime Minister Thieba. The Intelicor veteran said “in all cases, we see a pattern, that Bill Gates uses monetary bribes disguised as philanthropic donations to compromise African leaders, to take actions with devastating consequences for their nations”.
Paul Kaba Thieba resigned due to the link to Bill Gates hidden agenda in Africa
The HIDDEN AGENDA is usually not fully understood by the African leaders the source continues. According to a business consultant who has been involved in tracking Bill Gates’ investments in biotechnology, the main focus for Bill Gates is to have the controlling shares in the biotechnology companies for food production sold in Africa as GMO crops. With partners such as Monsanto (now under the German company Bayer with a troubled Nazi past
Bill Gates will control the food security and polity of Africa and could at any moment exterminate the Black Africans in the Continent as his partners did in Vietnam and Auschwitz with agent Orange and Chlorine Gas. Bill Gates used pseudo-names Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al-Shabab (formaerly unknown local Islamic groups with tens of followers) in Kenya to bring Black Africa’s fastest growing populations to a standstill. Boko Haram, Al-Shabab and ISIS are all funded by Bill Gates and were trained by Blackwater.
For example, Bill Gates’ acquisition of Ginkgo a $1 billion USD biotech company in Boston MA that prints DNA for GMO crops https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/21/bill-gates-backed-start-up-ginkgo-bioworks-prints-synthetic-dna.html will give him control over the food security in Africa, should the continent go GMO. Africans would not out of free-will give up their natural crops for GMOs except if they are forced to do so. An agronomist Anaïs Étienne says Africans would be left without choice because all the fields are being cleared by Boko Harma fighters and their farmers driven out to displaced people camps and would be given GMO crops to plant during rehabilitation through NGOs and UN organisations supported by the Gates Foundations.
Ismail Kadir, a real estate agent in Maiduguri, Nigeria says “all my foreign clients operating NGOs are taking rents for 5 to 10 years and I ask them what would they be doing here in ten years, if they do not think that the insurgency would last that long”. Bill Gates is operating a special type of business philanthropy, whereby the aim is to create the problem of insurgency and offer the solution with GMO crops which will guarantee him as the main supplier of seeds and hence food, then grow it into a business worth $1 trillion USD by 2030
On the other hand, Claudia McAnthony a reproductive health expert on sabbatical in an elite laboratory in Paris says “making Africans sterile would mean their women would go for invitro-fertilization (IVF) to seek for help to conceive, but their ovarian eggs would be poached for embryonic stem cell research as young Africans are killed for experiments in European and American laboratories of companies seeking to clone human organs for sale, a business worth over $30 trillion USD by 2030”.
Nigeria and Kenya supply most of the ovarian eggs used in embryonic stem cell research in Europe and America, only to leave the donors die slowing in Africa from kidney failure, liver failure, cancers and infections. It is convenient for Bill Gates to hire for the crimes against humanity, people posing as Islamists paid in US dollars through proxies and blame it on Islamic fundamentalists. Bill Gates shows up frequently for photo-ops on Polio with African leaders and leaves donations to feed the corrupt practices in the continent. The Polio program has been a very big cover for Bill Gates as the good man from America, while he uses it to facilitate clandestine operations including administering sterilizing agents
The Boko Haram attacks will intensify as the elections in Nigeria draws near as it is now clear Bill Gates is supporting the opposition leader Atiku Abubakar who he could convince to allow GMO crops in Nigeria. In a recent visit to the U.S facilitated by Bill Gates, at a time there is a government shutdown it is clear Atiku Abubakar was not welcome anywhere within the US government and US Congress, but for a publicity stunt, and an opportunity to seal up the deal with Bill Gates in person. Atiku Abubakar has been barred from the U.S. pending US Congressional investigation on corrupt practices by him and his family in the United States from Nigeria
Some think that Bill Gates using his Boko Haram mercenaries have planned attacks with aim of assassinations of top officials to demonstrate to Nigerians that their government is weak on security. The government of Burkina Faso has been in partnership with the US government under the Obama administration and Bill Gates, and provided its territory for U.S. military bases for training of the top mercenaries for Boko Haram to fight in Nigeria.
Some have suggested that, Bill Gates and George Soros financed the coup in Burkina Faso in 2015 to maintain these military bases for sponsorship of the insurgency in Nigeria and for destabilization of the entire West African region
There is growing dissatisfaction among African leaders with actions of Bill Gates on the African Continent. Even more distressful is the connivance with leaders of Western Countries like France, Germany and Britain, who have collaborated in the destabilization of Africa.
The growing popularity of China is a direct reflection of the feeling of unease in African capitals that the entire Western countries have gone rouge. According to Laurent Kosic, a political analyst in Paris, who has lived for over a decade in Africa, said “ this is typical of Africa, they would rather avoid you than pick a fight, but what they need now is a total ban of genetically modified organisms across the continent”. “The effort by Bill Gates to sterilize the entire black people of Africa with GMO foods and GMO mosquitoes all fits well with UNFPA targets to depopulate the continent and provide a means for perpetual colonialism” – he added.
The watch is on as President Kabore names Christophe Dabire as the new prime minister, but the last is yet to be heard from the events unravelling in Burkina Faso.
I shared as I received. (Intelicor)
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Despitethe Federal Government’s warnings that the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union should desist from interfering in the nation’s internal issues, the three top players in the international community have maintained their earlier position, saying that their interest is to see free and fair elections conducted across the country next Saturday and on March 2.
They expressed their views in separate interviews with Saturday Sun between Wednesday and Friday. The United States said it supports only free, fair, transparent, credible, and peaceful elections that reflect the will of the Nigerian people. Responding to Saturday Sun inquiry on the forthcoming polls and its earlier statements, the United States, through its Public Affairs Section, Embassy of the United States of America, Abuja, called on every Nigerian citizen, official, political party, and members of the security forces, to support peacefully, the democratic electoral process in accordance with the Nigerian law.
Recall that the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union, drew the ire of the Federal Government in their positions on the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen. The trio had said the timing was wrong and would send a wrong signal as far as the forthcoming polls are concerned.
Earlier, the Governnent of the United States and the United Kindgom, issued a stern warning to would-be election offenders in the forthcoming elections, threatening visa sanctions to offenders and their relatives.
“The United States supports free, fair, transparent, credible, and peaceful elections that reflect the will of the Nigerian people. Our message has not changed.
“The United States does not support any individual candidate or political party.We support the democratic process and the work of the Independent National Electoral Commission in managing the elections.
“We call on every Nigerian citizen, official, political party, and member of the security forces, to support peacefully, the democratic electoral process in accordance with Nigerian law,” the United States said. It further said it looked forward to the impartial and professional activities of Nigeria’s security forces during the elections. “We welcomed the signing of the Peace Accord by leaders of the aspirant political parties and look forward to seeing that accord honored by all,” the United States further said.
This position was further reinforced on Friday by the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Stuart Symington, who tasked the government and people of Nigeria to ensure a peaceful and credible general elections because “the world is interested and watching”.
Symington stated this in Lafia, after meeting with Mr Labaran Maku, the Nasarawa State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). Noting that the responsibility of ensuring a peaceful, free, fair and credible polls rested with the government and all citizens, he said that Nigeria gained much credibility after the success of the 2015 general elections. “That election was credible; it lifted the country’s standing internationally. Nigeria must build on that because its citizens are desirous of a peaceful and credible election. All the candidates I have talked to, at all levels, have expressed the desire for a free, fair and credible elections, where all votes will count.”
According to him, peace is not just something you pledge but something that is planted and nurtured to growth using words and actions. “Truly, it’s up to each person to make a decision and take responsibility for doing what is right,” Symington said.
Also responding to Saturday Sun inquiry on its current position on the forthcoming polls, the UK, through its Senior Communications Officer, Press and Public Affairs, British High Commission, Abuja, TinuOluwa Adelegan, said the UK’s work regarding the elections; to support free, fair, credible and peaceful elections is focused on supporting the electoral process and the independent institutions. The UK further said it was working with civil societies to ensure that they are prepared to effectively monitor elections and call out problems when they see them. It added that in its advocacy role, the UK is speaking to all parties, including the two main parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), appealing to their leadership to live up to their obligations and to the peace accord.
The UK also said its appeal to all parties is that they ensure that the vote is conducted fairly and none of their supporters is involved in violence or vote buying, and ensuring that when it (UK) notices such issues, it calls them out. “We have over 100 observation groups covering the six geo political zones as part of our international election observation mission. They will be seeing the process for themselves first hand, and ensuring that all parties are behaving in a responsible way,” the UK further said.
On its part, the European Union Election Observer Mission (EU EOM) to Nigeria, said its recent comments on the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, was carried out in strict adherence to its code of conduct. The EU EOM denied any form of interference in the nation’s internal issues, stating that the EU election observation missions give commentary and analysis, and make recommendations about the electoral process.
In response to Saturday Sun inquiry on its current position on the forthcoming elections and the accusation of interference by the government, EU Deputy Chief Observer, Hannah Roberts said: “We are aware of the comments made, but it’s important to emphasise that the EU only deploys an election observation mission when it is invited to do so by the authorities of a country.
“The EU has been invited to observe all of the general elections in Nigeria since 1999. Thus, this is the sixth time the EU is observing elections in Nigeria, following an invitation from INEC.EU election observation missions give commentary and analysis, and make recommendations about the electoral process. EU election observation missions are impartial, do not interfere in the electoral process, and operate according to a strict code of conduct.”
When contacted, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, did not respond to the positions maintained by the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union, saying the Federal Government will not want to join issues with them now. (The Sun)
The Federal Government has said that the statements by the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union Election Observer Mission (EU EOM) on the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, portends tolerance for corrupt acts and the downplaying of the anti-corruption crusade of the Buhari administration.
The government also said the statements signified alignment with the opposition and endorsement of its position that the ruling party, and by extension, the Federal Government of Nigeria, is working on rigging the forthcoming elections.
This is the third time the government is reacting to statements by the US, the UK and the EU, having earlier said that the presidency will not bend rules or allow interference, and that the US, UK and the EU were not properly informed over concerns raised by the suspension of Onnoghen.
In a statement by the spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, George Ehidiamen Edokpa, the government stated that the statements were inimical to the wellbeing and development of Nigeria, given their nuisance value of promoting sectional and religious divide in the country, anarchy and retrogression.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria notes with deep concern, statements made by representatives of foreign governments and international organizations resident in Nigeria, notably the Embassy of the United States of America, the High Commission of the United Kingdom, as well as the European Union Election Observer Mission, regarding the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), which demonstrate serious and unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of Nigeria.
“The various statements, especially of those referred to above, appear prejudicial and signify alignment with the opposition and endorsement of its position that the ruling party, and by extension, the Federal Government of Nigeria, is working on rigging the forthcoming elections in Nigeria. These statements also portend tolerance for corrupt acts and downplay the anticorruption crusade of the Buhari administration, knowing fully that the suspended CJN had not denied the charges against him and that probity requires of him to step aside while the case is under scrutiny.
“It is pertinent to underscore the unfortunate fact that statements, as referred above, are inimical to the wellbeing and development of Nigeria, given their nuisance value of promoting sectional and religious divide in the country, anarchy and retrogression. Now, more than any other time, Nigerians and true friends of Nigeria should be working towards repositioning Nigeria to realize her potential and sustainably provide the leadership expected of her.
“His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari had consistently demonstrated respect for the rule of law as a presidential candidate and as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and would engage in nothing to the contrary. He also remains a man of integrity who has severally pledged free and fair elections. It is therefore absurd to presume that the suspension of the CJN is geared towards rigging the forthcoming elections in favour of the ruling party.
“For the avoidance of doubt, be it known that on three occasions that Mr. President went to court as a presidential candidate and lost his case, in 2013, 2011 and 2007, the presiding judges at the Supreme Court were all northerners and Muslims: Justice Muhammad Lawal Uwais, Idris Lebo Kutigi and Dahiru Mustapha respectively. In fact, in one instance, the presiding judge at the Appeal Court was from Katsina State and the President’s former classmate, yet, he lost the case. The minority judgements in his favour were given by two judges, both of them southerners and Christians: Justices George Adesola Oguntade and Sylvanus Nsofor.
“Resident embassies and international organizations invited to observe the forthcoming elections must therefore be wary of being drawn into the camp of the opposition, otherwise their neutrality, which is the hallmark of election observers becomes questionable. It is indeed unfortunate that foreign missions would align with the opposition and seek to negatively interpret actions by the Federal Government, no matter their positive basis and intention. Had the Federal Government been high-handed, would the opposition have been able to express its views even to the point of pouring invectives on Mr. President? How best can the corruption in the judiciary, which has enormously undermined the rights of the common man and made justice available only to the highest bidder, be best tackled than by ensuring that known cases are fundamentally tackled? Where is the rule of law, if justice is applied selectively?” the government queried.
The government further raised pertinent questions which it said, the opposition and their sympathizers must reflect upon.
“Pertinent questions that the opposition and their sympathizers must reflect upon are: How has the action of Mr. President undermined the resolve for free and fair election? In what ways does it undermine the independence of the Judiciary, except in the minds of the opposition and its cohorts? What right has a representative of a foreign government to incense an already volatile situation on the grounds that her government has invested heavily in the elections? It is insulting for any foreign representative to claim the right to interference in Nigeria’s internal affairs, based on the premise that its government has invested heavily in the election,” the government added.
The government further said Nigeria had invested enormously over the years in election processes of many African countries and will continue to do so without interfering in their internal affairs.
The government also said interference in Nigeria’s internal affairs under any guise will therefore not be accepted.
“Representatives of foreign governments and organizations are therefore advised to tread with caution and desist from using the utterances and actions of opposition organizations and individuals as a vehicle to interfere in Nigeria’s internal affairs. Embassies and organizations accredited to Nigeria should desist from actions and utterances that can only create political, sectional and religious crises and divides,” the government warned. (The Sun)
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, says President Muhammadu Buhari and the cabal running his government have become jittery following the statements of condemnation issued by the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union over the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications, Phrank Shuaibu, the former Vice-President urged Buhari to ensure that next month’s elections are free and fair or face the consequences.
He said, “Buhari’s cabal is unhappy with the statements from the US, the British and the EU because they know that these world powers have agreed to re-route their latest and most technologically sophisticated spy satellites, including the NAOL-47 satellite, to provide comprehensive coverage over Nigeria on February 16.
“The photographs these satellites will deliver cannot only show someone reading a newspaper but also which newspaper they are reading.”
Recall that the Federal Government had, in a statement through Garba Shehu, stated that, “The nation’s security forces will confront any attempt to interfere with the process by elements from outside the country.”
The PDP candidate, however, expressed concerns over the “desperation of the APC to rig the forthcoming elections;” and advised the Independent National Electoral Commission, the military and the Police not to allow themselves to be used by “those interested in turning Nigeria’s democracy on its head.” (Punch)