2019: Buhari Reacts As South East Leaders Endorse Atiku

President Muhammadu Buhari has said the split within the Ohanaeze Ndigbo socio-cultural group over the endorsement of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, did not surprise him.

Speaking at a meeting with a select group of South-East leaders on Friday, Buhari said the moment the resolution was announced, he got calls from well-meaning leaders from the region asking him to disregard it as it was without any substance.

“From that moment, I knew that the resolution would not stand, and alas, there it was,” he said.

Buhari also stated that the All Progressives Congress (APC), got it right from the very beginning, that the major problems facing the country were mainly on security, corruption and the economy.

“We have done so much. Given the chance, we will do more. Given every chance, we will tell Nigerians where we were in 2015 and what we have achieved up to now.

“We will not get tired of speaking about the golden opportunity Nigeria lost during 16 years of the PDP. We earned money, which we didn’t use.

“The state of infrastructure we inherited was terrible – no roads, the railway was killed and power. They lacked conscience because anybody with conscience will not do what they did. We will report them to Nigerians. Let anybody lead this country but not the PDP. They were so reckless with the resources of the country.

“If you ruin the economy, send your children abroad to get education, won’t they come back? I said it 30 years ago that this is the only country we have. We must stay here and salvage it together,” he added.

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Odili Sues Odinkalu Over Book On Obasanjo’s Third Term Agenda

Former  Governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili, has sued the former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Chidi Odinkalu, for allegedly defaming him in a new book he co-authoured.

The book titled “Too Good To Die: Third Term and the Myth of the Indispensable Man in Africa” which was written by Odinkalu and Ayisha Osori, tried to unravel what led to the failure of the notorious third term agenda of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

But Odili, in the suit filed by his lawyer, Kanu Agabi, said the book have earned him public ridicule and scorn. He said that as a recipient of numerous local and international awards, there was no way he could have been involved in the numerous crimes Odinkalu and Osori accused him of in their book.

For instance, the book narrated the story of the late Harry Marshal, a politician that was assassinated shortly after he fell out with Odili. The book cited a letter that Marshal wrote to the police at the time to report the many violent attacks against his party, the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP). Marshal, in the letter, said that the attackers were thugs loyal to Odili and were being supported by the police.

The book also claimed that the bulk of the funds which Obasanjo used to canvass for his failed third term bid were supplied by Odili and Adamu Muazu, who at the time were the Governors of Rivers and Bauchi States respectively.

Odili demanded that Odinkalu and Osori pay him N1 billion in damages, as well as a published apology and an end to further publication of copies of the book.

When contacted, Odinkalu said he could not react to the development as he was not aware of the suit.

Osori and Odinkalu are currently working with the Open Society Initiative West Africa (OSIWA) as the Executive Director and Senior Legal Officer respectively.

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Atiku: “I know How Nigerian Politicians Started Boko Haram”

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar has suggested that Nigerians hold thier politicians responsible for the scourge of Boko Haram.

Atiku said he knew how Boko Haram evolved into a terror monster which now threatens Borno and other states in Nigeria’s northeast.

Atiku made the comments in an interview The African Reports after he was asked how he would solve the Boko Haram problem.

“I happen to know how Boko Haram came into being,” Atiku said.

“They were offshoots of political thuggery. Politicians used those boys in Boko Haram to win elections and then abandoned them and then there were no jobs for them.

“It was the same thing with the Niger Delta. In 1998, I saw it myself and I warned people.

“It (solving the Boko Haram challenge) is going to be a multifaceted approach. It will involve negotiations. It will involve military action,” he said.

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APC Spokespersons Fight Over Oshiomhole On WhatsApp

The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) has reportedly found its way to private messaging platform WhatsApp.

APC national chairman Adams Oshiomhole, who has been accused of receiving $55 million in bribes to rig the party’s primary elections, is at the middle of the crisis that greeted and trails the primaries.

The allegations, reports say, came from the Department of State Services (DSS) which has reportedly asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe the APC chairman. The secret police had also detained and questioned Oshiomhole over the allegations.

But Oshiomhole’s spokesperson Simon Ebegbulem, on Thursday, released a statement urging APC and opposition figures to leave the party chairman alone.

“The primary elections of the APC, which were at the root of these malicious attacks, have come and gone, but it is understandable that those who lost out in the transparent exercise conducted by the party under the leadership of Comrade Oshiomhole, have been exercising their rights to protest,” Ebegbulem’s statement read in part.

“Enough is enough. We urge our respected media outfits to exercise caution not to be used by unscrupulous elements.

“Except such persons or media house can provide evidence,” the statement read.

Ebegbulem posted the statement on a WhatsApp platform to which APC deputy national publicity secretary Yekini Nabena also belongs.

“Simon, please stop all this media propaganda and face the reality on ground,” Nabena, according to Premium Times, replies Ebegbulem.

“The damages (are) affecting the party,” Nabena said.

Meanwhile, Oshiomhole has threatened to sue anyone who accuses him of corruption regarding the conduct of the APC primaries.

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Appeal Court reduces Ex-Plateau Governor, Dariye’s 14-year jail term to 10

The Court of Appeal has reduced the 14 years imprisonment sentence handed to the former Governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye, to 10 years.

Dariye was sentenced to seven years imprisonment each on two counts of corruption charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He was accused of helping himself to Plateau State’s Ecological Funds while he was Governor of the State.

At the time he was convicted in June this year, Dariye was a serving Senator representing Plateau Centra Senatorial District.

But on Friday, the Appeal Court held that Dariye, being a first time offender, ought not to have received the maximum punishment for the crime of which he was convicted.

The court ruled that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) stipulates that a first time offender should be given a lighter sentence, hence it reduced the 14-year jail sentence to 10 years, five years each for the two of the charges.

The jail terms will be served concurrently.

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Buhari’s Most Powerful Minister Speaks On Defecting To PDP

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has vowed to never return to the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for whatever reason.

The former Rivers State governor dumped the PDP in November 2013 after months of a power tussle between him and the party’s leadership. He defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) with four other state governors to boost the chances of the then-opposition party for the 2015 general elections.

During an interview on Arise News Television on Thursday, November 15, 2018, Amaechi said he’ll never return to his former party.

“I’m no longer in PDP. People should leave me alone now, I don’t want to go back to PDP. I’ll never return to PDP. Mark my words. I remain in APC,” he vowed.

Despite the minister’s apparently strong commitment to the ruling party, it’s not rare to see Nigerian politicians walk back on their words to jump parties. In fact, seven months before he dumped the PDP, Amaechi had vowed he would not jump ship.

“I am still in the PDP. I am a member of the PDP. PDP is the only national party in the country for now. Why will one want to leave a national party and go to another party?” he said in April 2013.

In August 2018, Kwara State governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, and former Kano State governor, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, both dumped the APC for a return to the PDP. They were two of the governors that dumped the PDP at the same time as Amaechi in 2013.

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Federal High Court Delivers Judgement On The Sack Of President Buhari As Minister Of Petroleum Resources

The Federal High Court in Abuja, has held that President Muhammadu Buhari has not violated the 1999 Constitution (as amended), by mere proclaiming himself as the Minister of Petroleum Resources.

The court delivered judgment in suit no. ABJ/CS/1005/2017, filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, to determine the constitutional qualification of the President of Nigeria, also holding office as the Minister of Petroleum Resources.

Justice Mohammed in deciding that there was no violation of section 138 of the Constitution, held that: “The phrase ‘hold’ as contained in S. 138, meant to preside, act, to possess, occupy, or conduct, the actual day to day running of the Office.

“That merely proclaiming/announcing that he (the President) was the Minister for Petroleum, was not enough to conclude that he holds the Office of Minister.

“That if the President had not appointed anybody to see to the day to day running of the Office, i.e. Ibe Kachikwu, the court’s decision would have been different.”

The court held further that: “Unless it can be shown that the President is directly conducting, directing, occupying the office of the Petroleum Minister, then, it can be said that the President actually holds the Office of the Petroleum Minister.

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Adams Oshiomhole Exposed For Selling Shehu Sani’s Senatorial Ticket For Millions Of Dollars, To The Highest Bidder

Details have emerged on how the Kaduna Central Senatorial District ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was sold for $2 million, to Uba Sani, the Political Adviser to Nasir El-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State.

A source privy to the deal spoke exclusively to SaharaReporters, in Abuja, on Friday.

According to the source, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, singlehandedly gave the money to Farouk Adamu.

He revealed that Adamu collected the cash in Abuja, on behalf of Adams Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

He revealed that the sum of N50 million was offered to the Assistant Publicity Secretary of the party, Yekini Nabena, by Uba Sani, which he turned down.

The source also noted that Nabena had issued several press statements that Shehu Sani remained the only Candidate cleared for the zone, and Nabena had insisted that he would only do what the National Working Committee, NWC, asked him to do, as he had no power to upturn their decision.

Hadiza, however, threatened to do everything possible to stop Shehu Sani from getting the automatic ticket, whether the NWC liked it or not.

SaharaReporters (Not Post-Nigeria), gathered that after the failure of a series of attempts by the proxies to get Nabena’s cooperation, Hadiza decided to channel it through Farouk, who collected the cash.

The source also narrated how Governor El-Rufai slept in the National Chairman’s Office, and threatened to pitch tent with Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, if Shehu Sani’s name was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as the APC Candidate for Kaduna Central Senatorial District.

Farouk, who headed a Presidential Committee on the APC primaries, collected the money without the knowledge of other members.

Members of the Committee include: the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu; Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika; and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

“He ignored the report of the Committee and took charge of making phone calls to Senators, to inform them who made the list and who did not. Why is it that those who got the tickets have not come out to defend Oshiomhole against the myriad of allegations of bribery levelled against him?” the source queried.

Investigations revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to Sani Mustapha, the Senator representing Niger South Senatorial District, to return to the party.

Mustapha had announced his resignation from the party, on October 22, 2018, stating that, his decision to leave the party was due to the injustice done to him by the substitution of his name with that of Bima Mohammed, who was not cleared by the Panel.

According to information obtained by SaharaReporters, the President has asked him to go to court to challenge the injustice, and promised that he would get his (President’s) support.

“As I am talking to you now, Senator Sani Mustapha has returned to APC, and gone to court to challenge the manipulation of the results of the primaries”, the source revealed.

The backlash that followed the bribery allegations levelled against Oshiomhole, compelled his Chief Press Secretary, Simon Ebegbulem, to issue a statement, on Thursday, in which Oshiomhole threatened to take legal action against further allegations.

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Carpenter, 50, Arrested Over Rape Of 20-Year-Old Girl With Autism

The Police in Ondo on Thursday said they have arrested a 50-year-old carpenter, Tunde Ogunlade, for allegedly raping a 20-year-old autistic woman.

Ondo police spokesman, Femi Joseph, who paraded the suspect before newsmen in Akure said that he took advantage of the woman’s condition and had carnal knowledge of her.

Joseph said that one Ogunbiyi Oluranti of J3X Newtown Oke-Aro, Akure on November 12 at about 11:30 am reported that her autistic daughter was allegedly raped in the bathroom of a house opposite her house.

Oluranti said the incident happened when she went to greet the owner of the house, one Mrs Grace Fagbamigbe, age 80 years.

“Fagbamigbe was away when the incident happened and one Tunde Ogunlade, a carpenter age 50 years who was working in the house took advantage of her condition and raped her.

“Identification parade was conducted and the victim was able to identify the suspect who later confessed to the crime,” he said.

Speaking with newsmen, Ogunlade, father of three denied raping the girl saying that he only used his finger to penetrate her.

“I don’t know what actually came over me that day. All I could remember was that I came there to work as a carpenter and I saw the girl.

“I did not rape her, I only fingered her,” he said.

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Pastor Docked For Abducting, Sleeping With Chorister

A 34-year-old pastor, Joseph Igwemon, was on Thursday arraigned before an Oredo Magistrates’ Court in Benin City, Edo State, for allegedly abducting and having sex with one of his church members.

Igwemon of the Global Influence Ministry was said to have committed the offence on October 15, 2018 in the Mission Road area of Benin City.

The victim, Stella George, was said to be a chorister in Igwemon’s church and was wedded to her husband by the accused.

Igwemon, who was docked on two counts of abduction and an act likely to cause the breach of peace, was alleged to have slept with the victim inside his church.

He was also accused of keeping the woman in his house in spite of her marital status.

The prosecution said the offence contravened sections 249(d) and 361 of the Criminal Code applicable in the state.

“That you, Pastor Joseph Igwemon, on October 15, 2018, at noon in your church, Global Influence Ministry, at 16, Owoseni Street, off Mission Road, Benin, did conduct yourself in a manner likely to cause the breach of peace by having carnal knowledge of one Stella George, who is a chorister in your church, having wedded her and her husband, one Paul Nosakhare, and thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 249 (d) of the Criminal Code, Cap 48, Vol. II, Laws of the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria, 1976, as applicable in Edo State.

“That you, Pastor Joseph Igwemon, on the same date, time and place, in the aforesaid magisterial district, did abduct one Mrs Stella George by keeping her in your house for months, knowing that she is married and thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 361 of the Criminal Code, Cap 48, Vol. II, Laws of the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria, 1976, as applicable in Edo State,” the charges read.

Joseph, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Presiding magistrate, Mrs Isi Iyoha, granted the pastor bail in the sum of N200,000 and a surety in like sum, who must be gainfully employed.

The case was subsequently adjourned to November 29, 2018 for definite hearing.

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