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Election Postponement: Atiku Calls for Calm, Encourages Nigerians to Vote on Feb 23, March 9

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The Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has called for calm, urging his followers to remain peaceful.

Atiku made the call in response to the last minute cancellation of today’s presidential and National Assembly elections in a statement titled “Election Postponement: Remain Peaceful In Face of Provocation”.

He derided the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for incompetence, saying they had enough money and time to make adequate arrangement, but failed.

The former Vice-President encouraged Nigerians to come out on the rescheduled dates to vote.

Below is the full text of his statement:

Election Postponement: Remain Peaceful In Face of Provocation

Dear citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,

As you know, the Independent National Electoral Commission has announced a postponement of the elections until 23 February and 9 March respectively.

The Buhari administration has had more than enough time and money to prepare for these elections and the Nigerian people were poised and ready to perform their civic responsibility by voting in the elections earlier scheduled for Saturday, 16 February, 2019.

This postponement is obviously a case of the hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob. By instigating this postponement, the Buhari administration hopes to disenfranchise the Nigerian electorate in order to ensure that turn out is low on the rescheduled date. Nigerians must frustrate their plans by coming out in even greater numbers on Saturday, 23 February and Saturday, 9 March respectively.

Knowing that the Nigerian people are determined to reject them, they are desperate and will do anything in their power to avoid their rejection by the Nigerian people.

Their plan is to provoke the public, hoping for a negative reaction, and then use that as an excuse for further anti-democratic acts.

As such, I call on all Nigerians to be patient. We have tolerated the maladministration of this government for four years. We can extend our tolerance a few more days and give them our verdict via our votes.

Maintain the peace and be law abiding. Do not react to this provocation with anger, violence or any action that might be exploited by those who do not want this election to hold. Remain calm. We will overcome this. You can postpone an election, but you cannot postpone destiny.

Please come out to vote on Saturday, 23 February and Saturday, 9 March respectively. Frustrate those who do not want this election to hold by coming out in very large numbers. That is the best antidote to their plans.

May God bless you and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Atiku Abubkar

Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party & Vice President of Nigeria, 1999-2007.

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Issue Adeleke Certificate of Return as duly elected Osun Gov, tribunal orders INEC

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The Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has ordered INEC to issue Certificate of Return as duly elected governor to Senator Ademola Adeleke, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2018 election.

The three-man tribunal upheld the petitions filed by Adeleke and the PDP, challenging the victory of the All Progressives Congress and Gboyega Oyetola at the September 2018 governorship election.

The tribunal had earlier dismissed the objections of the APC and Oyetola, insisting that Adeleke’s petition had merit.

The tribunal also declared the rerun election as illegal.

NAN reports that the PDP and Adeleke had filed a petition asking the tribunal to declare that Adeleke polled the highest lawful votes and should be declared the winner.

But Oyetola, APC and INEC had filed their notices of preliminary objection, contending, among others, that the petition was incompetent and that the court lacked jurisdiction.

The tribunal also held that the supplementary election held by INEC in seven cancelled units on September 22, 2018, was null and void.

The tribunal ruled that the Returning Officer who cancelled the results had no power to do so.

(NAN)

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Osun governorship re-run election illegal, tribunal declares

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The Osun State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja has declared as illegal the September 27, 2018 supplementary governorship election held in seven polling units as illegal.

The tribunal held that the supplementary election was a product of an illegal cancellation of the results in the seven polling units during the September 22, 2018 main election.

It ruled that the Returning Officer who cancelled the results had no power to do so.

The Peoples Democratic Party and its governorship candidate, Ademola Adeleke, in the election had filed the petition urging the tribunal to declare that Adeleke polled the highest lawful votes and be declared the winner.

Punch Newspaper

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BreakingNew:FG closes case against Onnoghen after 3 witnesses

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Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, after it produced only three witnesses that testified before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.

Suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen Though FG initially expressed its intention to produce a total of six witnesses to substantiate all the allegations it levelled against the embattled CJN, however, shortly after the third witness was discharged, the prosecution counsel told the tribunal that it would be unnecessary to call further witnesses.

The prosecution counsel, Mr. Aliyu Umar, SAN, told the tribunal that the defendant was at liberty to summon any of the listed but uncalled witnesses to testify on his behalf if he so wished. He was immediately overruled by the CCT Chairman, Mr. Danladi Umar, even as Onnoghen’s lawyer, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, rejected the offer.

“This is the case of the prosecution. If it feels that it is satisfied with evidence of the three witnesses, then so be it”, the CCT Chairman held. Thereafter, Awomolo told the tribunal that the CJN would in line with section 303 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015, enter a no case submission with respect to all the allegations FG levelled against him. Awomolo, therefore, applied for record of proceedings of the tribunal to enable his client to file the necessary processes.

The case was subsequently adjourned till next week Friday for hearing of the no-case application by the embattled CJN, as well as for adoption of the final written addresses. Earlier in the proceeding, the third prosecution witness, PW-3, Mr. Ifeoma Okagbue, a staff of Standard Chartered Bank in Abuja, told the tribunal that it was not true that the defendant possessed either $1million or £1million in any of the five bank accounts that necessitated the charge. Okagbue who told the tribunal that she started managing Onnoghen’s bank accounts since 2015, gave a load down of both the opening and closing balance of all the accounts from January 2018 to January 2019.

She said the accounts were all linked to one Bank Verification Code, BVN, adding that the bank had upon securing an approval from the defendant, diverted funds from the accounts into various profit yielding ventures. The PW-3 told the tribunal that profits that accrued from the investments were credited back into the accounts. While two of the accounts are in Naira, the three others were Pounds Sterling, Euro and Dollar accounts. The witness told the tribunal that all the accounts were domiciliary, and were opened and managed at the branch of the bank in Wuse 2, Abuja.

Before Mrs. Okagbue mounted the witness box, the PW-2, who is a retired Director at the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, Mr. Awal Yakassai, told the Mr. Umar led three-man panel that contrary to what was alleged in the media, he said the suspended CJN owned only five houses.

He said it was not true that CCB investigators linked the ownership of 55 houses to the defendant. The witness made the disclosure after he was shown copies of Justice Onnoghen’s asset declaration forms, which the Federal Government tendered in evidence before the CCT.

The embattled CJN was said to have submitted the forms marked as Exhibit 2 and 3, to the CCB in 2014 and 2016.

Answering questions under cross-examination, the PW-2, told the tribunal that he served at the CCB for 29 years before he retired in April 2018. He admitted that the CCB was yet to verify Justice Onnoghen’s assets with a view to finding out if he made false declarations. Aside allegation that he failed to declare his assets as prescribed by the law, FG had in the charge marked CCT/ABJ/01/19, FG, alleged that Onnoghen operated five foreign bank accounts, contrary to section 15(2) of Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.

FG had insisted that it was the CCB that okayed Onnoghen’s trial based on certain infractions that were discovered in his asset declaration forms.

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