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Tag Archives: President Buhari

Oyo-Ita returns to work as Buhari rejects early retirement

Winifred Oyo-Ita, the head of service of the federation, returned to her desk on Thursday following the rejection of her offer of early retirement by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Oyo-Ita had last weekend sent in her letter directly to the president following pressure mounted on her to quit the job by her sons.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recently questioned Oyo-Ita over allegations that she used front companies to get contracts when she was a permanent secretary before her appointment as head of service by Buhari in 2015.

She vehemently denied involvement in any scam.

Oyo-Ita had been absent from public functions after the EFCC grilling, but she was present on Wednesday at the swearing-in of ministers after meeting with the chief of staff to the president, Abba Kyari.

Insinuations that she was being victimised did not sit well with Buhari, who eventually turned down her offer to retire.

DSS: Sowore, Nnamdi Kanu conspired to overthrow Buhari

The Department of State Services (DSS) has alleged that Omoyele Sowore, convener of the #RevolutionNow movement, conspired with Nnamdi Kanu to overthrow the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a counter-affidavit filed at the federal high court, Abuja, in response to an application by Sowore, the DSS said Sowore held a series of meetings with Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to “mobilise strong forces” to realise his agenda.

In July, the duo had met in New York to discuss “how to fight Nigerian oppressors”.

A few weeks later, the secret police arrested Sowore just two days to the kick off of the #RevolutionNow protest.

In the application filed by Godwin Agbadua, an official of the DSS, the agency said its investigations had shown that the protest was a smokescreen for Sowore and his allies “to topple the government”.

The security agency said it would approach the court to extend the 45 days order to detain Sowore to 90 days it initially requested for.

“The respondent/applicant (Sowore) planned to violently change the government through the hashtag RevolutionNow, ” the agency said.

“The respondent/applicant hid under the cover of call for mass protest with the hashtag RevolutionNow to mislead unsuspecting and innocent members of the public into joining him to topple the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“In his plot to topple the government the respondent/applicant held series of meetings with members at a prescribed terrorist organisation, Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) with a view to mobilising strong forces to realise his agenda at changing the government.

“The respondent formed an alliance with a fugitive, Nnamdi Kanu, a self-acclaimed leader of the proscribed terrorists group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to launch series of attacks on Nigeria with a view to violently removing the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“After series of closed-door meetings between the duo in the United States of America, they addressed a press conference wherein they both stated their resolve to form alliance against the Nigerian government. The duo stated that they have a well-planned out strategy to realize their objective, which is toppling the government.”

The DSS said Sowore was arrested on reasonable suspicion of having committed a capital offence, upon his alleged involvement in terrorists’ activities.

“The applicant/respondent is investigating the activities of the respondent /applicant as it relates to a terrorist organisation, IPOB. The facts show a conjecture between the respondent/applicant and IPOB activities,” the application read.

“There is the need for the applicant/respondent to investigate such reasonable suspicion of the relationship between the respondent/applicant and IPOB.

“The respondent held series of meetings with some foreign collaborators outside Nigeria including Dubai where millions of dollars were given to him to sponsor a widespread attack on Nigeria with a view to violently removing the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and freeing Ibrahim El-Zakzaky (Sheikh).

“In furtherance to the plans to violently free El-Zakzaky from lawful custody. the respondent held several meetings with a proscribed terrorists organisation. Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) where they strategized on how to carry out attacks to force the government to free Elzakzaky.

“The investigation is still ongoing. Upon the completion of investigation, the case file will be forwarded to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation for advice and possible prosecution.”

 

Buhari appoints heads of federal agencies

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved replacements for heads of Federal Government agencies that were recently appointed as ministers.

A statement by the president’s spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Tuesday, said Sen. Basheer Garba Mohammed was appointed Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons.

Mohammed replaces Sadiya Umar Farouk, a minister-designate from Zamfara.

According to the statement, Dr Chioma Ejikeme has been appointed Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, replacing Sharon O. Ikeazor, while Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi is now Director General/CEO, National Information Technology Development Agency.

“For Executive Commissioner (Stakeholder Management), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), President Buhari has forwarded Adeleke Moronfolu Adewolu’s name to the Senate for confirmation as replacement for Sunday Akin Dare.

“The appointments take immediate effect,’’ the statement added.(NAN)

Buhari to tribunal: Atiku’s petition worthless, meaningless, ungrantable

President Muhammadu Buhari has described the petition by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the last presidential election, Atikiu Abubakar, as the most worthless in election litigation history.

The President thus urged the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) to dismiss the petition for lack of merit.

But the PDP candidate insists that the President is unqualified to contest the election. He urged the tribunal to quash his victory.

These are the highlights in the final written addresses submitted to the court, which they are expected to adopt on August 21 when the court will hear final submissions from parties to the petition by Atiku and the PDP, challenging the outcome of the last presidential election.

In a leaked report by The Nation, Buhari and the APC argued that not only are the reliefs sought by the petitioners “ungrantable and meaningless”, they (Atiku and the PDP) failed woefully to prove the allegations as contained in their petition.

Buhari and the APC, after analysing the evidence by witnesses called by the petitioners, argued that in their attempt to establish their allegations, they dumped documents on the court in the name of tendering documentary evidence.

They said: “It is submitted with every force that in the annals of election petition proceedings in Nigeria, this particular petition has been the most starved in terms of evidence, whether oral or documentary.

The petitioners also woefully failed to appreciate that this court does not wrought miracles, but decides cases according to law, and not based on sentiments.

“Whereas, the petitioners are challenging results of election in all the states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and have pleaded in paragraph 107 of their petition that there were 119,973 polling units in the country, they called only five polling unit agents to give evidence, i.e PW5 of Mai Angwa Yclwa 008 Polling Unit of Jigawa State; PW6 of Farin Dutse 001 Polling Unit of Jigawa State; PW12 of Polling Unit 009 of Nasarawa “B” Ward of Niger State; PW46 of Unit 009, Karu Ward of Nasarawa State, and PW49 of Unit 1, Morowa of Nasarawa State.

“Apart from the fact that these witnesses made no impression on the petitioners’ case, a pertinent question arises, to wit, what happens to the remaining witnesses in respect of the outstanding 119, 968 polling units in the country?

Respondent submits that the petitioners are not in the least bit, serious at ventilating any grievance against the presidential election of 23rd February, 2019 before this honourable court. From the presentation of the petition, through to the calling of witnesses, the petitioners would appear to be very unsure and unsteady as to what they want precisely.

“This is not surprising as the entirety of the petition is based on assumptions, speculations and conjectures. The petition itself is based on conflicting and irreconcilable grounds, the last two of which glibly suggest that the 2nd respondent (Buhari) was not qualified to contest the election under reference.

“As against the grounds, the evidence given, both oral and the dumped documentary, suggests something different; the five reliefs sought are not any shade better than the grounds, but they vividly bring to the fore the confusion enveloping the entire petition.”

Lawan, other senators arrive Daura to pay Buhari Sallah homage

Senate President Ahmad Lawan on Friday led some senators to Daura to pay Sallah homage to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Some of the senators, who made the trip include Senate Leader Abdullahi Yahaya, Deputy Senate Leader Ajayi Borrofice, Deputy whip Sabi Abdullahi Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe Minority whip Sen. Philip Aduda and Deputy Minority whip, Sahabi Ya’u.

Also on the senate entourage were the three senators from Katsina State, Senator Babba A Kaita, Senator Abdullahi K Barkiya and Senator Bello Mandiya.

A photo of the Senators arriving at the airport was shared on the verified Twitter handle of the Senate.

Lawan returned from the 2019 hajj on Thursday.

Buhari had left Abuja for Katsina last Thursday to celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir in his hometown of Daura.

The Eid-el-Kabir had been celebrated on Sunday and the Federal Government had declared last Monday and Tuesday as public holidays.

Community service for minor offences — 6 highlights of the new prisons law

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the prisons bill, 2018, into law effectively changing the Nigerian Prisons Service to the Nigerian Correctional Service.

The bill was read a first time on May 26, 2016; a second time on October 26, 2016, and it was passed on December 20, 2018.

The law is significant for the sweeping reforms it seeks to entrench in the Nigerian prisons system which seems suspended in the past, despite modernisation and changes in custodial practices.

Since Decree No.9 of 1972, which initiated some reforms in the Nigerian Prisons Service, there have been scanty improvements in custodial service – essentially. Though there had been reorganisations – in 1986, 1993 and 1999 – but these were more structural than composite.

The prisons act was last amended in 2004, but this new law brings with it novelties – non-custodial service – such as community service, probation and parole.

TheCable highlights six key provisions of the new law.

CHANGE OF NAME

Unlike in the Prisons Act of 2004, which named the federation prisons service as ‘’the Nigerian Prisons Service’’, the new law renames the institution as ‘’the Nigerian Correctional Service’’. The ”prisons” are now to be called custodial centres with classifications such as ”maximum security custodial centre”, where there is enhanced security, with close-circuit television, electric fencing, electronic scanners, high level of technology, and reserved for high risk inmates of all classes; ”medium security custodial centre”, where there is reasonable level of security reserved for inmates of all classes.

There are also open custodial centres – for treatment of long term first-offenders; farm centres – for convicts with good conduct who have six months or less to serve; satellite custodial centres – for convicts serving three months imprisonment or less, and awaiting trial persons charged for minor offences who are required to be presented in courts without major cusotodial facilities; borstal institutions – for the detention and juvenile offenders and female custodial centres – for all classes of female inmates.

CORRECTION NOT ‘OPPRESSION’

In the new law, the goal of the institution will be to correct, reform, rehabilitate, reintegrate all persons legally interned; provide safe, secure, and humane custody for inmates; identify the existence and causes of anti-social behaviours of inmates; initiate behaviour modification in inmates through provision of medical, psychological, spiritual and counselling services for all offenders, including violent extremists, and provide support to facilitate the speedy disposal of cases of persons awaiting trial, and also, empower inmates through the deployment of educational and vocational skills training programmes and facilitate incentives and income generation through custodial centres, farms and industries.

The law prohibits torture, inhuman and abusive treatment of inmates.

This is to bring the prisons system into compliance with international human rights standards and correctional practices.

DEATH SENTENCE CAN BE COMMUTED TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT AFTER 10 YEARS

The law prescribes that where an inmate sentenced to death has exhausted all legal procedures for appeal and a period of 10 years has elapsed without the execution of the sentence, the chief judge may commute the sentence of death to life imprisonment.

CURBING OVERCROWDING

Also, the Prisons Act 2018 provides that ‘’in the event that the custodial centre has exceeded its capacity, the state controller shall within a period not exceeding one week, notify the chief judge of the state, the attorney-general, the prerogative of mercy committee, the state criminal justice committee and other relevant bodies’’. It prescribes sanctions for any state controller who fails to notify the relevant bodies when the custodial centre approaches full capacity within the stipulated time-frame.

It also empowers the correctional centre superintendent to reject more intake of inmates where it is apparent that the centre in question is filled to capacity.

CENTRALISED DATABASE FOR INMATES

According to the law, the relevant information about a person’s offence, biometrics, personal history, risk and needs assessment, including the person’s psychological or mental health status and his antecedents shall be kept in a centralised database management system of the correctional service.

PROVISION OF PAROLE, PROBATION, COMMUNITY SERVICE

The non-custodial faculty of the correctional service, as prescribed by the law, is responsible for the administration of non-custodial measures, namely: community service, probation, parole, restorative justice measures and such other measures as a court of competent jurisdiction may order. Restorative Justice measure approved in the Act include victim-offender mediation, family group conferencing, community mediation and other conciliatory measures as may be deemed necessary pre-trial, trial during imprisonment or even post-imprisonment stages.

PDP, Atiku to tribunal: We have built iron-cast case for Buhari to be sacked

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate in the February 23 presidential election, Atiku, have asked the presidential election tribunal to sack President Muhammadu Buhari on account of him not possessing the requisite academic qualifications to have contested the Presidency in the poll.

While insisting that it has made an iron cast case against the eligibility of the President to have contested for the number one position in the country, the petitioners further maintained that the election that produced him did not meet up with the standard set out in the Electoral Act.

This was contained in the 43-page final addresses to the Justice Mohammed Garba-led five- member presidential election tribunal filed by their lead counsel, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), on August 14, 2019.

The petitioners who are challenging the return of Buhari and the credibility of the election had closed their case after calling 62 witnesses and tendering over 4, 000 documents.

Meantime, the tribunal has fixed August 21 for the adoption of final addresses by parties to the petition.

But in its final written address, the PDP and Atiku insisted that they have proved all allegations contained in their petition against the conduct of the February 23 presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The petitioners further claimed to have established the fact that Buhari does not possess the requisite academic qualification for the position of President of Nigeria.

They stated that even Buhari’s own witnesses under cross-examination admitted to the fact that Buhari does not possess a school certificate, being the basic requirements for contesting the office of the president.

“We therefore submit that all the purported evidence led by the 2nd respondent (Buhari) to prove that he attended a secondary school or a primary school or that he attended some courses, is irrelevant because he did not rely on any of those purported qualifications in exhibit P1, he relied on primary school certificate, WASC and Officer Cadet.

“Equally futile is his attempt to prove that he can speak and write in the English language. That is all irrelevant to his inability to produce his primary school certificate, secondary school certificate or WASC and his Officer Cadet qualification, whatever that means. Officer Cadet is not a qualification or certificate under the Constitution and Electoral Act; nor is it known to any law.

On the purported Cambridge University certificate tendered by Buhari before the tribunal, the petitioners asked why, “it was easier for Buhari to go all the way to Cambridge in the United Kingdom to obtain a bogus documents that his own witnesses said was not a certificate, instead of just driving down the street in Abuja to the Army Headquarters or placing a phone call to the Secretary of the Military Board in Abuja to hurry over with his certificate or certificates.”

They further contended that, “A comparison of the purported Cambridge Assessment International Education Certifying Statement of the purported West African Examinations Council (WAEC) certificate and a certified true copy of the purported confidential result sheet of the University of Cambridge West African School Certificate of 1961 for the Provincial Secondary School, Katsina, reveals many discrepancies in the supposed result.

“One listed 8 subjects that the candidate therein mentioned one ‘Mohamed Buhari’ allegedly sat for, the other 6 subjects, both documents are therefore unreliable as both cannot be correct. The contradiction must count against the 2nd respondent.

Another false claim by Buhari, according to the petitioners is that he attended, “Elementary School, Daura and Mai Aduwa 1948-52”. Elementary School Daura is totally different from Mai Aduwa, their locations are totally different. He also claimed he entered Middle School Katsina in 1953, however, the petitioners submitted that by 1953, the Middle School system had been abolished in the Northern Region of Nigeria.

On the claim that his certificates were with the military, the petitioners submitted that Buhari failed woefully to prove the claim, “rather the petitioners’ evidence to the contrary was not contested nor challenged.

It is also the case of the petitioners that they have successfully proved that the Nigerian Army had denied being in possession of Buhari’s alleged certificates.

“One of the strongest evidence on the issue was given by the second respondent’s own witness, RW1, General Paul Tafa, (Rtd), who under cross examination by the 1st respondent (INEC), told the court firmly and unequivocally that the Army did not collect the certificates of military Officers and added, ‘there was no such thing”.

On the issue of rigging and non-compliance with the Electoral Act, the petitioners said with the plethora of evidence tendered and witnesses called they have been able to show to the tribunal that Buhari’s election was invalid.

They added that analysis of results from 11 states showed how INEC in connivance with Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) wrongly and unlawfully credited Buhari with votes not valid or lawful.

According to them documents tendered before the tribunal showed huge discrepancies between collated results as contained in the tendered Certified True Copies of forms EC8A and polling units.

They further alleged that a total of 2, 906,384 votes were cancelled across the country, while 2, 698,773 Nigerians were disenfranchised.

They said the two figures when added exceeded the 3, 928,869 differential between the votes as stated in INEC form EC8E.

Buhari approves bill to change Nigerian Prison Service to ‘Nigerian Correctional Service’

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law, a bill changing the name of the Nigerian Prison Service to Nigerian Correctional Service.

Ita Enang, senior special assistant to the president on national assembly matters (senate), disclosed this in a statement.

Enang said according to the law, correctional service has two main faculties: custodial service and non-custodial service.

He said among the functions of the custodial service are: custody and take control of persons legally interned in safe, secure and humane conditions; conveying remand persons to and from courts in motorised formations; identifying the existence and causes of anti-social behaviours of inmates; conducting risk and needs assessment aimed at developing appropriate correctional treatment methods for reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration; implementing reformation and rehabilitation programmes to enhance the reintegration of inmates back into the society.

Others are empowering inmates through the deployment of educational and vocational skills training programmes, and facilitating incentives and income generation through custodial centres, farms and industries; administering borstal and related institutions; and providing support to facilitate the speedy disposal of cases of persons awaiting trial.

In a statement, Enang said: “The non-custodial faculty of the correctional service is responsible for the administration of non-custodial measures, namely: community Service, probation, parole, restorative justice measures and such other measures as a court of competent jurisdiction may order. Restorative Justice measure approved in the Act include victim-offender mediation, family group conferencing, community mediation and other conciliatory measures as may be deemed necessary pre-trial, trial during imprisonment or even post- imprisonment stages.”

He said the president has also approved changing the name of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue state, to Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University, Makurdi.

 

We enjoy power supply only when you are around, Daura leaders tell Buhari

Leaders from the five local government areas under the Daura emirate in Katsina state say the communities enjoy 24 hour supply of electricity only when President Muhammadu Buhari is around.

Buhari had gone to Daura for the Sallah celebration.

While hosting the leaders, they commended the president and also asked him to address issues plaguing the area.

“Anytime the President is around we enjoy 24 hours power supply. But if he is not around, the power supply is not always stable,” Mohammed Saleh, one of the leaders, said.

Responding, Buhari said he is set to improve the lives of Nigerians, as he is convinced that he got elected by Nigerians who understood his mission.

“Truly, the people know and understand my mission. This is what the votes showed. The administration will dwell on our campaign issues — security, economy and corruption. We will fight for the poor,” he said.

Umar Farouq, emir of Daura, called on Nigerians to support the president overcome current challenges.

The emir made this call during the Sallah durbar held in his palace.

“I pray to the Almighty Allah to grant good health to Mr President, give him the courage to lead the country right,” he said.

“I commend him for his endurance and patience on the challenges he is facing. A leader must possess two qualities of endurance and patience, may Allah guide and protect him from all evils.

“I am calling on Nigerians to continue to pray to Allah to enable the president succeed in improving their living conditions and move the country forward.

I’ll be more party conscious in this final term, says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday assured members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of All Progressives Congress (APC) that he would be more conscious of the interests of the party in taking key decisions.

Receiving members of the NWC of the APC at the State House in Abuja, President Buhari pledged to uphold party supremacy and commended the National Chairman , Adams Oshiomhole, and other members for their sacrifices and overall success in the last general elections in the country.

“It is obvious that the success of the party was more paramount in your hearts. You could have deployed the times and energy you deployed for the party for your own personal use.

“I respect the sacrifices you are making; you can only derive satisfaction if you are working for your country and all our people because, materially, nobody can pay you for the sacrifices,” the President said.

President Buhari used the occasion to appeal to NWC members to abide by the constitution of the party, adding: “It is not enough to just criticise certain decisions of the party without first understanding what the constitution says.”

The President assured the NWC that competent members with the requisite experience will be invited to contribute their quota to nation-building as heads and chairmen of boards of governmental parastatals and agencies.

Earlier, Oshiomhole while congratulating the President on the electoral victory, noted that the NWC was meeting with him exclusively for the first time after the elections.

The party chairman acknowledged that, while it was regrettable that the party lost some states, the greatest victory of the APC was in Kwara and Gombe states.

“In Kwara, we uprooted the ruling dynasty and inaugurated absolutely loyal and totally committed APC men at the helm of affairs,’’ he said.

Commending the unique leadership style of the President, Oshiomhole thanked President Buhari for his unflinching support that ensured the success of the party in holding the principal offices of the 9th National Assembly.

Buhari swears in ministers designate, August 21

President Muhammadu Buhari will swear in ministers on August 21, 2019, following the conclusion of the nominees’ screening by the Senate.

Five months after he was sworn in for a second term in office, the President forwarded the ministerial list to the National Assembly on July 23, 2019.

The list contained 43 named with 14 of them being former ministers in his first term in office.

A statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babatunde Lawal, said the ceremony would hold at the Federal Executive Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja by 11 am.

Buhari lauds Nigerians for ignoring ‘Revolution’ March

President Muhammadu Buhari has thanked millions of Nigerians, who deliberately ignored calls on social media to join a phantom ‘revolution’ but instead went about their businesses.

The President made his feelings known in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Monday.

Shehu stated that the president was humbled by the support, ”not for himself, or the governing party – but for the democratic values of modern-day Nigeria.”

He, however, acknowledged that there were few hundred persons, who for their own reasons, decided to engage on the protest march against national interest.

The statement read in parts:“Today, millions of Nigerians went about their businesses: work, seeking employment, attending school/college and caring for their families.

”By doing so, the millions defended our country’s hard-won democratic rights – by ignoring calls on social media to join a phantom ‘revolution’.

“There were a few hundred persons today who, for their own reasons, decided to act upon the demands of a group calling itself Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria, which went on social media to ask everyday Nigerians to overthrow the government they only elected some six months ago.

“The President is humbled by the support – not for himself, or the governing party – but for the democratic values of modern-day Nigeria through the wisdom of those millions of citizens who preferred democracy and decided not to undermine an elected government.

“Today, joining those millions of Nigerians was not only the President and governing party at federal level, but many state governments from the opposition, trade unions, civil society organisations, media and NGOs with focus on freedom of speech.

”All have, rightly, united in protecting Nigeria’s young democracy and the rights of all to elect leaders and lawmakers.

“The Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria’s attempt to incite citizens into a revolution against their own democratic rights and interests has failed – as will all attempts to take away from the people their hard-won rights and freedom to choose who leads their country.”

Nigerians are victims of Buhari’s grand cluelessness – Atiku

Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, says he will keep speaking up for Nigerians who have become victims of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ‘grand cluelessness’.

In statement issued by Paul Ibe, his media aide, on Saturday, Abubakar said the Buhari administration had not responded to a report by the UNDP which stated that 98 million Nigerians were living in multidimensional poverty because he was yet to make a remark on it.

He said the administration was living in denial and relying on propaganda, and only becomes responsive when he comments on issues.

“On July 10, the United Nations reawakened Nigerians to the brutal reality of how poorly the Gen Muhammadu Buhari administration has managed the nation’s economy with a damning verdict that 98 million Nigerians live in multi-dimensional poverty,” he said.

“Like it is typical of General Buhari and his handlers, they didn’t make any comment about the scary statistics coming from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

“Perhaps, one reason they didn’t want to comment on the report is because it is factual – Nigerians in the past four years indeed live in multi-dimensional poverty.”

“The other plausible reason they didn’t deem it fit to respond to the report is because Atiku Abubakar has yet to make a remark on the report. If the only reason why the Buhari administration will react to the affliction it has brought on Nigerians is for Atiku to call the nation’s attention to how bad things have gone in the country under the slumber of General Buhari, Atiku will more than always, be ready to stand and speak up for the millions of countrymen and women who have become victims of his (Buhari’s) misrule and grand cluelessness.”

Abubakar had called for an independent inquiry into the reported secret burial of soldiers who died in the Boko Haram war.

In response, the presidency accused of him of being desperate to be president through other means.

We have lifted five million Nigerians out of extreme poverty, says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration has lifted five million Nigerians out of extreme poverty in three years.

Speaking at the opening of the global youth employment forum of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Abuja on Thursday, Buhari said this was achieved through the National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP).

He said N-SIP has produced positive outcome in the enrollment of children in schools.

Represented by Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Buhari said the government understands the need to focus on youth empowerment to create employment.

“We note at this point that the issue of youth unemployment has assumed a global significant, and on the front burner of development discourse,” he said.

“The government of Nigeria understands the need to focus attention on youth empowerment by creating the enabling environment for job opportunities and capacity building.

“The present administration from the onset, made the investment in our people, one of the key goals of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, which is the national development blueprint from the period of 2017 to 2020.

“The implementation of the plan also has the flagship programme such as the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP).

“It has yielded some measurable outcomes in the form of increased school enrolment and the creation of more jobs.

“One of the key components of the NSIP is the N-Power programme and its sub-components has led to the creation of job opportunities in different sectors of the economy for young persons.

“For example, in the past three years, the programme has yielded over five million direct and indirect employment opportunities and has lifted over five million Nigerians out of extreme poverty.”

WAEC official disowns Buhari’s certificate at election tribunal

A West African Examinations Council official, Osidehinde Adewunmi, on Wednesday, denied signing the Cambridge University Moderated Examination certificates produced by President Muhammadu Buhari and tendered as exhibits before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja.

The two documents earlier admitted as Exhibits R19 and R21on Tuesday were Buhari’s statement of results and the broadsheet for the results of the 18 candidates, including Buhari, who sat for the Cambridge University Assessment International Education examinations in 1961.

Adewunmi, who is WAEC’s Deputy Registrar, School Examinations in Nigeria, who appeared before the tribunal upon a subpoena issued on him by the tribunal at the instance of Buhari, confirmed on Wednesday that he certified the Cambridge University documents but admitted that they were not issued by WAEC.

He testified as Buhari’s fourth defence witness in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging Buhari’s victory in the February 23 poll.

Part of the grounds of the petition seeking the nullification of Buhari’s victory was that the President lacked the educational qualification to contest the polls.

Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, who testified as a defence witness on Tuesday, said he personally signed for and collected the Cambridge University documents on July 18, 2019. But the petitioners contended that Kyari collected the documents months after they filed their petition.

When cross-examined by counsel for the All Progressives Congress, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Adewunmi said he certified the documents bearing the name of the University of Cambridge Moderated Examination earlier tendered and admitted as Exhibit R21.

Put to him by the APC’s lawyer, the witness, who said he had been working with WAEC for about 30 years, confirmed that the examination was conducted by Cambridge University in conjunction with WAEC.

He confirmed that 18 persons sat for the examination in 1961, adding that Buhari was number two on the list of the candidates.

Adewunmi confirmed that Buhari sat for eight subjects in the examination and made five credits – Oral English C5, History A3, Geography C6, Hausa C5 and Health Science C6.

“He (Buhari) came out with aggregate of 32 and he was awarded Grade 2,” he said.

“Whoever has this (the R21 exhibit) has secondary education.”

When asked by lawyer for the petitioners, Livy Uzoukwu (SAN, if Exhibit R19 was a certificate, Adewunmi said, “I cannot say whether it is a certificate because my signature is not on the document. It is not bearing my name or the name of my organisation.

“This document is bearing the name of Cambridge University Assessment International Education.”

Asked if the document was issued by WAEC, he said, “It is not from the West Africa Examination Council.”

Asked about Exhibit R21, he said, “This is the foundation, the primary foundation for the issuance of a certificate.

“This is not a certificate.”

When asked, he also said, “I have never worked with the University of Cambridge”.

In his bid to point out the contradictions in the two documents, Uzoukwu asked the witness to compare the number of subjects listed against Buhari in them.

Adewunmi said, “The number of subjects listed against the 2nd respondent (Buhari) is eight, and in R19 six subjects.”

He also confirmed that the first name on the two documents was “Mohamed” and as against the President’s “Muhammad”.

Adewunmi also confirmed that WAEC Registrar, Dr Iyi Uwadiae, issued a WAEC attestation certificate to Buhari on November 2, 2018.

He disagreed with the petitioners’ lawyer that the issuance of an attestation certificate was limited to cases of loss or misplacement.

Another witness, Mohammed Abba, a Senior Special Assistant to the President, who testified on Wednesday as the fifth defence witness, told the tribunal that Buhari was educated.

He identified Buhari in a group photograph with those said to be the President’s Class 6 mates of 1961.

He said he had known Buhari for 30 years.

In his bid to clear doubts as to why “Mohamed” appeared on the Cambridge credentials instead of “Muhammad”, Fagbemi asked the witness whose first name incidentally is “Mohammed” to offer clarifications.

The witness said, “There is no difference between Mohamed and Muhammad. Hausa will call it Muhammadu, Yoruba will call it Momodu.”

Under cross-examination by Uzoukwu, Abba admitted that “no certificate was listed, mentioned or attached to Buhari’s curriculum vitae personally signed by the President.

He also agreed that the photographs in which he identified Buhari was not a certificate.

Election petition: INEC’s refusal to call witnesses proves Atiku won, says Shettima

The National Chairman of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Yerima Shettima has called on the presidential election tribunal to declare the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the last presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, the winner of the February 23 presidential election.

Shettima’s call came on the heels of the refusal of the Independent National Electoral Commission to call any witness to defend its case against the petition filed by the opposition PDP, on Monday, at the presidential tribunal sitting on Monday.

Atiku and the PDP are challenging the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as the winner by INEC.

Shettima, who spoke with our correspondent on the issue, said the refusal of INEC’s lawyers to provide witnesses to debunk Atiku/PDP’s claims was enough for the tribunal to declare Atiku the winner of the election.
He added that beyond the activities at the tribunal, Nigerians were already clear about the “fact that INEC wrongly declared Buhari the winner.”

He said, “I am just concerned if the Presidential tribunal will declare the rightful winner of the election. Nigerians already know what transpired during the elections, before the case got to the tribunal. But now that the case is at the tribunal we hope that justice will be done as expected by everyone.

“Today now, we all saw what happened at the tribunal. And we all know what that implies. I wish the court will do the right thing. However, whatever they do, the consequence is awaiting us in the future. I would tell them to be careful not to allow a repeat of what happened during the 1993 election between MKO Abiola and Bashir Tofa.”

Shettima said whatever happened, while the tribunal sittings last, would forever remain in the history of Nigeria’s democracy, adding that the next generation would never forget whoever participated in rewriting history.

He said, “For INEC not to bring a witness simply means that they know the truth. It also means that what PDP brought forward was the true picture of what transpired during that election. And if that be the case, the court should not delay in doing justice to the matter by declaring Atiku the winner of the election.”

When the tribunal called INEC to open its case, on Monday, the electoral umpire’s lawyer, Yunus Usman (SAN), affirmed before the tribunal that it would not be necessary on the grounds that the evidence extracted from the petitioners’ witnesses during cross-examination was in support of the commission’s case.

We’re ready to work with you, Buhari tells Boris Johnson

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday revealed that Nigeria was ready to work with the new British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

In a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant (Media & Publicity), Garba Shehu, Buhari said, “In Nigeria, we respect the choice of British people and we are ready to work with the new Prime Minister to improve our close relations.

“Britain has been one of Nigeria’s most reliable allies, especially in supporting the efforts of this administration to improve security and stamp out corruption and graft.”

READ ALSO: 13 British Prime Ministers the Queen has worked with

He went on to congratulate the new PM, while hailing the immediate past PM, Theresa May, who he said, provided visionary leadership for her country.

Part of his statement read, “As Mr Johnson steps into Mrs May’s shoes, we look forward to continuation of the good relationships that bind us together for many years.’’

“We value this relationship so deeply that, regardless of who is in charge, this relationship should survive the political changes in the UK.’’

The President praised the British democratic model, describing it as one of the most successful systems in the world, which has survived time.

Theresa May tendered her resignation notice to Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday during a private audience with Her Majesty and not long afterwards, Johnson arrived at Buckingham Palace for a private audience with the Queen, during which she asked him to constitute a government.

BREAKING: Amaechi, Aregbesola, Saraki, others make Buhari’s ministerial list

 

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Festus Keyamo, Sen Godswill Apkabio and the immidiate past minister of information, Lai Mohammed have made it to the 42 ministerial list sent to the Senate for confirmation by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In adherence to section167 (2), President Buhari while he attached CV to the 42 ministerial nominees, as the Senate to confirm them.
Others who make the list are: Dr Ikechukwu Oga, Muhammadu Musa Bello, Godswill Apkabio, Dr Chris Ngige, Sharon Okezu, Adamu Adamu, Mariam Katagum, Timipre Sylva, Sen George Akume, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, Goddy JD Agba and Festus Keyamo.
Others are Ogbonaya Onu, Osagie Osane, Clement Abba, Otumba Richard Adebayo, Geoffrey Onyema, Ali Isa Pantami, Emaka Uhumba, Suleim Adamu, Zainab Ahmed Shamsuna, Dr Muhammad Mahmud, Sabi Nanono, Bashir Seleh, Hadi Serika, Abubakar Malami, Ramatu Tijjani and Lai Mohammed.

Others who made it to the list are: Gbemisola Saraki, Raji Fashola, Adeleke Mamora, Mohammed Abdullahi, Zubauru Dada, Olamikekan Adedeji, Tayo Alasadura, Rauf Aregbesola, Sunday Dare, Paulen Tallen, Rotimi Amaechi, Muhammadu Dingyadi, Sale Maman, Abubakar Aliyu and Sadiya Umar Faruk.

Shiite protests: Buhari orders IGP to prevent breakdown of law and order

President Muhammmadu Buhari has directed the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to ensure there is no breakdown of law and order as a protest by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) turned violent on Monday in Abuja.

He gave the directive after the IGP briefed him on the security situation in the country, especially the activities of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).

Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on the president’s reaction, the IGP said: “The president asked us to make sure we provide security for every citizen of this country and not to leave any space that some group of people will create a breakdown of law and order. So, the charge by Mr President is that we must provide security for every Nigerian.”

IGP further said: “Specifically, we briefed him on the incessant act coming out of this group of people, protesting here and there. We briefed him on the fact that we have been able to curtail their excesses and to let him understand that everything is under control.”

Ministerial list: Senate gives Buhari five days to submit names

The Senate has given President Muhammadu Buhari till Friday to submit the list of ministerial nominees for screening, failure of which the red chamber will proceed on its two-month annual recess.

In line with its annual calendar, the National Assembly is meant to go on its annual recess on July 26 and resume on September 26.

Buhari, who won election in February and was sworn in on May 29, has continued to delay the submission of the ministerial list, arguing that he will need to take his time to appoint the people he knows.

According to Sunday Punch, the Chairman, Senate ad hoc Committee on Media and Public Affairs Affairs, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, said on Saturday night, said the red chamber would proceed on its annual two-month recess this week if the Senate did not get the ministerial list by Friday.

He said, “If the list does not come before Friday, the Senate will proceed on its annual recess. We are not giving the president any ultimatum. The schedule of the Senate will go ahead if the Senate does not receive the list. The list is the only thing that can hold us back.”

Adeyeye said the President was at liberty to send the list whenever he pleased and that the Senate also had a duty to consider it in the overriding national interest.

He added, “However, any time they submit the list, we will consider it. It is not our responsibility to put pressure on the President. We can be recalled whenever the list is submitted even if we are already on recess, in the overriding national interest.’’

Corroborating this position, the Minority Leader of the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, said that the Senate would go on its annual recess on schedule.

He had been asked him if the Senate would still postpone its annual recess despite the fact that the President had not submitted the ministerial nominees’ list.

Abaribe said, “The Senate will keep to its schedule.”

Findings revealed that the upper legislative chamber would require at least two weeks to screen the 36 ministerial nominees being expected from the President.

Meanwhile, investigations showed that members of the red chamber were divided over the proposal by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, that members might have to postpone their recess to treat Buhari’s lists.

Some senators, who spoke with one of our correspondents off the record, said the idea of postponing the recess was not yet a resolution of the House.

Lawan had two Wednesdays ago said that the President could most likely submit the ministerial list for consideration and approval of the red chamber before the end of that week.

He had said that the executive arm of government was working hard to ensure that the list was ready early enough before the senators proceed on their annual two -month recess.