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Tag Archives: Atiku Abubakar

JUST IN: Tribunal rejects Atiku’s request to inspect INEC server

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has turned down the application by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to allow the duo inspect the central server of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

The two who are joint plaintiffs in the petition lodged against the declaration of Muhmmadu Buhari as president of the country claim that the central server of INEC would give evidence of the returns that they claim gave victory to them.

INEC has denied the existence of the server and the respondents, President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC have objected to the request.

Giving their ruling on the application by Atiku and the PDP, the panel said it would be pre-emptive as it is an interlocutory application which could betray the issues on the substantive motion.

“It will not be expedient that the court should grant prayers contained in the application”, Justice Mohammed Garba, chairman of the five man panel submitted.

“The scenario will be unpalatable and will create the impression that the court has indeed recognised the existence of a central server and that the result was electronically transmitted.

“The law is settled that the court should ensure caution while dealing with interlocutory application so as not to make any observation that affect the substantive case.”

‘I have confidence in God’ — Atiku denies planning protest over INEC server

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election, says he has confidence in God.

He made the statement while denying threatening to lead a street protest in the event that the election petition tribunal ruled against him and his party.

A tweet from one YouthSupportPDP had quoted Atiku as saying: “My Server Results Are Authentic and If judges frustrate the Justice we will take over the street. I will lead all Nigerians in a massive protest that mankind have never witness before.”

YouthSupport -PDP🇮🇹@YouthSupportPDP

“My Server Results Are Authentic and If judges frustrate the Justice we will take over the street. I will lead all Nigerians in a massive protest that mankind have never witness before”. —Atiku Abubakar

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But the presidential candidate blamed the statement on “mischief makers who are out to mar my pro-democratic record”, and lay the groundwork on false charges against him.

“I wish to emphatically state that such a statement did not emanate from Atiku Abubakar or his privies. It is the work of mischief makers who want to mar his spotless pro-democratic record and lay the groundwork for their threatened actions against him on false charges of being a threat to national security,” Atiku said in a statement Paul Ibe, his spokesman, issued on his behalf.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Atiku Abubakar believes in the Rule of Law and in the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In his almost four decades in politics, he has never taken action or spoken words against democracy and will not start now.

“Atiku and his team have confidence in God and thus call on those bent on mischief to have the fear of God and retrace their steps. Democracy has come to stay in Nigeria. The culture of fear being created now cannot rein in our democracy. Nigeria and Nigerians have a consistent history of outlasting tyranny and will continue to do so by the grace of God.”

We don’t have a server, INEC replies Atiku

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it does not have a server where results of the presidential election were uploaded.

The electoral commission was reacting to the request of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The PDP and Atiku had asked the tribunal to compel INEC to allow them inspect smart card readers and the server.

The opposition party and its candidate are challenging the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as winner of the presidential election that held in February.

At the tribunal on Thursday, Yunus Usman, counsel to INEC, said the party was asking something they did not have.

“They are asking us to bring something we do not have,” the lawyer said.

Usman asked the tribunal to strike out the application.

Also, counsels of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Buhari asked the tribunal to strike out the application of the PDP.

They argued that they could not prove the existence of a server.

The electoral commission said Buhari polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat the former vice-president who secured 11, 262,978.

But Atiku in his application claimed that he polled 18,356,732 votes while Buhari secured 16,741,430, citing INEC’s server.

June 12: Nigerians are hungry, says Atiku

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says it is not enough to declare June 12 as Democracy Day as many Nigerians are hungry.

President Muhammadu Buhari had signed into law, the bill to make June 12 Democracy Day, in honour of MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election.

But Atiku said June 12 demands something bigger than “merely declaring it a Democracy Day”.

“It is not enough to declare June 12 a work-free day when a disproportionate number of citizens are not sure of where their next meal will come from and when the sanctity of their lives is not guaranteed,” he said.

“It is not enough to declare June 12 a work-free day when freedom of the press, and of speech, fundamentals of democracy is being assailed.”

He said June 12 remained a threshold in Nigeria’s national life, urging the people, to do a soul-searching.

“The significance of the celebration of June 12, 1993 Presidential Election is a reminder of our history to becoming a democratic country,” he said.

“On this day 26 years ago, Nigeria voted for democracy against the jackboot notion of oppressive totalitarianism.

“The collective decision by Nigerians to elect democracy on that day was not to aggrandise the political elite or to replace military dictatorship with civilian autocracy. No! The choice of democracy was to restore power to the people.”

Atiku cited disrespect for the rule of law and disregard of court orders on issues that border on fundamental human rights as some of the challenges which ought to be addressed.

Atiku said as a “compatriot who stood shoulder-to-shoulder” with MKO Abiola whom he described as the icon of the June 12 struggle, he knew first-hand that the choice of HOPE as his campaign slogan wasn’t “merely a populist tokenism.”

He said Abiola did not mean to deceive Nigerians with a hope he could not deliver upon.

“Today, the minimum requirement for any June 12 convert is to demand of them wherever they may be – either in government or in private lives – to deliver on the promises they made to the people,” he said

“June 12 is about the political leadership having the focus to retool the Nigerian economy. It is about having the skills to create wealth and jobs for the teeming mass of unemployed. It is not about the inclination for shared pains; it is about shared prosperity.

“As we celebrate yet another episode of the June 12 struggle, the desire for hope is more preponderant today much as it was 26 years ago. So, for all true lovers of democracy, let us keep the hope alive.”

Justice has prevailed in Zamfara, says Atiku

Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has commended the supreme court judgement which nullified the election of all the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara in the last general polls.

Abubakar, in a statement issued by Paul Ibe, his media adviser, commended the supreme court for siding with justice, saying justice had prevailed in matter.

He said that the court upheld the rule of law and did justice by declaring the PDP as winner of the governorship election in Zamfara, as well as in the state house of assembly elections.

“Nothing is as pleasing to the ears of believers, as justice being served in the holy month of Ramadan,” he said.

He commended the lord justices for putting aside the interests of the powerful and upholding the interests of Nigeria and Nigerians.

“God first, Nigeria second, must be our priority as trustees of the people,” he said.

“When justice prevails, the people rejoice, chains are broken, freedom is multiplied and society is enriched.”

Abubakar expressed hope that the justices of the court would allow full reign of justice in other petitions coming before them.

He was also hopeful that good conscience, fear of God and the rule of law will prevail.

The former vice president said that in so doing, “they will write their names for good on the sands of time and avoid the infamy that oppressors wish to thrust on them as their legacy.’’

He congratulated Bello Matawalle, the governor-elect, and the people of Zamfara, who, according to him, would finally have a government that would address the issues which had made life an ordeal in the state.

“The storm is over and peace and calm are coming to Zamfara,” he said.

“May God bless the Supreme Court of Nigeria. May God bless Zamfara state and may God bless Nigeria, now and forever.‘’

The supreme court on Friday invalidated the participation of the APC in the last governorship, national assembly and state assembly elections in the state.

Paul Galinji, the trial judge, in delivering the lead judgment in Abuja, held that the APC and all its candidates that participated in the elections gate-crashed, having not conducted lawful primaries.

According to him, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was right not have recognised the participation of APC in those elections.

Galinji, therefore, ordered that all the political parties whose candidates scored the second highest votes in the elections and the required spread should be declared winners forthwith.

Atiku demands Lai Mohammed’s arrest..says plans afoot to set him up

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says there are plans by some “unscrupulous elements” to implicate him.

In a statement Paul Ibe,  his spokesman, issued on his behalf, Atiku alleged that part of the plan is for some unnamed people to perpetrate some crimes and indict him and “senior personalities” of the PDP.

He also called for the arrest of Lai Mohammed, minister of information, over his comments that he is planning to sabotage President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

“We wish to blow the whistle as an early-warning alert of the grandiose scheme being put together by some unscrupulous elements aimed at jeopardising the reputation of His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar in the coming days and weeks,” the statement read.

“By the merit of what is beginning to unfold, there are plans to create some upsets across the country whereby alleged perpetrators of such crimes will engage in phantom names-dropping of Atiku Abubakar and some senior personalities in the Peoples Democratic Party.

“Already, we are abreast of some other plans to plant fictitious stories in some mushroom media outlets aimed at discrediting Atiku and his political party, the PDP.

“It, therefore, becomes preponderant that we alert the public of this demonic plan and to say that it will be imprudent to compromise the peace and security of Nigerians in order to score a cheap political goal.

“Towards this end, and for the umpteenth time, we call on the Federal Government to be awake to its responsibilities of providing security and ensuring peace, and to desist from actions and utterances that are capable of exposing our fault lines.

“It is very unsettling that senior administration officials, especially those who are the mouthpiece of government will make reckless but calculated comments to tarnish the image of Atiku Abubakar and government will sit idly on it.”

“With the conclusion reached by relevant security outfits that there is no evidentiary proof to back the claim by Lai Mohammed that the opposition was planning to upstage the government, we demand that the information minister should be arrested for a breach of security and an apology rendered to Atiku Abubakar and the PDP.”

Letter to the President by Segun Showunmi

 

Dear President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, Ramadan Kareem. May Almighty Allah guide and be with you, especially at this time with the affairs of our nation Nigeria.
Democracy thrives on a vibrant and viral opposition. I have wondered if the word opposition is an appropriate word to use given that I really do not see those with alternate views as being in opposition. I prefer to see them as partners in progress on the way to getting the country to achieve its destined lofty heights.

Mr. President, the actions and utterances of your aides, especially Minister Lai Mohammed, are tantamount to stifling the opposition. As if the latter’s comments are not unfortunate enough, one just needs to look at the other organizations within the Executive like the EFCC and ICPC, among others, to become curious as to how come, suddenly, under your watch, the main victims of their activities are opposition figures and persons perceived to be close to them.

Your Excellency, whereas I personally love and wish that you bequeath a corruption free country to us as your legacy, I must add that within the period that should come under review in this fight, it is embarrassing to give the impression that none of those in cahoot with you and your government are guilty, if not more, of the same corrupt enrichment and abuse of office that your agents seem so fixated on. The impression every discerning Nigerian gets is that your anti-corruption torch light mainly exposes the main figures of the opposition as the only ones deep in this national malaise.

Mr President, I get the fact that the opposition can come with some form of irritation, but with great respect, this comes with the responsibilities you carry as a civilian president and I hope you understand that it is a great achievement that, like Obasanjo, Like Buhari, you both are the only ones that it has pleased God to grant the grace of serving both as head of state and as president.

I write you this open letter that you might not allow anyone to destroy your legacy or allow them to caste you in the mould of dictators, the likes that, for all of history, sit in a very condemnable place. Unfortunately, history is usually mild on incompetence in leadership, but for those who allow themselves to be painted with the tar of despot, history is never kind and the mess is left for their children and descendants. Now, why should you allow that to be the lot of your people given that deep down, I know you are not a wicked person; you are just firm and perhaps set in your ways as to how to sharpen up this country and its mostly indisciplined citizens.

I honestly don’t want you to allow the extremely incompetent Lai Mohammed, who in my opinion, mismanaged the goodwill with which you came into office in 2015, to destroy whatever is left. I, though in opposition, have wondered why you tolerated them until such a point that your perception audit ebbed so low. I would never know why, but I wish to tell you that the narrative about opposition being responsible for security crisis and treason coming in one press release is extremely dangerous to the country, to opposition elements, but most especially, to you and your reputation!

That is a line that they ought not to cross. I want to suggest that the right approach would be to name specific individuals that credible intelligence fingers in this. To do otherwise is to become the victim of a Frustration-Aggression-Displacement Theory, which posits that once a person is frustrated, mostly as a result of not being able to achieve a task (mostly caused by incompetence) that aggression is what follows and this also is mostly misdirected. In this case, rather than direct it at those you have saddled with the responsibilities of doing a job, sir, you are directing it at the opposition and it is made most unacceptable when they now insinuate that your main opponent in the 2019 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, GCON, is in anyway involved.

This is a dangerous precedence that must stop immediately. We have, as Nigerians, enough challenges at nation building that we do not need to rip the country in halves. You just need to look at the numbers as presented presently to see that between those who were returned for you and those allocated to Atiku, our country is truly divided, a division that runs through the tribal cleavages, the religious tendencies, the social classifications. Indeed, our country is divided.

I believe that once the presidential election tribunal is done with its duty and all is settled, whoever is finally adjudged to have won will need to do a whole lot of work to bring the country together. Statements like those made by Lai Mohammed, your Minister of Information, are most unacceptable and unfortunate.

Mr President, as you are in the holy land of Mecca for prayers during this most holy month of Ramadan, I plead with you to present our country Nigeria before Almighty Allah in supplication and may it please Allah to count you amongst the rightly guided leaders when all is done and dusted. Be assured of my highest regards.

Citizen Segun Showunmi,
Spokesperson,
Atiku Abubakar, GCON.

Atiku demands N500m from Buhari’s aide for defamation

Atiku Abubakar, presidemtial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has asked Lauretta Onochie, an aide of President Muhammadu Buhari, for an apology and N500 million for “defamation”.

In a letter dated May 14 and addressed  to Onochie by Mike Ozekhome, his lawyer, the presidential candidate threatened to commence a N2 billion suit against her if she did not meet his demands.

On May 7, Onochie had tweeted that the former vice-president was on a United Arab Emirates (UAE) watch list.

“Atiku on UAE watchlist- Security sources,” Buhari’s aide tweeted.

“Security operatives in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are keeping a close tab on a former Nigerian Vice Pres Atiku Abubakar who has been in the Middle East nation for several weeks now
What is he doing there?

“Me: Shopping for Terrorists?”

Lauretta Onochie

@Laurestar

Atiku on UAE watchlist- Security sources

Security operatives in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are keeping a close tab on a former Nigerian Vice Pres Atiku Abubakar who has been in the Middle East nation for several weeks now
What is he doing there?

Me: Shopping for Terrorists?

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The presidential candidate asked Onochie to publish a retraction in six national newspapers and one international daily as well as on social media.

“Your odious publication is clearly also aimed at rubbishing our client’s image and reputation,” the letter read.

“It has caused him national and international backlash and embarrassment and done incalculable damage to him.

“Your publication has also caused our client, in the eyes of reasonable members of the public, unspeakable odium, obloquy, hatred, ridicule and psychological trauma.

“He has thereby been subjected to the shame and infamy of being viewed by members of the public as not only corrupt, but as a terrorist and sponsor of terrorism. Numerous telephone calls, emails, visits, letters and private social media chats by his family members, friends, political and business associates, and international statesmen and women in the last few days attest to the alarm and serious concerns generated by your false publication.”

My parents are fully Nigerians — Atiku replies APC

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has dismissed claims that he is not a Nigerian by birth.

In his submission at the presidential election tribunal, Atiku detailed “how he is a Nigerian by birth”, saying he has a right to contest the presidential election.

The PDP candidate had gone to court to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari, his APC rival at the poll.

But the ruling party told the tribunal that Atiku is not a Nigerian by birth and thus, not qualified to run for president, going by the provisions of the 1999 constitution.

However, in his response, copy of which was sent to TheCable, Atiku said he was born in Jada, Adamawa state, by Nigerian parents and is therefore a citizen of Nigeria by birth.

He also argued that his parents were both Fulani, a community/tribe indigenous to Nigeria.

Below is his full submission in response to APC’s argument about his Nigerian origin:

In further response to paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 of the 3rd Respondent’s Reply, the Petitioners state as follows:

The 1st Petitioner (Abubakar) was born on 25th November, 1946 in Jada, Adamawa State by Nigerian Parents and he is therefore a citizen of Nigeria by Birth.

The 1st Petitioner’s father, Garba Atiku Abdulkadir was a Nigerian by Birth who hailed from Wumo in present day Sokoto State while the mother, Aisha Kande was also a Nigerian who hailed from Dutse in present day Jigawa State.

The parents of the 1st Petitioner are both Fulani, a community/tribe indigenous to Nigeria. The birth of the 1st Petitioner in Jada, in present day Adamawa State of Nigeria was occasioned by the movement of his paternal grandfather called Atiku who was an itinerant trader, from Wumo in present day Sokoto State to Jada in the company of his friend, Ardo Usman.

That in Jada, Atiku, the grandfather of the 1st Petitioner gave birth to Garba who in tum gave birth to the 1st Petitioner and named him after his own father Atiku.

The 1st Petitioner’s mother, Aisha Kande was the grand-daughter of Inuwa Dutse who came to Jada as an itinerant trader too from Dutse in present day JigawaState.

That all averments concerning Germany, British Cameroons, League of Nations and Plebiscite are false and misleading in relation to the 1st Petitioner and therefore completely irrelevant more so that the 1st Petitioner is a Nigerian by birth within the contemplation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

viii. The averments in the aforesaid paragraphs are indeed fabricated, contrived, made in bad faith and designed to embarrass the 1st Petitioner.

In response to paragraph 7 of the 3rd Respondent’s (APC) Reply, the Petitioners aver that the votes of the 1st Petitioner in the Election of 23rd February, 2019 to the office of the President are not wasted votes, and the 1st Petitioner being a qualified candidate in the said Election indeed secured majority of lawful votes over and above the votes of the 2nd Respondent.

In further reaction to Paragraph 7 of the 3rd Respondent Reply, the Petitioners hereby plead and contend that at all times material the 1st Petitioner has been a Nigerian by birth and has participated in the following career and political activities and has also received the following awards and honours:

. the 1st Petitioner was a civil servant in the Nigerian Customs Service for over 20 years and retired as a Deputy Director.

. the 1st Petitioner has been a Nigerian politician for about 30 years and in 1992 he contested in the Presidential Primaries under the platform of then Social Democratic Party (SDP) alongside the late Chief M.K.O Abiola and Ambassador Baba GanaKingibe.

. the 1st Petitioner contested for and won the 1999 Gubernatorial election in Adamawa State under the platform of the 2nd Petitioner.

. the Former President Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR and the 1st Petitioner contested for and won the 1999 and 2003 Presidential Elections, respectively as President and Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the 2nd Petitioner.

. the 1st Petitioner is the recipient of the National Honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger(GCON).

. the 1st Petitioner was the traditional title holder of Turakin Adamawa from 1982 to 2017 when he was elevated to WazirinAdamawa.

In 2007, the 1st Petitioner contested Presidential election under the platform of Action Congress (AC) and the 2nd Respondent (Buhari) contested under the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples’ Party (ANPP).

In 2014, the 1st Petitioner and the 2nd Respondent contested the Presidential Primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the 3rd Respondent for the 2015 Presidential Elections.

In reaction to paragraph 10 of the 3rd Respondent’s (APC) Reply, the Petitioners contend that there was no admission of conspiracy and criminality by the Petitioners and reference to admission of conspiracy and criminality is false and unfounded.

Buhari: I’m more academically qualified than Atiku

President Muhammadu Buhari says he is far more academically qualified than Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The president’s statement comes on the back of a petition filed by Atiku and the PDP challenging his victory during the February 23 presidential election.

The former vice president alleged that the result from the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) showed he defeated Buhari in the election.

According to the result declared by INEC from the 36 states and the federal capital territory (FCT), Buhari polled 15,191,847, while Atiku came second with 11,262,978 votes.

But the PDP candidate claimed he garnered a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari, who, according to him, polled 16,741,430 votes.

He also alleged that Buhari was unqualified to contest for the presidential election as he did not possess the minimum qualification of a school certificate as required by the constitution.

But in a response filed by a team of lawyers led by Wole Olanipekun, Buhari said it was Atiku who was not qualified to contest the election, challenging him to produce his educational certificates indicating the schools attended by him with dates.

The president said he “was way above” the former vice president in terms of acquisition of knowledge, certificates, laurels, medals and experience.

He also denied submitting false information to INEC concerning his qualification.

“He (Buhari) did not, at any time, provide any false information in the Form CF001 submitted to the 1st respondent, either in 2014 or 2018,” he said.

“The affidavit of compliance to the 2019 Form CF001 was correct in every material particular.

“In filling Form CF001 in 2014 and 2019, respondent was not oblivious of the constitutional qualifications stipulated in Section 131 of the Constitution and interpreted in Section 318 of the same Constitution.

“Petitioners themselves are also not oblivious of the fact that respondent possesses far more than the constitutional threshold expected for a candidate contesting for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The respondent avers that he is far more qualified, both constitutionally and educationally, to contest and occupy the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria than the 1st petitioner (Atiku); and that in terms of educational qualifications, trainings and courses attended, both within and outside Nigeria, he is head and shoulder above the 1st petitioner in terms of acquisition of knowledge, certificates, laurels, medals and experience.

“Respondent states further that it is the 1st petitioner, who is not qualified to contest the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and challenges the educational credentials and certificates of the 1st petitioner.

“1st petitioner is hereby given notice to produce and tender his educational certificates, indicating the schools attended by him, with dates.”

The president asked the tribunal to dismiss the petition, saying it contained more of pre-election issues, which the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to hear.

He further challenged the petitioners to produce evidence of their claims that their votes were manipulated.

INEC server: Atiku to invite Microsoft, IBM, Oracle experts as witnesses

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election, is willing to engage experts from Microsoft, IBM and Oracle to verify his claim that the servers belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) showed that he defeated President Muhammadu Buhari by 1,615,302 votes.

INEC’s polling figures from the 36 states and federal capital territory (FCT) gave Buhari 15,191,847 votes, while Atiku came second with 11,262,978 votes.

But in his petition submitted at the tribunal, the PDP candidate alleged that he garnered a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari, who, according to him, polled 16,741,430 votes in the presidential election held on February 23.

INEC, in response, said the results being paraded by Atiku was fabricated and not from its website.

But in their response to the INEC’s submission, a copy of which was obtained by TheCable, Atiku and the PDP said address of the server from which the results were obtained is unique to INEC.

“The Servers from which the said figures were derived belong to the first Respondent (INEC). The figures and votes were transmitted to the first Respondent’s Presidential Result’s Server 1 and thereafter aggregated in INEC_PRES_RSLT_SRV2019, whose Physical Address or unique Mac Address is 94-57-A5-DC-64-B9 with Microsoft Product ID 00252-7000000000-AA535. The above descriptions are unique to the 15t Respondent’s Server,” they said.

According to PUNCH, Atiku and the PDP would rely on the services of some prominent technology companies to argue the case at the presidential election tribunal.

“The petitioners will at the trial of this petition rely on experts on Microsoft, IBM and Oracle, amongst others,” they added.

Nnamdi Kanu offers to give Atiku legal advice over Cameroon citizenship debate

Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has offered free legal advice to Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Speaking during a broadcast on Radio Biafra, Kanu said Atiku’s defence in court regarding his citizenship is “weak and porous”.

The PDP candidate had gone to court to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election.

But the APC in its defence, told the court Atiku is not a Nigerian by birth and as such, is not qualified to contest the election.

The issue of Atiku’s citizenship was first raised by Kanu in the build up to the 2019 elections.

In his latest broadcast, Kanu said he merely used the issue of “Atiku’s citizenship of Nigeria, via a referendum”, to buttress his point about the need for a referendum on Biafra.

“When I first raised this issue, which incidentally has been ignored by all arms of government including INEC whose duty it is to ensure that candidates meet all stipulated constitutional requirements, it was not to insinuate or imply that Atiku is not a Nigerian, but rather to highlight the very constitutionally critical point at the heart of IPOB agitation for Biafra independence; which is that asking for a referendum is never a crime in any law known to man,” he said.

“However, the weak and porous argument Atiku’s defence team is making in response to this line of attack by APC is to say that, ‘it is ludicrous to allege that a man who became Nigeria’s vice-president, who has lived, invested and paid tax in the country for years is not a citizen.

“This is a wholly unnecessary digression that failed to address the constitutional question of place of birth as key qualification for anybody seeking to become the president of Nigeria. That Atiku was the Vice President is not the issue at hand but rather his suitability as defined by the constitution of Nigeria.”

He said APC putting up the argument in court is a “vindication that everything I say on Radio Biafra is the truth.”

“It may appear outlandish and unbelievable at first, but eventually history always vindicate me. It is now over the Atiku’s team to unleash what they have against Jubril,” he said.

“I will offer free legal advice to Atiku live on air in the hope that they will use it because it is obvious Atiku won the election and APC are deploying all instruments of coercion at the disposal of the Nigerian state to deny him his mandate. Between Atiku and the man occupying Aso Rock, only Atiku is a Nigerian, the other is Sudanese.”

Atiku releases ‘evidence’ of election result from INEC website

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has insisted the result from the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) shows he defeated President Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential election.

In his submission to the presidential election tribunal, the former vice president gave the “unique MAC address and Microsoft product ID of the INEC server” from where the results were obtained.

According to the result declared by INEC from the 36 states and the federal capital territory (FCT), Buhari polled 15,191,847, while Atiku came second with 11,262,978 votes.

But in his petition submitted at the tribunal, the PDP candidate claimed he garnered a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari, who, according to him, polled 16,741,430 votes.

INEC, in response, said the results being paraded by Atiku was fabricated and not from its website.

But in their response to the INEC’s submission, a copy of which was obtained by TheCable, Atiku and the PDP said address of the server from which the results were obtained is unique to INEC.

“The Servers from which the said figures were derived belong to the first Respondent (INEC). The figures and votes were transmitted to the first Respondent’s Presidential Result’s Server 1 and thereafter aggregated in INEC_PRES_RSLT_SRV2019, whose Physical Address or unique Mac Address is 94-57-A5-DC-64-B9 with Microsoft Product ID 00252-7000000000-AA535. The above descriptions are unique to the 15t Respondent’s Server,” they said.

“There is no conjecture in the votes and scores in the table pleaded by the Petitioners. The figures are factual. The Spokesperson for the 2nd Respondent’s Campaign Organization openly admitted that the data in question was in the first Respondent’s Server when he wrote and submitted a petition to the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS) asking the Security agencies to investigate the 2nd Petitioner herein for allegedly hacking into the Server of the 1St Respondent and obtaining the data in question.

“Specifically, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, the Spokesperson of the 2nd Respondent claimed in the said petition that it was the first Petitioner who smuggled the data into the Server.”

Atiku and the PDP also alleged the INEC chairman “committed grave errors in the final collation exercise” for the election by “falsely crediting” some persons with political parties, including “Okotie Christopher, Reverend Dr. Onwubuya and Ojinika Jeff Chinze.”

“The grave errors referred to in paragraphs 4 and 5 above were under the hands and signature of the first Respondent’s Chairman, (who was also the Returning Officer) in the conduct of the final collation of the results of the Presidential Election,” they added.

“The Petitioners state that the final results as declared by the first respondent are those that were transmitted online to the website of the first Respondent (www inecnigeria.org).”

Atiku scammed, no poll result on server, says INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission said it never transmitted the 2019 presidential election result on a server as claimed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

The rebuttal was stated in INEC’s reply to the petition filed by Atiku and PDP challenging the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari, as declared by INEC on 27 February.

The commission, which is being represented by Yunus Usman (SAN), as lead counsel, said the results of the poll were never transmitted or collated electronically.

The vehement dismissal of Atiku and PDP’s claim meant that the petitioners must have been scammed to believe that the results were stored electronically.

To be sure, INEC added in its response, that it kept no such server where such electronically transmitted results could have been obtained.

INEC on February 27, 2019, four days after the poll on 23 Februaray, declared that the All Progressives Congress candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, won with 15,191,847 votes to defeat his closest rival, Atiku, who polled 11,262,978 votes.

But the petitioners stated that “from the data in the 1st respondent’s (INEC’s) server…the true, actual and correct results” from the “state to state computation” showed that Atiku polled a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari who they said scored 16,741,430 votes.

They said the results were the total votes scored by the candidates in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, as there was “no report on sever” about the results from Rivers State as of February 25, 2019.

By calculation, Atiku and the PDP claimed to have defeated Buhari by 1,615,302 votes. But the commission, urging the tribunal to dismiss the petition, said in its reply filed on April 10, that the petitioners’ claims were false.

The INEC’s Director, Information and Communications Technology, Mr Chidi Nwafor, in his witness statement on oath attached to the reply, specifically denied the “server results” which the petitioners were laying claim to.

He said all the results were collated manually and were never transmitted electronically.

Atiku disowns ‘Pukka’ billboards, posters in Abuja, Yola

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar has disowned campaign posters titled “The Pukka’’ that festooned some of the major streets of the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.

Atiku disowned the posters in a statement issued by his media adviser, Mr Paul Ibe, on Wednesday.

Pukka, an Hindi word, means “authentic, genuine, sure, solid and excellent”.

The posters boldly carry Abubakar’s portrait and the message, ‘HE Atiku Abubakar GCON, The Real and The Right’, with a web address www.deservation.org, which the News Agency of Nigeria found belongs to a group of the same name based in Magaji/Sanda ward in Yola.

NAN correspondent in Yola confirmed that the posters have also appeared on some streets in the capital of Adamawa, Atiku’s home state.

Dr.Sani Adamu, the director-general of the Atiku Deservation Group, an Atiku Abubakar campaign group, claimed the group was not waging a political campaign or breaching the campaign rules of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

“Our attention has been drawn to posters of Abubakar, Presidential candidate of PDP in the 2019 election being circulated in Abuja”, said Paul Ibe in a statement.

“We dissociate the former Vice President of Nigeria from the said posters in circulation. The campaign season is over. The tainted electoral victory by the incumbent is being challenged in court.

“We refuse to be distracted, which is exactly the objective of our opponents, but to remain focused on diligently pursuing our election petition with a view to retrieving the stolen mandate.’’

Ibe earlier in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said that the posters had nothing to do with the just concluded elections and the PDP Presidential Campaign Organization had no connection with it.

“I have not seen the posters. I am just hearing it from you. We are not aware of it. Whatever it is it not connected to the PDP campaign organisation.

“The campaign season has long been over but following the electoral hype by the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abubakar, as a democrat has submitted himself to the electoral tribunal to decide on matters arising from the concluded election.’’

A search on the web address (www.deservation.org) shows Atiku Deservation Movement (Project 774 for Atiku 2019) with RC 1167591 with the contact Magaji/Sanda Ward Yola South Adamawa State as well as phone number and a mail address.

The boldness of the campaign and the meaning it connotes have triggered questions whether the group behind it has not breached the electoral law. The campaign for presidential election began on 19 November 2018 and officially ended 48 hours to the election initially scheduled for 16 February, 2019.

Section 99(1) of the Electoral Act, 1999 as amended states that every political party shall commence campaigns 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day.

Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of  the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in an interview with NAN, said that the posters could not be considered as campaign materials.

Oyekanmi, who said he had not seen any of the posters said if a poster has no party logo or name, the commission does not consider it to be campaign materials.

“Is there anything like party name or logo on it? If a poster does not contain any of these or ‘vote for a person’ the commission does not see it as campaign.The election is over and I wonder if anybody will be campaigning for an election that had been concluded,’’ Oyekanmi said.

Dr. Sani Adamu, the Executive Director of the Deservation group in a telephone interview with NAN, justified the poster’s PUKKA theme. He claimed that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the PDP in the just concluded presidential election is Nigeria’s authentic president.

Reminded that Abubakar already has a case before the presidential election petition tribunal, Adamu expressed confidence that Abubakar would get justice at the tribunal.

He insisted that the posters in circulation were not for campaign, adding that they did not carry the logo of any political party.

He also explained that the posters did not carry ‘vote’ Abubakar, insisting that it was not for campaign.

He said that the group was established to galvanise support for credible candidates that can make Nigeria great.

“We support only candidates and not political parties,” he said.

Abubakar was also recently reported to have hired two American lawyers, close to President Donald Trump, to lobby Trump’s inner circle and the Congress, so that the United States can delay recognising President Muhammadu Buhari as the elected President of Nigeria. He also wanted to be recognised ‘as the authentic President’ of Nigeria, going by the claims he has made at the tribunal.

Atiku denies hiring US lobbyist, blames APC for ‘fabrication’

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has denied hiring a US lobbyist firm to advance in his bid to take over power from President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement on Wednesday, Atiku, a former vice-president, said the reports of the alleged contract is a handiwork of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Atiku is at the presidential election tribunal to challenge the declaration of Buhari as winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

According to a report by Centre for Responsive Politics (CRP), Bruce Fein, former justice department official and his firm Fein & DelValle PLLC registered as foreign agents of PDP and Atiku on March 24.

The report said the firm is expected to “encourage Congress and the executive to forbear from a final declaration and recognition of Nigeria’s February 23, 209 presidential election until outstanding legal challenges to the initial government of Nigeria assertion that incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari was the victor are impartially and independently resolved by the supreme court of Nigeria without political or military influence, intimidation or manipulation.”

But in the statement issued on his behalf by Paul Ibe, his spokesman, Atiku dismissed the report as “total fabrication” by the APC, adding that it “didn’t come as a surprise to us because lying has become their only bragging rights of competence.”

The statement added that “since Atiku resisted pressure not to go to court, the APC has been behaving like a cat on hot bricks because the outcome of the 2019 elections has exposed and shattered the facade of their dubious integrity.”

“The APC are behaving nervously like a thief living under the fear of being exposed and shamed; they are now using fake news against Atiku instead of focusing on defending themselves in the court,” the statement read.

“For a party that has broken the worst record in election rigging, the APC doesn’t have any iota of integrity to be taken seriously by anybody.

“Atiku’s court case has become their biggest burden because it exposes their integrity as a sham, and instead of defending their stolen mandate in court, they are now using fake news to divert public attention from the historic electoral heist they have committed against Nigerians.

“No amount of diversionary propaganda and fake news campaign by APC will stop Atiku Abubakar from continuing the court action he started to reclaim the stolen mandate.”

Buhari group asks security agencies to investigate Atiku

The Buhari Media Organisation, BMO on Tuesday asked security agencies to investigate what it described as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar’s “unholy romance with foreign bodies especially the United States of America, in pursuit of a mandate he never had.”

The group which made the call in a statement by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju; and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, accused Atiku of seeking to destabilise the country in a bid to realise his failed presidential ambition.

It claimed that the former vice president had been lobbying the US authorities to recognise him as Nigeria’s President despite his electoral defeat in the February 23 election.

The BMO said Atiku’s action was treasonable with dire consequences. “We had in the past drawn attention to the desperation of the failed PDP presidential candidate to rule Nigeria at all cost, and it is becoming more obvious with his latest gambit.

“Not satisfied with pushing out cooked-up figures which he and his party claimed they got from the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission and are using as the basis of their legal challenge at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, Alhaji Abubakar is now using lobbyists in order to con the United States to his side.

“We at BMO are not surprised because we had raised the alarm even before the election that the PDP elements had been preparing ground for what they called a ‘Venezuelan option’ by instigating the international community against the President Buhari-led administration, and by raising all sorts of false alarms.

“Now that news has filtered out that Atiku has hired some prominent American lawyers to lobby the US Congress and the Executive to recognise him as President, it is shocking that a man who rose to the position of vice president can be engaging in acts that amount to treasonable felony, especially as the legally authorised body in election matters, INEC, declared that he lost the presidential election.”

The group further claimed that increasing insecurity in parts of the country was planned to make President Muhammadu Buhari appear helpless.

It added, “We have seen how banditry has suddenly threatened to spiral out of control in Zamfara State and some other parts of North-Western Nigeria almost immediately after the election.

“These are places that were relatively peaceful before and during the election and which also had a reasonable turn out of voters.

“It should not be a surprise that this spectre of violence is deliberately orchestrated and coordinated as part of a game plan to make the incumbent President look helpless and win US support for the failed PDP presidential candidate who is not even known to be popular in that part of the country.”

The pro-Buhari group urged the US authorities to guard against being used by those it described as unpatriotic Nigerians to work against an election that their representatives in the country had hailed as largely free and fair.

It added that main local election observer groups validated Buhari’s victory as declared by INEC.

Atiku hires new US lobbyists for recognition as ‘president-elect’

Atiku Abubakar, the defeated presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party is not solely casting his lot on his legal challenge of President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in the 23 February election as he has enlisted the assistance of two high-powered Washington, D.C. lawyers.

Their role will be to lobby those in President Donald Trump’s inner circle and the US Congress to delay recognising Buhari as the winner as declared by Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) on 27 February. Instead, Atiku craved to be recognised as the ‘authentic president’ of Nigeria.

In addition, he has set up what he called a “US Situation Room’.

Bruce Fein, a former Justice Department official and his firm Fein & DelValle PLLC and W. Bruce DelValle are the new lobbyists hired by the failed candidate. They were registered as foreign agents on Abubakar’s behalf, according to a report by the Centre for Responsive Politics, a research group that tracks money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. The report was published on opensecrets.org

According to Opensecrets.org, Delvalle, one of the lawyers, has a varied background tackling civil rights and constitutional law issues, litigating intellectual property and liability disputes, along with representing a number of sports and entertainment personalities. Fein on the other hand was the associate deputy attorney general in Ronald Reagan’s administration and general counsel to the FCC. He was reported to have played a significant role in the repeal of the FCC’s “Fairness Doctrine.” He also later worked with then-Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) in drafting articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton.

Atiku’s liaison with the American lawyers is a Nigerian lawyer, Lloyd Ukwu, who was described as the failed candidate’s confidant.

In the run-up to the election and Abubakar’s controversial visit to the United States, weeks to the election, Abubakar and his party hired political consultants such as Riva Levinson, who worked with Paul Manafort, and Brian Ballard, a major Trump fundraiser.

“The filing also asserts that the lobbying effort will demonstrate that an Abubakar presidency is “the will of the People.” It warns that if Abubakar is denied a victory, problems like genocide, poverty, corruption and strife will “undoubtedly continue.”

And when Abubakar visited the United States on 17 January this year, he opted to stay at Trump International Hotel to bolster his standing with Trump, like other foreign leaders seeking Trump’s attention.

Abubakar joins opposition politicians like Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó in turning to lobbyists to garner American support, opensecrets.org reported.

The lobbying agreement notes that Lloyd Ukwu, who is described as “a Nigerian barrister and trusted confidant [of Abubakar],” is assisting “in the operations of the U.S. Situation Room.”

According to the filing under the Foreign Agent Registration Act(FARA), Fein will be paid $30,000 over a 90-day contract to provide “legal, consultancy and public advocacy services to encourage Congress and the Executive” to wait on recognising a winner of the Nigerian election until after the legal challenge is “impartially and independently resolved.”

Opensecrets.org also reported another filing which lays out how the influence campaign will be conducted.

Lobbyists will meet with members of Congress and their staff to persuade them to pass resolutions in the House and Senate “to forebear from a final declaration and recognition of a winner” until after Abubakar’s appeals are decided fairly and independently. Additionally, the firm will “draft articles and op-ed pieces” about the issues surrounding the Nigerian election and appear on television and other media programs.

“In the contract, Fein’s firm is explicit in promising to “obtain official recognition that you are the authentic President of Nigeria based on an accurate counting of legal ballots.” The goal of the effort is straightforwardly described as “to convince the United States that your presidency would open a fresh and new chapter in Nigerian politics.”

“The filing also asserts that the lobbying effort will demonstrate that an Abubakar presidency is “the will of the People.” It warns that if Abubakar is denied a victory, problems like genocide, poverty, corruption and strife will “undoubtedly continue.”

Abubakar’s lobbying gambit may be a waste of energy and resources as the United States already recognised President Buhari as the winner of the 23 February election.

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, in a statement on March 1, congratulated President Buhari and the people of Nigeria for the largely peaceful election.

Pompeo said: “The United States congratulates the people of Nigeria on a successful presidential election, and President Muhammadu Buhari on his re-election.

Buhari polled 15,191,847 votes while Atiku Abubakar polled 11,255,978 votes as runner-up, according to the official result by INEC.

Pompeo added: “We commend all those Nigerians who participated peacefully in the election and condemn those whose acts of violence harmed Nigerians and the electoral process.

“We note the assessments of international and domestic observer missions affirming the overall credibility of the election, despite localised violence and irregularities. We also congratulate all the other candidates for their peaceful participation in the electoral process”.

Abubakar has a rocky legal history in the United States. A Senate subcommittee report on foreign corruption cited him as a case study regarding his transfer of millions of dollars into the U.S. through shell companies. He was never prosecuted.

In 2009, the FBI alleged that Abubakar demanded bribes from former Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.), who was convicted of corruption charges. At one point, Jefferson claimed he stored $90,000 in cash for Abubakar in his freezer. That year, a search of Abubakar’s Maryland home, which he had since sold yielded nothing incriminating. But Abubakar never visited the US until his visit on 17 January for 24 hours.

Atiku congratulates Trump over Mueller report

Obasanjo: Those discouraging Atiku from challenging Buhari in court are evil

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says those opposed to the decision of Atiku Abubakar to seek legal redress over the outcome of the presidential election have evil minds.

Atiku, who contested under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lost to President Muhammadu Buhari in the March 23 election.

Speaking on the judgement of the Osun governorship tribunal, Obasanjo said Atiku did the right thing by challenging Buhari’s victory.

He said without a reasonable cause, Buhari went to the court to challenge his loss in three elections, wondering why some people were trying to “stop Atiku from going to court”.

On Friday, the tribunal declared Ademola Adeleke of the PDP  as winner of the September 2018 election in the state.

In a statement on Saturday, Obasanjo said the nullification of the election, which he described as an illegality, has given renewed confidence in the judiciary.

“While I was in Dubai to attend the Global Education and Skills Forum meeting, I received the news of the judgment of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal declaring Senator Ademola Adeleke, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the winner of the 2018 Governorship election in the state,” Obasanjo said.

“Let me take this opportunity to commend the tribunal for its courage in nullifying what was clearly an illegality. This action by the judicial officers, albeit a first step in the legal process, gives renewed confidence in the judiciary at a time when there are coordinated efforts by some political leaders to undermine, if not destroy, it.

“As I have repeatedly said, the world is watching events in Nigeria with keen interest. What we do or do not do right in our electoral process will have implications not just for Nigeria but for Africa and indeed the world. By correcting what was clearly a desperate attempt to change the will of the Osun people, the tribunal has saved Nigeria from great embarrassment and started the process of saving and strengthening our democracy.

“Let me also commend Sen. Adeleke for his statesmanship in going to court to seek justice. This is the right and proper thing to do in any decent society. Going to court must be encouraged and not discouraged as some people are now attempting to do.

“And if Buhari could go to court three times to seek justice, even without reasonable cause, any Nigerian who feels denied of justice must feel free to go to court.

“Those who have conceived and are promoting the narrative that if Atiku Abubakar continues to seek legal redress there will be violence, are evil minds looking for excuse to unleash violence on Nigerians. At no time in history has sustainable peace been built on theft, injustice, corruption and inequity.”