The drama surrounding the Presidential Election Tribunal took a new dimension yesterday, when President Muhammadu Buhari accused the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP of not being qualified to contest for the office of the President.
Buhari’s lawyer, Wole Olanipekun, SAN made the allegation yesterday when he reacted to Atiku’s allegations that he was not qualified to contest the election.
Instead, he affirmed he was more qualified for the seat than Atiku, and challenged the PDP Presidential Candidate to present all of his academic qualifications.
Buhari said he did not, “at any time, provide any false information in Form CF00] submitted to the lst respondent, either in 2014 or 2018.
“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.”
He asked the tribunal to dismiss the petition on the grounds that the reliefs the petitioners sought by the petitioners are frivolous.
“The entire reliefs are not justifiable, as the petitioners, who claim to have scored majority of lawful votes in substantial number of states, are also questioning their own return in those states.
“The petitioners cannot act as petitioners and respondents in the same petition.
“The alternative relief sought is self-defeating, apart from being frivolous.
“The election to the office of President on 23rd February, 2019, was conducted in substantial compliance with the provision of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended),” he said.
Buhari, challenged the petitioners to produce “specifics of website: www.factsdontlien .com, including its domain owner, proprietor, lessee, lessor, etc., pleaded in paragraph 29 of the petition.
“Details of the electronic data on the servers of the 1st respondent (Inec), including the time, the details were downloaded, the person who downloaded them and the means of downloading (paragraph 29 of the petition).
“The documents from the 1st respondent, publishing the registered voters in Nigeria, as 84, 004, 084 and the number of PVCs collected as 72,775,502 (paragraph 30 of the petition).
“Details and documents, showing a breakdown of the electronically collated votes of 664, 659, allegedly cast for the petitioners in Abia State (paragraph 34 of the petition).
“Documents showing the published registered voters in Bauchi State, as pleaded in paragraph 41 of the petition.
“Details of the electronically collated 332,618 votes in Bayelsa State (paragraph 42).
“Documents showing how petitioners’ votes were depleted by 173,153, in Benue State (paragraph 44).
“Details of how petitioners’ votes were depleted by 210,109 in Bomo State (paragraph 46 of the petition).”
2019 election not perfect, but better than previous elections, says EU EOM
The European Union Election Observation Mission to Nigeria has said that the 2019 general elections has showed significant improvement compared to previous elections held in the country.
Marie Arena, chief observer and leader of the mission, said this on Saturday in Abuja while presenting the mission’s final report on the general election.
Arena, while reacting to questions from journalists, said the current administration has implemented many of the recommendations the mission made in 2015.
She listed some of the “prominent items” that were recommended and have been implemented to include “the development and maintenance of a functional voter register, the merger of the accreditation and voting processes for ease for voters, improving the sanction powers of INEC, increasing the number of polling units, immediate display of results in collation centres, more involved participation of civil society and citizen observation among others.”
The EOM has since 1999, observed all general election in Nigeria. Its previous reports had highlighted “serious issues” with the electoral processes in the country.
In 2003, the mission said the elections held under former President Olusegun Obasanjo were “marred by serious irregularities and frauds.
“In a number of States the minimum standards for democratic elections were not met. EU EOM observers witnessed and obtained evidence of widespread electoral fraud,” it had said.
The mission had also said that the “highly competitive” 2015 elections “were marred by incidents of violence, abuse of incumbency at state and federal levels, and attempts at manipulation.”
In its preliminary report on the 2019 polls, the EOM said Nigerian soldiers barred them from monitoring elections in Rivers state.
Arena also decried the violence, underage voting, and vote-buying, which she claimed marred the governorship and house of assembly elections in some states.
The court of appeal, in April, said 736 petitions had been filed to challenge the outcome of the general election.
We are ready to reform Electoral processes ahead of 2023, says INEC
Yakubu said that the processes for the reform of electoral processes were already ongoing ahead of the 2023 elections in the country.
The INEC Chairman noted that the various recommendations, including that of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) in the 2019 polls, would form major inputs in the areas of reform.
Yakubu, who spoke at a meeting with the Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission, Maria Arena in Abuja pointed out that a report will be submitted to the newly inaugurated Ninth National Assembly at the end of its review of last general elections.
According to him “we shall study your recommendations and we shall engage with the leadership of the 9th National Assembly on areas that require legislation while implementing aspects of the reform within the powers of the Commission in full consultation with stakeholders.
“There is so much work to do but little time ahead of us. The EU has been part of Nigeria’s steady progress towards democratic consolidation since 1999.
The INEC chairman noted that the EU recommendation to his Commission that it should merge the accreditation and voting processes on election day, has been implemented as the electoral umpire experimented with it when it conducted governorship election in Bayelsa 2015.
He pointed out that the 30 observations and recommendations made available by the EU election observation mission in 2015 would among others, be instrumental to the improvement of Nigeria’s electoral processes, adding that this will include the consolidation of the country’s democratic system since 1999.
According to INEC chairman the recommendation by the EU that INEC would merge the accreditation and voting processes on election day, a system which was tested ran during the Bayelsa governorship election of December 2015 remains invaluable till date.
Igbos Yoruba!! must come together as One without achieving this, Nigeria won’t exist” – Ooni
Senate Presidency: Fani-Kayode congratulates Ahmed Lawan for his victory
Buhari’s name not included In the list of African Presidents by US
The Corporate Council on Africa, in partnership with the government of Mozambique, will host the 12th United States, US-Africa Business Summit, this year, in Maputo, from June 18 to 21, with at least 12 African Presidents expected to grace the event.
President Muhammadu Buhari is not however, included in the list of the Heads of States.
The Summit will bring together more than 1,000 American and African private sector Executives, international Investors, senior government Officials, and multilateral Stakeholders.
Twelve African Heads of States are confirmed as Speakers at the Summit, taking place at the Joaquim Chissano International Conference Centre.
Among them are: Filipe Nyusi, President, Republic of Mozambique; King Mswati III, Kingdom of Eswatini; Paul Kagame, President, Republic of Rwanda; Hage Geingob, President, Republic of Namibia; Uhuru Kenyatta, President, Republic of Kenya; and José Mário Vaz, President, Republic of Guinea-Bissau.
Others are: Peter Mutharika, President, Republic of Malawi; Peter Mutharika, President, Republic of Malawi; Edgar Lungu, President, Republic of Zambia; Mokgweetsi Masisi, President, Republic of Botswana; Emmerson Mnangagwa, President, Republic of Zimbabwe; Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President, Republic of Equatorial Guinea; and Ruhakana Rugunda, Prime Minister, Republic of Uganda.
Senior US Government officials from key American Agencies, including the Department of Commerce, OPIC, Department of State, MCC, USAID, USTDA, EX-IM, and others, will also be at the Summit, and will announce the latest developments in US-Africa.
Themed: “Advancing a Resilient and Sustainable Partnership”, the Corporate Council on Africa’s 2019 Summit, will engage key US and African government Officials and decision makers, to discuss their strategies, vision, and initiatives, to facilitate increased business and investment.
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You’re threatening the unity of Nigeria’ — Junaid attack Obasanjo, Others
Politician and physician, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, has attacked former President Olusegun Obasanjo, erstwhile Defence Minister, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, and a host of others for claiming that President Muhammadu Buhari was promoting an Islamisation and Fulanisation agenda.
Junaidu Danjuma and a handful of notable retired officers, under the aegis of Nigerian Christian Elders’ Forum (NCEF), had, last week, raised the alarm that the Buhari administration was backing jihadists instead of ruthlessly fighting them.
Claiming they were miffed by the indifference displayed by the current administration towards the evil agenda, the retired officers reported the alleged refusal of the administration to confront islamisation to the United Kingdom’s All Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief.
Before then, Obasanjo has taken the Buhari administration up on the purported Fulanisation/Islamisation agenda at a church programme in Delta State.
Junaid, who was a member of President Goodluck Jonathan’s National Constitutional Conference, slammed the former military officers over what he described as trying to assume the role of speaking for Nigerians when they had not been so authorized by the people.
The politician, from Kano and who has remained very vocal in the political circles, asked Obasanjo, Danjuma and the others to stop polluting the Nigerian political and religious space with venom that has the potential to destroy the country rather than unite the people.
He said, “First and foremost, I have absolute contempt for what Obasanjo and his friends have said about Nigeria. What they have said will threaten the unity of this country and it is painful that they are not really speaking for the generality of Nigerians but merely seeking self-interest.
These are statements from some elements who attempted to dismember Nigerian and failed and are now arrogating to themselves the task of speaking for Nigerians when they have not so been appointed by the people.
“What is most painful is that they connived and imposed Buhari on the rest of the people and, having failed woefully to control him and his government, they are now trying to voice their failure on the rest of the country as if they are messiahs.
“Let it be made known to these retired army officers that, in the event of war breaking out on account of their incendiary language, they are not likely to belong to the winning side because Nigerians are now more matured and are not ready to be taking instructions of sermons from soldiers who have no self respect.
“I have no business with Buhari or his administration but we cannot listen to a group of people who are selfishly working to be heard by Nigerians principally for their selfish interests. Nigerians are not ready and willing to allow them to dictate what is good and bad to them anymore.
“They should realize by now that Nigerians do not owe them anything and are not willing to be led or counseled by soldiers anymore.
“These former soldiers actively take undue advantage of Buhari’s inaccurate perception of leadership and the cabal he surrounds himself with to attempt to confuse Nigerians as if they are the voice and conscience of the Nigerian people while seeking to actualize selfish goals.
“If they have forgotten, the former generals should be reminded that they went to war as a choice and had been generously rewarded for services rendered and that Nigerians neither owe them anything nor require selfish counseling on national issues.”
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