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Atiku Laments Nigeria’s Rising Debt Profile, Blasts Buhari

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2019 election Atiku Abubakar has lamented the Nigeria’s rising debt profile.

Atiku in a statement on Wednesday, said the the development is turning Nigerians into beggars and wondered what the money could have been used for.

“On May 29, 2015, our national debt profile was at a very healthy ₦12 trillion. However, after four years of profligate spending, and even more irresponsible borrowing, our national debt doubled to ₦24.3 trillion by December 2018,” the statement read.

“As alarming as this is, what is more troubling is that between December 2018 and March 2019, the administration of General Buhari added an additional and unprecedented ₦560 billion debt to our national debt profile.

“What could this junta have needed that amount for? If you take those dates into account, they fall on the period of electioneering, when monies were freely distributed by officials of this government in the name of Tradermoni and other election gimmicks that were discontinued after the election.”

It added that “We find it inconceivable that Nigeria could have had such unprecedented borrowings in the midst of almost unimaginable sorrowing, which resulted in our nation becoming the world headquarters for extreme poverty and the global capital of out of school children, even as we slipped in the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International.

“As someone who headed the National Economic Council that paid off Nigeria’s entire debt under the visionary leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo, Atiku Abubakar has the moral authority to call those who are turning Nigeria into a beggar nation to halt the drift into unsustainable borrowing.

“We cannot continue to borrow to pay salaries and support luxuries. Already, over 50% of our revenue is going towards debt servicing, not even debt repayments.

“We raise this alarm as responsible citizens and call on other lovers of Nigeria to speak up as we have no other nation to call our home, but Nigeria.”

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Buhari, INEC rejects Atiku’s move to play rigging video at tribunal

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President Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have objected to the move by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to play a video before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT).

The Nation reports that their lawyers objected when the petitioners’ lawyer, Chris Uche (SAN) invited Atiku’s Media Aide, Segun Showunmi, through whom Uche intended to play the video recordings and tender about 48 documents.

But, Alex. Izinyon (SAN), for Buhari; Adeniyi Akintola (SAN); and Yunus Usman (SAN), for INEC kicked on the grounds that the petitioners did not front-load the items as required under the Electoral Act.

Tribunal Chairman, Justice Mohammed Garba, then stood down proceedings to consider arguments by parties and rule on whether or not to allow the document and video recordings.

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Buhari, APC in panic mood as tribunal grants Atiku’s request to play rigging video clips

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The presidential election petitions tribunal on Monday granted the application of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to tender 48 video clips.

Chris Uche, counsel to the petitioners, made the application to tender the video clips in support of the petition challenging the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as winner of February presidential election.

But the respondents – Independent National Electoral Commission, Buhari, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) – objected to the application.

Alex Izinyon, Buhari’s lawyer, described the move as an “ambush”.

“Your lordship they are not part of the documents listed,” he said.

Uztaz Usman, INEC counsel, argued that the presentation of the witness and evidence was not part of what the lawyers agreed on.

“What the media will be reporting will be another thing. We were taken by surprise. This does not comply with first schedule of evidence act,” Usman had said.

Thereafter, the tribunal stood down for 1 hour 30 minutes to decide on the ruling.

Upon, resumption, the five-man panel of judges led by Mohammed Garba granted the request of the petitioners.

The panel held that “no specific evidence is excluded from being tendered as an evidence.”

Source: TheCable

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How We Saved Obasanjo From Impeachment – Gowon

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Nigeria’s former Head of State Gen Yakubu Gowon has revealed that he and another ex-Head of State, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar, were among key figures who ensured that former President Olusegun Obasanjo was not impeached by the National Assembly in 2007.

According to Gowon, Obasanjo was able to complete his tenure because he and other prominent Nigerians convinced then-Speaker, House of Representatives, Ghali Na’Abba, and then-Senate President, Pius Anyim, to let peace reign.

He said these at the Maj Gen Emmanuel Abisoye Foundation lecture at the University of Abuja tagged, ‘Nation Building or Nation Fragmentation: Reflections on 20 Years of Post-Military Rule in Nigeria’.

Gowon is the foundation’s Chairman, Board of Trustees.

Gowon explained that his action was informed by the need to save Obasanjo’s successors from embarrassments by the legislature.

He said if the legislature had succeeded in impeaching Obasanjo, other presidents would have suffered a similar fate.

While commenting on Na’Abba, who was also a guest on the occasion, Gowon said, “I can assure you that we had some very important discussions and I know that we had to appeal to him and the President of the Senate not to impeach Obasanjo. Of course, because of the respect they had for us, they listened to us.

“This is because if we had allowed them to impeach the President at that time of our democracy, no President in Nigeria would escape being harassed. So, I thank you very much for listening to us.

“Like me, the late Emmanuel Abisoye chose to join the Nigerian military in preference to other careers which he was eminently qualified. His achievements in his military career showed that he took the right decision to serve his country.

“As young as we were then, our ideals were not self-seeking. Rather they were focused on the growth and development of a strong, stable, viable and indivisible nation.

“As his Commander-In-Chief during the Nigerian crisis of 1967 to 1970, I found his scorecard commendable; he fought gallantly, courageously.”

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Nigeria is a country where few people become billionaires overnight without consequences Amaechi

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A former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has stated that Nigeria is a country without consequences, adding that citizens and voters have failed to hold politicians and leaders accountable for their actions and policies.

Amaechi said that he knows politicians who have suddenly turned billionaires few months after taking up political positions.

Amaechi who is also a former governor of Rivers State stated this during a panel session at the fifth edition of The Nigeria Symposium For Young and Emerging Leaders held in Lagos on Friday.

Speaking on ineffective policies and extreme poverty, Amaechi explained that the country’s wealth has been in the pocket of an influential few and called for politicians to invest in infrastructure in order to create jobs and reduce crime.

“I know politicians who have suddenly become billionaires, and this is the money that should have been used to build roads and provide amenities that could have been used to improve the lives of citizens. Our politicians have to be clear on how they intend to lift people out of poverty,” he said.

Also commenting on citizen participation, a former presidential candidate, KOWA, Professor Remi Shonaiya, added,“We have to educate ourselves in order to become more active, and we have to begin to consider the greater good in our decisions.

“Most of us don’t care about what is happening in the House of Assembly, we are much more concerned about ourselves. The focus has to be on the people, not the government. But we as the people also have to make sure that we hold our leaders accountable to us. There’s too much personal style in the way we practice politics in the country,” said Professor Shonaiya.

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I dare you to take over Edo Assembly, Obaseki tells ‘Abuja politicians’

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Edo Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has dared those he termed ‘Abuja politicians’ to come and take over activities of the Edo State House of Assembly.

Governor Obaseki, who spoke tough, wondered what happened to some politicians that joined in the struggle to entrench ‘Let the people lead’ mantra.

Speaking at a well-attended rally in Bénin City, Obaseki said Edo is in safe hands with himself, Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu and Secretary to State Government, Barr. Osarodion Ogie.

Obaseki said the political tension was to distract him but he would remain focus on delivery of democracy dividends

He many ‘Abuja politicians’ have refused to come home.

Details shortly…

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Buhari vs Atiku: Presidential election results were doctored in my presence, PDP agent tells tribunal

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Yahaya Shiko, an agent of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2019 presidential election, has alleged that in Kaduna, the results of the poll were doctored to favour President Muhammadu Buhari.

Shiko, who served as the collation agent for PDP in Kaduna south local government of Kaduna state, made the claim at the tribunal on Thursday.

He said the results were doctored in his presence.

PDP and Atiku Abubakar, its presidential candidate, are challenging the victory of Buhari in the February 23, 2019 presidential election.

Serving as the 20th petitioners’ witness, Shiko said the election in his area was marred by over-voting and allocation of figures to parties.

Under cross-examination by Charles Edosomwan, counsel of the All Progressives Congress (APC), he said his account of irregularities during the election in his area was based on the reports he received from polling units agents and those he personally witnessed.

“My statement was based on the reports I received from the polling unit agents and what I saw on the result sheets which were forwarded to the local government collation centre,” he said.

“There were cases of over voting, and allocation of figures. These were what were carried to the Local Government collation centre. In my presence, the results were doctored.”

While responding to questions from Yunus Usman, counsel of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Shiko said “figures were wrongly credited to the APC.”

“At the collation centre, I made complaints when the results were announced and I protested by refusing to append my signature to the result sheets,” he said.

Source: TheCable

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Buhari, APC in panic mood as Atiku’s witnesses opens can of worms at tribunal, says group

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A pro-democracy group on the platform of Justice Vanguard (JV) has said that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) are now in panic mood following some of the revelations coming of the ongoing presidential election tribunal sitting in Abuja.

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar is challenging the outcome of the last presidential election in court.

But the group in a statement signed Wednesday in Abuja by its Convener, Ezekiel Adeojo F said ruling party has been panicking since the petitioner’s witnesses opened the “putrid can of worms on how the electoral will of Nigerians was truncated.”
The group also said it has been reliably informed “by our intelligence that Buhari Media Organization (BMO) has been given a matching order with commensurate funding by the Presidency to rubbish testimonies of Atiku’s witnesses in the media by ensuring that every comment of the witnesses is twisted in the public.

“With the mind-boggling testimonies of Atiku’s witnesses at the ongoing Presidential Election Petition Tribunal which validates our earlier statement that Atiku’s mandate was stolen, the Presidency has been sent into frenzy mode. The APC has been panicking since the petitioner’s witnesses opened the putrid can of worms on how the electoral will of Nigerians was truncated.

Even INEC has been contradicting itself; destroying whatever credibility that is left of the Commission just to defend indefensible electoral heist called 2019 presidential election.

“This explains the barrage of fake news in the media mutilating statements of Atiku’s witnesses, just to confuse Nigerian public and subsequently create holes in petitioner’s submissions.

“Some propagandized stories like: ‘Atiku’s witness can’t remember date of presidential election’ published by online version of Punch newspapers, and sensational report tagged ‘Breaking: I saw my statement for the first time before Tribunal, says Atiku’s witness,’ promoted by The Nation newspapers. These are spined reports. Discerning Nigerians are already aware that The Nation is one of propagandistic platforms of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, APC’s national leader.”

The statement added that propaganda reported as statements of Atiku’s witnesses, does not reflect what happened at the Tribunal in the last few days.
“We acknowledge the fact that the PDP’s witnesses are not infallible like every other humans, but does not have propensity to make such omnibus mistakes.

“These stories were planted in the media by fake news industry called Buhari Media Organization (BMO) to reduce the discourse Atiku’s watertight petition is generating. Nigerians should watch out for more fake news as more spin doctors under the payroll of the ruling APC have been commissioned to unleash beehive of falsehood to corrupt impregnable facts being reeled out by Atiku’s witnesses at the Tribunal. They are jittery because Atiku is indeed coming.”

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Senate to probe alleged diversion $322 million Paris Club funds

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The Senate is set to investigate alleged diversion of over $322 million Paris club refunds meant for the 774 Local Government Areas in the country, it was learnt on Sunday.
The Senator representing Delta North, Peter Nwaoboshi, disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja

Nwaoboshi told reporters that a formal motion would be presented on the floor of the Senate for the investigation of the diverted funds.

The aim of the probe, he said, was to unearth the faces behind the alleged diversion under the guise of consultancy fees.

Nwaoboshi said that measures would also be mounted to recover the diverted funds.

The Delta north senator also flatly denied recent media reports that 22 various bank accounts belonging to him were frozen by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP).

He challenged those behind the reports to publish the amount recovered.

Nwaoboshi said: “Let me assure Nigerians that as soon as the case is settled, I shall bring a motion to investigate the $322 million of the 774 local governments in Nigeria allegedly taken by consultants from the Paris Club refund. It must be investigated by Nigerians. Nothing will stop it.

“If the Senate fails to investigate it, I will take it up and make it a one-man show to ensure that faces behind the diversion of the funds are unmasked. Nigerians should expect that from me.”

On his legal tussle with SPIP, he said: “I don’t have 22 bank accounts. That is not to say that there is any law that forbids me to own up that number of bank accounts or more than that in Nigeria.

“Most of the alleged bank accounts belong to companies of which they thought I have interest in, but I am not a signatory, a director, or a shareholder in any of the companies.

“It is therefore wicked, malicious, frivolous, scandalous, and a height of irresponsibility.
“It, therefore portrays the level of the understanding of the law by the leadership of the SPIP. I challenge the SPIP to publish the names of the shareholders, directors, and signatories to the accounts for the public to judge.

“I wonder why the SPIP failed to carry out due diligence before rushing to the court to tarnish my image by securing a forfeiture order on firms that I have nothing to do with. I went to court on June 10th this year and obtained an injunction ordering SPIP to maintain the status quo ante on my case as of May 31, 2019.

“I wonder why a party to the suit should go ahead to secure this forfeiture order when the injunction had not be lifted.

Ten of the bank accounts belong to companies while most of the other 12 accounts were opened for me by the various banks representatives operating in the National Assembly when I became a senator, are already dormant.

“My attention has been drawn to a purported forfeiture order although I am yet to be served with the proceedings of the court, I only read it in the print media.

“I don’t have 22 bank accounts. That is not to say that there is any law that forbids me to own up that number of bank accounts or more than that in Nigeria.

“Most of the alleged bank accounts belong to companies of which they thought I have interest in but I am not a signatory, a director, or a shareholder in any of the companies.

“It is therefore wicked, malicious, frivolous, scandalous, and a height of irresponsibility.

It, therefore portray the level of the understanding of the law by the leadership of the SPIB.

“I challenge the SPIB to publish the names of the shareholders, directors, and signatories to the accounts for the public to judge. “

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