•We must bury PDP in Kogi-El-Rufai
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has inaugurated 56-member National Campaign Council for the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states. The Kogi and Bayelsa Campaign Councils are being chaired by the governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and his Jigawa State counterpart, Alhaji Abubakar Bagudu, respectively.
The breakdown of the 56-member committee for Kogi State is made up of seven governors, one Senator, four House of Representatives members, six ministers, nine National Working Committee (NWC) members, past governors and other party chieftains.
For Bayelsa, the council is made up of 10 governors, two Senators, five House of Representatives Members, five ministers, six NWC members, past governors and other party chieftains. Speaking at the inauguration at the national secretariat, Abuja, the National Chairman of the party Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, urged both committees to prosecute the elections with all determination and assurance of winning in both states. Oshiomhole noted that as a former governor himself governor Yahaya Bello deserves to be re-elected, saying, “governors usually get mature in second term.”
Oshiomhole said: “Let me use this opportunity to assure our opponent that we are ready for campaign and elections. “ln Bayelsa, the heart of the people will be turned to elect a man that will make a difference, that will demonstrate that in a genuine democracy, very ordinary people who connect with their people, who understand and live with their people and share the joy, pain and aspirations of their people.
“Even if they don’t have the history of a political dynasty they can rise to become a governor and l believe that is the story of our candidate in Bayelsa. The reaction of PDP shows they are in trouble. My very good friend Dickson is in trouble. “We take this two elections very seriously, because we believe in the power of the ballot; we believe that the issues should be contested in a peaceful environment and not by the power of gunshots which has been the tradition of the opposition and we know that people want a change. “Let me use this opportunity to assure the opposition that we are ready for campaigns, it is not a fight, it is not a war.
The only thing we will insist on is that the votes must count because Bayelsa is not used to votes being counted. “They have to be encouraged to understand that the votes will not only be cast in a free and fair atmosphere, it must not be through the power of the barrel of the Gun.
The PDP must know that and learn new tactics in winning votes and not fight wars.” Responding, Kano State Governor, Dr. Umar Ganduje, who stood in for Jigawa State governor, said “it is a matter of democracy that all votes must count in the coming election in Bayelsa State. However, El-rufai, who said the PDP would be buried, said his team would not let the party down, adding that APC will win the election in Kogi with “a wide margin.” He noted that Kogi is different from Bayelsa State and that his team would prosecute the election based on its records in the state.
Why I’m reorganising Presidency, by Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari says the ongoing reorganisation at the presidency is aimed at enhancing service delivery to Nigerians.
A statement by the President’s spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Saturday, said the president stated this when he fielded questions from State House Correspondents, shortly after his arrival from London on Friday night.
President Buhari said: “It is unfortunate that the recent disengagement of some political appointees from the presidency had been given ‘ethnic and political’ interpretations.
‘‘They said 35 people were sacked in the Vice President’s office. We just created some ministries and we reorganised and people are giving it ethnic and political dimensions. It is unfortunate.”
Responding to a question on what next for his administration after resting in London, the President said: “We are going to work harder and be accountable.
“We have tried to make Nigerians understand why we do certain things. Accountability from bottom to top is absolutely necessary.
“Whoever is responsible for government property, [should know] it is public property, it is not personal and he has to manage it according to the law.
“That’s what I expect and I think that we have been around long enough to impress on people that we mean what we say.”
Violence, ballot snatching, killings mar Kogi elections
*Six killed, several others injured in Abocho, Ayetoro-Gbede
* As hoodlums, gunmen snatch ballot boxes
* Helicopter aides in ballot snatching in Lokoja
Saturday’s governorship and Kogi West Senatorial rerun elections in Kogi State were marred with violence, ballot box snatching, killings and burning of properties across the state.
New Telegraph learnt that six people were killed at different polling units and many others injured by gunmen and hoodlums, who stormed various voting centers, disrupting the process and carting away ballot boxes.
A building belonging to an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain was also set ablaze in Lokoja, the state capital, during the election.
At Lokongoma community in Lokoja Local Government Area, a helicopter was alleged to aided in the snatching of ballot papers.
The helicopter, was said to have descended as if it was going to land, thereby raising thick dust to scare electorates away, before the ballot boxes were carted away.
At Abocho community in Dekina Local Government Area, two persons reportedly lost their lives during the governorship election in Kogi State.
The deceased persons who are names were issued by the natives, as Umoru shuaib and Faruk Suleiman, died during gun battle between supporters of the ruling APC and main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Witnesses said the incident happened while voting was going at Barrack Polling Unit 001 in Dekina council.
It was learnt that the assailants from all indications, came for Umoru Shaibu, one of the victims in the attack.
“They came in a bus while voting was taking place and were wearing police uniforms, so we didn’t suspect anything.
“Umoru had voted and was chatting with Faruk close to the poling unit, when the bus drove by. None of the occupants who were in police uniforms alighted from the vehicle.
“We just heard gunshots and shouts from the victims as well as onlookers. The attackers then drove off,” a resident in the community, who identified himself as Michael Ochimamna, disclosed.
The major street in the ancient town was deserted when our correspondent visited the area.
Stones and sticks littered the road, while tyres earlier burnt by youths protesting the attack were still emitting smoke.
Three people were also reportedly killed in Adankolo in Lokoja, the state capital. They were killed in different polling units by hoodlums who shot sporadically while trying to cart away ballot boxes but were prevented by some electorate and residents in the community.
A voter was also killed in Ayetoro-Gbede in Ijumu Local Government Area and two other people shot at by hoodlums who disrupted the voting process at Ayetoro Town Hall in Ward 03 of the local government.
The hoodlums also snatched ballot boxes at Ayetoro Town Hall and Oke Ibukun in Ijumu Local Government Area. But the ballot boxes was later recovered.
Occupational therapy is lucrative profession, FNPH boss
Medical Director, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, Dr. Oluwayemi Ogun, has said that Occupational Therapy is still a lucrative profession in the world.
Speaking at the 13th and 14th convocation ceremony of the Federal School of Occupational Therapy, in Lagos, Saturday on the relevance of Occupational Therapists in healthcare, Mrs Ogun said they help to improve patients’ ability to perform tasks at work, home and leisure, among other things and facilitate their successful adaptations to disruptions in lifestyle, prevent losses of function and improve or maintain psychological status.
She noted that the school, since her inception in 2002 has continued to produce professionals in the field of occupational therapy who have excelled in their career.
Advising the graduates, Dr. Ogun said: “Each of you is here today through your hard work and determination to excel. By reason of study in this school, you have developed the needed skills, the capacity to think independently and to have empathy in the treatment of your patients.
“I want to encourage each of you not to rest on your oars academically. The future is very bright and the sky can be your starting point, not limit if you continue to press on. There are barriers to be broken, new grounds to conquer and glass ceilings to shatter, if you’re hungry enough for knowledge, all things are possible. Do your best in all things. Contribute your quota to the development of the nation,” she advised.
The Acting Principal of the institution, Mr Adeoso Akinwole, said: “We have produced best of hands that are manning various hospitals in both public and private practice.”
Shooting at New Jersey high school day after California attack
Terrified high school students ran for their lives when a gunman opened fire during an American football game.
Footage shows the panic and fear of the players and spectators in Pleasantville, New Jersey Friday night, reports Sky News.
Some ran for cover, while others threw themselves to the ground.
A child and a man were seriously injured in the attack that took place around 8.30pm local time on Friday, according to officials.
The child’s condition was said to be serious and he was airlifted to a children’s hospital in Philadelphia.
No one had been arrested as of Friday night, and authorities were investigating whether more than one gunman might have been involved.
Authorities did not identify victims or release information on their conditions other than to say both were alive several hours after the shooting.
It comes after the suicide of a 16-year-old boy who killed two teenagers when he opened fire on students at a high school in California on Thursday morning.
In New Jersey, Kevin Minnick, a sports reporter who was covering the game, shared video from the scene of ambulances on the field.
“Pop, pop, pop. At least a half dozen shots in Pleasantville bleachers,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Got to say my knees are shaking,” he said, adding: “In 30-plus years, I’ve never witnessed anything like this first-hand. I hope to never witness it again.”
In footage shared by Minnick, small children can be heard crying while parents carry their young ones home.
The shooting happened during a game between the Camden Panthers and the Pleasantville Greyhounds.
Paris police fire tear gas on ‘yellow vest’ protests anniversary
Paris police fired tear gas in northwestern and southern Paris on Saturday to drive back protesters marking the first anniversary of anti-government “yellow vest” demonstrations.
On the Place d’Italie in southern Paris, demonstrators, many clad in black and hiding their faces, set trash bins on fire and hurled projectiles at riot police while building barricades.
Clashes broke out between demonstrators and police near the Porte de Champerret as protesters were preparing to march across town toward Gare d’Austerlitz.
Police also intervened to prevent a few hundred demonstrators from occupying the Paris ring road, according to Reuters TV footage.
Paris police said 33 people had been arrested by 1030 GMT.
The so-called yellow vest protests, named for the high-visibility jackets worn by demonstrators, erupted in mid-November 2018 over fuel price hikes and the high cost of living. The demonstrations spiraled into a broader movement against President Emmanuel Macron and his economic reforms.
The protests lost strength in recent months, going from tens of thousands of participants to just a few thousand, but the movement’s leaders called for people to turn out on Saturday to mark the first anniversary.
At its peak in late 2018, the movement grew to up to 300,000 people.
Protests have been banned near tourists spots such as the Eiffel Tower and many subway stations were closed on Saturday.
The yellow vest movement was one of the toughest challenges to Macron’s presidency before it dwindled in the early summer.
The movement evolved from nationwide road blockades into a series of often-violent demonstrations that pitted rowdy protesters with police and have ravaged Paris and other major cities in the country.
The yellow vest crisis forced Macron to make policy concessions and delay the next big wave of reforms, including overhauling the pension and unemployment systems.
A survey by pollster Odoxa published two weeks ago showed nearly one in every two French people believed the protest movement might reawaken.
Macron’s plans to simplify the unwieldy and expensive pension system, which he says will make it fairer, is particularly unpopular.
Trade unions have called on railway workers, Paris public transport staff, truck drivers and civil servants to strike against the pensions overhaul on December 5, and in some cases beyond.
Students and yellow vest protesters have called for people to join forces with the unions.
On Thursday Macron promised money for hospitals in a bid to quell unrest among medics, reports Reuters.
Bill Gates reclaims title as world’s richest man
Foremost philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, has reclaimed his title as the world’s richest man.
The latest Bloomberg Billionaires Index said Gates, 64, now has $110 billion, deposing Amazon billionaire owner, Jeff Bezos, into second place at $109 billion.
Bernard Arnault of Louis Vuitton luxury brand came third at $103 billion while Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was fifth at $74.5 billion.
Gates’ income was propelled by his Microsoft stocks, which went up 48 per cent in 2019. The company also secured a $10 billion defence contract for cloud infrastructure from the United States government.
But Bezos’ Amazon posted a lacklustre result in the third quarter of 2019, which saw the founder lose nearly $7 billion in his stock value, reports said.
Bezos had ended Gates’ 24-year run as the richest man in 2018 when he was reportedly worth $160 billion.
The Amazon founder also had an infamous divorce that was finalised earlier this year, which saw his then wife, MacKenzie Bezos, walk away with $36 billion from Bezos’ stocks. It was reported as the biggest divorce settlement in history.
Reps to investigate NAF chopper crash
Philip Nyam, Abuja
The House of Representatives Committee on Air Force has described as unfortunate the incident involving an Air Force training helicopter which crashed in Enugu on Thursday.
The Chairman, Hon. Shehu Koko in a statement on Saturday thanked God that no life was lost and assured of the House of Representatives’ determination to investigate the remote cause of the incident to avoid future reoccurrence.
“The House Committee on Airforce upon hearing the sad incident that occurred on the 14th of November involving a training Nigeria Airforce helicopter crash in Enugu State wishes to thank God that no life was lost,” Shehu said.
According to an official post on the NAF Twitter handle, “a training helicopter belonging to the Nigerian Air Force had crashed in Enugu State after returning from a routine exercise”.
The report stated that the crash occurred on Thursday with some casualties, even as the cause of the incident is still unknown.
The tweet reads: “NAF helicopter suffers mishap upon landing in Enugu.
“Helicopter has crashed on landing in Enugu after a routine flight today. Fortunately, there were no fatalities or injuries to any crew member or persons on the ground.”
Buhari returns ahead of original date
President Muhammadu Buhari has cut short his two-week private visit to London by two days as he arrived the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja on Friday evening.
The president, who was on official visit to Saudi Arabia before the commencement of the private visit to London on November 2, was initially scheduled to return to Nigeria on November 17.
The president attended the third Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he later performed the Lesser Hajj alongside Governors Atiku Bagudu, Aminu Masari and Babagana Zulum of Kebbi, Katsina and Borno States.
The Nigerian leader was in Saudi Arabia when the Supreme Court on October 30, dismissed the appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar challenging his victory at the February 23 presidential poll.
President Buhari returned to Abuja on the day the apex court ruled that he was “eminently qualified” to contest the presidential election.
The presidential aircraft conveying the Nigerian leader and few of his aides landed at the airport at about 9.40p.m.
The President was received on arrival by his Chief of Staff, Malam Abba Kyari, FCT Minister, Malam Muhammed Bello, some heads of security agencies and presidential aides.
THE D-DAY IN KOGI, BAYELSA: 2.5m kogi, Bayelsa voters decide fate of 69 governorship candidates
… Melaye battles Adeyemi, others for Kogi West Senatorial slot
Today is the D-Day for the people of Kogi and Bayelsa states as over two and half million registered voters are expected to decide the fate of the more than 50 political parties and 69 governorship candidates in the two states. According to the statistics released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), while there are 1,646,350 registered voters for Kogi State, there are 923, 182 voters in Bayelsa State. However, 889, 308 Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) were collected in Bayelsa State, making 96.3 percent of the registered voters. The charged atmosphere in the two states has given rise to concerns over the safety of lives and property due to the violence that characterised the electioneering in the two states in the last few weeks.
The police have however moved to curb anything untoward with the deployment of 31, 041 policemen to Bayelsa State and 35, 800 policemen to Kogi state, totalling 66, 841 policemen deployed in the two states. Though there are many political parties jostling for the two governorship seats and one senatorial slot in Kogi state, the contests has been narrowed to a two-horse race between the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The test of might will see 45 political parties competing in Bayelsa State and 24 partaking in the Kogi exercise, making it a total of 69 governorship candidates in the two states.
In Kogi State, the governor, Yahaya Bello, is seeking re-election into the Lugard House on the platform of the APC, and will be running against his PDP opponent, Engr. Musa Wada and 22 others, who will battle for 1,646,350 votes in the state.
The 24 candidates who have canvassed for votes across the states will be expecting the electorate from the three senatorial districts and 21 local government areas in the state to vote for them. Apart from the governorship poll, 432,515 voters will also march out to vote for their representative in the Red Chamber. For the Kogi West Senatorial rerun, the contest is majorly between Senator Dino Melaye of the PDP and Senator Smart Adeyemi of the APC in the seven local government area s of the state: Ijumu, Kabba-Bunu, Kogi, Lokoja, Mopamuro, Yagba East and Yagba West. The popularity of both candidates may also determine where the pendulum will swing in the governorship poll in the area.
This is coming as the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, stopped INEC from removing the name of the governorship candidate of the APC in Bayelsa State, David Lyon, from the ballot of today’s election. The court granted an exparte order restraining INEC from disqualifying the governorship candidate of the APC.
The three-member Appeal Court panel led by Justice Lokulo-Sodipi, also restrained the INEC from executing the orders of the Federal High Court, which ordered the removal of the name and logo of the APC and its governorship candidate from the race. Justice Lokulo-Sodipi, in a ruling, held that the panel abides by the decision made by Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, which compelled INEC to maintain status quo from the September 18, 2019, when the matter was instituted, pending the determination of motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.
The Appeal panel, thereafter, ordered that applicants should serve all the respondents notices and other processes before adjourning till November 21, for mention. The road to Creek Haven will see Lyon slugging it out against Senator Douye Diri of the PDP and 43 other candidates from other political parties.
Vote-buying amidst tension
Already, there is tension and apprehension in Kogi State as people are afraid of coming out to vote for fear of being attack during the election. A resident who spoke on the condition of anonymity in the Igala area of Kogi said the “people may not come out to vote because of fear of being attack by hoodlums” He also noted that negotiation for vote-buying had started already as canvassers have started reaching out to people. The voter told our correspondent that his coordinator told them that money would be shared in the morning.
Masked men attack Makinde, others
In a twist, there seemed to be a security lapse in Kogi State as some armed and masked security men yesterday stormed Suitorial Hotels, along Stadium Road in Lokoja, where the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde, Wada and some PDP leaders were meeting. Multiple sources told Saturday Telegraph that the security operatives stormed the hotel based on a tip off that some hoodlums were meeting in the hotel. But on getting there they discovered that Governor Makinde, who is the Chairman of the PDP Campaign Council for Kogi State governorship election was meeting with Wada and other party’s leaders.
Saturday Telegraph gathered from realible sources, including security officers at the Suitorial Hotels that the hooded security operatives arrived the hotel where Makinde, Wada and some members of the PDP Campaign Council were lodged about 12.50 p.m. According to the source, some of the hooded security operatives forced their way into the hotel. But a number of security operatives attached to the governor and some residents of nearby buildings, however, resisted the security operatives, thereby causing a pandemonium.
The source said: “They came fully armed and hooded. Some of them scaled the fence of the hotel and made to enter the hotel proper. But pandemonium ensued, as there was commotion between security operatives attached to the Governor and the invaders.
“However, some residents in the neighbourhood of the hotel soon mobilised and joined the governor’s security to resist the invaders.” But reacting to the event during a briefing with some journalists at the Kogi State Police Command, the state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Busari, said the security men went to the hotel base on a report that some hoodlums were meeting at the place. He said: “We heard that there were hoodlums at the hotel but on getting there the security men discovered that it was Governor Seyi Makinde and Wada that were at the hotel and they have to leave the place.” He also said that the security agencies were fully prepared for the election and to provide adequate security in the state. Confirming the invasion of the hotel by the masked security officials to Saturday Telegraph during a visit to the hotel, some personnels working at the hotel said the security agencies came to the hotel but were prevented from having access to the governor. “The masked security men numbering about 20, came to the hotel and they wanted to enter but the security staff attached to the governor prevented them from entering. And having been prevented they left the place.” Saturday Telegraph gathered that few minutes after the invasion, Governor Makinde, Wada and other PDP officials drove out of the hotel to an unknown location. “The governor is no longer here. They drove out in convoy and we don’t know where they went to,” a hotel employee told one of our correspondents.
EU urges security agencies to be neutral
European Union has urged the security agencies to be neutral in the discharge of their duty within the framework of the electoral law. Speaking during a press conference in Lokoja, the Head of Delegation, and European Union Delegation to Nigeria and to the Economic Community of West African States, Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, said they were in Kogi and Bayelsa states to support the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria and not there in support of any political party and candidate.
The European Union team which comprises many foreign officials from United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and Austrian embassies, also implored the citizens of Kogi and Bayelsa to come out and vote for their preferred candidates, nothing that “the beauty of democracy was for people to come out and vote candidates they believe will help improve their socioeconomic conditions.” The EU while discouraging the electorate from vote-buying, noted that “In any democracy, elections should be about a competition of ideas and serving the people. Therefore, vote buying is illegal and should not be encouraged. We hope that tomorrow’s elections reflect this.”
His words: “The elections in Kogi and Bayelsa are important because these are the first set of elections being conduct post 2019 general elections and hence, we are Keen to see how the process unfolds with hope that all stakeholders have learned lessons from the previous elections and that these lessons have been taken on board in a bid to further strengthen the electoral process particularly in the area of the collation and transmission of results and timely-effective communication with the electorates.
“We hope that all these lessons will further promote electoral integrity that will enhance a credible and peaceful process. “We note with concerns the witnessed tensions and some security incidences that have been reported in the runup to these elections and take this opportunity to appeal to the security agencies as well as the electorates to keep the peace. “We believe that the electorate should be able to exercise their franchise in a secure, conducive and accessible environment devoid of any intimidation and harassment. “We will also like to encourage the security agencies to remain neutral in the discharge of their duty within the framework of the electoral law.”
Situation Room urges parties to restrain their supporters from violence
The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room has also called on the security services to demonstrate their commitment to non-partisanship support to electoral security. Speaking on behalf of Situation Room, Dudu Manuga and Celestine Odo, the civil society groups implored political parties to restrain their supporters from election violence They also implored the people of Kogi State to come out freely to exercise their civil responsibility during the governorship poll. “Owing to the high stakes in the governorship election and the increasingly tense political environment, the potential for serious local instability that may further exacerbate Nigeria’s security challenges as a whole, is real. Therefore, Situation Room calls on the security services to demonstrate their commitment to non-partisanship support to electoral security, and ensure that it provides adequate security for the elections, in a manner that does not allow or encourage violence to be used as a tool for vote suppression. “We further called on the Police Force to document evidence of violence as well as infractions and their perpetrators in order to speedily bring offenders to book. “Situation Room calls on political parties participating in the governorship election to take part in the elections devoid of perpetrating violence, vote buying or other electoral malpractices. Situation Room further calls on political parties to restrain their supporters from election violence. “Situation Room calls on all eligible voters to come out freely to exercise their civic responsibility on Saturday, November 16. Situation Room expects that INEC and indeed all stakeholders in the electoral process would have taken lessons from the challenges of the 2019 general elections and work towards delivering peaceful and credible governorship election in Kogi State.”
PDP accuses APC of attempt to disrupt its leaders’ meeting
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused suspected thugs of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of attempt to disrupt the meeting of its members in Lokoja, Kogi State. The party said in a statement yesterday by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, that several hooded thugs, armed with automatic rifles and other dangerous weapons, invaded the venue of the meeting which had in attendance, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, PDP governorship candidate, Engr. Musa Wada, his running mate, Hon. Samuel Aro, among other party chieftains. “It took the resistance of the security personnel attached to Governor Makinde to save the situation, which would have turned calamitous, as the people of Kogi who were around the venue were already poised for a stiff confrontation,” PDP said in the statement. It warned the APC that its “reliance on thugs and violence cannot thrive, as the people are ready to defend their state in this election.” The party urged the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu, to caution the APC, and to put every measure in place to check the activities of thugs so as to ensure a hitch free, transparent and credible election on Saturday. It also called on the people of Kogi State to remain alert and resolute in their determination to assert their will despite the machinations designed to undermine their spirit at the election. PDP told Nigerians to hold the APC and Governor Yahaya Bello responsible should any harm whatsoever befall any of its members.
Presidential poll: Why we dismissed Atiku’s appeal against Buhari’s election –S’Court
The Supreme Court yesterday gave its reason for dismissing the appeal filed by the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, wherein he challenged the judgement of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, which upheld President Muhammadu Buhari’s election.
The apex court stressed that Buhari was eminently qualified to contest the election contrary to the submission of Atiku. In a unanimous judgment prepared by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed, but read by Justice John Okoro, the Supreme Court said the qualifications for a person seeking to contest the position of the President of Nigeria were clearly stated in Section 131 of Constitution.
The court held that President Buhari was eminently qualified having met the requirements stipulated in Section 131 (d) of the constitution that provides that an aspirant to the position of President should be educated to the secondary school level or primary six and had served in the public service for 10 years and attended training, with ability to read and write in English Language and any other qualifications acceptable to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It further held that Buhari’s primary school certificate, certified copy of his Canbridge certificate, certified copy of his West African School Certificate (WASC), his group photograph of Katsina Secondary School and commendation letter from the Commandant of US War College and his long service in public service; two years of which he served as military Head of State and four years as the President, had suffice for the qualification requirements.
It further held that the provisions be accorded its ordinary meaning, adding that an aspirant who possessed any of the qualifications stipulated in the section suffice. The apex court also held that neither the constitution nor the Electoral Act requires the respondent to attach certificate to INEC nomination form CF 001. On the variation in the name between Mohammed Buhari as contained in the certificates and Muhammadu Buhari, which he presently bears, the court agreed with the finding of the lower court that the names referred to the same person and resolved issues one and two in favour of Buhari.
On issue three, which dealt with whether Buhari scored the lawful votes cast at the election, the court also agreed with the findings of the lower court that the fact obtained from ‘www.fact don’t lie.ng website’ cannot be relied upon as it does not belong to INEC. It held that the lower court was right to have rejected the votes obtained from the website, which formed the case of the appellants.
“I am satisfied with the findings of the lower court, which did not attach any probative value on the evidences of PW 59 and PW 60. This issue is resolve in favour of the respondent,” the court held. On issue four that the election was not in compliance with the Electoral Act, the Supreme Court said that the appellant failed to call witnesses that actually witnessed the election. “The appellants only called five poll agents as witness across the country with over 250,000 polling units. “The appellant also failed to tender the voter register.
They tendered and dumped voluminous documents on court without calling the makers of the said documents to speak to the documents,” the court held. Justice Mohammed also held that the lower court was right not to have attached any probative value on the documents that was tendered from the bar.
“It is not the duty of the justices to speculate or fish out what the documents were all about,” he added. The court further held that from the totality of the evidence and exhibits, the appellants could not prove the monumental allegations of corrupt practice.
The issue was also resolved against the appellants. On issue five, which questioned the lower court admission of Buhari’s photocopy examination result as exhibit, when the lawyer through which they were tendered was not the makers, the court held that the documents were properly admitted and witnesses testified on them. Meanwhile, neither the appellants, nor his counsel were present in court while Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), who led President Buhari defence team had earlier sought to know whether the court sent them hearing notice. Justice John Okoro confirmed that the appellants were served with hearing notice on Wednesday. He added that the court would go ahead to give its reasons for the decision despite the appellants’ absence.
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