Thursday, June 1, 2023

Fascist comment: Soyinka lacks ‘restraint’ in language use – Chimamanda

Award winning author Chimamanda Adichie has reacted to recent comments by Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, describing remarks by Labour Party vice presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed as fascistic.

Speaking during a chat on AriseTV on Monday, Adichie said there is nothing fascistic about Baba-Ahmed’s comments.

He opined that if there is anyone that should be slammed with the label of fascist then it is INEC and those who were supposed to speak against the violence and atrocities that took place during the elections but kept quite.

She “I have a lot of love for Prof. Soyinka. I admire him. I respect him as a thinker, as a writer. I think everyone should read The Man Died . And actually, Ake, his memoir is beautiful. But at the same time, I disagree very strongly with him about this particular issue. And actually, because I respect Prof Soyinka so much, I went back and watched the interview.

“I had watched it when it aired initially but I went back and watched it because I thought I was missing something. And I think fascist is a really strong word… And I did not see any reason that Mr Datti Baba-Ahmed in that interview would have been termed fascist.

“You know, I think he (Baba-Ahmed) was making a very strongly-felt point about the elections. What he was saying, which again, I thought seemed fairly reasonable is that if our democracy is rooted in our constitution and you then swear in a person who’s been elected unconstitutionally, then you’re in fact, ending democracy.

“…And so I just didn’t quite see why it would be termed fascism. I think it’s fair to say that he, Prof Soyinka himself is not given to restraint in language in general, and so maybe that’s where that word fascist came from.

“However, I have suggestions for what we could use fascist for, we could use fascist for INEC, because as it is right now, many Nigerians feel deeply cheated by INEC, deeply disenfranchised by INEC, and that is authoritarianism which obviously is the basis of fascism at the centre of manipulating an election because what you’re doing is that you’re gagging people, you’re forcibly taking away their voice, that is fascist,” she posited.

How INEC rigged presidential election – Chimamanda Adichie

Award winning writer and renowned novelist, Chimamanda Adichie, has doubled down on her criticism of the conduct of the 2023 presidential election.

Recall that Chimamanda had, in a letter to United States president, Joe Biden, warned him against legitimising the election which she described as ‘deliberately manipulated’

Ramping up her castigation of independence national electoral commission (INEC), Chimamanda said the electoral umpire’s excuse that there were technical glitches in real-time uploading of presidential election results was not convincing and unbelievable.

Adichie, who spoke on Arise News on Monday, maintained that INEC’s refusal to upload results in real-time was done on purpose to manipulate the outcome of the election.

She also noted that rigging of the election started long before the poll through systemic voters disenfranchisement when INEC refused to give voter card to those who registered for their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

“I tried very hard because I had been assured that technology would save us… and we should also talk about how difficult it was to collect PVCs and how that in itself is a form of voter disenfranchisement,” she opined

She pointed out that one of the most glaring evidences of the manipulation of the poll were mutilated election sheets and polling units agents publicly speaking about how results from the polling units were different from official announcements.

“It was not about technical glitches. Can we also realise that Nigeria is full of very bright young people in tech. There’s no reason for that excuse of technical glitch. And the other question then is, if it was a technical glitch, why was it possible for most people to upload the results of the other federal elections, but not the presidential?

“And I think most of all, is that there’s just been this resounding, unfortunate silence from INEC and from the chairman of INEC. I think Nigerians deserve the respect of an institution that’s supposed to shepherd their democracy. So nobody has come out to explain to Nigerians how that happened.

“There’s a statement about technical glitches that is not convincing. And knowing how much hope and trust that Nigerians invested in this election, knowing that Nigeria is a low trust society, I think that if people really are sincere and there’s really nothing to hide, then you make an extra effort to go out and explain to Nigerians what happened,” she argued.

How UK immigration harassed, detained Obi over alleged impersonation – LP

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Peter Obi

The Labour Party (LP) says Peter Obi, its presidential candidate, was the subject of inhumane and unfair treatment in the hands of London immigration officials over alleged impersonation.

The Obi-Datti media office made this known in a statement on Wednesday, stating that Obi was detained and harassed at the Heathrow Airport after being accosted by an immigration officer on his recent trip to the UK.

According to the LP media office, Obi was pulled aside for an alleged duplication offense, implying that he had an impersonator in the country.

“Obi-Datti media office can confirm that the LP presidential candidate in the February 25 presidential poll had arrived the Heathrow Airport in London from Nigeria and joined the queue for the necessary airport protocols when he was accosted by an immigration official who handed him a detention note and told him to step aside,” the media team said.

“He was questioned for a long time and it was very strange for a man who lived for over a decade in that country.”

The Labour Party added that it took the intervention of Nigerians who quickly raised their voices asking why Obi was being delayed.

“The immigration officials who were also taken aback at the reaction of the people were forced to reveal that Obi was being questioned for a duplication offense, meaning that someone has been impersonating him in London,” the Obi-Datti media team said.

“The high implication of the offense is that the impersonator could be committing all kinds of weighty crimes and other dubious acts and it would be recorded in Obi’s name.

“Obi-Datti Media office recalls that our principal has been under all kinds of attack, since the February 25, 2023 presidential election in which as the standard bearer of the Labour Party, he put up an outstanding showing coming third out of 18 contestants as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, even though his supporters and many other election watchers including international observers believe very strongly that he won the election but was manipulated out.

“Since he was told to go to court if he feels strongly about the election which all international monitors said was flawed and full of imperfections and he accepted, there have been severe attacks on him from all corners.

“It’s also not impossible that those urging him to leave the country may have planted the impersonators ostensibly to tar the Eagle’s immaculate appearance.”

U.S. court jails businessman for smuggling military-typed weapons, ammunition into Nigeria

Eric Fru Nji, a resident of state of Maryland in United States, has been sentenced to over five years in federal prison for Illegally transporting firearms with erased Serial Numbers and smuggling firearms to Nigeria

Nji, 42, was convicted and sentenced on Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett of Fort Washington, Maryland, to 63 months in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release, for conspiracy, for transporting firearms with obliterated serial numbers, and for smuggling firearms and ammunition from the United States to Nigeria.
Judge Bennett also ordered Nji to pay a fine of $25,000. Nji was convicted of those charges on May 6, 2022, along with co-defendants Wilson Nuyila Tita, age 47, of Owings Mills, Maryland and Wilson Che Fonguh, age 41, of Bowie, Maryland, after a two-week trial.

The sentence was announced by Erek L. Barron, United States Attorney for the District of Maryland; Special Agent in Charge James C. Harris of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; and Special Agent in Charge Toni M. Crosby of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division.

According to the evidence presented at trial, from at least November 2017 through July 19, 2019, Nji and his co-defendants conspired with each other and with others to export firearms, ammunition and other military-typed items from the United States to Nigeria. Specifically, the evidence at trial established that Nji and his co-conspirators secreted 38 firearms, 28 of which had the obliterated serial numbers in a shipping container that they sent out of the Port of Baltimore in January of 2019.

The guns included sniper rifles, SKS assault rifles (some with bayonets), other rifles and several handguns. There were 44 high-capacity magazines, two rifle scopes and over 35,000 rounds of ammunition. As detailed in trial testimony, Nji and his co-conspirators contributed funds for the purchase of firearms, ammunition, reloading materials and other equipment for shipping overseas to separatists fighting against the Government of Cameroon.

The evidence proved that Nji and his co-conspirators concealed the firearms, ammunition, rifle scopes, and other items in duffle bags and heavily wrapped packages inside sealed compressor units, placing those items into a shipping container destined for Nigeria. Nji and his co-conspirators communicated about their efforts and plans to ship weapons and ammunitions using an on-line encrypted messaging application and code words in order to conceal their activities.

Fonguh, Tita and seven defendants charged in related cases are awaiting sentencing.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended HSI and the ATF for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron recognized the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement; U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service; Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the Naval Criminal Investigative Service; and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for their contributions to the investigation. U.S. Attorney Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen O. Gavin, who is prosecuting the case.

60-year-old Kano man accused of marrying minor breaks silence

A 60-year-old man, Aminu Danmaliki, has debunked claims that he married a minor.

Couple of weeks ago, a video surfaced on social media showing Danmaliki and a lady presumed by many to be underaged, with the lady leaning on him and Danmaliki left arm tightly wrapped around her shoulder while making some amorous remarks.

Nigerians had condemned the man after images of their wedding went viral on social media.

Many had berated him saying that underage girls should be protected rather than married off to old men.

Reacting, Danmaliki in a post on his Facebook page on Wednesday said the lady in question is 21 years old and not 11 as purported by many.

He said they both love each other and she was not forced to marry him.

“My recent marriage with Sakina has generated a lot of tension and unfounded allegations that I married an underage girl. Some suggested she is 11 years old and that she was forced to marry me. That is untrue.

“The wedding video went viral. We decided to keep mute but were advised to state the true facts. Here it is: My beloved wife is 21 years old. She made her own choice of me as her husband, and I loved her too.

“I hope the blackmailers and doubting Thomases will see the reality in this picture and leave us alone to enjoy our honeymoon,” he wrote.

BREAKING: INEC declares LP’s Alex Otti winner of Abia governorship poll

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Alex Otti of Labour Party as the winner of Abia State governorship election.

The INEC Returning Officer for the state, Nnena Otti, made the declaration on Wednesday.

She declared Otti as winner of the poll after the result of Obingwa Local Government Area that has been the subject of controversy was released.

According to the result released at the INEC collation centre in Umuahia, Abia capital, Okey Ahaiwe of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) defeated Labour Party’s Alex Otti to polled the highest votes in the local government but Otti garnered the highest votes cast in the election across all local governments in the south eastern state.

Obingwa votes are as follow:

ADC 37
ADP 19
APC 721
APGA 1445
APM 18
APP 383
BP 113
LP 3776
NRM 48
PDP 9962
PRP 12
SDP 55
YPP 3101
ZLP 48

Peter Obi’s lawyers reveal next step amid INEC chairman refusal to allow inspection of election materials

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Peter Obi

The legal team of the presidential candidate of the Labour party, Peter Obi, has expressed displeasure with Independent National Electoral Commission over “deliberate” refusal to allow its client to inspect presidential election materials.

They vowed to take legal action against the electoral umpire for disobeying the orders of the Court of Appeal.

Recall that the appellate court had issued an order allowing Obi, the LP as well as the Peoples Democratic Party to inspect materials used for the February 25 presidential election which INEC declared was won by Bola Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress.

INEC, on March 6, filed a motion on notice asking the court to vacate the orders to enable the commission to reconfigure accreditation machines used for the election to enable their use for the forthcoming governorship and state assembly elections.

The appellate court, in its discretion, allowed INEC to reconfigure the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, but dismissed its application, saying that its earlier orders granting Obi access to electoral materials stands.

INEC, in apparent reaction to the ruling, stated, “we wish to reiterate that the Commission is not against litigants inspecting election materials. Consequently, it will continue to grant all litigants access to the materials they require to pursue their cases in court.”

But a member of Obi’s legal team, Alex Ejesieme SAN, said that the electoral umpire has not granted them access to election materials

He accused INEC of deliberately trying to delay Obi’s legal team from instituting a petition against the presidential election as prescribed by the Electoral Act, adding that the electoral umpire knows that accessing the election materials will expose alleged ballot rigging in the election.

“Yes. You know, what they are doing is deliberate. Ordinarily, the proper thing for us to do is to commence committal proceedings against the INEC chairman and the officers involved but remember, by the Electoral Act 2022, we are supposed to file a petition” he told THE WHISTLER in an interview on Saturday

“So, what they are trying to do is to divert attention,” Ejesieme said, adding, “We will take steps to mount pressure on them to allow us to have copies of the electoral materials in line with the order of the court of Appeal.”

Election tribunal: Legal team composition exposes Obi, Tinubu – Melaye

Dino Melaye, Former lawmaker and spokesperson to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, says the ethnic composition of the legal team of Obi and Tinubu has shown that they are ethnic chauvinist.

Melaye claimed that has his principal is a unifier in all ramifications, unlike his counterparts in the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Labour Party, LP, Bola Tinubu and Peter Obi, respectively.

In a post on his official Twitter handle on Saturday, Melaye also said Obi’s and Tinubu’s legal teams have exposed their hearts.

He claimed Atiku reflected the act in the composition of his legal representatives in the presidential election petition tribunal.

Melaye claimed Obi and Tinubu selected their legal team from their ethnic groups.

He wrote, “Atiku Abubakar’s legal team is the only Presidential legal team that cuts across the six geopolitical zones. He is a unifier in all ramifications. Tinubu’s legal team 80℅ Oduduwa and Obi’s is 100℅ Biafra. This is a reflection of the hearts of the candidates.”

Lagos: PDP guber candidate, Jandor takes final decision on alliance with LP’s Rhodes-Vivour

The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Abdul-Azeez Adediran aka Jandor, has all but ruled out any chances of an alliance with his counterpart of the Labour Party (LP), Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.

There have been calls in some quarters for both heavyweight opposition parties to join forces to end the hegemony of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos.

There’s also a widely held belief that the ruling APC has overstayed its welcome as the government of the day in Nigeria’s commercial and entertainment capital.

The calls grew louder in the wake of the LP’s unprecedented victory in the presidential poll, thanks to Peter Obi and running mate Datti Baba-Ahmed.

However, Jandor has dashed hopes of such anticipated union.

Speaking on Monday in a live interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, he said his “project” started years ago, it was beyond a desire to become governor.

“If it’s to be governor, I could have been governor where I was coming from, but I chose this route,” he said.

The entrepreneur noted that when talks of an alliance began “flying around,” the PDP tabled the matter, “even though we [Gbadebo and I] haven’t sat together to discuss it”.

He added, “We came ourselves to look at the issue and say, ‘Within us, what do we want to do? Do we want to put an end to a dynasty that has held us by the jugular for over two decades? Where do we go from here?’”

According to him, the party decided to analyse every issue critically.

Old Naira notes: CBN finally speaks on Supreme Court order

How To Apply For CBN Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme Loan
CBN Gov., Emefiele

The Central Bank of Nigeria has broken its silence on the order by the Supreme Court that the old naira notes should remain a legal tender till December 31st 2023.

Reacting to the development, the apex bank said that both old and new notes are now legal tender.

The Acting Director of Corporate Communications CBN, Dr Isa Abdulmumin disclosed this on Tuesday.

He affirmed that commercial banks have started issuing both the old and new notes to their customers.

But insisted that the apex bank is yet to issue an official statement.

He said, “Banks are paying old notes as well as new notes. They are all legal tender.

“Yes, the CBN has not issued an official statement on the issue. Anyone banks give to you, you can collect. We just want to make life easy for Nigerians.”

Last week, the Supreme Court gave its verdict on Naira redesign, directing the federal government to allow the validity of N200, N500 and N1000 notes till 31 December.

In response to the ruling, it’s gathered on Monday that some banks in Abuja and Lagos have started issuing the old notes to customers.

But, traders, business owners and motorists are not accepting the old notes.

BREAKING: Labour Party dissolves Rivers exco for endorsing PDP guber candidate

The Labour Party has dissolved the executive council of Rivers state chapter over alleged anti-party activities and corruption in the management of the party’s funds

Kenneth Okonkwo, spokesperson of the LP campaign, in a statement on Tuesday, said the Rivers excos have been dissolved with immediate effect by Julius Abure, LP national chairman.

The dissolution of the exco is coming hours after it endorsed Siminalayi Fubara, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for the March 11 election.

In a communique issued on Tuesday, the party said no candidate from Rivers south-east (Fubara’s district) has had the opportunity of becoming a governor which negates equity and fairness.

The communique was jointly signed by Dienye Pepple, Rivers LP chairman; Amado Solomon, publicity secretary; and Favour Reuben, member of the board of trustees.

The Rivers LP leaders said voting for Fubara ensures that LP and its members are “defenders and ambassadors of the values that have set her Obidient movement apart from all others parties”.

More to come…

Delta guber poll: Labour Party speaks on purported alliance with PDP, Okowa

The Delta State chapter of the Labour Party has debunked reports making the rounds that it is negotiating with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa ahead of the March 11 governorship election in the state.

Speaking in an interview with NAN on Monday in Asaba, the State chairman of the Party, Tony Ezeagwu said there is no iota of truth in the rumours, adding that the party has no business with Okowa.

He said that the party and its teeming supporters in the state remained resolute in their determination to win the governorship election come March 11 and would never divert its support to any other party.

“The Labour Party in Delta held a meeting yesterday where we discussed the rumour making the rounds that our party candidate, Ken Pela is a stooge to Gov. Okowa.

“The same rumour being peddled also alleged that my humble self has been settled with one million naira to surrender our support to the PDP.

“However, I want the general public to know that the Labour party in Delta has no business with Gov. Okowa, the PDP or any other party in the state.

“As a party, we have not discussed anything of such with Okowa, we have not even held any meeting with him and we don’t intend to do so”, Ezeagwu said.

The chairman advised the public, and especially supporters of the Labour party to disregard the rumours, which he described as being far from the truth.

According to him, the rumour is being spread by persons who he said are envious of the popularity and general acceptance of the Labour party in the state.

He said: “They are only spreading these rumours to disabuse the minds of our people from voting for the Labour party because they are jittery about impending defeat in the hands of our party.

“Those spreading these rumours are simply terrified and afraid because they are being hunted by what the Labour party did to them at the last presidential election.”

BREAKING: Labour Party Endorses Makinde’s Re-Election Bid, Ditches Own Guber Candidate

Oyo State chapter of the Labour Party (LP) has dumped it’s party’s gubernatorial candidate Alhaji Tawfiq Akinwale, declared support for Governor Seyi Makinde of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The party made the announcement at a Press conference held at its state headquarters in Ibadan on Sunday ahead of the March 11 governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state.

Speaking at the event, the party’s chairman in the state, Atayase Sadiq, noted that the decision was made following extensive consultation with members of the party across the state’s 33 local government areas.

“The last Presidential election was keenly contested by the three major parties in the country and the result of the election as announced by INEC shows that Labour Party is a force to reckon with.

The result of the Presidential election in Oyo State is similar to that. While the result of the election in its entirety is still a subject of contention, the takehome of the election is that a third force party that emerged barely a year ago has grown to become a strong force because of the quality of its candidate.

“Having considered this, in the upcoming election in our dear state, we have decided to support a candidate with the character, competence and capacity to lead and who is also concerned about the wellbeing of the citizens as it is obvious that no party can win the gubernatorial election alone.

“However, the main priority should be that the citizens win through the emergence of a candidate that best serve their interest.

“Based on this, we have decided to work with the party whose candidate aligns with ours in terms of security, agricultural development and financial well-being. And it is obvious that the current administration of Seyi Makinde has done this.”

INEC finally announces results of National Assembly election in Rivers

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Rivers has announced winners of the National Assembly election conducted on February 25 in Rivers.

INEC made the announcement in a statement issued to newsmen by the commission’s Public Affairs Officer, Mrs Geraldine Ekelemu, in Port Harcourt on Saturday.

The commission announced the winner of the Rivers South-East Senatorial District as Mpigi Barinada of PDP with 53,734 votes to defeat his closest APC rival, Ngofa Nyimenuate who polled 24,123 votes.

It stated that Rivers West Senatorial District was won by PDP’s Banigo Harry who scored 67,668 votes to beat APC’s Asita Asita who netted 32,572 votes.

The commission also announced that PDP’s Onyesoh Allwell clinched Rivers East Senatorial seat with 134,283 votes to floor LP’s Benjamin Okwuwolu who scored 74,725 votes.

Similarly, INEC released the list of the House of Representatives members from Okrika/Ogubuolo, Etche/Omuma, Ikwere/Emohua, Ahoada West/Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Akuku-Toru/Asari-Toru, Eleme/Tai/Oyibo, Abua-Uduah/Ahoada East, Andoni-Opobo/Nkuru, Degema/Bonny, Obio/Akpor, and Port Harcourt 1, while the result of Port Harcourt 2 is suspended.

The results showed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) won only Okrika/Ogubuolo seat, while Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won nine seats and Labour Party also won only one seat for Port Harcourt 1 federal constituency.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Rivers has 12 members in the Green Chamber of the National Assembly.

Recall the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Johnson Alalibo, had earlier told newsmen that the results of Port Harcourt 2 federal constituency would be suspended and reviewed due to reports of irregularity.

Tinubu’s campaign has confessed election was rigged – Atiku

The Presidential Candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has asked APC’s Bola Tinubu to explain to Nigerians why there has been jubilation in Colombia after he was announced as winner of the presidential election but there has been deathly silence and bleakness in Nigeria.

Atiku said that the claim by the Tinubu’s presidential campaign council that there was rigging in the southeast is evidence that indeed the election was fraught with irregularities.

In a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, the PDP Presidential Candidate said it was unfortunate that the APC presidential campaign council had continued to attack and mock Nigerians whose mandate it stole.

He said it was obvious that Nigerians did not want Tinubu as was proved in Lagos.

Atiku stated: “Festus Keyamo’s claim that there was massive rigging in the southeast and that the APC will be challenging the votes in that region validates our position that this election was fraught with irregularities. This is the reason we are seeking the cancellation of the results.

“Is it not funny that Tinubu claimed he wanted to replicate the developments of Lagos across Nigeria, and yet the same people of Lagos rejected him at the poll? He and his minions unleashed thugs on the people of the state and yet still lost.

“We ask them to save their strength for the legal fireworks ahead. Nigerians and the world will see how All Progressives Criminals (APC) stole the mandate of the people and most importantly, they should explain to Nigerians why people have been partying in Columbia while there is grave silence in Nigeria since the declaration of their candidate.”

Two Shari’a court judges sent to prison for stealing ₦580 million

Defection: Court delivers judgement on suit seeking governor Ayade, deputy removal

Two Shari’a court judges in Kano state have been remanded in prison custody over alleged N580.2 million theft.

The duo were remanded by a Magistrates Court in Kano alongside a cashier and 16 other financial registrars, according to News Agency of Nigeria.

The police charged Bashir Kurawa, Saadatu Umar, Tijjani Abdullahi, Maryam Jibrin-Garba, Shamsu Sani and Hussaina Imam with five counts of criminal conspiracy, joint act, criminal breach of trust by a public servant, theft and forgery.

Others are Sani Ali Muhammad, Sani Buba-Aliyu, Bashir Baffa, Garzali Wada, Hadi Tijjani Mu’azu, Alkasim Abdullahi, Yusuf Abdullahi, Mustapha Bala Ibrahim, Jafar Ahmad, Adamu Balarabe, Aminu Abdulkadir, Abdullahi Zango and Garba Yusuf.

Chief magistrate Mustapha Sa’ad-Datti ordered the remand of the defendants and adjourned the matter until February 1 for a hearing.

Prosecution counsel Zahraddeen Kofar-Mata told the court that the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission received an official complaint from the State Ministry of Justice on August 20, 2021.

Kofar-Mata alleged that between 2020 and 2021, Imam used her position as a cashier at the Kano Shari’a Court of Appeal, conspired with four others and another individual, Suleiman, now at large, to forge letterheads of the court.

“The defendants forged the signatures of the two signatories to the Stanbic IBTC bank account 0020667440 belonging to the Kano State Sharia Court of Appeal and stole N484 million,” stated the prosecutor.

Kofar-Mata alleged that the defendants fraudulently authorised the bank to transfer the amount to various bank accounts without the consent of the authorised persons. He also alleged that from 2018 to 2021, the defendants criminally conspired, breached the trust as a public servant, acted jointly and created 15 fake civil servants’ death benefit files and fraudulently siphoned the sum of N96.2 million.

“The N96.2 million was remitted by the Kano State Pension Fund Trustee to the bank accounts of Kano State Sharia Court Appeal. The defendants stole the said amount through eight Sharia courts under the Kano State Sharia Court Appeal without the consent of the authorising authority,” added the prosecutor.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The defence counsel, Garzali Datti, prayed the court to exercise its jurisdiction judiciously and admit the defendants on bail

2023 Presidency: Why I endorsed Obi over Tinubu – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says he’s a stickler for good virtues and impeccable character and has a soft spot for men who possess such attributes.

He said his decision to throw his weight behind presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, is because of his possession of these valuable attributes.

Obasanjo said Peter Obi deserves the votes of all patriotic Nigerians, saying only the callous and unpatriotic ones would vote for his opponents.

While calling on Nigerians to support Obi, Obasanjo said the reason was because he possesses good characters, which his fellow contestants lack.

Obasanjo spoke on Thursday while featuring in an interactive session organised by the Experiential Leadership in Africa (TEL-Africa) in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

Speaking on why he declared his support for Obi against Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Obasanjo said “I will be punished by God if I know what is right and I did not put it where it should be.”

He clarified that he mentioned in his letter that Obi has an edge, taking everything together; stating that “I take character, I take track record, I take vision and I take what you see in this man as a child of God.”

He recalled that during his New Year open letter to the youth, he had said he knows the major candidates a little bit and can say a bit about them as their mentor.

“Why should you as a Nigerian vote for somebody with the character, the reputation, the life of which you do not want your own children to be?” Obasanjo asked, stressing that “it is either you are wicked, you are unpatriotic or you are really, really a bad citizen of this country and then if this is who you are, what do you want God to do with you, and that is the way I see it.”

2023: Osinbajo, Buhari not supporting Tinubu, APC govs insincere – Shettima

There are indications that all is not well within the ruling All Progressives Congress hierarchy ahead of next month general election, the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, AYCF, president, Yerima Shettima, has opined.

Shettima said the absence of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the APC, rallies and refusal to openly support him is a pointer to the acrimonious situation among high-ranking members of the ruling party.

Shettima said Tinubu does not deserve the kind of treatment he gets from Osinbajo and president Muhammadu Buhari, noting that there could be a crack within the APC ranks.

“It’s very unfortunate that in recent times things have not been going well, however, Tinubu does not deserve what he’s getting from Osinbajo and Buhari; no matter how bad it is, he has paid his dues and has stood by them. He deserves better than the support they are giving to him” Shettima said in an interview with DAILY POST.

“If they are truly with him, they should demonstrate it, and if they are not, then they should openly come out and say so. When Obasanjo was in power, in 2006, we could see his body language on how he worked day and night to stand by Yar’ Adua.

“He had gone out of his way to campaign for the presidential candidate. Even in the absence of the presidential candidate, Obasanjo was moving around campaigning because he was willing to ensure that his successor come into power.

“This one that the president and the vice president are sitting on the fence, even the governors are not sincere.”

“Some of these APC governors are not sincere, that is why it would be difficult for the APC presidential candidate, Tinubu, to rely on these governors, they may disappoint him because theirs is to negotiate even with the opposition.”

Shettima suggested that Tinubu should liaise and be discussing with Nigerians, CSOs, and organizations and not rely on governors.

He said: “Tinubu has less than five governors with him, the others are just supportive. The earlier he moves and changes strategy, the better for him, Kashim Shettima, and APC.

“Shettima should move and do better than he’s doing in the Northern part of this country, people are not feeling his impact. The 2023 elections [campaigns] have gone beyond propaganda.”

He said pointedly: “There is a crack in APC because Osinbajo has never campaigned, he has never gone anywhere.”

He alleged that the body language of Amaechi and Osinbajo, for instance, tells of a crack in APC.

“I’m calling on Tinubu to rise up to the occasion and not to over-rely on those governors but to get down to the people within this short period and see what will happen. If he’s relying on governors he will be shocked at what will happen. He should change strategy and method by ensuring all his followers are on their feet; and for Osinbajo, he has shown that he’s not with Tinubu,” he said.

Tinubu contested APC primary with fake identity, credentials – Tunde Bakare

Pastor Tunde Bakare In Trouble Over Inability To Repay ₦9bn Wema Loan Used To Build Church
Pastor Tunde Bakare

The Serving Overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, Pastor Tunde Bakare, on Tuesday, said he’s proud of his performance during the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential primary election.

He said this in reaction to critics who opposed his state-of-the-nation address on Sunday, where he berated and dressed down the party’s candidate, Bola Tinubu.

Bakare said he lost in a dignified manner, noting that he scored zero in the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC primary with true identity, original credentials.

He said, “Can someone tell these people that scoring zero in a primary election with one’s true identity and integrity intact as well having original credentials from well-known schools:

“Primary, Secondary, colleges and University within and outside of this nation is a veritable badge of honor, absolutely legit and unquestionable? Please tell them that in the words of Michel De Montaigne.”

Bakare had advised Nigerians to shun those promoting ‘emilokan’, a term associated with Tinubu and which means “my turn” in Yoruba.

He added that no good politician seeking the votes of the people would evade public debates and also task his team members with the task of answering questions specifically directed at him.

But in a swift reaction, the Presidential Campaign Council PCC of the All Progressives Congress, APC, had described Bakare as a political paperweight whose utterances should not be given serious thought.

“Bakare got zero votes at the convention”, said Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, Director, Special Media Projects/New Media at the PCC.

Also reacting, the Special Adviser, Media, Communications and Public Affairs at the PCC, Mr Dele Alake said the cleric is a political neophyte.

Responding to critics, Bakare said, “Why are they then giving any thought to what I said? May be their alleged “paper weight” is too heavy for them to carry.

“There are some defeats more triumphant than victories.” One of the Special Advisers that I thought had some semblance of nobility had to utter outright lies and falsehoods to satisfy his paymaster. He said that I did a video asking members of our church to vote for their candidate and then turn around to ask them not to vote for him.

“Unfortunately, there is no such video containing such falsehood. The abridged video these people are sending around is from a message preached here (Citadel Global Community Church) in 2020 with the title: “An idle man’s brain is the devil’s workshop.” I made it clear in the video that I did not endorse their candidate’s lifestyle, business or type of politics.

“In the said video, I never asked our members to vote or not vote for their candidate or any other candidate. By the way, our members are not zombies. They, by the grace of God, have their own minds and will decide who to vote for on Election Day. As for those whose stock in trade is lying against others and fabricating stories that are not true about them, our strong consolation is that their DNA and the final destination are spelt out in the Bible. See Psalm 58:3-8. “The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies…”

“Rest assured, I will take the vicious attacks of these political merchants in my stride, because I know that according to Voltaire: “Many are destined to reason wrongly, others not to reason at all and some to persecute those who do reason

Serena Williams undergoes baptism to become Jehovah’s Witness

Tennis legend, Serena Williams, has been baptised as a Jehovah’s Witness.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion was baptized on Sunday as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses on Sunday, heralding a religious shift and monumental moment for the recently retired tennis great.

The baptism took place at the Jehovah’s Witness Assembly in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Serena who announced her exit from the court last year September had earlier expressed her desire to focus on her family and faith after quitting the game.

She is renowned for her outstanding achievement in her career that spanned over two decades-winning 23 grand slam titles, the most by any player in the open era and second-most of all time.

“Being a Jehovah’s Witness is important to me, but I’ve never really practiced it and have been wanting to get into it.” – Serena had said in an interview

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