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23 Feb 2019

BREAKING: Maiduguri Under Attack On Election Day As Seven Explosions Occur Within Ten Minutes

Residents of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, are currently in panic as series of explosions have rocked the city all within ten minutes.

The explosions, seven of them, began at around 5:50am and ended a little around 6am.
Residents are worried about their safety, especially with the presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled to begin in less than two hours.

At the time of this report, it was not clear the number of casualties, or how much properties were destroyed.

More to follow...

BREAKING NEWS: Buhari And Aisha Cast Their Votes In Daura

President Muhammadu Buhari and his wife, Aisha, voted in Daura, Katsina State in the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The wife, Aisha, voted before the president at 8.06 a.m., while the president voted at 8.10 a.m. at the Kofar Baru, Sarkin Yara “A” ward in Daura.

After voting, the president expressed satisfaction with the state of affairs and said he was optimistic of winning.


22 Feb 2019

INEC Opens Up On Over 6000 Ballot Papers Missing In Ogun

The Independent National Electoral Commission in Ogun State has admitted that 6,053 ballot papers were missing from the batch meant for the House of Representatives election in Imeko-Afon Local Government Area of the state.

Head of Department of Voters Education and Publicity for INEC in the state, Mrs. Adenike Tadese, confirmed that there was a shortfall of ballot papers in the council, but she said there was no cause for alarm.

She said the Electoral Officer had already held stakeholders’ meeting to inform the office  of what transpired, promising that the shortfall will be provided.
Six thousand and fifty-three (6,053) ballot papers meant for the House of Representatives election in Imeko-Afon LGA had been declared missing.

The African Democratic Congress in the State on Friday asked the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Abdulganiyu Raji, to produce the missing ballot papers.

The ADC, in a petition addressed to the REC, alleged that out of 62,853 ballot papers meant for the election in the area, 6,053 were missing.

The petition was jointly signed by ADC candidate for Yewa North/Imeko-Afon Federal Constituency, Jimoh Aremu Olaifa; ADC chairman in the LG, Kayode Elegbede; and the party’s agent, Ben Ibikunle.

They expressed surprise that the 62,853 ballot papers meant for presidential and senatorial election in the council were completed.

The petitioners asked the REC to produce the missing ballots “immediately to safeguard the credibility of this election and nip in the bud ongoing speculation that can threaten law and order in the local government.”

The petition partly reads, “Records from our agents at the Ogun State INEC office showed that a total of 62,853 ballot papers were released from the state office for Imeko-Afon LG.

“However, at the Imeko-Afon INEC office, only 56,790 ballot papers were physically sighted and counted by our agent, agents of other political parties and security personnel, leaving a shortage of 6,053 ballots papers as above.

“Interestingly, the same number of 62,843 ballot papers released for the Presidential and senatorial elections was physically sighted and counted by all concerned at the INEC office, Imeko Afon.”

When contacted, the Head of Department of Voters Education and Publicity for INEC in the state, Mrs. Adenike Tadese, confirmed that there was shortfall of ballot papers in the council, but she explained that there is no cause for alarm.

“The carton was never tampered with, it was when they got there (Local Government) that they realised that some ballot papers were missing.

“The Electoral Officer had already held stakeholders’ meeting to inform them of what transpired.

“So, there is no shady deal about that. We have already requested for the shortfall, which will be given to us. So, there is no problem about it.”

Happening Now: Boko Haram Overpowers Soldiers, Kills Civilians In Borno Village Hours To Election

Suspected Boko Haram terrorists are currently attacking Borno village of Zabramari, some 10 kilometres from Maiduguri in Borno State, SaharaReporters can report.
The insurgents came in a convoy of utility vehicles to attack Zabramari, located in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State, at exactly 5pm, and opened fire on civilians, killing a yet unknown number of people.

A resident of the village told SaharaReporters that the soldiers withdrew after they were overpowered by the insurgents, prompting thousands of civilians in the rice-producing community to flee.

Details later.

BREAKING NEWS: Court Slams R.Kelly With 10 Counts Of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse

Singer R Kelly has been charged on Friday with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, some involving underage victims, US media report.

The R&B star, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has faced claims of sexual abuse against women and teenage girls for decades.

He has never been convicted and has previously denied all the allegations.

The 52-year-old is expected in court in Chicago, where he lives, on 8 March.

According to US media who have seen court records, there are four alleged victims, who were aged 13 to 16 at the time of their reported assaults.
Kelly's lawyer told the Chicago Sun-Times he had not yet been notified of the charges against his client on Friday but said R Kelly denied any wrongdoing.

Last week, lawyer Michael Avenatti said that his office had uncovered previously unreleased footage of Kelly having sex with a young girl, which was then handed to the Cook County State Attorney, whose jurisdiction includes Chicago.

There have been calls in recent months to boycott Kelly's music - both recordings and performances - with negative messages posted on social media using the hashtag #MuteRKelly.

Demonstrators gather near the studio of singer R Kelly to call for a boycott of his music after allegations of sexual abuse against young girls were raised on the highly-rated Lifetime mini-series

Kelly, best known for hit song I Believe I Can Fly, has faced numerous accusations of sexual misconduct, making indecent images of children and other offences.

The singer is the subject of the documentary Surviving R Kelly, which premiered in New York in December and featured women who accuse him of sexual and physical abuse.

In 2017, Kelly denied allegations that he was holding a number of young women captive in a so-called "abusive cult".

Witness Tells Court How Ex Governor, Two Others Diverted N1.7bn State Funds

A prosecution witness has narrated how over N1.7billion state funds were diverted from the coffers of the Niger State government during the tenure of a former Governor of the state, Babangida Aliyu.

Aliyu is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), along with his then Chief of Staff, Umar Nasko, and Barrister Tanko Beji, Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Niger State chapter, on an amended seven-count charge of fraud to the tune of N2billion.

They are standing trial before Justice Mikailu Abdullahi of a Niger State High Court sitting in Minna, and had pleaded not guilty to the amended charges on February 14, 2019, when they were re-arraigned.
According to a statement by Tony Orilade, acting Head, Media and Publicity of the EFCC, the witness, Mohammed Bala, an operative of the EFCC, while being led in evidence by Jibrin Okutepa (SAN), the prosecuting counsel on February 21, 2019, narrated how on June 22, 2016, the EFCC received a petition from Umar Danyanya, the Secretary of the Niger State Government, who accused Namisu Jankaro, then Chief Accountant of the state, Ahmed Garba and Ibrahim Abashai, both cashiers, of making withdrawals of N28,136,363,941 from the state coffers.

Bala told the court that upon the receipt of the petition, he was asked to open a case file, which he did and the petitioner was later invited to shed more light on the matter.

He said: “A committee was set up to look into the transactions of the administration of Babangida Aliyu.

“The SSG was invited and he obliged and made statements, after which we wrote to Zenith Bank, Unity Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank and they furnished the Commission with investigation activities of the said account.

“We invited the Permanent Secretary, Mohammed Almustapha Rijau. He came and we showed him the statements of accounts. He told us that before any money is moved, usually, there must be a memo generated from the office of the former governor (Aliyu).

“After then, we invited the Chief Accountant of the Government House, Salisu Musa Jankaro, he came and we interviewed him. We showed him the copy of the petition and he acknowledged that the withdrawals were made on the instruction of the then Chief of Staff, Yusus Garba Tagwai.

“Later, he brought all the instructions used to disburse the money. When we carefully analysed the payment vouchers, we discovered that most of the money was in the name of Barrister Tanko Beji (the second defendant).”

Garba and Abashia, according to Bala, were later invited and they both corroborated the intelligence report gathered that they were instructed to make the said withdrawals.

He said: “In respect of Ecological Funds that was disbursed to the state through the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, we invited Mohammed Ndawai, the Auditor General of the state and he said a contract was awarded for ecological challenges in Niger State in 2014 and that the contractors profiled are nowhere to be found.

“We later invited the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Aliyu Tanko, who also admitted that contracts were awarded to companies, but were never executed.

“After a week or so, he brought all documents. They include Contract Award Letter, Letter of Acceptance and the Account numbers of the four companies.

“We saw how money was transferred from Niger State account to those companies (I D Sabin, M. J Eco Nigeria Limited, Sceptre Plus and Baskir). Sabin received N887million, Eco got over N400million, while Septre got N445million. We wrote to Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja, for the company’s profiles.”

The witness also told the court how one Saidu Ndako, a former SSG, gave instruction for cheques of N10million in 80 places to be written and given to one Isaac Gado.

Gado, according to Bala, was invited and testified that after cashing the money, he handed it to the third defendant, Umar Nasko.

The case has been adjourned till March 13, 14 and 15, 2019, for continuation of trial.

BREAKING NEWS: PDP Campaign Spokesman Abducted

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said its presidential campaign spokesperson in Kogi state, Mr. Austin Okai, has been abducted.

It said he was whisked away Friday night by armed thugs allegedly unleashed by the All Progressives Congress (APC).

PDP spokesman, Kola Ologbodiyan, also asked the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, to immediately disband the checking point in Banda, Lokoja-Abuja highway, where the members of opposition are being harassed and intimidated.
He urged Mohammed, to immediately step into the matter to forestall a break down of law and order.
The image maker noted: “This is because, if Mr. Austin Okai and others are not immediately released by the APC, it would send a very wrong signal to the already agitated youth and lead to a resort to self-help.

“The PDP also alerts of the arrest of its ward chairmen in Rivers state by soldiers, particularly in Abua-Odual Local Government Area, ostensibly in compliance with the orders of the Buhari Presidency.

“The mass arrest in Rivers is coming on the heels of the clampdown of PDP members in Kano state with the arrest of our party leaders and campaign officials including our Senatorial candidate Ahmed Haruna Bichi and a serving member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ahmed Garba Bichi.

“The PDP notes that these are two very volatile states and any act that suggests a clamp down by the authorities might lead to vehement resistance by the people and trigger crisis in the state.

“We call on Nigerians to note how the Buhari Presidency and the APC are pushing Nigerians to the wall and invite the international community to hold President Buhari directly responsible for these infractions against innocent Nigerians,” he said.

Nigerians Reacts As Naira Crashes Against Dollars, Pounds

Less than two hours ago, Nigerians were greeted to a shocking change in the exchange rate of the naira against major foreign currencies.
The Nigerian which experienced a raise as at 10am today from N360/$1 to N358/$1 later this evening, the dollar dropped to a shocking N184 while the British pounds according to google exchanged at N240.

This is not the first time a glitch like this from Google has happened, the last one was in March last year where it recorded the exchange rate to a dollar at N182/$1 instead of the N362 it really was.

The reactions to this from Nigerians has however been hilarious. See a few below:

Multiple International, Local Polls Predict Winner Of Tomorrow's Elections

President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, will be engaging in a final battle of who leads Nigeria in the presidential election scheduled for tomorrow.

President Buhari overcame the power of encumbency when he defeated former President Goodluck Jonathan to emerge President in 2015.

While many Nigerians believe that the 2015 event which reasured the world of the stability and growth of democracy in the country, may repeat again, others feel it would be difficult for Atiku and the PDP to defeat Buhari and his All Progressives Congress party.
However, multiple polls carried out by multiple mainstream media and international research organization, social media and online have pointed to an impending victory for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and his running mate, Dr. Peter Obi.

The feedback has positive towards the ability of Atiku and Obi to deliver growth, provide jobs and began the urgent task of lifting a large number of Nigerians out of poverty.

In October 2018, The Economist Intelligence Unit, EIU, the research unit of The Economist Magazine, predicted that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will defeat the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate in the upcoming 2019 presidential election.

According to the magazine “The 2019 elections will be a close contest between the ruling APC and the PDP. We expect the PDP presidential candidate to win.

“The next government is likely to be led by the PDP, the main opposition, potentially in a coalition with smaller parties.”

Supporting this premise, Williams and Associates, the United States-based polling firm which predicted victory for Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 also predicted victory for Atiku Abubakar in the forthcoming presidential polls.

The polling firm had arrived at its conclusion working with data collected across Nigeria by its operatives through face to face interviews and using multi-stage stratification proportionate to the population sample responders who were interviewed on their preferences in English and local dialects as appropriate.

See images:

BREAKING: Amosun’s Aide Dies, SSG Injured In Auto Crash

Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s aide, Adebiyi Adesanya, has lost his life while the Secretary to the Ogun State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa, was reportedly injured in a ghastly motor accident on Friday evening.

The PUNCH gathered that the accident occurred at Siun-Kobape along Sagamu-Abeokuta road.
Adeoluwa reportedly sustained a severe injury and has been rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Idi -Aba , Abeokuta.

A source reliably told The PUNCH that the SSG has been transferred to the Intensive care unit of the FMC .

The remains of Adesanya who was popularly called friend of the governor have been deposited at the hospital morgue.

Details later.

Source: PUNCH
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