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19 Mar 2019

If you can't declare me the winner of Feb Presidential election, then cancel it -- Atiku asks tribunal

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has filed a petition before the presidential election tribunal to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari’s  reelection.

Atiku filed the petition before the tribunal in Abuja on Monday, asking it to declare him authentic winner of the election or order that a fresh poll should be conducted.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Buhari as winner but the PDP candidate rejected the result, alleging widespread irregularities.

Addressing journalists, Emmanuel Enoidem, PDP national legal adviser, said: “We asked that our candidate who won the election massively across the country be declared the winner.

“In the alternative, we also asked that the election be set aside on the ground of irregularity which was apparent across the country.”

He also said Atiku and the PDP have in their team 20 senior advocates of Nigeria (SAN) “so we are confident.”

“We have also lined up more than 400 witnesses that are going to testify in this petition,” he said.

Segun Sowunmi, spokesman of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, also told TheCable that the development is “the first step to getting Nigeria working again”.

He said: “The judiciary should do what is right; examine the issues and deliver to Nigerians the kind of judgement that represent the fundamental operating principle of why we are in democracy and why the judiciary is the last hope of the common man.”

ATIKU’S GRIEVIANCES

The PDP presidential candidate had described the election as the worst in Nigeria’s history.

He had alleged there were irregularities on the part of INEC staff as well as “heavy militarisation” of the electoral process.

Atiku had also alleged the “disruption of voting in strongholds of the PDP in Lagos, Akwa-Ibom, Rivers and diverse other states, with the authorities doing little or nothing and in some cases facilitating these unfortunate situations.”

He was defeated by Buhari with over three million votes but his party claimed it has the “real” results from the polling units across the country.

Success’ viral video: Delta suspends school head for allegedly collecting examination levies from schoolchildren

The Delta State Government has suspended the head teacher of Okotie-Eboh Primary School in Sapele Local Government Area, Mrs Vero Igbigwe, for allegedly collecting unauthorised fees including examination levies from schoolchildren.

This is coming following a viral video that shows a schoolgirl, Success Adebor, protesting against the school’s decision to send her home over her parents’ failure to pay her second term examination fee.

The state Commissioner for Education, Mr Chiedu Ebie, who stated this on Monday when he visited the school to verify the claims in the video, said the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa administration would not tolerate any form of extortion by state officials.

Ebie, who was accompanied on the visit by the Chairman, Sapele Local Government Area of the state, Chief Eugene Inoaghan, a former state Commissioner for Housing, Chief Paulinus Akpeki, and other top officials of the ministry, however, ordered a detailed investigation into the action of the suspended head teacher.

He lamented that the Okowa administration had been taking strong stand against illegal collection and extortion of pupils by school heads both at the primary and secondary levels, saying that appropriate sanction would be meted out to Igbigwe at the end of the investigation.

The commissioner, who did not state the duration of the detailed investigation, ordered the most senior teacher in the school to head the school in an acting capacity.

Speaking with journalists after interrogating the head teacher, Ebie said, “There is right to fair hearing. So, what will happen is that a detailed investigation would be set up to look into the issue in details.

“Like I did say, I conducted a preliminary investigation but in the interim we have to suspend her (Mrs Igbigwe) as the head teacher of this school pending the outcome of the investigation.

“That suspension will take effect as from today (Monday). Obviously, there are contradictions in her story because everybody was there when they talked about school fees. It was obvious that Success was sent home because of her inability or her parents to pay the supposed fees which is not in any way part of the 2018/2019 levies.”

The Commissioner, who emphasised that “education at the primary and secondary school levels in the state remains free,” warned that the government would not hesitate to punish any official that violated the policy.

“Education at the basic level is free. However, it is not unusual that levies are imposed. Even at the unity schools, we have levies but these levies must be for specific purposes and must also be very minimal for the children or their guardians can afford.

“First of all, you need to take into consideration that we are not just dealing with one school. In Delta State, we have 1,125 public primary schools; we have 465 public secondary schools and six technical colleges. It is not humanly possible to attend to all of them at the same time. What we do is that we deal with them in phases,” the commissioner added.

Ebie, however, maintained that the state government had awarded the contract for the upgrade of the school before Success’ viral video gone out. He assured the people that the project would be given urgent attention before the resumption of next term.

Imo election: INEC To Decide On Gov. Okorocha Senate Ticket

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said it will take a decision on what to do next about the controversies surrounding Imo West Senatorial District.

About 37 candidates battled for the senatorial district, including Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State.

Chief Press Secretary of INEC, Rotimi Oyekanmi, told The Guardian that the Commission has not issued the district Certificate of Return to any candidate.

He added that the commission “will take a decision on what to do next. That decision will be made public when it is taken.”

DAILY POST reported that Okorocha was declared the winner of the poll by INEC Returning Officer, Professor Ibeawuchi Innocent.

He, however, said that he declared Okorocha the winner under duress.

INEC said that no result declared under duress by its officials would be accepted.

No court can cancel Buhari’s vote against Atiku – VON DG, Okechukwu

The Director-General of Voice of Nigeria(VON) and chieftain of the governing All Progressives Congress(APC), Osita Okechukwu, has reacted the insistence of the ex-Nigeria Vice President and the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to challenge the outcome of the just concluded 2019 presidential election.

DAILY POST had reported on Monday evening, that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and his party(PDP) had finally filed a petition challenging Buhari’s re-election.

Atiku and his party are challenging Buhari’s reelection on the grounds of alleged massive riggings, malpractices and non-compliance substantially with the electoral laws.

But speaking with DAILY POST in a telephone interview on Tuesday morning, Okechukwu said, “I think that His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar should recall that Mr. President has a treasured vote bank of 12 million voters that first surfaced in his first entry into a presidential election in 2003 and resurfaced in 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019.

“So, the vote bank cannot be eroded by any legal technicalities. The vote bank President Buhari has, is a treasure, it is incontrovertible. There is no legal entity that could pull it down. It is good that he(Atiku) went to court, because, court is one of the processes that democracy has laid down.

“Mr. President’s 12 million voters are coming to electoral battle. He first made an entry in 2003, repeated it in 2007,2011,2015 and 2019. If Mr. President was to go for another election, he will also return. So, this is Late Aminu Kano tradition in the north, which Buhari inherited.

“It is a tradition that is based on transparency and integrity. If you have these things in the north, the northerners will give you their vote. And if you go through the demographic cadre of INEC registered voters of 64 million, farmers had 15 per cent, housewives 14 per cent, artisans 5 per cent. And those are the cadres Mr President’s support is based.

The VON DG added, “Atiku did not make any million votes in any of the states of the federation. The highest he got was six hundred and something thousand in Kaduna, while Mr President got one point something million votes. Mr President got one point something million in Katsina and Kano states. That had been his train. So, I don’t know the legal technicalities that could erode it, it is impossible.

“But, it is good that His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar did not resort to violence, that he resorted to the court process. I commend him highly for that. But, I do not know the legal technicalities that will erode a consistent 12 million votes bank in each election President Buhari had exhibited. That is why a lot of prominent Nigerians, including Oliseh Agbakoba, SAN, had advised Atiku not to go to court”.

18 Mar 2019

Families Given Sack Of Soil From Ethiopian Airlines Crash Site For Burial

Grieving family members of those who died in the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash are being given sacks of earth to bury in place of the remains of their loved ones.

The Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed six minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa airport en route to Nairobi, killing all 157 people on board.
Coffins of Ethiopian passengers and crew members are arranged during a memorial service at the Selassie Church in Addis Ababa [Maheder Haileselassie/Reuters]
On Sunday, officials began delivering one-kilogramme sacks of scorched earth taken from the crash site, members of two different families told the Associated Press news agency, because identification process for the bodies is taking too long.

"The soil came as it became impossible to identify bodies and hand over remains to family members," one family member said. "We will not rest until we are given the real body or body parts of our loved ones."

They spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid any possible government reprisal.

An Ethiopian government official, who also asked not to be named because they were not authorised to speak to reporters, confirmed the deliveries of soil.
A relative puts soil on her face as she mourns at the scene of the crash [Tiksa Negeri/Reuters]
Forensic DNA work has begun on identifying the remains but it may take six months to identify the victims, because the body parts are in small pieces.

However, authorities say they will issue death certificates of the victims that came from 35 countries within two weeks.

- Mass memorial -

Thousands of people turned out for a mass memorial service for the dead in Addis Ababa on Sunday, one week after the crash.

Some victims' relatives fainted and fell to the ground during the procession through the Ethiopian capital.

Bouquets of white roses surrounded aviation staff as they gathered at Bole International Airport to remember the two pilots and six crew members, who perished along with 149 passengers.

Banks of the white flowers, the traditional colour of mourning, were placed in front of a row of empty coffins at the ceremony.
Authorities say the death certificates of the victims will be issued within two weeks [Jemal Countess/Getty Images]
Interpol and Blake Emergency Services, hired by Ethiopian Airlines, will work with Ethiopian police and health officials to identify the bodies, Dagmawit Moges, Ethiopia's minister of transport said on Saturday.

"Preparation for the identification process has already started and we will make sure that the post-mortem investigation will start as soon as possible," she said.

Experts from the US National Transportation Safety Board and the plane's manufacturer Boeing are among those involved in the investigation.

In Paris, investigators are examining flight recorders to determine why the aircraft plunged into a field shortly after the takeoff from Addis Ababa, searching for similarities to an October Lion Air crash that killed 189 people.

Both crashes involved the same model of the plane - Boeing 737 MAX 8 - causing aviation authorities to ground the model around the world after the last week's accident.

Ethiopia: Empty Coffins Buried After Boeing 737 Max Crash

Empty coffins representing the Ethiopian victims of last week’s plane crash have been buried in the capital, Addis Ababa.
None of the bodies has yet been formally identified because of the impact when the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft crashed shortly after it took off for the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, killing all 157 people on board.

Some family members have been given charred earth from the crash site to help remember their loved ones.

Flight data from the Ethiopian Airlines disaster a week ago suggest “clear similarities” with a crash off Indonesia last October, Ethiopia’s Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges told journalists yesterday.

Juventus Forward, Cristiano Ronaldo Charged By Uefa Over Celebration

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been charged with improper conduct by Uefa for a goal celebration in the win over Atletico Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League.
The 34-year-old appeared to mimic Atletico boss Diego Simeone, who turned to fans and grabbed his crotch during his side's 2-0 first-leg victory.

Ronaldo made the gesture after his third goal of his hat-trick in the return leg as Juventus won 3-0.

Uefa will rule on the case on 21 March.

Simeone was fined 20,000 euros (£17,000) for his celebration.

Juventus have been drawn to play Dutch side Ajax in the quarter-finals.

Temitope Olatoye: Burial date for slain Oyo lawmaker announced

The family of the slain Oyo State lawmaker, who until his death represented Akinyele/Lagelu federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Olatoye Temitope has announced the final burial date for the deceased lawmaker.
Olatoye, who was shot in the eyes on Saturday March 9 during the gubernatorial and state House of Assembly elections, is to be buried on May 3.

According to the family,

A younger brother to the deceased, Mr. Dotun Olatoye, told journalists on Monday that the burial programme will begin on April 29, 2019.

He said, “Burial program would likely be a week. We are looking at Monday 29th April, 2019 – Friday 3rd May, 2019. We shall take final position on or before this Friday.”

Kogi Lawmaker, Dino Melaye To Lead International Human Rights Delegates In Supplementary Polls

Ahead of scheduled governorship and state Assembly supplementary polls this weekend, the Nigerian Central Office of the International Human Rights Commission has nominated Senator Dino Melaye to lead the delegation of observers.
In a letter addressed to the controversial lawmaker, which was signed by the Commission’s Diplomatic head to Nigeria and African Countries, Ambassador Friday Sani, and made available on Monday, it stated that the delegation would observe elections in Rivers and Kano States.

The letter also stated that the International Human Rights Commission has also been accredited by Nigeria’s Electoral umpire, adding that the delegation would at the end of the elections, submit reports of their observation.

“On behalf of the World Secretary General of the International Human Rights Commission, Sir Rafal Marcin Wasik, you have been nominated as the leader of the Commission’s delegation to observe the upcoming scheduled supplementary polls especially in Rivers and Kano States,” it said.

It added that the delegation have been empowered to raise observation on practices that were inimical to the country’s electoral laws and make it public.

BREAKING NEWS: Atiku Asks Tribunal To Sack President Buhari, Declare Him Winner

In a rush to beat the 21 days deadline provided by the Electoral Act, lawyers to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Monday evening, stormed the tribunal to lodge a petition against President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had on February 27, declared President Buhari who was the flag-bearer of the All Progressives Congress, APC, winner of the presidential election.

Under section 134 of the Electoral Act, 2010, any candidate that was dissatisfied with the outcome of the presidential contest, was mandated to approach the tribunal with a petition, not later than 21 days after the result was announced, a deadline that will expire on Tuesday.

While the tribunal must deliver its judgment in writing within 180 days from the date the petition was filed.

As at the time of filing this report, 7:50pm, Atiku’s team of lawyers led by Mr. Chukwuma Machukwu Ume, SAN, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, and Mr. Emeka Etiaba, SAN, are perfecting the filing process at the Central Registry of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, PEPT.

The tribunal will be conducting its proceedings at the Court of Appeal headquarters in Abuja.
Though Atiku had yet to arrive at the tribunal where he is expected to personally depose to an affidavit, however, some chieftains of the PDP, including its spokesman, Mr. Kola Ologbodiyan and Alhaji Buba Galadima, accompanied the lawyers to the tribunal.

Addressing newsmen, National Legal Adviser of the PDP, Mr. Emmanuel Enoidem, revealed that Atiku would be seeking two principal reliefs at the tribunal.

He said the first relief was for an order declaring him as the bona-fide winner of the 2019 presidential election.

In the alternative, Atiku and the PDP, are urging the tribunal to nullify the February 23 presidential election on the premise that it was marred by irregularities.

“We asked that our candidate who won the election massively across the country be declared the winner.

“In the alternative, we also asked that the election be set aside on the ground of irregularity which was apparent across the country.

“We have a pool of 20 SANs who are tested in election petition matters and other senior lawyers who are also working with them. So we are confident.

Source: Vanguard
 
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