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Sarah Jibril Backs EFCC List

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The lone female presidential aspirant ion the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mrs Sarah Jibril says she is full support of the advisory list of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to checkmate people with criminal records from going into governance.

Jibril, who gave his backing to EFCC advisory list during an interview with newsmen in Abuja, said time has come for only people with clean records to be allowed into governance so that they will add values into the system.

“The female presidential aspirant however, expressed displeasure over what he called wrong definition of democracy and leadership; arguing that there is  a lot of hypocrisy; a lot of double standard; a lot of controversies by the key political players.

“There is a battle of liberation versus stagnation; deliberate intention to keep Nigeria away from development.

“Successive governments are planning to intimidate me and destroy my inputs. It is a deliberate thing so that I will not have the resources to compete with them.

According to Jibril, leadership is not by money and putting big price tags on collection of forms that means they have zoned the presidency to the rich.

“Every time they come up with big money for forms; that means they have zoned the presidency of this country to only the rich that have money. “Leadership is not by money; it is by the consistency of the integrity and character of the person; rather than see me as an asset, I am seen as a threat.

“Why are good women of this country not seen as assets; they are not supported? It is a shame for men to be competing for positions with women in a frontline country in the democratisation of Africa.

She, however, said she was on a rescue mission and paying N1 million for it was not too much if the women really wanted to salvage the nation.

“We are all stakeholders; this time around, I am on a rescue mission by the right hand of God and I know that God will not put me and all his children to shame.

“However, asking to pay ten percent is not too much; I have paid my N1 million expression of interest fee. I have filled the form the nomination form and I have returned it.

“Let the women be told that if they are ready to nurture Nigeria back to sanity, it carries value. 1 million is much; but it surmountable for the sake of this nation,” she added.

Sarah Jibril had on August 26 declared her intention to run for president on the platform of the PDP. That will make it the fifth time the Kwara State born politician would be aspiring for the presidential ticket.

Meanwhile, The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has urged the judiciary to speed up the trial of corruption cases in the country.

The Chairman of the commission, Mrs Farida Waziri, made the appeal in Abuja when she received the President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr Joseph Dauda (SAN).

“It is my view that we should all come to a point where the judiciary should declare speedy trial of all corruption cases if the accused persons are not ready to prove their innocence.

“This is where I believe your intervention will forever be appreciated by posterity,” Waziri said.

According to her, it is the accused persons that approach the court to seek speedy trial on the ground of proving their innocence to the law court.

She said that she had instituted more than 55 cases within the last two years in office as the chairman, adding that most of the cases were stalled at the plea stage due to the numerous antics of the accused persons.

“I have approached your predecessors in the past to join hands with us so that we can collectively salvage our nation from the grip and weight of corruption.

“I am seizing this opportunity to renew the same call and I am sure you will do your best,’’ Waziri pleaded.

The anti graft chief said there was no other means to fight the course of justice other than the law court and insisted that was why she had remained committed to the rule of law since she assumed office.

She, however, urged the general public to snub an allegation that she was interfering in the judicial process.

On his part, Dauda congratulated her for putting more effort on the fight to free the country from corruption.

He said there was no way an anti-graft executive would not face challenges on that seat, and encouraged Waziri to be firm and resolute as well as continue with the good work of relieving the nation.

“You need to be praying that God should strength you the more and touch the heart of government to provide you with what you need to do this work.

“The battle of corruption is a continuous battle, we condemn it in NBA.

“I don’t want EFCC to be distracted in the performance of their duty and constitutional law. There are already separations of power in the constitution,’’ Dauda said.

He stated that some of the judges were not equipped with relevant materials to help them pronounce judgments on some of the cases.

“Some of the judges also lack the mentality and intellectual capacity to deal with corruption cases which amounts to the delay of judgments.

“Until we get the court structure right, we will continue to have blame from one angle or the other. Investigation and prosecution of persons is where the problem is,’’ Dauda said.

He pledged the readiness of NBA to partner with the commission and called on it to invest more on investigation

The NBA president was accompanied on the visit by other top officials of the association.

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Declare Buhari’s Seat Vacant, Owuru Urges Court

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The candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the last presidential election, Chief Ambrose Owuru, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to declare the seat of President Muhammadu Buhari vacant.

Owuru, who was among the four petitioners that went to tribunal to challenge Buhari’s re-election, in his fresh suit, sought for an order to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), from “undertaking or planning any other election into the office of the President”, in 2023.

The Plaintiff, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/480/2021, maintained that Buhari is “an unlawful President that is illegally occupying the Presidential seat”.

It would be recalled that Owuru and his party, HDP, had in an earlier appeal they litigated up to the Supreme Court, insisted that the Justice Mohammed Garba-led Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, erroneously dismissed a petition they lodged against the return of Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winner of the presidential election that held on February 23, 2019.

They specifically prayed the apex court to sack Buhari on the premise that he emerged through an illegal process.

According to the Appellants, INEC, failed to follow condition precedents stipulated in the Electoral Act, when it unduly postponed the presidential election that was originally fixed for February 16.

The HDP claimed that its candidate, Owuru, secured over 50million votes in a referendum that was conducted by both electorates and observer networks that were dissatisfied with the unilateral postponement of the presidential election by INEC.

However, in a unanimous decision, a five-man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court led by Justice Mary Odili, struck out the appeal for constituting “a gross abuse of the judicial process”.

Meantime, in the fresh suit, Owuru and his party argued that their suit against Buhari at the Supreme Court was inconclusive.

The Plaintiffs argued that the case was fixed outside the 60 days period that was allowed by the law.

Owuru asked the court to declare him the authentic winner of the last presidential poll, as well as, to issue an order for his immediate inauguration to take over from Buhari.

He prayed the court to declare that he is entitled to serve out a tenure of 4 years after his formal inauguration.

More so, the HDP presidential candidate, aside from asking for Buhari’s immediate removal from office, equally prayed the court to compel him to refund all salaries, allowances and emoluments he collected while he unlawfully stayed in office as President.

Owuru also asked the court to give an order that salaries, allowances and emoluments be paid to him from May 29, 2019, when he ought to have been sworn in, till date.

The Plaintiff further applied for, “An order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Respondents by themselves and acting through their agents, servants, privies and or proxies howsoever from any further organizing, undertaking or planning of any other election into the office of the President of Nigeria or any such other Presidential Election interfering, harassing and or disturbing the Applicant adjudged acquired right as unopposed and unchallenged winner of the original scheduled and held the February 16 Presidential Election thereof until the 1st Applicant unserved constitutional four years term of office is served pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit by this honourable court”.

Cited as 1st to 3rd Respondents in the matter were Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, and INEC.

Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the matter to be heard.

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World Bank Report Exposes Buhari’s Lies, PDP Affirms

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the report by World Bank that 7 million Nigerians have been pushed into poverty in the last year, has clinically belied the integrity posturing of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The opposition party said the World Bank report came in the face of the recent claims by President Buhari that his administration has lifted over 10 million Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years.

The PDP asserted that the report by the World Bank has further vindicated its position that President Buhari runs an uncoordinated and clueless administration that thrives on lies, false performance claims, deceit, and perfidious propaganda.

The statement added that, “Nigerians can now clearly see why the APC and President Buhari’s handlers are always in a frenzy to attack our party and other well-meaning Nigerians whenever we point to the poor handling of the economy and on the need for President Buhari to always be factual on pertinent issues of governance in our country.

“Unfortunately, it indeed appears that Mr. President enjoys living in denial while watching millions of Nigerians go down in abject poverty, excruciating hunger, and starvation as our country now ranks 98th out of 107 in Global Hunger Index under his watch.

“Otherwise, why would Mr. President claim that his administration has lifted over 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty while official figures even from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show worsening poverty rate with 142.2% growth in food inflation and over 82.9 million Nigerians being unable to afford their daily meals due to the failure of the administration to take practical steps to grow and protect the food sector?

“Under President Buhari, Nigerians are now subjected to the worst form of poverty and hardship, with collapsed purchasing power, occasioned by a voodoo economy management that has wrecked our productive sectors and pummeled our naira from the about N167 to a US dollar in 2015 to the current over N500 per dollar.

“It is unfortunate that Mr. President will choose to always bandy fictitious figures and false performance claims, when he has, in a space of six years, destroyed our national productivity and reduced our country to a beggarly nation, a laughing stock and object of pity among the comity of nations.

“The PDP invites Nigerians to note President Buhari and APC’s similar false performance claims in other critical sectors, including power, transportation, road infrastructure, health, education, agriculture, security, aviation among others, where the Buhari administration has been bandying fictitious figures with no tangible project to point at.

“Our party counsels President Buhari, his handlers as well as their party, the APC, to note that Nigerians have seen through their deceitful clams.

“The PDP, once again, urges Mr. President to end his false performance claims and get more competent hands to manage the economy before every Nigerian is turned into a street beggar.”

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Amnesty Kicks As FG Pushes Social Media Regulation

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Amnesty International has strongly opposed the call by the Nigerian Government to regulate the use of social media and online broadcasters.

It would be recalled that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had urged the House of Representatives to include regulation of Twitter in the National Broadcasting Commission Act.

The minister made the call at the public hearing on a bill to amend the NBC Act organised by the House Committee on Information.

“I will want to add, that specifically, internet broadcasting and all online media should be included in this because we have responsibility to monitor content— including Twitter,” he said.

Reacting, Amnesty International, in a tweet via its Twitter account, yesterday, kicked against the motion.

It noted that when social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the internet and limit access to social media.

It further noted that criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.

“When social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the Internet and limit access to social media.

“Criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.

“Regulating social media in Nigeria could be easily abused to punish critics of government policies and actions, and anyone who asks difficult questions could find themselves liable for ‘diminishing public confidence in the government.’

“Seeking a law to prohibit abusive, threatening and insulting behaviour is open to very wide interpretation. This section would pose a threat to critical opinion, satire, public dialogue and political commentary,” the statement added.

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