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Do Justice to Nigerians, Timi Frank Tells Tribunal Justices



Justices presiding over the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) have been called upon to give justice to Nigerians now that it is clear that former vice President ,Atiku Abubakar won the February 25, 2023 presidential election as against Bola Ahmed Tinubu who was erroneously declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, who made the call in a statement in Abuja, also urged the Appeal Court Justices to use the opportunity afforded by the revelation by INEC that Atiku won 21 states in
the presidential election to redeem the lost image of the judiciary.

He insisted that now that INEC has voluntarily admitted on record that Atiku won 21 states instead of the 12 states it earlier credited to him, the Tribunal need not look further but to declare the former Vice President as the authentic winner of the February 25, 2023 presidential election.

INEC had, in its response to Atiku Abubakar’s and PDP’s joint petition revealed that the PDP presidential candidate won 21 States of the Federation in the February 25 presidential election.

The 21 states listed by INEC as having been won by Atiku and PDP are Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Osun, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara.

“This definitely shows clearly that Atiku’s results were swapped with that of Tinubu to make him win, albeit fraudulently. The justices owe it to themselves, Nigerians and God to declare Atiku the rightful winner of the 2023 presidential election.

“We know the justices of the Appeal Court hearing the petition challenging the the declaration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as winner of the presidential election are under tremendous pressure coupled with vile threats and intimidation to maintain an illegal status quo, but they must not succumb because the pressure of God that will be on them should they neglect this material fact would be more than the pressure from men.

“It must never be said that the man who won the least number of states and votes became president as against the man who won majority of states and votes.

“We cannot afford to go back to the era of impunity in this country when the Nigeria Governors’ conducted an election and declared that man who won 15 votes winner rather than the man that won 19 votes.

Frank who is the Ambassador of the United Liberation Movement for West Papau (ULMWP), to the East Africa and Middle East, urged the justices to be courageous in doing substantial justice in the present case, despite high-wired pressures and intimidations against them notwithstanding.

He said: “Now that that the tribunal’s justices have heard arguments from all the parties in the suits, they should know that Nigerians are looking forward to them to do substantial justice and not ruling based on technicalities.

“We want to remind you that whatever judgment you give at the end of the day will remain as precedent in future. We implore you not to hand down a precedent where clear acts of criminality as witnessed during the Presidential Election will now be the law and order of the day in Nigeria.

“We strongly hold that this is not time to rule based on technicalities or to throw out well-reasoned, germane, valid and powerful submissions by the opposition parties.

“We want to remind you that this is one case where the world is waiting for the outcome and besides, the case presents the Nigerian judiciary an ample opportunity to write its name in gold in the heart of Nigerians and to prominently emplace Nigeria in the map of countries that believe and uphold the principles of fairness, equity and justice. Whatever you do with this judgment is what you will be remembered for.

“The Justices must be resolute and remain faithful to their oath of office and allegiance by carrying out their assignment without fear or favour.

“They must not succumb to any form of blackmail or intimidation. They must borrow a leaf from their counterparts in Kenya who recently saved their country from catastrophe through their courageous verdict.”

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Kaduna: Tribunal Affirms Sani’s Election, Dismisses PDP’s Petition




The Kaduna State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kaduna has dismissed petition brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the 2023 election, Isah Ashiru, against the victory of Governor Uba Sani of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

However, in a dissenting judgment of two against one, delivered on Thursday, a three-member panel headed by Justice Victor Oviawie dismissed the petition on the ground that the pre-hearing notice was filed out of time, and therefore deemed to be abandoned.

The tribunal chairman and another member held that the appeal brought by PDP and Ashiru against the dismissal of their petition at the preliminary stage by the first and second defendants was not meritorious because the filing of the pre-hearing notice was abandoned and out of time, and therefore had dealt the entire petition a fatal blow.

The tribunal, however, noted that if the petition had not been dismissed for lack of merit, it would have ordered a supplementary election in 22 polling units within 90 days in the substantive judgment.

Senator Sani, during the election polled a total of 730,001 votes to defeat his closest rival, Ashiru of the PDP, who scored 719, 196 votes.

The Labour Party (LP) candidate, Jonathan Asake, came third with 58,283 votes, while Suleiman Hunkuyi of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) scored 21,405 votes.

While the Labour Party and NNPP accepted the outcome of the election, the PDP and its candidate rejected the results, alleging that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the wrong candidate winner of the election.

Besides, the PDP and Ashiru alleged that there were massive irregularities and manipulation of results in favour of Governor Ubah in some local governments by INEC. According to them, the APC candidate did not score the highest number of valid votes cast in the election and ought not to have been returned winner of the election by INEC.

In June 2023, PDP and Ashiru, however, filed a petition at the election petition tribunal to challenge the election of Governor Uba.

At the last sitting of the court on September 3rd, all parties presented their final written addresses before the tribunal, with APC’s legal team led by a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Bayo Ojo (SAN), arguing that the petitioners had helped in proving he won the election free and fair, pointing in particular to the admission of a star witness for the petitioner, Bonett Gwazah, a senior system analyst in the VR/ICT department of INEC in Kaduna State.

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NiMET Alerts FCT, Edo, 23 States of 48-Hour Downpour




The Nigerian Meteorological Agency has notified the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Edo, Kwara, and 22 other states of 48-hour downpour beginning on Thursday.

In its weekly heavy rainfall forecast bulletin released on Wednesday, the agency told the residents to also expect flash floods.
Other states listed are Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau, Borno, Adamawa, Taraba, Kaduna, Niger, Nasarawa, Kogi, Enugu, Delta, Bayelsa, Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi, Kwara, and Benue.

The bulletin reads: “Moderate to heavy rainfall is expected within the forecast period (Thursday 28th and Friday 29th, September 2023) over parts of Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau, Borno, Adamawa, Taraba, Kaduna, Niger, Nasarawa, Kogi, Enugu, Edo, Delta, and Bayelsa.

Other States are: “Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi, Kwara, Benue State and the Federal Capital Territory.”

On the likely impact of the rains, NiMet warned: “The expected moderate to heavy rainfall is expected to cause some flash flooding over their areas of occurrence.

“Strong winds should accompany the rains with the strongest winds expected over parts of Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, Bauchi, Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, and Kebbi State.”

The agency cautioned residents against driving through surface runoff waters, as they have strong undercurrents.

It identified slippery road surfaces and reduced visibility as other hazards that may be triggered by the downpour.

The Punch

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Chicago Academic Record: Atiku Plans Fresh Suit Against Tinubu




The legal team of the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is planning to file a motion to challenge President Bola Tinubu’s plea for Chicago State University not to release privileged documents in his academic records.

The Special Adviser to Atiku on Public Communications, Phrank Shaibu, told The Punch that the legal team had up to 48 hours to respond to the motion in the US court.

Atiku had earlier secured an order for CSU to make the president’s academic records available to his legal team.

A magistrate, Jeffrey Gilbert, had last week ordered Tinubu’s alma mater to provide all relevant and non-privileged documents to the applicant within two days.

Atiku is currently challenging the victory of the former Lagos State governor at the 2023 presidential poll and his recent affirmation by an election petition court in Nigeria.

The documents sought by the PDP candidate, through his counsel, Angela Liu, include the record of admission and acceptance at the university, dates of attendance including degrees, awards, and honors attained by the former governor of Lagos State at the university, among others.

But as the deadline given by Gilbert drew nearer on Thursday, Tinubu’s lawyers approached Maldonado, arguing that the earlier decision by Gilbert needed to be reviewed by a district judge.

The request for a review and delay of the order till Monday was eventually granted by the US district judge.

Tinubu’s application, filed by his lawyers, Oluwole Afolabi and Christopher Charmichael, advanced two reasons.

First was that his academic records in issue are not useful in Nigerian courts as claimed by Atiku because the Nigerian election proceedings and the Nigerian courts have explicitly been unreceptive to the discovery.

The second reason given was that Atiku’s request is unduly intrusive because it allows Applicant (Atiku) to conduct a fishing expedition into intervenor’s private, confidential, and protected educational records.

When asked on Wednesday to confirm if Atiku has filed the suit as he earlier threatened in Monday, Shaibu reassured that the former vice president would submit the motion before midnight.

He said, “I am sure you have seen his application. We are working on our response. We have up till midnight today (Wednesday) to respond to them. And we will.”

On when they expect the court to rule over the matter, Shaibu stated that “It is after we have responded to the court, that it will fix the date and inform the parties.”

When contacted for reaction, Coordinator of Tinubu Presidential Legal Team, Babatunde Ogala, who spoke via phone from his base in the United States told The Punch he would rather not speak on the development.

“As I told you earlier, I am still on vacation,” he said.

The Punch

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