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APC Convention and Buhari’s road to possible second term



APC, PDP disagree on EIU, HSBC reports unfavourable to Buhari

Over 6,800 delegates converged at the Eagle Square, Abuja in June to elect a new set of leaders for the governing All Progressives Congress.

The same number or more are again expected today, Saturday, October 6, to affirm President Muhammadu Buhari as the candidate of the party for the 2019 presidential election.

Mr Buhari had already polled impressive results in the direct method of election adopted by the party to choose its presidential candidate.

The incumbent president was the only one who picked and returned nominations forms.

In the direct mode of election, all card carrying party members line up in front of a picture display of their candidates and officials count the number of votes (people on que) that each person garners openly.

The election of Mr Buhari by party members took place last Friday while he was in faraway New York, USA attending the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Despite his absence, the president’s popularity among party members was visible.

The national leadership of the APC had earlier appointed state governors and party leaders in states not governed by the party as returning officers. Most of the governors announced high number of votes for the president.

Mr Buhari was said to have polled over 2.9 million votes in Kano, over 800,000 in his home state, Katsina and over 700 votes in Bauchi, among others. In all, the president scored between 98 to 100 per cent of total votes cast in the election.

But, is that a sign of victory in 2019?

How It All Began

Before finally clinching the presidency in 2015, Mr Buhari unsuccessfully ran for the office in 2003, 2007 and 2011.

In 2003, Mr Buhari ran under the platform of the defunct, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and he came second behind then incumbent, Olusegun Obasanjo of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Mr Buhari scored 12,710,022 votes representing 32.19 per cent of total votes cast. Mr Obasanjo scored 24,456,140 votes, representing 61.94 per cent to emerge victorious. That election was reported by most observers as being highly flawed.

In the 2007 election, Mr Buhari again ran under the platform of the ANPP and lost to the late Umaru Yar’adua of the PDP. While Mr Yar’adua scored 24,638,063 (69.82 per cent), Mr Buhari scored 6,605,299 (18.72 per cent).

Like in the 2003, the 2007 election was also adjudged highly flawed by both domestic and foreign observers as well as the international community. In fact, even the elected President, Mr Yar’adua, admitted that the election that brought him to office was flawed.

In 2011, Mr Buhari was again on the ballot, this time, as the candidate of the Congress for Progressives Change (CPC), a party he formed after he fell out with a cross section of the leadership of his former party, ANPP.

In that election, Mr Buhari scored 12,214,853 (31.98%) of total votes which again, makes him the runner up to incumbent Goodluck Jonathan of PDP. Mr Jonathan scored 22,495,187 (58.89 per cent) of the votes.

In the aftermath of all the elections, Mr Buhari challenged the outcome in the judiciary, always ending up at the Supreme Court, without success.

In 2015, Mr Buhari’s political fortune finally changed for the better. He defeated incumbent Jonathan of the PDP to win the presidency under the platform of a newly formed All Progressives Congress (APC).

APC is born out of a merger of former opposition parties, the ACN, CPC, ANPP and a faction of APGA.

In the election held in March 2015, Mr Buhari scored 15,424,921 (53.96 per cent), while Mr Jonathan scored 12,853,162 (44.96 per cent).

Seeking Re-election

There were media reports that Mr Buhari had pledged to do only one term if elected as president in 2015. However, as preparations for another round of elections in 2019 began to hit up, the president gave the hint that he will seek re-election, in an address to Nigerians based in Cote D’ Ivoire.

The president arrived late to the interactive session and told the gathering that he had to wait for the two governors in his entourage to accompany him to the meeting because of their electoral value.

“First I want to apologise for keeping you for too long sitting, this is because I insisted on the governors attending this meeting.

“This is why I came along with them so that when we are going to meet you, when you are going to meet the rest of Nigerians, if you tell them that their governors were in the company of the president, I think that will be another vote for me in the future. I’m very pleased that they were able to turn up,” Mr Buhari said to thunderous laughter and clapping by the audience.

Again, while on a visit to Kano state, Mr Buhari gave the same hint at seeking a second term when he told a gathering at the Government House that he was sure Kano State would vote for him, going by the huge number of people that came out to receive and show him support.

The president eventually formally declared his intention to run again, in a short address to members of APC National Executive Committee (NEC), at a meeting in Abuja.

Some of APC’s presidential direct primary election

Abia – 455,656

Adamawa – 263,945

Anambra – 248,268

Bauchi – 786,032

Bayelsa – 210,201

Benue – 259,130

Borno – 1,254,111

Edo – 505,827

Imo – 697,532

Jigawa – 202,599

Kaduna – 1, 956, 500

Kano – 2, 931,235

Katsina – 802,819

Kebbi – 123,000

Kogi – 387,003

Rivers – 388,653

Sokoto – 472,344

Zamfara – 247,847

Sign of things to come?

The results of the presidential primary election show that Mr Buhari still enjoys the support of his party members. Their commitment to his re-election bid is palpable because despite the fact that he is the only candidate, many chose to come out to vote, to show their support to his candidacy.

However, the major opposition party, the PDP has criticised the Buhari Presidency and the APC for “posting fictitious figures” as votes secured by Mr Buhari at the APC presidential primary, “just to hoodwink Nigerians and create an impression of massive support for President Buhari”.

The presidency on the other hand, said the outcome of the presidential primaries, is a major boost to Mr Buhari’s success at next year’s general election.

The true picture of the nation’s political terrain can only be confirmed in February next year when the general populace go to the polls to vote for the candidate of their choice.


Alleged Gang rape: Court denies Babcock University student bail



Nigeria News

A Babcock University student, James Aguedo has been denied bail by  Justice Abiola Soladoye of an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court.

Nigeria News

The student of Babcock University, James Aguedo, accused of involvement in gang-rape of a student of the University of Lagos (Unilag) was reportedly denied bail when bail applications were made.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Soladoye in a ruling on Thursday said Mr Aguedo, 20, did not provide compelling circumstances as to why the court should grant him bail.

“The essence of bail is to ensure the defendant’s attendance at trial. In deciding an application for bail, certain factors must be taken into consideration such as the nature of the charge and the evidence adduced.

“Grant of bail of a defendant in a criminal offence is not automatic, it is at the discretion of the court.

“I am, therefore, of the view that the application before the court has not shown any compelling or exceptional circumstances to warrant the court exercising its discretion in favour of the applicant.

“The application for bail is hereby refused, and the court shall give this case accelerated trial; I so hold,” the judge said.

NAN reports that Mr Aguedo’s counsel, Lawal Pedro, had on March 25 prayed the court to grant him bail to enable him to write an examination at the Babcock University in April.

He also submitted that the undergraduate suffered from ill-health and needed constant medical attention.

“He has a recurring back ailment. We brought not just a medical report but the history because he has been attending an orthopaedic hospital.

“The prison facility is not conducive for him,” the SAN said.

Mr Pedro had attached Mr Aguedo’s school identity card and admission letter to the bail application dated March 13.

Also attached were a National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Yaba, Lagos, appointment card, history of medical examination and a St Dominic’s Catholic Church’s letter of recommendation.

NAN reports that the student is standing trial alongside Moboluwaji Omowole, 19, Chuka Chukwu, 19, Peace Nwankama, 19 and Osemeka Josephine, 20.

The defendants were charged with serial gang-rape of a Unilag student (name withheld).

According to prosecution counsel, Fehinti Ogbemudia, the defendants committed the gang rape sometime in 2017 within the premises of Unilag.

The alleged victim had on February 26 testified that she was lured by Nwankama who was her roommate to High Rise, a staff quarters hostel, in Unilag.

She said she was gang-raped at High Rise by eight students, and that the sexual assault was video-taped.

According to the alleged victim, she was also blackmailed with the video and further gang-raped on other occasions by the defendants and their accomplices who are now at large.

The five defendants have been remanded in the Kirikiri Prisons since February 26, when they were arraigned.

The case has been adjourned until May 2 for continuation of trial.


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Sterling Bank Staff, Olanrewaju Yusuf remanded in prison for N36m fraud



EFCC speaks on raid on Atiku's sons' apartment


Justice Bello Duwale of the Sokoto State High Court has remanded a Sterling Bank Plc worker, Olanrewaju Yusuf, in prison custody for cheating to the tune of N36 million and issuing of dud cheques.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arraigned Yusuf, who is the Chief Executive Officer, Viclibo Ventures, on five counts bordering on the issuance of dud cheque, criminal breach of trust and cheating.

A complainant, Tunde Akinola, had alleged that sometime in January 2018, Yusuf, who worked with the Sokoto branch of the bank requested a N30 million loan for the establishment of a biscuit and juice production factory with a pledge to pay back the money with 10 per cent interest.

Akinola stated that he rallied round friends and colleagues to raise the money, which he gave to the accused via his United Bank for Africa account on condition that the loan should be paid back by March 2018.

Pursuant to the agreement, Yusuf allegedly issued three post-dated Diamond Bank cheques of N10m each and another for N6m, all of which were dishonoured by the bank on presentation.

Yusuf pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charges.

Counsel for EFCC, S.H. Sa’ad, urged the court to fix a date for commencement of trial and asked that the defendant be remanded in prison custody, but the defence counsel, Ferdinard Okotete, prayed the court to grant his client bail.

Justice Bello, however, ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody and fixed April 25, 2019 for hearing of bail application.

The trial judge further granted an interim forfeiture order in respect of the defendant’s property, pursuant to a motion ex parte filed by the EFCC.

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Kenyan family sues Boeing over Ethiopia crash over Ethiopian Airline Plane crash




A family of a Kenyan man,  who died in last month’s Ethiopia Airlines crash said it is taking the plane manufacturer Boeing to court in the US.

In all, 157 people died when the Boeing 737-Max 8 went down six minutes after take off on a flight from Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, to Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

The 29-year-old engineer George Kabau was one of more than 30 Kenyans on board.

At a press conference in Nairobi his siblings said they wanted the company to release emails relating to the plane, which has now been grounded, Reuters news agency reports.

“We cannot replace him, and he cannot and shall not be replaced. But we pray that by what is happening, my parents especially and us as his siblings and all other loved ones, can use his demise to ensure safe travel for all,” said Mr Kabau’s sister.

Boeing is facing three other law suits relating to the Ethiopia crash, including from members of the family of a Rwandan victim.

The Ethiopian Airlines plane nose dived several times before it hit the ground, a preliminary report released a fortnight ago said.

Pilots “repeatedly” followed procedures recommended by Boeing before the crash, according to the first official report into the disaster.

Boeing’s boss has admitted for the first time a failure in the jet’s anti-stall system was a factor in the crash.

But the company has not commented on the legal cases.


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