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Backdoor petition filing: Over 400 lawyers raise alarm over threats to whistleblower’s life

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Backdoor petition filing: Over 400 lawyers raise alarm over threats to whistleblower’s life

. Ask SDP to produce valid proofs of petition filing within 21-day window

. Say Tribunal Secretary’s claims of attack suspicious, must be investigated

. Call on President Tinubu, security chiefs to protect colleague, nab sponsors of violence

 

 

 

Over 400 lawyers, on Friday, raised the alarm over persistent threats to the life of one of their colleagues, Barr. Yetunde Olubunmi Shaibu, Convener of the United Front for Democracy (UFD), by certain interests loyal to the Social Democratic Party and its Governorship candidate.

The lawyers, from across the six geo-political zones of the county, under the aegis of the Commitee for the Defence of Democracy, said this followed UFD’s whistleblowing on an alleged clandestine move by the Social Democratic Party and its Governorship candidate to file their petition against the outcome of the November 11 election through the backdoor and backdate same to circumvent the provisions of the Electoral Act, having failed to do so within the 21-day window prescribed by law.

The lawyers, who spoke at an emergency press conference in Abuja, attended by 20 representatives of the organisation representing their zones, said the claim by the Secretary of the Tribunal that he was attacked and petitions stolen, shortly after the whistleblowing, was suspicious.

They noted that ever since Shaibu’s organisation raised the alarm on Monday, this week, she had received series of threat messages, while her family members had also been harassed endlessly for no crime other than the fact that she engaged in a patriotic act in defence of democracy and called for investigation into a crucial matter after diligent findings.

The lawyers called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, security chiefs and all relevant authorities to leave no stone unturned in protecting their colleague, saying “an injury to one is an injury to all of us.”

“With the insecurity challenge in Nigeria today, and the lawlessness being displayed, especially by desperate politicians in Kogi State in particular, and beyond, threats of this nature must not be glossed over, especially when the dare-devil politicians have made their evil intentions known even on public platforms,” they stressed.

The Convener of CDD, Barr. Ambrose Ajoyo Omoleaupen, Esq, who briefed the press on behalf of others, said, “All threats to her life must not be taken for granted but thoroughly investigated and the culprits and their sponsors nabbed before they carry out their nefarious criminality.”

According to him, the latest twist, which has involved the threat to the life of their colleague called for a closer look at the issues surrounding the issue at hand – petition filing by the political parties concerned in Kogi State.

On this, the laywers said, “It is instructive to note that suddenly after the whistleblowing, as if to lend credence to UFD’s allegations, the Secretary of the Tribunal raised the alarm, in a manner that seemed an effort to cover up something, that he had been attacked by armed hoodlums and all documents related to the petition had been taken away at gunpoint while on his way to the office from his hotel room.

“As lawyers, we deal with tangible evidence and facts, not speculations. It is on the basis of this that we have decided, without prejudice to whatever processes that are currently ongoing, to unveil the facts, to interrogate a few critical variables surrounding the whole incident as a way of furthering the cause of democracy and justice, which is a collective responsibility of all citizens.

“In the first instance, election petition documents are voluminous by nature, moreso when you are talking about petitions purportedly submitted by four (4) Political Parties. One wonders what all of those documents were doing in the custody of the Tribunal’s Secretary when they should have been safely kept in an office.

“You can’t be driving around town with such voluminous and sensitive documents that determine the very life of a petition.

“Secondly, a whole week after the purported filing and allegations raised publicly that no petition was filed, especially by the Social Democratic Party, the latter has not deemed it fit to put in the public domain valid evidence that it submitted any petition to the tribunal. At least there must have been acknowledgement documents or receipts or what is called counterpart copies given to the petitioners by the Election Petition Tribunal.

“We are of the opinion that, if the SDP had any of such documents, it would have displayed it publicly within minutes or hours of the allegations made against it by the whistle blower. Not doing that within reasonable time span, which should not be more than 12 hours after such serious allegations were raised against it, further raises credible suspicions as to question the veracity of any petition submitted within the constitutionally stipulated 21-day limit by SDP or any other Party for that matter on the Kogi State governorship election.

“To the best of our knowledge, in all of its public statements till date, the SDP has not shown any documentary evidence or proof of filing any petition within the window allowed by law. All it has been doing is to make counter allegations. We should ask whether the legal team of the SDP was also attacked by the armed hoodlums and their own copies or receipts relating to the petition were also stolen.

“Furthermore, it is somehow interesting to note that the three other political parties mentioned as having filed their own petitions, too, have remained noticeably silent on the incident whilst the SDP has been so vociferous, even assuming the position of spokesman for the tribunal’s secretary whom they claimed was allegedly ‘working’ on their petition when he was attacked.

“It is suspicious that it was after allegations of non filing of petition by the Parties that the alleged stealing of the petitions was reported. That would be a hard sell anywhere.”

The lawyers, however, threw up key questions:

“When did the SDP Governorship candidate pay for the filing of his petition? Where did he file it? At the secretariat of the Tribunal or the hotel room of the Tribunal Secretary?

“How come there was no display at the tribunal secretariat on the number of petitions filed before it was moved to Abuja?

“Is it procedurally permissible for the Tribunal’s Secretary to receive election petitions in his hotel room? How come only the SDP was aware of the alleged attack on the secretary and the one issuing statements in his defence?

“Where exactly did the Witnesses sign their statements on oath? Did they all physically sign before him and when?”

The lawyers challenged the Tribunal Secretary to show the whole world the receipt of the three other parties he claimed filed petitions.

“It does not serve the purpose of democracy or rule of law to try to supplant the fundamental tenets of justice by compromising set rules of engagement in an election.

“We wish to call on all relevant security agencies to leave no stone unturned in investigating and getting to the root of this laughable but serious incident,” they stated.

 

 

Backdoor petition filing: Over 400 lawyers raise alarm over threats to whistleblower's life

Politics

Presidency Clears The Air On Aisha Yesufu’s Allegation of Tinubu Being snubbed in SA

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Presidency Clears The Air On Aisha Yesufu's Allegation of Tinubu Being snubbed in SA

The Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, O’tega Ogra, has revealed why President Bola Tinubu was at the second row at the inauguration of the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. The explanation from Ogra came after a video surfaced online claiming that President Bola Tinubu was snubbed by President Cyril Ramaphosa at his inauguration.
Presidency Clears The Air On Aisha Yesufu's Allegation of Tinubu Being snubbed in SA
While reacting to the video which was shared online by Aisha Yesufu, Ogra said that the first row at the inauguration was reserved for kings and royalty in South Africa, and that President Ramaphosa was not expected to start greeting people at the time of the trending video. He said that Ramaphosa was called to the podium by the inauguration compere
He added that after the national anthem, the South African President went ahead to greet the visiting presidents who were standing on the second row.

 

Aisha Yesufu, you have the constitutionally guaranteed right to express yourself, but your consistent display of crass ignorance and shameful behavior, seemingly aimed at garnering likes and retweets, in the name of your disdain and hatred (which you profess at any given opportunity) for Nigeria is shameful to say the least.

For the record:

1. That first row at today’s inauguration was reserved for South African kings/royalty.
2. The South African President wasn’t expected to start greeting dignitaries at the time of the video you shared and he was respectfully recalled to the podium by the inauguration compere (see video below).
3. Immediately after President Ramaphosa finished the anthem, he went ahead to greet the visiting presidents who were all seated in the second row (similar to the way visiting presidents were seated in the third row during Nigeria’s own inauguration on May 29, 2023 – see pictures below).

Madam Yesufu @AishaYesufu, your persistent ignorance and hatred create a very toxic mix, which you have shown a remarkable ability to embody and fully personify.

A cautionary word: With or without your personal enmity, Nigeria will succeed. I truly hope you receive your “Elon Cheque” in full this month.

#TheTiger

!

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SANWO-OLU: WE’LL ARREST THOSE BEHIND KIDNAPPING OF LEBANESE NATIONALS 

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SANWO-OLU MOURNS MEDICAL DOCTOR, DR. DIASO, ORDERS IMMEDIATE INVESTIGATION

Says Lagos will not condone people with evil intentions

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday vowed to arrest perpetrators behind the recent kidnapping of the three Lebanese nationals, including the Managing Director of Fouani Nigeria Limited, Muhammed Fouani, saying his government would not condone people of evil intentions in the State.

He assured Lagos residents, particularly business owners and religious tourists, of adequate security in the state, saying his administration is committed to making the State peaceful, attractive and homely.

Governor Sanwo-Olu gave the assurance during a courtesy visit by the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Revd. Israel Akanji, and his entourage at the Lagos House, Alausa, on Wednesday.

The Governor, while confirming the kidnapping and release of three Lebanese, said the incident happened on the big water on their way to Ikorodu and not around Five Cowry in Falomo, as reported.

He said, “The security of life and property is paramount, and we do not leave anything to chance on that. The very recent incident that happened in Lagos was about the kidnapping of three members of our Lebanese community. We are happy that they have been released, and this morning (Wednesday), I met with them, and we have useful information to ensure that the perpetrators of the act are not going to be spared.

“We know we have an idea of how far they have gone, and we will do everything to ensure that we do not give them a space in our city and state. I want to assure all our citizens and businesses, both national and international, that Lagos will continue to remain safe and peaceful. People thought the incident happened around the Five Cowry, Falomo. No, it actually happened on the big water on the way to Ikorodu. So they were not even around Falomo.

“We want to assure you that we are on top of it. The security operatives are combing all the necessary areas. This is a strong signal that Lagos will not condone such people with evil intentions. They do not deserve any sort of recognition. So, we will continue to make Lagos peaceful. We will continue to make it attractive and homely. We will continue to ensure that businesses thrive. We will ensure people live and work in a conducive environment.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu, while responding to the request of the Nigerian Baptist Convention to host the annual Baptist World Alliance in Nigeria for the first time in over a century, promised to ensure a safe and delightful experience for all foreign religious tourists coming to Lagos next month for the convention, noting that religious organisations are stakeholders in governance.

He said, “Nigeria and Lagos are ready to host the world. We believe it is a thing of joy and celebration to be acknowledged and identified with not only the African body but the global body of the Baptist Convention.

“We want to assure all the international visitors that will be coming that Lagos State Government will support you. We will ensure that we provide additional security in and around the hotel environment so that everybody will feel safe and will also taste the hospitality of Lagos.”

Speaking earlier, the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Revd Akanji, commended the giant strides of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration, especially in food and transport palliatives for residents during these economic challenges in the country.

“We want to appreciate a lot of reforms going on in Lagos State. We want to thank you for the transportation. Rail transportation has brought a lot of conveniences to our people. We want to thank you for your consideration concerning the staggering number of days of work for staff. That has brought relief to so many of our people. We want to thank you for your proactiveness all the time when it has to do with health care. We also thank you for the security in Lagos State,” he said.

Revd. Akanji, who is the President of the African Baptist Convention, solicited the support of the Lagos State Government to host the annual Baptist World Alliance, which has its headquarters in the United States of America.

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LG Chairmen Tenure: Gov Fubara Deserves Nobel Peace Prize – Nigerians In Diaspora*

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*LG Chairmen Tenure: Gov Fubara Deserves Nobel Peace Prize – Nigerians In Diaspora*

 

 

The Nigerians in Diaspora Monitoring Group (NDMG) has nominated Governor Siminalayi Fubara for the Nobel Peace Prize for saving democracy and eschewing illegality in Rivers State.

The group, in a statement on Tuesday, said the governor was brave, decisive and swift to direct Heads of Local Government Administration to assume responsibility for the 23 council areas.

Recall that Governor Fubara ordered elected local government chairmen, vice chairmen and councillors to step aside on Monday after the expiration of their three-year tenure.

In the statement signed by Dr Markson Martins, the Diaspora group hailed the governor for skillfully avoiding potential criminality and a breakdown of law and order with a view towards a peaceful transition.

Martins said Fubara embodies the spirit of the Nobel Peace Prize, adding that his unwavering commitment to democracy, stability, and the well-being of his people makes him an inspiration to Nigerians and a shining example for African leaders.

The group, therefore, urged other Nigerian leaders to emulate Governor Fubara’s exemplary leadership, prioritizing the rule of law, democracy, and the peaceful resolution of conflicts.

“We proudly nominate Governor Siminalayi Fubara for the esteemed Nobel Peace Prize. This recognition is in honour of his exemplary leadership and commitment to upholding democracy in Rivers State,” Martins said.

“Recently, Governor Fubara demonstrated his dedication to the rule of law by directing Heads of Local Government Administration to assume responsibility for the 23 council areas.

“This decisive action followed the expiration of the three-year tenure of elected local government chairmen, vice chairmen, and councillors. By taking this step, he skillfully avoided potential illegality and a breakdown of law and order, ensuring a peaceful transition.

“Governor Fubara’s leadership embodies the spirit of the Nobel Peace Prize. His unwavering commitment to democracy, stability, and the well-being of his people makes him an inspiration to Nigerians and a shining example for African leaders.

“His actions have not only maintained peace in Rivers State but also strengthened trust in government. We urge the Nobel Committee to recognize Governor Fubara’s remarkable achievement and award him the Nobel Peace Prize.

“His leadership is a beacon of hope for Nigeria and Africa, and this recognition will further inspire him and other leaders to prioritize peace, democracy, and the greater good.

“We call on other Nigerian leaders to emulate Governor Fubara’s exemplary leadership, prioritizing the rule of law, democracy, and the peaceful resolution of conflicts.”

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