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CUPP Alleges Plot to Deny Atiku Justice at Tribunal

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The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) yesterday raised the alarm about an alleged plot to deny Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, justice at the election petition tribunal.

In a statement issued by its Spokesman, Ikenga Ugochinyere, the coalition alleged that it “intercepted a five-man list of justices of the Court of Appeal approved by President of the Court of Appeal.”

He claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari and All Progressives Congress (APC) endorsed the list of justices to hear Atiku and PDP’s petition challenging the results of the February 23, 2019 presidential elections.

The list, which it said was intercepted by a credible insider informant during its conveyance from the Villa to the Court of Appeal, was drawn from a list of eight justices submitted to the Presidential Villa for approval.

“We had earlier raised alarm over APC’s allocation of a Senatorial ticket to the husband of President of the Court of Appeal.

“We had questioned the rationale behind such move when he did not participate in the primaries if not to secure assurance of his wife and President of the Court, to constitute, with Presidency’s approval, the panel that will hear any petition challenging the elections outcome.

“It was also a failure to secure similar assurances from the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) that led to Federal Government’s onslaught on him as he had insisted on ensuring justice,” it stated.

“The list is drafted in such a way that without any matter properly being before the justices, the panel has already been rigged and skewed with three of them having been approached and commitments secured from them that no matter the evidences before them, they will rule in President Buhari’s favour.”

“They are now agents and officers of the President and not officers in the temple of justice,” it added.

It gave the names of the justices on the panel, which would soon be made public as Zainab Adamu-Bulkachuwa, Presiding Judge and President, Court of Appeal and wife of APC Senator-elect from Bauchi State; Abdu-Aboki; Peter O. Ige; J. S. Ikyegh and S. C. Oseji.

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$2billion Arms Fraud: Group Petitions Buhari Over Probe Panelists

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A group has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari to re-examine the composition of the $2 billion fund misappropriated during the last regime of President Jonathan.

The group, Egalitarian Coalition of Nigeria, in an open letter to President Buhari, alleged that senior members of his cabinet who were complicit in the transaction
cannot turned round to become a judge in case involving them.

When the president assumed office in 2015, he directed the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, to convene an investigative committee on the procurement of hardware and ammunition in the Armed Forces from 2007 till now.

Accordingly, the National Security Adviser, constituted the Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement, CADEP.

But the group in the petition, signed by Dr. Suleiman Attahiru, Executive Director and Sir Fabian Aigbosua (KSJ),
Secretary, told President Buhari, that domiciling the powers to constitute the committee in the Office of the National Security Adviser was albeit an error because the National Security Adviser, Babagana Mungono was a part of the rot in the system at the time as Commander, Brigade of Guards, Chief of Defence Intelligence Agency and later Commandant TRADOC in 2013 when he retired from the Nigerian Army.

”Mr. President, there is no way the NSA, Babagana Mungono could feign ignorance of all the underhand dealings in the purchase of arms and ammunition in the period under review because of the strategic positions he occupied.

”Mr. President, and as predicted, the NSA did well to cover his tracks by taking charge of the proceeding of the committee and ensuring that underhand deals linked to him while he was within the corridors of power were left untouched by the committee. All of these are in public space.

”Mr. President, as a fact, some members of CADEP are culprits in the same act in which they have crucified others just because the National Security Adviser has your ears and attention at all times.

”This was evident in the arrest of Air Commodore Usman Mohammed, a member of CADEP by the Department of State Security for fronting for members of CADEP in receiving financial gratification from those been investigated by the committee”, the group said.

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Lawan: My Support For Buhari Will Not Make Senate His Rubber Stamp

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Ahmad Lawan, majority leader of the Senate, says the national assembly will not become President Muhammadu Buhari’s “rubber stamp” if he is elected Senate president.

Lawan told journalists in Abuja on Saturday that although he is a fan of Buhari, his support for the president will not jeopardize the upper legislative chamber under his leadership.

Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) had endorsed Lawan to succeed Bukola Saraki as Senate president.

The Yobe lawmaker said he will ensure that the decisions of his colleagues be carried out without any fear or favour.

“I won’t deny it; I am a president Buhari man. I believe in him and I believe in my party because of the ideals they stand for. But if you believe in someone and they have an issue that you think can be carried out in a certain way other than the way it was presented, suggesting you go the other way demonstrates that you are really for that person.” he said.

“So my support for the president, for example, must not be misconstrued as going to make the national assembly a rubber stamp if I am senate president.

“The function of the legislature is for the members of the legislature in majority to take a decision after a debate or whatever; then the minority would have had their say and the decision goes to the majority. You cannot as a presiding officer say no, I am not going to go with that position. Else you will be sacked.”

Lawan also said that the legislature and executive must ensure they work harmoniously for the common good of Nigerians.

“If you choose to fight, the two arms suffer and the country suffers even more because it is not possible for you to fight and get something done for the country. I don’t belong to the school of thought of encouraging fighting between the two arms,” he said.

“When you have to work together, you will disagree, and by the design of the constition, the legislature has been given some functions that will naturally make the executive sit up.”

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Release Our N25bn, ASUU Tells FG

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities has urged the Federal Government to release the N25bn it approved for lecturers.

ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, made the demand during a valedictory lecture and book presentation by the former Vice-Chancellor of Michael Okpara University, Umudike, Prof Ikenna Onyido, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, on Saturday.

He said the union was getting impatient with the FG over the delay in releasing the money.

However, Ogunyemi denied reports they were planning to embark on strike over the matter.

He said, “ASUU has not said it is going on strike. What we said was the reported N25bn the Federal Government said it had approved, we’ve not seen it.

“When we signed the Memorandum of Action with government on February 7, we agreed that by February 28, the N25bn would be released, and government signed it. We have yet to see it three months after.

“That’s why we’re saying that government has defaulted and if our members come up with any decision because government has defaulted, the leadership can’t stop them. That’s the challenge we have.

“We’re only calling on Nigerians to prevail on government to make good its promises and not just to tell us about paper release. Let’s see the actual release.”

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