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Buhari appoints Sarah Alade special adviser

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President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Sarah Alade as Special Adviser to the President on Finance and the Economy.

The office is domiciled in the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, a statement by presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said on Tuesday.

Mrs Alade, who holds BSc (Economics) and PhD in Management Science (Operations Research), retired from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as Deputy Governor in 2017 after spending 23 years in the apex bank.

She had also acted briefly in 2014 as the CBN Governor.

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Kog guber: low security as parties round off campaigns

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Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kabba, Kogi West Senatorial District, were on Wednesday attacked by armed political thugs, worsening the security situation two days to the governorship election in Kogi State.

Prominent among those attacked by the hoodlums was Joseph Dada, whose house was riddled with bullets and cars destroyed.

Others who were reportedly attacked include Johnson Abejinrin and one Obagbayi, who are said to be top members of the PDP in Kabba.

Pictures emanating from the scene show buildings and vehicles riddled with bullets and shattered glasses.

Reports across the state show widespread intimidation and attacks of campaign trains of opposition parties.

TIMELY POST gathered that some leaders of the opposition political parties have relocated their families outside the state.

The reality of the security threat to the election was further highlighted during Tuesday’s attack of the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Natasha Akpoti, who in the full glare of police officers and other security agencies, was attacked and molested by thugs believed to be loyal to the incumbent governor, Yahaya Bello.

This was even worrisome that the attack took place at the venue of the INEC’s stakeholders’ meeting in Lokoja which had in attendance the Inspector of General of Police and other heads of Nigeria’s security outfit.

Earlier, the SDP secretariat was razed and valuable documents and properties were destroyed.

Although the attacks were not denied, the police are yet to take any person into custody for the acts.

The governorship candidate of the Grassroots Development Party of Nigeria (GDPN), Dele Williams said in an interview that his campaign train had been attacked several times as he toured the state to seek the support of voters to become the governor of the state.

According to him, some of leaders of his party have either moved out of the state due to threats to their lives and their families, or had moved their families away.

“Besides the harassment during campaigns, I have received threats to my life,” he said.

Williams also said even though a formal complaint was sent to the Inspector General of Police and other security agencies, no arrest has been made and the situation had grown worse.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has denied that its members and supporters were involved in the attacks.

Jubril Abu, the Publicity Secretary of the APC in Kogi State said that the violence could not be traced to APC supporters because they are law abiding citizens.

Although he did not deny that there were attacks, he noted that the people should look elsewhere for the culprits.

The police in Kogi have vowed to deal with the situation and ensure peace in the state before, during and after the election, but the feeling of the average Kogi citizen is that the rigging had started and eligible voters have been successfully scared away from the ballot on Saturday.

While the PDP leaders are pointing accusing fingers at the APC in Kabba, for the attack on Mr Joseph on Wednesday, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, who also represents Kabba/Bunu State Constituency, said he was not involved in the attacks.

Reliable said that within the PDP, the feeling is that Kolawole masterminded the attack on the PDP leaders in the state, with a view to intimidate and disrupt their plans for Saturday.

But in a statement on Wednesday, the speaker condemned the attack on the PDP leaders in his domain, saying such acts were “callous” and condemnable.

Kolawole expressed shock at the ugly incident, saying it had heightened the security situation in the community.

He charged the security agencies to swing into action to unravel those behind the act and bring them to justice.

He also charged politicians to always remember that politics should be premised on the genuine desire to serve.

He offered his cooperation to the security agencies in their bid to bring the perpetrators to book, pointing out that the issue of security of life and property is the number one priority of the government.

While Kogi State is needing an urgent security attention and safety guarantees, the police in the state are yet to show any signs of the ability to curtail the political violence that is building up as the time ticks away to the final day.

The Police Public Relations Officer in Kogi, Williams Aya, was not forthcoming with efforts made to tackle the deteriorating situation.

He however said the matters would be addressed soon by other senior police officers who have been deployed for the elections.

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Kogi Guber: Gov Bello faces eligibility trial

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A suit challenging the eligibility of Yahaya Bello, Governor of Kogi State to contest the November 16, governorship election in the state is ongoing today at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The originating summons, which is instituted by Natasha Akpoti, the Social Democratic Party (SDP)’s governorship candidate in the forthcoming poll, will be mentioned at Court 5 before Justice Inyang Ekwo.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while SDP candidate is the plaintiff, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are1st and 2nd defendants respectively.

The suit, dated Oct. 10 and marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1221/2019, filed by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, on Akpoti’s behalf, sought the court’s determination on the eligibility of Governor Bello in the Saturday election, having allegedly been involved in double registration as a voter.

Akpoti said “that by his wilful act of making double registration as a voter, Yahaya Bello, candidate of the 1st defendant is not a fit and proper person to be allowed by the 2nd defendant to vote or be voted for in the forthcoming Kogi state governorship election, having committed an act of electoral fraud.

“That Mr. Yahaya Bella. the candidate of the 1st Defendant. was initially registered as a voter sometime in 2011 in Abuja, by the 2nd defendant.

“That Bello. the candidate of the 1st defendant again fraudulently procured from the 2nd defendant. a second registration as a voter on 23rd May,. 2017, at Government House. Lokoja, while his 2011 first registration as a voter in Abuja was still live, extant and subsisting.

“That the said Yahaya Bello, the candidate of the 1st defendant carried out the double registration with the 2nd defendant so as to scuttle due electoral process.

“That such a person is not a fit and proper person to be voted for in any election, let alone for the high office of the governor of a state.”

NAN reports that Justice Ekwo had, on Tuesday, delivered judgment, disqualifying the APC Deputy Governorship Candidate in Bayelsa, Sen. Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, over false information given in his CF0001 Form submitted to INEC for the Saturday’s poll.

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Gov. Emmanuel wins at Appeal Court

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The Court of Appeal, Calabar, has affirmed the judgement of the election petition tribunal that Udom Emmanuel, the governor of Akwa Ibom, was validly elected in the 2019 general election.

The appellate court in its judgement on Wednesday declared that the appeal by the All Progressives Congress (APC), and its governorship candidate, Nsima Ekere, lacked merit and, therefore, dismissed the case.

Emmanuel was a candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He is currently doing his second term.

The PDP in Akwa Ibom said the latest judgement was a confirmation of the “sanctity of the ballot”.

“In the well-considered judgement, the noble Lords of the penultimate court, held the Appeal was lacking in merit, agreeing with the tribunal that the APC did not lead credible evidence to prove their case and that they had dumped documents in the panel without linking them, as required by law,” Ini Ememobong, the PDP spokesperson in the state, said in a statement.

“By this judgment, the judiciary has again shown that justice is directed by law and not federal might, partisan colouration or other extra-legal dispositions. To this, we are deeply grateful to the court and wholeheartedly welcome the judgement.”

The PDP, in the statement, appealed to the APC, once again, to join hands with Mr Emmanuel to develop the state.

“To the opposition APC, we renew our call for partnership in the execution of the Akwa Ibom Project through the vehicle of the completion agenda of Governor Udom Emmanuel.

“We acknowledge the zeal and emotional investments committed to the Governorship quest by Obong Nsima Ekere, an illustrious Akwa Ibom son, who rose to the exalted office of Deputy Governor through the instrumentality of our party. He has fought the fight, ran the race, but the results are not in his favour.

“We urge him to avoid the temptation of escalation of commitment and rather view the Akwa Ibom project as the cynosure and act in the benefit of the larger interest of the people,” the PDP said.

Emmanuel has also appealed to the APC to join his government in building Akwa Ibom. “Together, we will continue to re-write our story,” the governor said on Twitter immediately after the appeal court delivered its judgement.

The APC is yet to react to the appeal court judgement.

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