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Atiku Not Nigerian, Not Qualified to Contest Presidency – APC

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The All Progressives Congress has said that Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate in the 2019 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, is not a citizen of Nigeria by birth and ought not to have even been allowed in the first place to contest the election.

APC said this in response to the election petition filed before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

APC, the third respondent to the petition, faulted the grounds of the petition, adding that Atiku “is not a citizen of Nigeria by birth and ought not to have even been allowed in the first place to contest the election.”

APC also faulted the claim by the petitioners that they obtained the authentic results of the February 23, 2019 election from the Independent National Electoral Commission’s server showing that they won the election.

INEC had, on February 27, 2019, declared the APC alongside its candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, winner of the election with 15,191,847 votes to defeat his closest rival, Atiku, whom it said polled 11,262,978 votes.

But the petitioners stated in their 139-page petition anchored on five grounds that “from the data in the 1st respondent’s (INEC’s) server…the true, actual and correct results” from “state to state computation” showed that Atiku polled a total of 18,356,732 votes defeat Buhari whom they said scored 16,741,430 votes.

They said the results were the total votes scored by the candidates in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, as there was “no report on sever” about the results from Rivers State as of February 25, 2019.

By calculation, Atiku and PDP claimed to have defeated Buhari by 1,615,302 votes.

In its reply filed through its lead counsel, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), the APC said the data and computation of results on state-by-state basis were not legitimate.

The party stated that only the results declared by INEC were authentic.

The party averred that Atiku was born on Nov. 25, 1946 in Jada, Adamawa, in Northern Cameroon and was therefore a citizen of Cameroon and not a Nigerian by birth.

According to APC, contrary to the assertion of Atiku in his petition, he has no right to be voted for as a candidate in the election to the office of president of Nigeria.

Apart from the issue of the origin of Atiku, the APC asserted that most of the claims contained in his petition had become statute barred and that the tribunal was not the appropriate place to entertain such.

The APC specifically said that the issue of the educational qualification of Buhari as raised by Atiku could not be treated by the Tribunal.

The party said this was because the period for claims and objections on such issues had expired.

It maintained that the petitioners failed and neglected to use the appropriate period to challenge the validity of the educational qualification of Buhari.

Atiku had in his petition to the tribunal, faulted the conduct of the Feb. 23 Presidential Election on grounds of non-compliance with relevant electoral laws and other malpractices such as intimidation of voters.

The former Vice President and PDP claimed to have scored the majority of the lawful votes in the election and prayed the tribunal to declare them as winners of the election.

In the alternative, he prayed for an order for the cancellation of the election and another order by the tribunal directing INEC to conduct a fresh election that would conform with relevant laws.

No date has, however, been fixed for hearing of the petition.

The Punch

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Travel Agent Scams Cristiano Ronaldo of £250,000, Jailed

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A travel agent, named Maria Silvia scammed Manchester United striker, Cristiano Ronaldo, out of £250,000 (about N140 million) after the football star entrusted her with his credit cards and pin.

The 53-year-old travel agent also scammed Ronaldo’s super-agent Jorge Mendes of £14,000 and Manchester United winger, Nani, of over £1,500.

Due to her wrongdoing, Silvia got a four-year suspended prison sentence on Sunday after being earlier convicted by a Porto criminal court in 2017.

It was also revealed that Ronaldo was targeted for three years between February 2007 and July 2010.

The paper read, “Afterwards the travel agent had to plug the hole in the firm’s accounts. She, therefore, began to bill those trips to Cristiano Ronaldo, who had an account at Geostar and for practical reasons, handed the agent a virtual credit card and pin code. It was a green route to taking money out.”

Quoting a renowned Portuguese daily Jornal de Noticias, Sun Sports reported that the 36-year-old Ronaldo submitted a statement to the police after flying to the court to meet up with his lawyer.

The travel agent, who currently works as a cleaner, was first interrogated in 2011 before her eventual sentence on Sunday, September 19, 2021.

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I am Getting Better, Says Hospitalised Pele

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Brazilian football legend Pele said Sunday he is “punching the air” to celebrate “every better day” after the 80-year-old suffered his latest health scare.

“As you can see, I’m punching the air in celebration of every better day,” Pele wrote on Instagram beside a photograph of him sitting in a hospital chair, watched over by two medical staff.

The three-time World Cup winner was Friday briefly transferred back to an intensive care unit at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, where he underwent surgery earlier this month, after suffering breathing difficulties.

“A good mood is the best medicine and I have plenty of that. It couldn’t be different,” he added Sunday.

“I have received so much affection that my heart is full of gratitude. Thanks to all the amazing staff at Albert Einstein Hospital!”

His condition had been described as stable.

Pele’s daughter Kely Nascimento also posted a photo of herself next to her father in the hospital on Friday, seeking to cheer up his fans.

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We Won’t Accept Second Position in 2023 – NEF

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The Northern Elders Forum has said the north was in the process of rebuilding itself and was not prepared to play second fiddle in a nation where it clearly enjoys numerical strength.

Director of Publicity and Advocacy of the NEF, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said this while delivering a keynote address at the maiden Maitama Sule Lecture Series organized by the students’ wing of the Coalition of Northern Groups, held at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, on Saturday.

He said, “We will lead Nigeria the way we have led Nigeria before whether we are President or Vice President, we will lead Nigeria. We have the majority of the votes and democracy says vote whom you want.

“Why should we accept a second class position when we know we can buy a form and contest for first class and we will win?

“Why does anybody need to threaten us and intimidate us? We will get that power but be humble because power comes from God. We inherited leadership and being honest is not being stupid.

“The North has pride; we are humble enough to know that we are going to run Nigeria with other people but we are not going to pay a second fiddle to anybody. We may not have the most robust economy, there are people who are trying to strangulate us even more than we are being strangled.

“We are ready for this. We will consider every economic adversity, challenge. We will fix the Northern economy and we are the only one who can fix this Northern economy. For that reason, we are not for sale. We are in the process of rebuilding the North and we will rebuild the North from 2023.

“Whether the North holds power in 2023 or not anybody who wants to break up in this country will say so, they are just looking for excuses. This is democracy. If they don’t like what Nigeria is, they will say they want to break up from this country, we don’t pay attention to those people, we are focused on the fact that we are running a democratic system.

The NEF’s spokesman added, “If the majority of Nigeria voters vote for a candidate from the North and he becomes the President and somebody doesn’t want to live under the Nigeria President, the person can leave.”

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