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Buhari Claims Far More Educational Qualification than Atiku

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President Muhammadu Buhari has accused the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, of not possessing the statutory educational qualification to contest the February 23, 2019 election.

In his counter-accusation, Buhari dared Atiku to produce his “educational certificates, indicating the schools attended by him, with dates,” before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress, winner of the election.

But Atiku and the PDP filed a petition before the tribunal seeking an order nullifying Buhari’s victory and another order declaring them as the true winner of the poll.

The petitioners alleged, among others, that Buhari gave false information about his school certificate in the Form CF001, which he submitted to INEC.

They had alleged that Buhari did not possess secondary school certificate he laid claim to in the form.

But in a reply filed on his behalf on Wednesday by his lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), the President said he possessed more than the constitutionally required educational qualifications to contest the election.

He said it was Atiku who lacked the required educational qualification and challenged him to contradict the assertion with proof.

Buhari said he was “head and shoulder above” Atiku in terms of educational qualifications, training and courses attended, both within and outside Nigeria.

He also said he surpassed Atiku in terms of acquisition of knowledge, certificates, laurels, medals and experience.

The reply read in part, “The respondent (Buhari) avers that he is far more qualified, both constitutionally and educationally, to contest and occupy the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria than the 1st petitioner; and that in terms of educational qualifications, training and courses attended, both within and outside Nigeria, he is head and shoulder above the 1st petitioner in terms of acquisition of knowledge, certificates, laurels, medals and experience.

“Respondent states further that it is the 1st petitioner who is not qualified to contest the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and challenges the educational credentials and certificates of the 1st petitioner.

“The 1st petitioner is hereby given notice to produce and tender his educational certificates, indicating the schools attended by him, with dates.”

Buhari denied submitting false information to INEC in respect of his educational qualification.

He quoted his resume as reading, in part:

“Elementary School Daura and Maid’adua –  1948 to 1952;

“Middle School, Katsina – 1953 to 1956;

“Katsina Provincial Secondary School (now Daura Government College, Katsina) –  1956 to 1961.”

The reply added, “He (Buhari) did not, at any time, provide any false information in the Form CF001 submitted to the 1st respondent, either in 2014 or 2018.

“The affidavit of compliance to the 2019 Form CF001 was correct in every material particular.

“In filling Form CF001 in 2014 and 2019, the respondent was not oblivious of the constitutional qualifications stipulated in Section 131 of the Constitution and interpreted in Section 318 of the same Constitution.

“Petitioners themselves are also not oblivious of the fact that the respondent possesses far more than the constitutional threshold expected of a candidate contesting for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Buhari asked the tribunal to dismiss the petition, saying that it contained more of pre-election issues, which the Court of Appeal, sitting as a tribunal lacked jurisdiction to entertain.

He argued that the petitioners’ claims were self-defeating.

He noted that while the petitioners claimed to have won the last presidential election and also won elections in many states in the South-South and the South-East regions of the country, they also urged the court to nullify the election and order a fresh presidential election.

Buhari argued that by virtue of Section 137 of the Electoral Act the, petitioners could not question the results of elections in states where they claimed to have won and still retain themselves as petitioners.

He faulted the petitioners’ claim that the election was marred by corrupt practices and substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

He added, “To the knowledge of the petitioners themselves, and acceptance of the 1st respondent in particular, as well as Nigerians generally, the respondent meets far more than the constitutional and educational threshold demanded of a candidate contesting for the office of President of Nigeria.”

Buhari also denied the claim by Atiku that the TraderMoni policy of the government was a vote-buying measure.

He argued that the policy formed one of the many social intervention policies of the Federal Government, directed at alleviating the suffering of the masses.

The Punch

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FG Dismisses Dangote Petroleum As Inferior, Says Refinery Not Yet Licenced, Not Completed

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By Eric Elezuo

A Federal Government of Nigeria petroleum regulatory agency, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, (NMDPRA), has dismissed petroleum products from the Dangote Refinery as inferior, in the guise of those f4om Watersmith and Aradel, making a case for superiority of imported ones.

The revelation was made by the Chief Executive Officer of NMDPRA, Mr. Farouk Ahmed, while responding to questions from a section of the press, a video of which is trending online, adding that the refinery is only 45% completed, and yet to be licenced for operation by the Nigerian government.

Earlier, the Vice President of Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, had alleged that most fuel products imported into Nigeria are substandard, blaming International Oil Companies (IOCs) of frustrating Dangote’s quest for production.

In the short video, which lasted a little over a minute, Mr. Ahmed debunked theories attached to the functionality of the Dangote Refinery, saying it does not have the capacity to ‘feed’ the nation of its petroleum needs, as it stands. He however, refuted arguments that some elements within the oil and gas sector were trying to scuttle the Dangote Refinery.

A transcript of the NMDPRA’s boss short response is as follows:

“It about concerns of supply of petroleum products acros the nationwide, and the claim that we are trying to scuttle Dangote. That is not so. Dangote Refinery is still in the pre-commissioning stage. It has not been licenced yet. We haven’t licenced them yet. I think they are about 45 per cent completed, or completion rather.

“We cannot rely on one refinery to feed the nation, because Dangote is requesting that we suspend or stop imports, especially of AGO and DPK, and direct all marketers to his refinery. That is not good for the nation in terms of energy security, and it is not good for the market because of the monopoly.

“Dangote Refinery, as well as some modular refineries like Watersmith Refinery and Aradel Refinery, are producing between 650 and 1,200 PPM. Therefore, in terms of quality, their products are inferior to imported ones,” he stated.

It will be recalled that only last Sunday, the President, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote, while hosting senior journalists from across various media concerns, revealed that the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) owns only 7.2% of stakes in the refinery, and not 20 percent as widely circulated. He also revealed that the refinery is set to begin fuel supply in August 2024.

Many stakeholders and respondents have alleged that there’s no love lost between the government of the day and the Dangote Group, and that explains the hiccup situation surrounding the takeoff the $19 billion refinery.

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JAMB Denies Setting Admission Cut-off Mark, Says No Such Thing

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The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has denied setting cut-off marks for admissions into higher institutions across the country.

In a statement posted on its official X account on Thursday, the Board dismissed reports that it had set 140 as cut-off marks for universities, and 100 for polytechnics respectively.

“There’s no such thing as ‘cut-off mark’ in admission process to tertiary institutions in Nigeria, what’s obtainable is minimum tolerable score determinable by individual institutions,” it said.

The denial comes just one day after it was widely reported, that the Board had pegged 140 as a cut-off mark for admission into universities, and 100 as the minimum cut-off point mark for admission into polytechnics and colleges of education.

The statement attributed to JAMB Registrar, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, quoted him as announcing the development in Abuja at the 2024 Policy meeting of the Board.

The meeting had in attendance the Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, vice-chancellors, rectors and registrars of higher institutions and other stakeholders.

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We Communicated Our Stand to Dangote, NNPC Reacts to Owning Only 7.2% Stake in Refinery

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has explained why it holds only a 7.2% equity in the $19 billion Dangote Refinery, instead of the widely speculated 20%. 

A statement released on Sunday by Femi Soneye, the Chief Corporate Communications Officer of NNPCL, addressed the company’s recent decision regarding its investment in the Dangote Refinery.  

Soneye said that the decision to reduce their investment was carefully considered and communicated several months ago to Aliko Dangote. 

Dangote mentioned to newsmen on Sunday that NNPC no longer holds a 20% stake in the refinery.  

He explained that this change occurred because NNPCL failed to pay the balance of their share, which was due in June. 

Reacting, NNPC said:  

“NNPC Limited periodically assesses its investment portfolio to ensure alignment with the company’s strategic goals.

“The decision to cap its equity participation at the paid-up sum was made and communicated to Dangote Refinery several months ago,” NNPC said.

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