A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Dr Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), has said he is in support of Atiku’s decision to challenge the result of the February 23 presidential poll in court.
He, however, expressed doubts that Atiku would get justice because “President Muhammadu Buhari has subverted the Supreme Court by the removal of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Walter Onnoghen, and the appointment of the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (Justice Muhammad Tanko).”
Agbakoba, who had earlier urged Atiku not to go to court to challenge the poll result, said his earlier advice was based on his view that the PDP presidential candidate would face “an uphill task, given the circumstances of challenging election results” in the country.
He said from his experience as one of Nigeria’s experienced election petitions lawyers, the burden of proof to succeed in an election petition “is unfairly huge.”
“We first have to prove that there are electoral irregularities and in my view, once you prove this, you should succeed. Unfortunately, even if you prove electoral irregularities you will have to show how that affected the results of the election.
“Remember that the gap between former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, and President Muhammadu Buhari is about four million votes. It is clear to me that the presidential election results were manifestly riddled with electoral irregularities.
“Now that former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has approached the court, it is important to emphasise that he is constitutionally entitled to do so. My personal advice has become irrelevant. I fully support and wish former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar every success,” Agbakoba said.
He, however, bemoaned the delay by the National Judicial Council in dealing with the case of the suspended Justice Onnoghen and the acting CJN, Justice Tanko.
He said, “My perception is that we need to resolve the status of the Supreme Court. I wonder what is taking the National Judicial Council so long. I am also worried about the historical precedent, as no petition on presidential election result has ever succeeded.”
WAEC to Release Fresh 2020 WASSCE Timetable
The West African Examination Council is set to release a fresh timetable for the 2020 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination.
Speaking at a Presidential Task Force Briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja on Monday, the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, said school facilities would be made available for revision classes ahead of the examination.
Nwajiuba advised parents to take note of the date, noting that “as soon as we conclude WAEC, we will take up the NABTEB and NECO exams.”
He added, “The idea is that we have a month from now till then. Those who can and those who are willing, the states who are willing should make their schools available for their children to revise.
“We’ve done the most we can to talk with our representatives at WAEC and this (Monday) afternoon, we confirmed dates allotted for the exams will be from the 4th of August through to the 5th of September. “Local timings will be published.”
The minister, therefore, urged all candidates to start preparing for the examination, saying, “We will be asking that those who are not prepared yet should please go and prepare.
Subsequently, WAEC Nigeria stated via its Twitter handle, “The Head of the Nigeria National Office of WAEC, Mr Patrick Ehidiamen Areghan will address the Press tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. #StayTuned #WASSCE2020 #Timetable”
Also, speaking in a telephone interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday morning, the Head, WAEC Public Affairs, Mr Damian Ojijeogu, said Ehidiamen would address a number of issues regarding the 2020 WASSCE.
He said aside from the timetable, health and safety guidelines would be issued including the mandatory use of face masks for all candidates, temperature checks, use of sanitisers, amongst others.
Ondo Ex-SSG Vows to Work Against Akeredolu’s Reelection
A few hours after the resignation of Mr Sunday Abegunde, as Secretary to the Ondo State Government, the governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, appointed Mr Tayo Oluwatuyi, as replacement.
Akeredolu announced Oluwatuyi at the weekly media briefing in Akure, the state capital on Monday.
Abegunde had resigned through a letter which partly read, “I, Hon. Ifedayo Sunday Abegunde, the Secretary to the State Government of Ondo State hereby tender my letter of resignation.
“I want to thank Mr Governor for giving me the opportunity to serve the Government and people of Ondo State.”
However, Abegunde later granted an interview in Yoruba language on Crest FM, during which he said he resigned from office because of the ill-treatment meted out to him by the governor.
He said, “I suffered in his (Akeredolu) administration because he didn’t release any fund to my office. He has been telling lies that he was giving me N5m every month even when he knew he didn’t give me such money.
“Akeredolu didn’t win the election in 2016 but we made it possible for him to become governor. We were the pillars behind him and we will not support him again. He will lose this time around.”
Abegunde, a two-term member of the House of Representatives further said that he resigned because he could no longer be part of a government that made its subjects to pass through hardship.
He said, “The Akeredolu’s administration is making the entire people of the state to suffer and I cannot be part of that any longer. ”
In his reaction, Ondo State Commissioner, Mr Donald Ojogo, said, “We make bold to say that there can’t be a better reaction than the fact that the man talking has since been replaced with immediate effect. This means he has not been missed and shall not be missed at all. So we wont join issues with the former SSG.”
Timetable in Circulation Not from Us, WAEC Warns Nigerians
The West African Examination Council has advised Nigerians to disregard the timetable for the 2020/2021 Senior Secondary School Examination circulating online.
The Head of Public Affairs, WAEC, Nigeria, Mr Demianus Ojijeogu, told our correspondent on Sunday that the timetable circulating was not from the examination body.
He said, “The timetable in circulation did not emanate from WAEC, Nigeria. Please, disregard.”
Recall that the 2020 WASSCE was initially scheduled to hold between April 6 and June 5, but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.