Obasanjo and IBB did not attend MKO Abiola’s investiture  - Naijaray
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Obasanjo and IBB did not attend MKO Abiola’s investiture 

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo and ex-Military Head of State, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, IBB, were absent at Tuesday’s Special National Honours Investiture of Chief MKO Abiola and others.

Abiola was awarded GCFR, the highest title in the land, while Alhaji Baba Gana Kingibe and Chief Gani Fawehinmi were awarded GCON.

At the event, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, informed the gathering that Obasanjo and Babangida both expressed regrets for their inability to attend.

Speaking to NAIJARAY Tuesday afternoon, a close aide to Obasanjo disclosed that the former leader left the country since last Friday.

He said Obasanjo has been scheduled to attend a book launch outside the country even before the award investiture of MKO Abiola and others was announced by the federal government.

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“Baba jetted out last Friday; but his trip was planned long ago.

“I’m aware he personally reached out to the presidency to explain that he would not be able to attend today’s event.

“I think he will return to Nigeria on Wednesday or Thursday”, the source said.

Similarly, Babangida, it was learnt, apologized to the presidency for his absence.

He was said to have given his health issue as the reason.

In the last few years, IBB has not made public appearance and routinely travels abroad for medical treatment.

Currently, the former ruler cannot walk properly unless aided.

Meanwhile, son of the late legal icon and human rights activist, Mohammed Fawehinmi, has described President Muhammadu Buhari as a sensitive leader.

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Fawehinmi noted that the family was grateful and elated by the award conferred on his father.

He said June 12 was the foundation of democracy in the country and that the Tuesday’s occasion was a show of entrenchment of unity of all citizens of the country regardless of religion and ethnic background.

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Court orders Jacob Zuma to refund over $1m to the South African government as legal fees which was expended on him

A court has ruled that South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma must pay back the money provided for his legal fees. It is estimated that the state has paid between $1m (£792,000) and $2.2m in legal costs for him.

Zuma has been fighting multiple allegations of corruption for more than a decade and has incurred millions of dollars in legal fees. The court’s decision marks the end of a poor year for Zuma, who was forced out of office in February.

His successor, Cyril Ramaphosa, has been working to restore public confidence in the country’s prosecution service. Ramaphosa recently admitted that an agreement between Zuma and former President Thabo Mbeki had formed the basis of the decision to continue paying Zuma’s legal fees, more than a decade ago.

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A judge has now declared the agreement invalid and ordered the state attorney to take steps to recover all legal costs incurred. Zuma has a large family, and has often sought financial support from business associates a habit that lies at the heart of the many corruption scandals that have engulfed him.

He faces 16 charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering stemming from hundreds of payments made to him in relation to a 1990s arms procurement deal but Zuma denies any wrongdoing.

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Nigerian Senate president, Bukola Saraki attends the inauguration of Donald Trump’s Africa Strategy in Washington

Nigerian Senate president, Bukola Saraki will attend the launch of United States of America (U.S) President, Donald Trump’s, Strategy for Africa, which will be unveiled to the public today.

According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the new United States strategy argues for more effective utilisation of existing U.S. resources on the continent.

The Trump plan, according to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, Tibor P. Nagy, Jr, will focus on bringing more foreign direct investment into Africa and is in line with the Legislative Agenda of the 8th National Assembly which is aimed at reforming the Nigerian economy through strategic legislation that will help promote increased participation of private sector actors.

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Other members of the Senate President’s delegation include Senator Ben Bruce, Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs; Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee; and Honourable Nnenna Ukeje, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs.

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 PDP reveals where Buhari, INEC ‘plot to rig presidential election’ 

The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organization, PPCO, on Thursday accused President Muhammadu Buhari of plotting to rig the 2019 election “with illegal polling centers from Chad and Niger”.

PDP made the allegation while condemning the alleged plot by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the “Buhari Presidency to create illegal polling centers in Chad and Niger Republic.”

PPCO described the alleged plot by “INEC and President Buhari to secretly create polling centers outside the shores of our country, in total violation of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), as inexcusably criminal and exposes part of the plot to corrupt our electoral system and massively rig for President Buhari.”

In a statement signed by PDP’s spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PPCO said both “President Buhari, INEC and all Nigerians know that there are no provisions for Diaspora voting under our system. By the extant laws guiding elections in Nigeria, it is very clear who is eligible to vote, as well as the centers statutorily designated for elections. There is no provision for any special arrangement whatsoever.

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“It is therefore reprehensible that President Buhari, in his desperation to rig the elections, is now trying to hide under the guise of making special provision for Internally Displaced Persons IDPs, outside the country, to illegally create rigging centers outside our country and import contrived figures into the election results.

“This clandestine arrangement further validates the alarm earlier raised by the PDP, in April this year, of INEC’s plot to secretly create 30,000 illegal polling centers in some remote areas, through which they plan to allocate millions of votes to President Buhari and the APC.

“Nigerians can now see that the APC and its candidate are not committed to peaceful, credible, free and fair election. Having realized that there is no way he can win in a peaceful and credible election, Mr. President is now seeking means to enmesh the 2019 elections in a constitutional crisis, public confusion and trigger an imminent violence that is capable of derailing our entire democratic process.

“Moreover, by seeking to open polling units outside the country, the Buhari administration has now agreed that it does not have full control of Nigerian territory and cannot provide security for Nigerians to freely participate in the elections.

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“If President Buhari is in any way inclined towards diaspora voting, he should send an appropriate bill to the National Assembly for approval to accommodate not only Nigerians in Chad and Niger Republic, but also those in other sub-Sahara countries as well as Europe, America and other parts of the world, who have been agitating for Diaspora voting.

“We caution the Buhari Presidency and INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, not to set our country on fire by engaging in provocative actions in a desperation to rig 2019 Presidential election for President Buhari.”

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