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Open Letter To The Incoming Governor Of Lagos State In 2019 By Ettu Mohammed

Sahara Reporters - 17 January 2019 - 7:30am


Dear Sirs,

The Vision of a working Government via Waste to Energy.

Case Study: Lagos State

Population : 22 million

Size of  Proposed Waste-Energy Plant: 100MW, with 100MW redundancy

Cost of plant: $236m (N71bn)

Fuel: Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)  

Cost of fuel: N0.00

Maximum revenue  on transporting MSW to Plant: N96bn

Expected Generation: 700GWh

Investment Model: PPP

Lagos State Maximum Investment: 20%

Wheeling Method m:  DISCO via swap agreement.

Projected Duration : 24  months.

Expected revenue: $400million  

According to Lawma Lagos State generate  13, 000T /day and 4.75millon T of Municipal Solid waste annually.  

Lawma records in 2014 showed that 1.77 million  MT was collected and dumped at Landfill sites in Lagos. Lagos has are 3 major landfills and 2 temporary sites.

1T of municipal Solid Waste MSW will generate 470kWh of energy.

13000T of Waste will generate  6GWh of electricity/ day. This is equivalent of 254MW of electricity/day running over 24hrs

5000T of MSW per day will generate 1.92GWh of electricity. 

What the proposed 100MW Waste to Energy Plant will add to Lagos Economy.

1. The new energy plant will turn 38% per cent which is equivalent to 5000T/day or  1.825 million tonnes per year of the city’s waste into energy.

2. The plant will wheel out 700GWh @ 20% loss of Electricity worth over $42m  of Electricity annually.  

3. This electricity will light 146,000 households 24/7 using 5000KWh annually which is  3233% more than Nigeria's Energy consumption per capita. This is 2.7%  of household in Lagos... 

4. 45million bricks worth over $22m will be made from ash annually which is enough to construct 12000 units of 3 bedroom apartment and in 10 years 120, 000 units will be built.  

5. From the waste, 150 million litres of clean water will be recovered.  These materials will be used to benefit the population of Lagos. The plant will create 100s of jobs for scavengers to earn a decent wage. This is $24.6million using the cost of Bottle water in Nigeria. 

6. Through the combustion process, it will also sort valuable and finite metals for recycling over $8million  would be added here. 

7. The plant will save the ecosystem 6m T of C02 annually which equals 4,500, 000 trees. Saving the city over $75million annually using N5000/tree. 

8. In 4 years the plant would pay itself.

9.  Fuel is zero Naira to Lagos

10. Lagos will make a whopping N36.38 billion in revenue by conveying the waste to the Plant. 

11. Annually this 100MW waste to energy plant will bring over $400million to Lagos State  Economy

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

In Lagos from 2016 till date, the outgoing Governor Messr Ambode is investing  N12 billion worth of diesel on less the 8MW incandescent bulbs fired by diesel generators annually. 

He signed off  N50bn waste management deal with  Visionscape which will be  N104bn in 7yrs at 17.5% interest rate totalling $380million.  

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ettu Mohammed

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IT'S OFFICIAL: APC Excluded From INEC's National Assembly Candidates List In Rivers

Sahara Reporters - 17 January 2019 - 7:25am


Names of candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) contesting for seats in the National Assembly are missing from the list published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of political parties expected to contest in the governorship election in Rivers State.

A list signed by Rose Orianran-Anthony, secretary of the commission on Thursday, did not contain the names of APC candidates.

On January 7, 2019, a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, nullified the primaries conducted by the two APC factions in Rivers State. The court also restrained INEC from presenting APC candidates in the 2019 elections in the state. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Court Stops INEC From Recognising APC's Two Rivers Governorship Candidates 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

According to Obo Effanga, Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, the list is in line with the court judgement.

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Ijaw Youth Council Writes Buhari Over Oil Firms' Disregard For Local Content Law

Sahara Reporters - 17 January 2019 - 6:50am


The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide has expressed dissatisfaction over the flagrant abuse of the Nigerian Local Content Law by indigenous oil firm owners in the Niger Delta, regretting that rather than improve the fortunes of the region, it has improverished the people.

In an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari by Eric Omare and Henry Iyalla, president and spokesman of the IYC, respectively, the youth noted that the abuse of the law by oil field owners and operators have "totally relegated the Niger Delta communities, entrepreneurs and contractors to the background".

The organisation pointed out that since the beginning of the implementation of the law in the last few years, the situation in the Niger Delta has worsened, stressing that the poverty rate in the oil and gas communities have increased astronomically.

The letter read: "The Nigerian owners of the divested assets, apart from acquiring the oil fields, have incorporated multitude of companies with which they execute nearly all contracts in the value chain of their operations to the detriment of the local Niger Delta contractors.

"Apart from the fact that most of their jobs are awarded to companies in which they have interest, even where a few Niger Delta contractors are engaged, they deliberately refuse to pay these contractors, sometimes for up to two years.

"Just as they give contracts that ought to be done by the local contractors to their relatives and subsidiary companies, they also give available employment opportunities that ought to be given to indigenes of the host communities to their own relatives to the detriment of the people of the host communities."

While calling on the Nigerian government to prevail on the indigenous oil field owners to ensure compliance with the Local Content Law, pay contractors and employe graduates and youth from the region, the IYC also demanded that "the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources should investigate the activities of the indigenous oil field owners with respect to their contract awards, recruitment, and compliance with the local content requirement in relation to host communities".

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Ghanaian Undercover Reporter Shot Dead In His Car

Sahara Reporters - 17 January 2019 - 6:29am


 

Journalists in Ghana are mourning the death of their colleague, Ahmed Hussein-Suale, who was shot dead on Wednesday night.

Ahmed is an undercover reporter with Tiger Eye, an investigative media platform owned by Anas Aremeyaw Anas in Ghana. The journalist was instrumental to the story that exposed the corruption in the Ghanian sports sector. On Wednesday, gunmen on a motorbike rained bullets on his car while he was driving. He was shot twice in the chest and once in the neck.

Ahmed's death was announced by Anas via his Twitter handle in the early hours of Thursday. He described the event as sad, stating that Tiger Eye would not stop in its fight against corruption.

Alongside a video which showed Kennedy Agyapong, a Ghanian lawmaker threatening to bring down Ahmed, Anas wrote: “Sad news, but we shall not be silenced. Rest in peace, Ahmed."

In the video entitled “Who Watches the Watchman”, Kennedy said: “The boy (pointing to a picture of Ahmed), that’s very dangerous. He lives here in Madina. If you meet him somewhere, break his ears (slap him). If he ever comes to this premises, I’m telling you beat him. Whatever happens, I’ll pay. Because he’s bad. That Ahmed. Show their pictures and let’s see. The boy, that’s him. Ahmed, that’s him. This one is called Ahmed. His other picture is there as well, make it big. If he comes here, beat him. This is the boy, he’s a bad boy”.

At the moment, it's not been ascertained if Ahmed was assassinated or a victim of robbery but Agyapong’s threat, coupled with the fact that nothing was stolen from the journalist seems to lend more credence to an assassination, as Anas and his team thinks.

In the past, Tiger Eye had cried out that its staff members were being threatened.

Since the announcement was made, local and International organisations have condemned Ahmed's murder, while also restating the need to protect journalists in Africa. 

On Thursday, the Committee to Project Journalists (CPJ) tweeted: “Authorities in #Ghana should immediately investigate the killing of journalist Ahmed Divela and ensure that threats against the press are taken seriously."

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BREAKING: Another Faux Pas! Buhari Hands Over APC Flag To 'Our Governortorial Candidate'

Sahara Reporters - 17 January 2019 - 6:00am


One day after erroneously claiming at a campaign rally to have ascended power on May 19, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday committed another error at a campaign rally.

Speaking on Wednesday at the presidential campaign rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held in Lokoja, capital of Kogi State, Buhari had told the crowd: "I assure you that I am very aware of your appreciation of the efforts for what we were able to deliver since came in 19th of May, 2015." See Also Breaking News BREAKING: I Came Into Office On 19th Of May 2015, Says Buhari 0 Comments 1 Day Ago

On Thursday, at the end of his speech after another presidential campaign rally in Warri, Delta State, Buhari was to hand over the party's flag to the Delta State governorship candidate of the party,

However, he said: "I am handing over this flag of honour to our presidential candidate."

When the man to his left corrected him, saying "gubernatorial", Buhari responded with "to our senatorial candidate".

Again, the man corrected him, saying "gubernatorial". This time, Buhari said: "governortorial candidate".

Video of Another Faux Pas! Buhari Hands Over APC Flag To 'Our Governortorial Candidate' Another Faux Pas! Buhari Hands Over APC Flag To 'Our Governortorial Candidate'

 

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EXCLUSIVE: ‘Atiku To Travel To The US ‘Very, Very, Very Soon’

Sahara Reporters - 17 January 2019 - 5:22am

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is scheduled to travel to the United States “any moment from now”, possibly before Saturday’s presidential debate organized by the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) and the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG), SaharaReporters has been told.

Atiku hasn’t stepped on American soil for well over decade dating back to his vice presidency, allegedly due to the belief he would be arrested for allegations of corruption, including one by US congressman Williams Jefferson that part of the $100,000 cash found in his refrigerator was intended as bribe for Atiku for his role in helping American firm iGate secure a contract to expand broadband in Nigeria.

However, in October, Atiku Abubakar, Gbenga Daniel, Director-General of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Orgsanisation (APCO) said his principal had received “signals from American officials” to apply for visa and it would be granted. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: 'US Officials' Have Signalled Atiku To Come For Visa, Says Gbenga Daniel 0 Comments 2 Months Ago

Despite the protestations of Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information, that the United States should exercise caution in granting visa to Atiku, it was reported in December that the visa had indeed been granted. See Also Politics Lai Mohammed Warns US About The Implications Of Granting Visa To Atiku 0 Comments 1 Month Ago

A source very close to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who played a big role in the securing of the visa, then told SaharaReporters that the Vice President would be busy back home for a while rather than travelling to the United States.

“The ban has been lifted but it doesn’t mean he is travelling like today or anytime soon,” the source had said. “The restriction has been lifted, which means he can travel anytime he wants. But he’s not planning a US trip soon.”

That was six weeks ago. SaharaReporters understands that Atiku is now planning the much-talked-about trip to the US, with Friday being a tentative date. But a source very familiar with the development said this still doesn’t obliterate the fear of arrest in the Atiku camp.

“Atiku will travel to the US any moment from now, and it could even be on Friday,” the source said. 

“He is still afraid the coast is not completely clear, and he could be harassed or arrested once he steps in. But I can authoritatively confirm that he will indeed be going to the US very, very, very soon."

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Adekunle Gold And Simi Release Sneak Peek Into Wedding

Sahara Reporters - 17 January 2019 - 4:28am


Adekunle Kosoko, a Nigerian singer known by his stage name 'Adekunle Gold', and his wife, Simisola Bolatiti Ogunleye, popularly known as 'Simi', gave fans a sneak peek into what went down at their wedding.

On January 9, 2019 music lovers woke up to the surprising news that Gold and Simi would hold their traditional wedding. The news came as a shock, as both singers in the past had not come out to expressly say they were dating.

However, in a bid to allow their fans share in the moment, the duo released a music video entitled 'Promise'. The video showed scenes from their wedding and ended with where they shared a kiss.

In an electronic mail sent to fans on Thursday morning, Adekunle Gold wrote: “Earlier in 2018, I asked my girl of 5 years to be my wife. Knowing all of my imperfections and shortcomings, she said yes!

“This January. before God and our family, we vowed to do this thing called life together. To be honest, it’s easy to get lost in the limelight; so we definitely have a slightly obsessive desire for a private life that belongs to just us.

“We planned on sharing a little bit of the beginning of our forever with you. Thankfully my team got Kudus (the music video director) on our little Island with us to capture some of these moments for you. I see all your beautiful wishes for me and mine. I want to thank you for that and hope our union brings more Magic.”

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Court To Decide Badeh’s N3.9billion Fraud Case On February 26

Sahara Reporters - 17 January 2019 - 4:21am


Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Abuja has adjourned the N3.9billion fraud case involving the late Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, a former Chief of Defence Staff.

The case has been adjourned till February 26, 2019, to enable parties know how to proceed with regards to the defence of Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, a company with whom he was standing trial.

Badeh was killed on December 18, 2018 by yet-to-be-identified gunmen along the Keffi-Abuja Road, on his way from his farm in Nasarawa State. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Former Chief Of Defence Staff Alex Badeh Shot Dead 0 Comments 4 Weeks Ago

Before his death, he was expected to open his defence on January 16, 2019. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had closed its case against him and the company on October 23, 2018 after calling 21 witnesses.

At the resumed sitting on January 16, 2019, Badeh’s counsel, Akin Olujimi (SAN) informed the court of the death of his client. Referring to his murder as a “shock”, Olujimi said the “unfortunate incident” deprived Badeh “the opportunity to let the world know that he did not commit the offence with which he was charged”.

“When a defendant to a crime has passed on, the litigation against him must terminate,” he said, further stressing that his late client would have been able to disprove the allegations against him.

He, thereafter, applied for an adjournment “pending the burial” of the deceased, and informed the court that “the prosecution and defence teams are making arrangements to meet, regarding how to proceed with the matter”.

Counsel for the company, S.T. Ologunorisa (SAN), aligned himself with the submission of Olujimi, and further appealed that the matter be adjourned to a later date, “as a mark of honour for the late Badeh”.

“We will also want the court to vacate the other dates earlier scheduled for hearing,” he added.

Prosecuting counsel, O.A. Atolagbe, also expressed his condolence. According to him, though the demise of the first defendant was public knowledge, the court being “a Court of Record”, it was essential for the defence to furnish it with a death certificate.  He further urged the court to discountenance the submission of Olujimi in respect of the first defendant’s ability to disprove the allegations against him, stating that the submission was “unnecessary” given the circumstances.

While not raising any objection to the application for adjournment, Atolagbe confirmed that moves had been made towards setting up a meeting between both parties to decide in which direction the case will go. He, however, said it was impractical to hinge the next adjournment on Badeh’s burial, noting that Olujimi had not indicated when the burial was likely to take place.

“We urge the court to adjourn to a more practical date,” he added.

Arguing against the need for a death certificate, Olujimi, citing the case of Osafile v. Odi (1990) 2 NLWR (Pt.137), however, submitted that “in such a matter of public knowledge, which the court itself as a member of a community is aware of, there is no need for any evidence, the court will simply take judicial notice of the matter”.

After the arguments, Justice Abang held that: “In this instance, it is not necessary for the counsel to the first defendant to tender a death certificate because the death of the first defendant is public knowledge and the court is aware. It is not in dispute that the first defendant is dead.

“He was humble and peaceful. He would always stand, waiting in the dock, until the court would order him to sit. He attended proceedings at all times and always present in time. He never asked for frivolous applications or wasted the court’s time, complying at all times with the court’s rules. May his soul rest in peace."

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Misinformation About CJN’s Prosecution And The Justified Indignation Of Lawyers By Timothy Ola Bamgboye

Sahara Reporters - 17 January 2019 - 4:19am


It is too early in the day for the misinformation that is being reported as news on some TV channels, namely, the purported arraingnment of the CJN, Hon Justice Mister Walter Onnoghen. A particular channel in fact reported that he was arraigned but he was absent in court! How absurd can this get.

Please, let it be known that the CJN was NOT arraigned at the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Monday, 14th January, 2019. And God forbid a SITTING CJN is arraigned in any court of law (we will come back to that presently).

For there to be a valid arraignment, three conditions must be met:

1. The accused must be present in court and placed in the dock unfettered.

2. The Charge must be read over and explained to the accused in the language that he understands to
the satisfaction of the Court.

3. The accused must be called upon to plead instantly to the charge.

In the instant case, none of the conditions was met. The defendant was not even present in court!

So, if the CJN was NOT arraigned, what happened in court? Nothing! I mean, nothing pertaining to the COMMENCEMENT of a criminal trial took place last Monday. Trial does not commence in a criminal matter until the defendant takes his plea, and arraignment is the MANDATORY process of doing so.

The right thing to report is that arraignment was stalled because the jurisdiction of the court was challenged, and the defendant was yet to be served with the charge in person. Let us know what we are reporting, please.

Now, why does it seem most legal practitioners are up in arms against this Government for ridiculing the judiciary without as much concerning themselves with whether or not there is merit in the case?

Two things:

First, Due Process. In law, justice must not only be done but be manifestly seen to be done. In this wise, a breach of procedure is as critical a breach as a breach of administering the substantive law. This is moreso that it is the Head of the judicial arm of Government in question, an arm of Government with the very delicate duty of administering justice and adjudicating disputes between any and every party, including those involving the Executive arm of Government. Public perception must be well guarded. The day the public reasonably lose confidence in the good moral standing of the Chief judicial officer is the beginning of the end of our democracy.

The lawmakers have in their wisdom provided a disciplinary internal mechanism that resides with the National Judical Council. The Council is empowered to first investigate a judicial officer accused of misconduct in the course of his official duty, and if found culpable, suspend or retire him, before he is made to face trial in the regular courts.

It is neater that way. It is better. It is safer. Not only for the preservation of the sanctity of the judiciary, but also for the preservation of the sanity of our democracy.

The second reason for the outcry is Politics. Like a learned colleague posited, there are three sides to this case: the legality of it, the factual side, and the politics of it. Sadly, the Government has in its unwisdom allowed the politics of it to overshadow the two more important layers. What is with the haste? What is with the timing? What is with the desperation? A Government that is renowned for using deodorant on the corruption petitions against those of his household and using insecticide on those against his real and perceived enemies cannot reasonably deny politicising this sudden prosecution.

Nonetheless, in spite of the politics at the heart of the matter, every patriotic Nigerian including lawyers and judges, is interested in seeing this matter to its conclusion. Let this matter be pursued to its logical end. Only let due process be followed.

One last word: the fears that the NJC might sweep the case under the carpet if placed before it, seeing the CJN is the current chairman and would only have to step down for his deputy to take over in line with the principle of natural justice is misplaced. NJC is not like political parties that treat serious allegations of immoral and criminal acts as family affairs. They are well in tune with the huge moral burden that comes with the profession. It is for this reason that the reasoning of the Court is of a huge importance to a lawyer, sometimes even above the decision of the court.

Sound logic, objectivity, and correct application of law must be found in any judicial decision. It cannot be any other way. The NJC knows this. They know the whole world is watching. And they know those with the legal, and critical training like theirs are equally watching.

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'Buhari The Goalkeeper, Osinbajo The Striker' — 18 Things We Learnt From #NgTheCandidates

Sahara Reporters - 17 January 2019 - 3:32am


President Muhammadu Buhari and his second-in-command, Yemi Osinbajo were quizzed last night on their years in office and what they would do differently if given another four years to steer the ship of the state.

This happened at a televised town hall meeting tagged ‘The Candidates’ which took place at Sheraton Hotel in Abuja, courtesy of MacArthur Foundation.

These are 18 takeaways from the engagement:

Buhari The Goalkeeper, Osinbajo The Striker

The debate began with the President getting the initial questions, but Osinbajo was soon the one doing more of the talking — until the last 15 minutes or thereabouts of the two-hour show when Buhari finally came to life with some witty answers. But, overall, Buhari mostly scratched the surface of the questions, Osinbajo was the one who went in-depth; he was the one re-telling or re-explaining some questions to Buhari; he even answered some on his behalf, eventually prompting the moderator to cut him short at some point. Buhari may be the one manning the last line of this administration, like a goalkeeper, but it was evident yesterday that Osinbajo is the focal point, the striker.

Like Buhari, Osinbajo Adept At Passing The Buck

Though, as expected, the Vice-President was at his eloquent best, he refused to accept responsibility, on behalf of the current administration, for any problem presently confronting the country. He rather kept laying all the blame for our myriad national problems on the immediate administration from whom they wrested the reins of power.

Buhari Loves To Parry Questions

The President cleverly refused to answer a question on ‘selective’  fight of corruption. He rather took a walk down the memory lane mentioning two late people whose lives have no connection with the present. He acted liekwise when asked if he would accept the results should he lose the election.

Babachir Lawal Fired But Free

The President had no plausible reasons to give for not prosecuting Babachir Lawal, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), who was  fired for financial malfeasance. Buhari insisted there was no evidence to nail Babachir. But what manner of evidence could get him removed but did not earn him a reproof?

Mr President Is Hard Of Hearing

Not once or twice did we see Mr President crane his neck or strain his ears to properly hear what was totally audible to others present at the venue. In fact on a couple of times, the Vice-President had to put his mouth in the President’s ears. Is the President senile? Funnily enough, the first time the hearing problem became obvious was when a question was asked on the disability bill!

Some Governors And Local Government Chairmen Are Corrupt

Talking about primary education and the universal basic education(UBEC) intervention, the President said some governors and local government chairmen are corrupt and press should help in the fight against corruption.

People Are Encroaching On Cattle’s Routes

The President blamed the people — especially those in the South — for not giving herders and their cattle the freedom to roam through their land as spelt out in a certain first republic gazette. Again, the helmsman did not see anything condemnable in the herdsmen’s dastardly acts. Mr President’s message  is “ When a herd of cattle are marching on, Nigerians please make way for them."

The Press Should Go To The North-East To Fight Insurgency

Buhari tasked the press people to help fight the Boko Haram insurgency. He wants them to not just do their reports from the cozy ambience of hotels in Maiduguri but take their time to nose around the cauldron of chaos in Monguno or Maiduguri as well.

9.2 Million School Children Are Fed Daily

Osinbajo claimed that about 9.2 million school children are fed by the Nigerian Government daily. The effort is to ensure  that the school children who are still in their formative years are not malnourished. Meanwhile, according to a report released  by the Universal Basic education Commission(UBEC) and supported by  the  one from  United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), 10.5million — the world highest number — are out of school. One begins to wonder why the government is not investing in efforts to bring these out-school children to school.

The Last Administration Emptied The Treasury

Mr. Vice-President, in his predictable blame-shifting game, laid the  genesis of the country's economic crisis on the doorstep of the last administration. He said two tranches of money were withdrawn and squandered on election. The First tranche was $292 million and the second one N40 billion.

SURE-P , A Sham; No Sure-Fire  Way Of Ending Poverty

Goodluck Jonathan’s administration was again attacked by the Vice-President. Osinbajo said the Subsidy Reinvestment And EmpowermentnProgramme (SURE-P) was fruitless. He  asked: “Who can point to a single  beneficiary of  the  SURE-P programme?”. He claimed their social investment known as N-Power has been more effective in mitigating poverty.

N20billion Has Been Spent On Trader Moni

According to Mr. Vice-President N10,000 loans have been given to 20,000 petty traders to invest in their businesses and efforts are still ongoing  to enhance the scheme.

Unlike PDP, APC Is A Party Of The Masses

Mr Yemi Osinbajo said the core ideology and principle of the All Progressives Congress (APC) distinguishes it from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He insisted that though politics is an all-comers’ affair, the APC has not compromised its core principle and ideology which, is rescuing the masses from the abyss of poverty.

Buhari Doubts The Genuineness  Of Ganduje Bribery Videos

Mr. President believes the Kano State governor could not have been foolish enough to receive a bribe by himself and still be smiling while pocketing the money. He believes the videos might have been doctored using technology.

Buhari Can Talk For Himself

Kadaria Ahmed, the moderator, pleaded with Mr ‘Aaron’ Osinbajo to let  Mr ‘Moses’ Buhari talk for himself when asked a question on the Ganduje videos. Osinbajo was not just Buhari's mouthpiece for most of the night, he was also his ears. He was the puppeteer pulling the strings while Mr President was the docile puppet.

Buhari Is Accustomed To Losing

Mr. President was asked if he would accept defeat should he lose the election. He said he lost successively in 2003, 2007 and 2011. However, he said losing the election is something close to impossible.

Buhari Won Three Previous Elections But Was Rigged Out

Mr President tacitly suggested that he was rigged out of the successive elections he lost until the last administration shot itself in the leg by embracing technology, which did them in. It is left to be known whether the President will take the bold step of signing the electoral bill, too.

Buhari 'Dey Kampe'

Insisting he is fit to run despite speculations surrounding his health and his age, he urged people to take a look at the clip of hi  campaign in Kogi state. However, there is a short video that has gone viral showing how the resident nearly slipped but for the swift support of his security operatives.

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Why Money Is Not Flowing Like Ikogosi Springs This Campaign Season By Fredrick Nwabufo

Sahara Reporters - 17 January 2019 - 2:56am


Fredrick Nwabufo

Fredrick Nwabufo

It is a season of Spartan political campaigns. 

I am sure you have noticed that “money is not flowing” this season as it did in 2015 when there was a blizzard of dollars.

Everyone, who had hoped to make quick money from the campaigns, is gritting his teeth.  But what could be responsible for the “slush money drought”?

Well, I have been reliably informed that the government through its agency, the EFCC, prevailed on banks not to lend money to politicians for campaigns.

Banks are not lending money to politicians for campaigns!

In the past, banks give loans to politicians for campaigns in the hope that after the elections, the money is paid back with interest and of course, “patronage”.

And the dollar, being the abettor currency for “monepolised” political campaigns here, is used to water every deal, greed, and every rapacious appetite; speculators work overtime, the economy sputters; there is a strain on the naira, and then, there is artificial inflation.

I understand that the EFCC held a meeting with bank chiefs where it advised them to desist from giving depositors’ funds as loans to politicians for campaigns. 

Is it not surprising that as of yesterday the dollar was N362, contrary to speculations that it will hit the roof at this time?

I recall, there was a politician, who took a loan, in the region of billions of naira, to finance is governorship campaign in a state in the south-west in 2015; he lost the election, which he had thought, he would win. Unable to defray the debts he started a fight with the banks he borrowed the money from. AMCON eventually had to seize his property. 

There are many examples like this. Banks give loans to politicians during campaigns in the hope that they will get the money back with interest, but most importantly in the hope that they will get “juicy patronage” when the individual or party wins. 

Most times, the loans are not given explicitly for “campaigns”, but through other channels. However, the end is for political campaign. Sometimes, the expectations – between politician and bank - go south, and depositors’ funds are lost in the process. 

There is a plug now.

I know it is tough. I am gritting my teeth as well, as I write this. But I think for the sake of de-emphasising money politics and bringing some discipline into the political system, this drought is “bearable”. 

But it is tough.

 

Fredrick is a media personality.

He can be reached on Facebook: Fredrick Nwabufo, Twitter: @FredrickNwabufo

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My 17 Years Of Loyalty To PDP Is Dead, Says Ondo Lawmaker

Sahara Reporters - 17 January 2019 - 2:37am


Honourable Mike Omogbehin

Honourable Mike Omogbehin

Mike Omogbehin, a lawmaker representing Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency in Ondo State in the National Assembly, has dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In a letter addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Omogbehin said he has resigned his membership of the PDP and has decided to join the All Progressives Congress (APC).

SaharaReporters obtained a copy of the resignation letter which was dated January 16, 2019.

The letter read: “I wish to inform you that I have formally resigned my membership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in an earlier letter to the chairman of my ward. My over seventeen years unflinching loyalty and passion, as well as the passion of the overwhelming majority of the good people of my constituency for the party is dead.

"I’m therefore very pleased to inform you that I have decided to agree with my people in pitching my tent with the All Progressives Congress (APC), in continuation of my political journey."

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Nigeria As “Election 2019” Draws Near By Edwin Madunagu

Sahara Reporters - 17 January 2019 - 1:57am


Edwin Madunagu

Edwin Madunagu

It should be agreed that there are different ways of apprehending and describing the situation in Nigeria as the country draws near “Election 2019”, the general elections beginning on February 16, 2019. But I have chosen, naturally and unsurprisingly, an angle and a perspective informed by the burning interests of the working, toiling and poor masses of the country. This angle and this perspective, I believe, coincide with and describe the general position of the Nigerian Left. By “general position”, I mean an ideological – political position to which every tendency of the movement which considers itself both Left and Nigerian ought to subscribe. And, finally, and for the avoidance of doubt, readers are reminded that by the Nigerian Left I mean, in this historical period, the aggregate of Nigerian Marxists, socialists and radical democrats—where “radical” carries its original meaning, “from the roots”.

The Nigerian situation as we approach “Elections 2019” can be sketched around five issues. Three of these are “problems of Nigeria” as summarized in my last published piece, Nigeria 2019: Hoping for another reprieve? (January 3, 2019). The fourth issue may be called the “power of incumbency”. The fifth is the problem of the Nigerian Left.

The problem of the Nigerian Left forces itself into this exercise on account of its critical importance. This importance can be expressed as a proposition: Both the survival of Nigeria as a united country, de facto and de jure, and the concrete positive transformation of quality of life in it depend, in the immediate future, on what the Nigerian Left does—within and outside electoral politics. The Nigerian Left? Yes, the Nigerian Left—its current fractiousness and factionalism notwithstanding. There is simply no other historically–determined sociopolitical force to perform this task.

In the article cited above, I summarized the “three problems of Nigeria” as: “Massive class exploitation and state robbery resulting in grinding mass poverty and misery; elitist understanding and practice of “democracy”, moral degeneracy and bankrupt governance ideas on the part of Nigeria’s ruling class; and the national question whose enormity and complexity not only the ruling class but also many progressives and liberals—and even Leftists—do not appreciate”. These three problems will, below, be taken up and briefly expanded. This will be followed by brief statements on the other two issues.

All segments and factions of Nigeria’s ruling class—directly and through their ideologues—acknowledge the existence of “grinding mass poverty and misery”. It is simply impossible to ignore: they see it and breathe it on their way to and from their “paradise on earth”. But beyond corruption, they blame the situation on the incompetence, mismanagement, insensitivity, neglect, selfishness and shortsightedness of rival political groups. They completely ignore class exploitation and reduce “state robbery” to only corruption. But class exploitation is rooted in a political economy—capitalism—whose most effective lubricant is corruption. And state robbery goes beyond “high-profile stealing” by state functionaries, which is punishable by the “law of the state” to what can be described as “armed robbery by the state,” itself.

Armed robbery by the state? Yes, armed robbery by the state. For when the state goes beyond its development plans, beyond its budgets, beyond its propaganda and starts manipulating “discretionary powers” to seize what belongs to the working and toiling masses and goes beyond lies, blackmail and bribery, and begins to threaten protests with “law and order” measures—of which it has a legal monopoly—what do you call this?

Nigeria’s ruling class, as a class, cares little about democracy or its history. The doctrine to which it subscribes says that “democracy” only came to Nigeria 20 years ago, in 1999, that the first period of its young life, (1999-2015), was administered by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), that PDP was succeeded in 2015 by the All Progressives Congress (APC). The legacy of that first period is a dominant subject of the present campaign. The manner of the 2015 transfer of power, though an important subject, seems to have been stepped down by mutual consent, as a subject, by all factions of the ruling class. Pursuing it will hurt all factions. Their theory and history of party organization start and end with PDP, APC, other ruling class parties of the Fourth Republic and the inspirations they claim they derive from ruling class parties of America and Western Europe.

Nigeria’s ruling class, as a class, does not see the coming elections simply as a struggle between APC, PDP and other participating parties. Rather, it sees the contest as a battle involving the ruling class’ two power blocs and a number of political forces. These blocs and forces are seen as essentially ethnic, regional and religious. Put differently, Nigeria’s ruling class does not see APC, PDP and other ruling class parties as the highest political expressions of their class. Rather, it considers the power blocs and political forces as higher political expressions. If you cannot easily apprehend my use of “power blocs and political forces”, look at the formations described by the Nigerian media as “sociocultural” or “sociopolitical”: Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Afenifere, Ohanaeze, Middle-Belt Forum, etc.

To examine my proposition, it is sufficient, for a start, to check out the current debate within the ruling class, through leading party and government functionaries and spokespersons of the sociocultural and sociopolitical groups on the movement of Nigeria’s presidency in 2023. You will see that from time to time these functionaries and spokespersons are compelled—for the avoidance of doubt—to come out openly on the ethnic, regional—and even and religious—dimensions of the struggle which the fractions and factions of their class are currently waging.

In response to this debate and the reality informing it, the task of the Nigerian Left is two-fold:One: To resist closing its eyes to reality (what Nigeria is today) and seeing only its hopes for the future. Two: To come out clearly with its own position – and not to “moderate” the debate or support one side or another, or dismiss the debate as irrelevant or, worst of all, pretend not to hear the debate. It is in respect of this second task that I remind readers of the political proposition I have been offering for at least 25 years and which has currently assumed the name, Popular-democratic restructuring or Restructuring under popular-democracy.

Some Leftist parties are participating in the coming elections. Some others are not participating because they are still consolidating. Yet others are not participating either because they were refused registration or have not applied for registration. And then, there are formations of the Nigerian Left that ideologically and politically reject registration as a condition for participating in political struggle. Although the result of all these is the current relatively small specific weight of the Nigerian Left in electoral politics, the situation we now have is a step forward beyond 2015. The next qualitative step is not the formation of new parties or groups, or renewed attempts to register those already in existence, but the establishment of a centre for coordination, ideological education, research, documentation and publicity.

In general, the control of state power during elections by a group or groups participating in the contest or partisanly interested in who wins, is a factor in that contest. This is what is popularly called “power of incumbency”. But the relative weight of this factor varies from place to place, period to period and system to system. Even within the same space, the same system and the same period, the weight varies from regime to regime. What is obvious now is that the “power of incumbency” in “Election 2019” is very much stronger than it was in “Election 2015”, and perhaps strongest since “Election 1999”.

Madunagu, mathematician and journalist, writes from Calabar, Cross River State.

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Only An Ignorant Man Would Take CJN Onnoghen's Case Before NJC, Says Sagay

Sahara Reporters - 17 January 2019 - 1:16am


Itsey Sagay, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption, says the National Judicial Council (NJC) does not have the power to preside over cases of wrong asset declaration of any judge.

Speaking in Abuja on Wednesday, Sagay said the provision of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) precludes NJC from deciding on the case of any judge that is accused of not declaring his assets.

He argued that: “If he is removed from office by the NJC and he ceases to be a judicial officer as well as a public officer, can he, therefore, be tried as a public officer before the Code of Conduct Tribunal? The answer is no, because he is no longer a public officer. The extant provisions of the Constitution and the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act would be rendered nugatory, by a prior NJC involvement.”

The senior lawyer disagreed with the argument that the CCB cannot try Walter Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, who was accused of fraudulent asset declaration.

He reasoned that the Code of Conduct Tribunal has the mandate to prosecute any officer found wanting on the code of conduct ethics.

He continued: "After a perusal of the application and evidence in support, and if satisfied with such evidence, the tribunal shall cause the defendant to be brought before it on such a date and such a time as it may direct.

“When the tribunal is ready to commence trial, the defendant shall be brought before it and the tribunal shall read or cause to be read to the defendant the substance of the complaint against him and he shall be asked whether he is guilty of the offence or offences as charged.”

According to Sagay, the lawyers opposing the CCT trial of the Chief Justice “must obviously be speaking tongue in cheek".

He added: “Even a baby must realise that no one can get justice against the Chief Justice of Nigeria at the NJC. The CJN is not only the Chairman of the NJC, he is also the appointor of 20 out of the NJC’s 23 members. The CJN is the NJC. Only a grossly ignorant man or an extremely mischievous one could seriously suggest that a matter involving the CJN should be brought before the NJC for adjudication.

“Therefore, the whole idea of taking the present case to the NJC is a non-starter. For that would make the CJN the chief judge of his own case, a clear violation, not only of the Constitution but also of a long standing common law principle coming all the way from MAGNA CARTER in the year 121."

Onnoghen was absent at his arraignment on Monday, claiming he was not personally served the charge sheet.

Danladi Umar, chairman of the tribunal, then ordered a fresh service of the summons on the CJN personally and consequently adjourned till January 22 for arraignment.

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Like 2015 Elections, We Will Not Fail Nigerians In 2019, Says INEC Chairman

Sahara Reporters - 17 January 2019 - 1:11am


Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said expressed the commission's readiness for the 2019 elections.

He said this on Wednesday when he received a delegation from the European Union (EU), United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA) at the Abuja headquarters of the commission.

He reassured the international community and Nigerians that the elections would be credible, free, fair and transparent.

The INEC boss also stressed that he will ensure that the processes lead to the outcome that all Nigerians expect and the election will be error-free, as the commission will jealously guard the processes.

His words: “We are good to go for the 2019 general election. We are aware that the election is going to be an intense media event, but only that international community will also intensely watch the processes as they have always done and I want to assure you that we will not fail the international community and will not fail the nation.

“We are aware that the long term EU observation mission is on ground, and also the ECOWAS observation mission, so the international community is already in Nigeria for the elections.

“The 2019 elections will be credible. We will jealously guard the processes; we will ensure that the processes lead to the outcome that all Nigerians expect. Nothing but free, fair, credible elections will be good enough for the commission.”

He reiterated that “votes will count in the 2019 general election. We are ready for a free, fair and transparent process, such that will confirm the position of Nigeria in the international community as a nation that conducts credible elections. 2015 was not a fluke; it was a product of deliberate planning and 2019 is going to be the same.”

Briefing his guests on the preparations made so far by the commission ahead of the elections, he said: “We are at the moment putting finishing touches to our preparation for the elections. The first election will hold on 16th February with the presidential and National Assembly, and the second election will hold on the 2nd of March, which are the state elections (the governorship, State Assembly elections, and the election into area councils in the Federal Capital Territory.

“All the heavy items for the elections are being procured in addition to ballot boxes, voting cubicles, replacement smart card readers. The Permanent Voter Cards have also been delivered to the states for collection by citizens.”

According to Yakubu, the commission has been recruiting and will soon commence training for the ad hoc staff for the elections.

In his comments, David Young, Charge D’Affairs of the US Embassy in Abuja, spoke on the expected neutrality of the security agencies during the elections.

He stressed the need for INEC to stick to their role of protecting the electorate and ballot materials and avoid any form of interference with the voting process.

“I would want to express the concern that we have and that is the neutrality of the security services. For us, it is very important in the ongoing season that the security services are very smart, provide security for the elections and security in the safety of the process.

“It should be done in such a way that it does not interfere with people getting to the polls, and poll watchers, civil society organisations and others should have access to ensure the voting goes freely both on February 16th and March 2nd.

“This is something we have been deliberating strongly about. The neutrality of the security services is one of the very important issues for credible elections.”

Young also spoke on the need for better synergy among the three arms of government, saying that the executive, legislature and judiciary are crucial to democracy.

"I also want to say that we appreciate very much the important the role judiciary plays in Nigeria," he added.

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Go To Court If You Want Restructuring, Osinbajo Tells Nigerians​

Sahara Reporters - 17 January 2019 - 1:00am


Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has urged Nigerians calling for restructuring to take their grievances to court.

He disclosed this on Wednesday in Ibadan, Oyo State, at the 80th birthday celebration of a former governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande.

Speaking on the theme: 'Nigeria: Achieving National Unity through Peaceful Restructuring', Osinbajo faulted the comments of Atiku Abubakar, th3 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on his promise to restructure Nigeria if elected.

Osinbajo claimed that Bola Tinubu, a former Governor of Lagos State, introduced it in 1999, but Atiku and the then government of PDP vehemently opposed the policy of restructuring.

In his comments, Nasir el-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, who was the keynote speaker, said the recommendation of the APC committee on restructuring was the best for the country.

His words: “APC Committee on True Federalism submitted its report last year. Before I conclude this address, it is important to remind us of the major recommendations.

“The committee recommended that the federation be re-balanced, with more powers and responsibilities devolved to the states.

“The committee also clarified that the federation is a relationship solely between the states and the Federal Government and that each state should be allowed to operate the system of local government that best suits it.

“In our diverse nation, it is only prudent to concede that one size or structure of local governance does not fit all. Successful restructuring depends also on our national resolve to protect the idea of common citizenship.

“The rights guaranteed under the Constitution should be enjoyed by every citizen, no matter where they reside, and no matter which part of the country they hail from. A restructuring of mentality and values is a key factor in the success of a restructuring of the governance and political structure."

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Governors Shun NGF Meeting On Minimum Wage

Sahara Reporters - 17 January 2019 - 12:57am


NLC Pickets 'This Day' News in Lagos

Only five governors were presents at the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) meeting converged to discuss the new minimum wage on Tuesday.

Last week, the Nigerian Government agreed to the N30,000 minimum wage as proposed by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) after a lengthy back-and-forth between the government and the labour unions.

However, at the NGF meeting slated to discuss the new wage, only five out of 35 state governors were present.

Consequently, the meeting was cancelled as the number present did now meet the required quorum.

The governors, who were in attendance were those of Jigawa, Bauchi, Zamfara,  Adamawa and Zamfara States. Four states — Enugu, Katsina, Nasarawa and Kaduna were, however, represented by their deputies.

According to a source at the NGF Secretariat most of the governors who did not attend blamed their absence on their busy campaign schedules in their states.

Abdulaziz Yari, Chairman of the NGF and Zamfara State Governor,  directed a staffer of the secretariat to inform journalists about the cancellation of the meeting.

None of the governors who came for the meeting was willing to speak to journalists.

At the last meeting of the NGF, the 36 states governors rejected the N30,000 new minimum wage being proposed by the tripartite committee.

Instead, the governors insisted on paying N22,500, blaming their inability to pay N30,000 on the harsh economic situation in most of the states.

Meanwhile, Yari and other APC governors who came for the NGF meeting went into a closed-door discussion with Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister for Transportation and Director-General of the Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation.

Although details of the meeting were not disclosed, THISDAY reported that issues relating to the APC’s strategies for the forthcoming elections were discussed.

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‘Bukola Thief, Saraki Thief’ — Oshiomhole Leads Anti-Saraki Song At APC Rally

Sahara Reporters - 17 January 2019 - 12:27am


Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Wednesday led a song filled with chants of ‘thief’ against Senate President Bukola Saraki, who was a member of his party until July 2018 when he defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

During his speech at the APC presidential rally in Lokoja, capital of Kogi State, Oshiomhole appeared to be set on a lengthy dig at Atiku, only for him to switch to Saraki in a flash. 

“I challenge Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of PDP. We will publish the record. In his election in 2011, Atiku lost in Adamawa; he lost all the three senatorial seats,” he began, before going on to explain how three senators lost an election in 2015 only for Atiku to insist otherwise.

“President Obasanjo called me; I was in Labour; I was the real opposition. And he said, ‘listen, now listen, o ti to (it is enough)… ole, ole (theft, theft) will kill you. My own comrade, I need you to say… because when they talk of rigging and manipulation, they are the sustenance of rigging. 

“One of the losers wrote a congratulatory letter to the man who won, but because Atiku felt, how can he be Vice-President and he lost his own state, he paid N100 million each to those who won for them to accept defeat. That is how those who lost, they smuggled them into victory; those who won, they paid them to accept defeat.

“Is that a man who will speak of honesty? Is that a man who can speak to integrity? Is that a man who can speak to character?

“Atiku wants to become Chairman of INEC, his Vice President wants to become Inspector General of Police. Their campaign Director-General is the man who presided over the liquidation of Societe Generale Bank after they had collected the deposits of very poor people. Bukola Saraki.”

At this point the crowd chanted ole (thief).

Oshiomhole joined in, saying: “Bukola Saraki, ole (thief)."

Oshiomhole then broke into a song during which he chants “Bukola Saraki” and the crowd respond with "ole" (thief).

At some point, he mixed it with “PDP”, to which the crowd also responded with “ole” (thief).

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Osinbajo Asks: Who Can Point To One Single Beneficiary Of Jonathan's SURE-P Scheme?

Sahara Reporters - 16 January 2019 - 3:10pm


Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has questioned the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) programme of the Goodluck Jonathan regime, asking: "Who can point to one single beneficiary of the SURE-P scheme?”

Osinbajo said this on Wednesday during a town-hall meeting tagged 'The Candidates'.

'The Candidates' is a presidential town hall co-production between Daria Media and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), supported by the MacArthur Foundation.

The event was broadcast live on NTA.

He also said the Nigerian Government had spent N20billion on the Trader Moni no-interest loan. 

Asked what the government was doing to boost the economy, the Vice President said: “We started the largest investment programme for social investment in the history of this country. 

“That’s why we have the conditional cash transfers; we are giving the poorest people in our country today N5,000; we are hoping we are able to [help] about one million people.

“We are doing our school feeding, feeding 9.2 million children every single day in public schools. 

“Aside of that, the Trader Moni and the Market Moni that we are doing; these are loans to the poorest. Let me give an example: With the trader moni, we are giving two million of the market women loans starting with N10,000... some of them their inventories are not up to N2,000; we give them N10,000. When they pay back, they get N15,000 ... and it goes all the way up to N100,000. For the two million people, all of that is N20billion.”

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BREAKING: Buhari Expresses Doubts About Ganduje 'Bribery' Videos

Sahara Reporters - 16 January 2019 - 2:55pm


President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed doubts about the videos portraying Abdullahi Ganduje, Governor of Kano State, as receiving what appeared to be kickbacks from a contractor.

He stated this while responding to a question on the subject at a town hall event organised, tagged 'The Candidates'.

The event held at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja on Wednesday night.

'The Candidates' is a presidential town hall co-production between Daria Media and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), supported by the MacArthur Foundation.

While answering a question on why he seemed not to mind the corruption allegation against Ganduje, Buhari said: "Can Ganduje fail to trust somebody to give the money to him?

"That clip, somebody brought it to me of how the Kano Governor was receiving dollars and smiling and putting it in his pocket. I don’t know the extent of technology used and I can’t answer now because the state assembly has gone to court I decided not to talk about it, and the state assembly constitutionally could have dealt with that but then I heard the matter was taken to court," Buhari said.

The moderator asked if the President believes the video is fake or real but Vice President Osinbajo tried to intervene. At this point, the moderator cuts him short, saying: "he can talk for himself."

Buhari's reply was: "As I told you, I’ve seen the clip; I don’t know how much technology was used but can Ganduje fail to get somebody to get the money to him [and] he has to take it directly himself, smiling?

"I honestly am completely overwhelmed and the system has given me some relief; it’s in the court, it is in the state assembly so let them as much as possible deal with it. This thing has received a lot of publicity and I hope by the time I go on my campaign for re-election there will be some answers from the court and the state assembly in Kano state about the…”

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