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Aisha Binani a victim of gender harassment – APC *Ari did nothing wrong



Aisha Binani is a victim of male chauvinists and misogyny rather than a political criminal as she is being portrayed in the media, the All Progressives Congress (APC), said on Tuesday, stating that the courts would soon decide who actually won the governorship election in Adamawa State.

Vrati Nzonzo, a chieftain of the party in the state and coordinator of the Aisha Binani Campaign Organisation, who stated the position of the camp, also maintained that Hudu Yunusa-Ari, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, did the right thing in announcing the result of the supplementary election of April 15 midway, because the Returning Officer (RO), who was supposed to do so, abdicated his duties.

He said Yunusa-Ari declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), ‘Binani’ Dahiru as “winner” of the governorship election in the state because the Returning Officer, Mohammed Mele “disappeared” when collation resumed on April 16, 2023.

This was the submission of an APC chieftain and the Coordinator of the Binani Campaign Council, Vrati Nzonzo on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Tuesday.

“The Returning Officer disappeared,” Nzonzo said on the live programme, defending the action of Ari who usurped the constitutional function of the returning officer.

“As far as I am concerned, they’ve been there all along, may be through the night,” he said, alleging that Mele disappeared when collation resumed at 11am on April 16, 2023.

However, contrary to Nzonzo’s claim, the collation of the April 15, 2023 supplementary election in the North-East state was postponed to 11am the following day but in a twist, Ari resumed collation around 9am without the collation officer who was legally mandated with such duty and would later announced Binani as the “winner” of the poll while collation of results was yet to be completed.

INEC subsequently nullified the declaration by Ari, suspended collation of results and barred him from office, relying on Section 25 (2)(f) of the Electoral Act 2022 to take its decision, which provided that “the returning officer shall announce the result and declare the winner of the election at State Collation Centre in the case of election of a Governor of a state.”

INEC would later resume collation on April 18, and at the end of the entire exercise, said the incumbent, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, who is also the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 430,861 votes, to defeat Binani who got 398,738 votes and therefore, declared him winner.

Nzonzo, who said his party did not know the whereabouts of the REC, on whom a manhunt had been launched by security operatives, after President Muhammadu Buhari approved his suspension, investigation and prosecution, said Binani was actually the victim and not the oppressor as being portrayed.

“It is not wrong. On the premise that he doesn’t want to allow a vacuum in the state, results must be announced. As far as I am concerned, it’s okay. If Mr Hudu announced the election as inconclusive, why won’t he announce the winner of the election?

“When he announced the first election as inconclusive, nobody said anything. Mr Festus Okoye was not on national television to condemn it but when on the second turn, he announced distinguished Senator Aishatu Binani as the winner of the election, all hell let loose.”

Stressing his position that Binani was being “victimised” because she is a woman, and that the courts would decide the matter, he said: “As far as we are concerned, there seems to be a very biased position taken against our candidate. And it’s unfortunate. As far as we are concerned, she is being witchhunted, and she is being drown using the media and other individuals that are out there to victimise her, may be because she is a woman. We are proud of her and her achievement.

“Mr Hudu has already made it clear to the best of my knowledge that considering the circumstances he found himself at that moment, he had to take the responsibility and act.”

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Panic! Gunmen storm Anambra Assembly, attempt to bundle away lawmaker



Panic-stricken members of the Anambra State House of Assembly, watched in utter horror on Thursday as one of their colleagues was bundled into a waiting vehicle, by four gun-wielding men, preparatory to being whisked away, before mother-luck came calling.

It took the quick reflexes of security guards at the entrance who locked the gate, to prevent the armed men, who later turned out to be operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) from completing the operation.

The target of the operatives was Onyekachukwu Ike, the House of Assembly-elect member for the Nnewi North constituency, who had joined in the valedictory session for outgoing members, though it is not known why the members of the agency were after him.

Eyewitness account, said the operatives arrived the Assembly complex in three vehicles in a commando version, grabbed the member-elect as he emerged from the venue validectory thanksgiving mass for the seventh Assembly and forced him into their waiting vehicle.

However, it took the eagle-eyed members of the security team of the assembly to truncate the attempt to drive the lawmaker away, because they quickly locked the exit gate, thus halting the operation, as it gave people the opportunity to intervene.

Reacting to the incident, Acting Clerk of the Assembly, Esther Aneto, who bemoaned the manner the operatives carried out the operation, said neither the authorities of the assembly, nor the police was informed about it.

It took the intervention of the Speaker, Uche Okafor, and the Deputy Governor, Onyeka Ibezim, who came to represent the Governor at the Valedictory session before the member-elect was released from the vice grips of the DSS operatives, who however, explained that they had a court order to arrest him.


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Judge orders Yahoo-Yahoo student to clean EFCC premises for two weeks



Justice Aliyu Shafa, of the Federal High Court, Gwagwalada, Abuja, on Thursday ordered a student, Istifanus Irmiya, to clean the premises of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for for two weeks, after he was convicted for internet fraud.

Irmiya, who was docked by the EFCC on a two-count charge, boarding on cheating and impersonation, was also ordered to pay a fine of N100,000, while the phone he used in committing the offence was to be destroyed and burnt.

This was after the culprit, pleaded guilty to the charges and begged the court for leniency, which the court accepted, but insisted that he must carry out the punishment of cleaning the EFCC premises from 9 a.m. to 12 noon daily for two weeks, to teach him a lesson.

Frowning at the rate internets fraud were being committed, Shafa, said: “I have carefully listened to the plea of allocutus made by the convict and the defence counsel. The rate of internet fraud through Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, among others in the society is so alarming.

“That he is a first time offender is not an excuse to go scot-free. The rate of Yahoo-Yahoo among youths is alarming. “Many who resort to crime always have ‘I want to get rich quick’ mindset. Sending him to prison might make him more hardened,” the judge ruled.

Irmiya, who pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy, promising that he would not indulge in such acts again, said: “I want to beg the court for mercy. I’m deeply sorry for what I have done. I’m a changed person now knowing fully well the consequences of my offence.”

Chibuike Chima, his lawyer, who echoed his pleas, told the court that Irmiya had no previous conviction record and was also remorseful, saying: “Irmiya is the only son of the family and he is seeking admission into the university. He has spent one month in EFCC custody.
“The convict has shown remorse and genuinely repented over the crime he has committed by way of expressing genuine repentance, he has restituted the proceeds of crime which is the sum of 250 Euros. The convict is a first-time offender. He has not be convicted for any other crime of whatever kind. We urge my lord to tamper justice with mercy. We assure this court that going forward, the convict will be of good behaviour.”

The EFCC Counsel, Taiwo Aromolaran, who told the court that Irmiya had sometime in 2022 within the jurisdiction of the court cheated by personation, said that the convict deceived his victim while pretending to be one mistress Clara a female Caucasian.

She said that the convict carried out an illegal act, making one Alex Lexis, a German, to send him the sum of 250 Euros which he received via PayPal and Nosh Apps before transferring the money to his own account domiciled with Polaris Bank.

She said that the convict sometime in 2022, also had in his possession documents containing false-pretence, where he represented himself as a German on his Facebook and KK accounts, created by him with the intent to induce Alex Lexis to deliver money to him.

She said the offence contravened the provisions of Section 321 of the Penal Code Act of the Federation (Abuja), 1990 and punishable under Section 324 of the same Act, adding that Section 6 in conjunction with Section 8 of the advance-fee fraud and other related offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

Pleading with the court that the cell phone being the instrument used for the crime should be forfeited, Aromolaran urged the court to take into consideration the increase in the menace of internet frauds in Nigeria.

Bewailing the menace fraudsters had caused to the image of the country and to their victims, she told the court that Irmiya and his group, operated as syndicates, saying: “They believe that merely coming to court and pleading guilty is enough to attract the sympathy of the court.”


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BREAKING: Tinubu, hosts G-5 govs at Villa *Intensifies moves to break PDP



It is becoming obvious that President Bola Tinubu, may be working hard to break the ranks of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as he is currently hosting the five former Governors of the party who former the G-5 Integrity Group, a very powerful bloc in the main opposition party that fought against the ticket of the party.

Nyesom Wike, former Governor of Rivers State, who was the arrowhead of the G-5, comprising Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Samuel Ortom of Benue, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu and Seyi Makinde of Oyo, was seen leading the other members to the Presidential Villa, for a meeting with Tinubu, on Thursday afternoon.

The group had vehemently opposed the ticket of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2023 presidential election and refused to join the campaigns on the ground that the former Vice President did not support the ouster of Iyorchia Ayu, then National Chairman of the party on the ground that he came from the same North as him.

Incidentally, the meeting is coming few hours after Caleb Mutfwang Governor of Plateau State and Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom, both PDP governors at the same State House Abuja, in what observers are already interpreting as an attempt to woo the top echelon of the opposition party.

The meeting with the G-5 governors, shortly after that of Tinubu with the two PDP governors, is coming as the party and Atiku Abubakar, are trying to prove before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), sitting in Abuja that Tinubu did not win the 2023 presidential election.

Details later…

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