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Atiku Gets 55 Cartons Of Documents From INEC As He Closes His Case Today

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Ahead of Friday’s sitting, the Independent National Electoral Commission has produced the documents which the presidential election petitions tribunal, in Abuja called for on Wednesday at the instance of the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

The documents which were packed in 55 cartons would be the last to be presented to the tribunal as the petitioners are expected to close their case on Friday.

However, only 58 out of its proposed 400 witnesses had been called as of Wednesday which happened to be the ninth of the ten days given to the petitioners by the tribunal to present their case.

The petitioners are, by their petition, challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress at the February 23 poll.

The tribunal of five judges led by Justice Mohammed Garba had on Wednesday ordered INEC to produce the documents by noon on Thursday.

This followed the complaints by the petitioners that the subpoenas issued and served on INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, and the commission’s resident electoral commissioner in Zamfara State to produce the documents had not been complied with.

The tribunal had on Wednesday adjourned the case until Friday, but the counsel to the PDP and Atiku, Chris Uche (SAN), attended the Thursday’s proceedings scheduled for hearing in respect of other petitions filed by the Hope Democratic Party and the Peoples Democratic Movement.

Uche said his presence in court was to ensure INEC’s compliance with the Wednesday’s order of the tribunal.

At about the time the five-man panel was to recede to chambers to write a ruling in respect of PDM’s petition, Uche informed the bench of his intention in court on Thursday.

In reaction, Justice Garba asked for update from INEC’s lawyer, Yunus Usman (SAN).

Replying, Usman informed the tribunal that the “documents had been substantially produced.

“It is a very tedious task, but we have to obey the court’s order,” he stated.

Within the period of the one-hour break observed by the members of the tribunal, INEC officials had brought in a total of 55 boxes of documents into the court room.

When the tribunal resumed sitting, INEC’s lawyer informed the panel that the order of the court had been complied with.

Pointing to the cartons of documents lined up in the courtroom, Usman said since the order of court was not for INEC officials on whom the subpoenas were earlier served to testify, the Director of Legal Services, Mrs Oluwatoyin Babalola, was present to represent the commission.

He also said there was a cover letter signed by the secretary to INEC, Mrs. Rose Orianran-Anthony, accompanying the documents.

He noted that the request by the petitioners for result sheets for the national assembly rerun election in Zamfara State were not available as no such election was conducted.

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Arewa

What Buhari told lawmakers in Katsina

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President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday in Daura told Katsina State lawmakers that leadership entails earning the trust of the people who voted you into office and consistently staying the path of honesty and fairness at all times,

Receiving the leadership of the State House of Assembly led by the Speaker, Tasiu Musa Maigari, Buhari said the essence of contesting elections was to serve the people, and political actors must always remain loyal, dedicated and focused on delivering on their promises.

“Having been chosen by your people to lead, you must ensure that you remain trustworthy. Ensure fairness at all times.

“Leadership at home, community or national level is a heavy responsibility. And it must be discharged with fairness, firmness and justice,’ the President said.

He urged the lawmakers to be selfless, visionary and committed to meeting the needs of the electorate while minding their constitutional responsibilities.

In his remark, the Speaker thanked the President for providing leadership at the national level, and setting a standard on integrity and forthrightness for others to emulate.

Maigari assured the President that the Katsina House of Assembly will continue to support his policies, and ensure a trickling down in the state to favour their various constituencies.

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Arewa

Controller speaks on ‘jail break in Keffi prison’

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Emmanuel Okoro, the Controller of the Nasarawa State Command of the Nigeria Correctional Service, on Thursday, refuted reports by a section of the media which claimed there was a jail break at the Keffi Old Prison.

Okoro denied the news while speaking to newsmen in Lafia, adding that what happened at the prison was a reaction by some angry prisoners who were not allowed to smoke cigarettes within the prison yard.

The controller explained that the inmates were refused access to cigarettes because it was against the regulation of the service, NAN reports.

“These inmates here are for us to correct them; we can not allow them indulge in habits that will further expose them to more harm within the prison yard,” he said.

Okoro, who said that he personally visited the facility after the incident, revealed that the smokers became aggressive until officials were able to restrain them and brought the situation under control.

According to him, no inmate escaped or got injured during the altercation with officials of the service.

“I was there and I spoke to some of the inmates and they told me that they had no plans for a jail break and all they wanted was to smoke.

“So I informed them it was against regulations to allow smoking in the facility and they apologised.

“Lets be clear on this, what they demanded to smoke was cigarettes not Indian hemp or any other hard drugs. As I speak to you, the situation is under control,” he added.

Okoro, however, said the command would constitute a committee to immediately investigate the matter with a view to coming up with recommendations on how to prevent such ugly happening in future.

”We are setting up a committee to unravel the remote cause of the clash.

“In a week’s time, we will get a better picture of what really happened. But mark my words, what happened was not a jailbreak,” he insisted.

The Controller also expressed dismay with the speed at which some newsmen jumped to conclusion and reported unverifiable stories without contacting the appropriate authority first.

He, therefore, urged reporters to verify information before going to press.

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NDLEA talks tough over Gombe farmers inducing labourers with hard drugs

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has warned farmers in Gombe State against inducing labourers with hard drugs to work for them.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the NDLEA Commandant in the state, Mr Aliyu Adole gave the warning in an interview with the newsmen on Friday.

Adole said that investigation revealed that some farmers were in the habit of adulterating milk and pudding with drugs before giving them to labourers employed to work in their farms, to enable them work tirelessly.

According to him, most of their victims were youths between the ages of 15 and 30 irrespective of gender.

The Commandant said “I want to seize this opportunity to warn perpetrators of such act, that NDLEA will not leave any stone unturned to ensure they face the wrath of the law.

“Those found wanting will be prosecuted, therefore desist from such act.

”Research in the state had shown that youths, male and female, were the major victims of drug abuse.

”Further findings showed that the impact of drug abuse on academic activities impede with the physiological, psychological and emotional functions of the students.”

Adole said that the effect of drugs could impair the memory and affects other intellectual faculties.

He also said that some of these youths also engage in related vices of drug trafficking which seriously affect the nation’s development and render the labour market saturated with unwanted or unqualified labour force.

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