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Mugabe: Osinbajo to represent Buhari in Zimbabwe

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Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, will be representing President Muhammadu Buhari at the State Funeral for former President, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, on Saturday.

His spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Friday said Osinbajo would be joining other African leaders and Heads of State expected at the occasion scheduled for the country’s National Stadium in Harare.

Heads of State expected to attend the funeral include President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya.

“The Vice President, who would be accompanied on the trip by senior government officials, leaves for Harare this afternoon and is expected back in Nigeria later on Saturday”, the spokesman added.

Mugabe, who was Zimbabwean Prime Minister and later President for 37 years altogether, up until 2017, died last week at the age of 95 in a Singaporean Hospital.

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Nigerian Newspapers: 10 things you need to know this Sunday morning

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Good Morning! Here is today’s summary from Nigerian Newspapers

1. The ongoing governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States kicked off on a bloody note.

Reports from both states have it that there were cases of violence, ballot-snatching, irregularities as well as fatalities.

2. Three persons have been confirmed dead while several others were left injured when suspected political parties thugs invaded Adankolo and Lokongoma primary schools in Lokoja on Saturday in the ongoing governorship election in Kogi State.

It was gathered that the thugs who were dressed in Police uniform shot at two voters in Adankolo and one in Lokongoma when they wanted to snatch the ballot box.

3. An official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was kidnapped in SUBEB polling unit in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.

The abduction happened after gunmen shot sporadically into the air while voting was going on.

Voters scampered for safety before the gunmen went away with the official.

4. Yahaya Bello, Kogi State Governor and candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the ongoing governorship election, has defeated his closest rivals, Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in his polling unit.

Results from Bello’s polling unit indicated that the governor had 716 votes to defeat his top challengers, Wada and Natasha Akpoti of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, who had no votes.

5. The Enugu Police Command said Saturday in Enugu that it has commenced a massive manhunt of abductors of a Catholic Priest, Rev.-Fr. Theophilus Ndulue.

According to the Command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Ebere Amaraizu, Ndulue was abducted by unidentified gunmen on his way home along Amansiodo Road in Ndiagu-Oghe in Ezeagu Local Government Area on Friday evening while returning from a pastoral council meeting.

6. The Governor of Bayelsa State, the Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson, has accused the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 6th Division of the Nigerian Army, of compromising security in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Governor said that, even though Gen. Sarham has beentransfered to the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, he refused to move and waited behind to supervise the use of the Army to perpetrate heinous electoral crimes and irregularities in the Bayelsa guber polls.

7. An Appeal Court sitting in Owerri on Saturday sacked Obinna Onwubuariri, the member representing Isiala Mbano/Onuimo/Okigwe Federal Constituency of Imo in the House of Representatives.

The Chairman of the Panel, Justice R.N Pemu, who read the judgment, said that the election that brought Onwubuariri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to power in Feb. 23 was not in tandem with the electoral act of 2010, as amended.

The court also nullified the election of Mrs Uju Onwudiwe of the Action Alliance (AA) representing Njaba State Constituency and ordered fresh elections in 12 polling units in Njaba state constituency within 90 days.

8. The Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, has described as baseless a recent statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the Department of State Services, DSS, Peter Afunanya, that the illegal detention of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and Omoyele Sowore was based on their choices.

IMN noted that following the attack on the Islamic Movement by the Muhammadu Buhari regime in December 2015 in Zaria, Kaduna state, where over 1000 unarmed men, women and children members of the movement by what it said its members were extra judicially killed by the Nigerian Army, seeking for redress in the most civil manner, the Islamic Movement sued for the enforcement of the rights of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky (H) who was shot severally, abducted and detained by the DSS.

9. A fatal motor accident on Saturday claimed seven lives along Osogbo -Ikirun road, leaving only one survivor.

The accident , as sighted by our Correspondent, involved an articulated vehicle and a mini-bus with eight passengers.

The Sector Commander of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Peter Oke, who confirmed the accident, said five male and two females who were traveling in the mini-bus, lost their lives, while a female survived with injuries.

10. Nigeria are away to Lesotho, in the second fixture of their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series.

Kick off at the 20,000-capacity Setsoto Stadium in Maseru is 5pm West African time.

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Buhari finally reacts to alleged sack of Osinbajo’s aides

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President Muhammadu Buhari has explained that 35 aides were not sacked from the Office of the Vice President instead they were redeployed to a new ministry.

The President who fielded questions from NTA State House Correspondent at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, upon his return from a private visit from the United Kingdom described the interpretations of his directives as a sack as ‘unfortunate’.

The President described what happened as a re-organisation and not a sacking, stressing that, a new ministry has recently been created, that is, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

“They said 35 people were sacked in the Vice President’s office but we just created a ministry and we reorganized but people are giving it an ethnic and political dimension. It is unfortunate,” the President said.

It would be recalled that while media report had widely reported the sack of 35 aides including the circulation of a list of those sack, informed sources insisted that what the President directed was a redeployment and not a sack.

The President’s comment in the NTA interview last night on arrival from his UK private trip indicated that although some Presidential aides had confirmed the sacking of 35 aides, the President only gave express instructions for redeployment to ministries not sacking.

Meanwhile, President Buhari assured Nigerians that he was more energized and ready for work. “We are going to work harder to be accountable and try to make Nigerians see why we do certain things. Accountability from bottom to top is absolutely necessary,” he said.

It would be recalled that some people had falsely reported and claimed that President Buhari had sacked 35 aides in the Office of the Vice President to whittle down the powers and influence of the Vice President.

Some also claimed that the sacking of the 35 aides were to reduce the influence of the Vice President ahead of 2023 elections and were masterminded by a certain cabal with the Presidency.

The Presidency has however always maintained that the President and his deputy, Prof Osinbajo enjoy a very good relationship.

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Nigerian newspapers: 10 things you need to know this Saturday morning

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Good morning! Here is today’s summary from Nigerian Newspapers:

1. The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has disclosed that his administration would commence payment of N35, 000 minimum wage from November. The decision was taken after series of meetings and discussions between the Lagos State Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JNC), Lagos State Government, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Friday. Disclosing this, Comrade Rasaq Adio Falade, State Chairman of JNC, said necessary terms of settlement and agreement were reached at the meeting.

2. Report has confirmed that some gunmen on Friday attacked the hotel where the Governor of Oyo State, Mr. Seyi Makinde, lodged in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital. The report claims that Makinde who is the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Kogi state Campaign Council was in the hotel ahead of today’s election in the State. Eyewitnesses confirmed that the gunmen arrived the Suitorial Hotels, Lokoja, along the Stadium Road, where the Governor and some members of the PDP Campaign Council were lodged at about 12.50 p.m., shooting sporadically, but were resisted by security operatives and residents of the area.

3. President Muhammadu Buhari Friday returned to Nigeria after his foreign trip. Buhari returned ahead of time as he was scheduled to be back on 17th November, 2019. The President had been in London since Nov. 2 on a private visit, after a trip to Saudi Arabia. Presidential aide, Lauretta Onochie, confirmed Buhari’s arrival Friday night.

4. The Supreme Court, on Friday, explained why it declined to nullify President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election. It said that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, could not prove their case against the outcome of the February 23 presidential election. The apex court held that the appellants relied on results they obtained from a website that has a dubious origin, to insist that they won the presidential contest.

5. The Department of State Services, DSS, has reacted to public outcry by Nigerians about the detention of some notable persons undergoing trials at the courts. In a statement on Friday, DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, explained t Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.), Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and Omoyele Sowore were in its facility because they are better protected and taken care of. The DSS said that the detainees equally prefer to remain in its custody because they are granted access to many things.

6. A Police Inspector posted from the Mobile Police formation in Asaba, Delta State, has been confirmed dead, owing to gunshot injuries suffered from the mayhem at the aborted rally of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nembe, Bayelsa State. The body of the Police Inspector, whose name was not disclosed, has since been deposited at the Nembe General Hospital. Another of his colleagues, Mr. Ododomu was luckier as he survived the attack with gunshot wounds on his leg. Two other policemen who were at the aborted PDP rally, are said to be critically injured and are battling to survive.

7. The National Examinations Council (NECO) has dismissed no fewer than 70 staff for alleged certificate forgery. The approval for the sack of the affected staff was made at NECO’s 17th extra-ordinary meeting of the Governing Board after vetting a report by a verification committee set up by the management. The decision was part of a statement signed by the Head of Information and Public Relations Division, Azeez Sani in Minna. The exam body said that the dismissal of the staff was as a result of a report submitted by a committee constituted to verify the certificates of staff by the management of NECO.

8. The West African Examination Council (WAEC) on Friday, released results of candidates that sat for the 2019 West African Senior School Certificate Examination in Nigeria. The Examination body withheld the results of 9,457 candidates. WAEC’s Head of National Office in Nigeria, Olu Adenipekun, announced the release of the results on Friday at a media conference in Lagos. According to him, a total of 94, 884 candidates sat for the examination, out of which, 33, 304 (representing 35.10%) obtained credits and above in at least five mandatory subjects, including English Language and Mathematics.

9. President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday reacted to the Supreme Court details of ruling to further explain why he was declared winner of the 2019 presidential election. Buhari, who welcomed the “elucidation of the Supreme Court ruling on the PDP petition,” stressed that the onus of proof must necessarily fall on those that challenge votes. In a statement by his Media Aide, Garba Shehu, Buhari said allegations must be substantiated if they are to hold, and that such required producing credible witnesses that verify key claims. He said the case failed that test.

10. The Police Command in Kaduna state has confirmed the death of four persons allegedly killed by cattle rustlers at Marbar Agban in Kagoro Chiefdom in Kaura Local Government Area. The command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Yakubu Sabo confirmed the incident on Friday in Kaduna. He said the victims; Hosea Ayuba, Ado Adamu, Abagu Danladi and Kusa Danladi of Marabar Agban, Kagoro were killed while three of their cattle were carted away.

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