Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, fired back in a statement on Saturday.
It said the news story was derived from what the President said when he received All Progressives Congress (APC) governors, who had come to felicitate with him at State House, Abuja on Friday.
Referring specifically to the judgment day by the tribunal, which coincided with the maiden meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), President Buhari had said: “It was a fabulous coincidence that it came almost the same time the first FEC meeting of this government was taking place.
“It lasted about the same time with the judgment. I thank God for that because I think I would have gone into trauma or something. So, I was busy trying to concentrate on the memos.”
Adesina said: “An elementary understanding of the English language shows that President Buhari was talking specifically of the day and time of the court ruling, not before.
“Saturday Punch went further to say that the President’s remarks amounted to a retraction of his earlier statement, in which he said he had been unperturbed about the judicial challenge to his electoral victory.
“Hear the statement personally approved earlier on Wednesday by the President: “Good conscience fears no evil report. I was unperturbed all along because I knew Nigerians freely gave us the mandate. We are now vindicated.”
“I was unperturbed all along… Was that referring to judgment day? A simple comprehension of English language indicates otherwise. It referred to the many months the case lasted in court.
“To further show malice and evil intent, the newspaper indicated that the President may not have been privy to the earlier statement that emanated from his media office. Who does that, for such a landmark development, without the consent of the principal? As a piece of information, the President personally approved the statement for release, as the FEC meeting was winding to a close. If stories end up being dumped in Saturday Punch without the editor approving it, then the newspaper should not use such pedestrian standard in judging the media office of the President.
“If the Punch reporter and the editor (if he, indeed approved the mischievous story for publication) had so much challenge with the English language, they could have opted to write in their mother tongue. It could have served them better.”
Buhari’s former aide, Obono-Obla, declared wanted
Spokesperson of the commission, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, disclosed this in a statement to NAN on Tuesday.
Okoduwa said the move followed Obono-Obla’s “repeated failure’’ to appear before the commission to answer questions bordering on allegations of fraud and corruption.
Okoduwa itemised the allegations against him to include overstepping guidelines governing the panel by investigating unauthorised petitions.
“Obono-Obla is facing series of allegations leveled against him by members of the public on his role as head of the government panel on asset recovery.
“The Commission is in receipt of petitions accusing him of abuse of office, falsification of admission records, living above his income and collection of gratification from suspects under his investigation.
“The suspended chairman is also facing allegations of working outside the guidelines governing the panel by investigating unauthorised petitions,’’ she said.
She also accused Obono-Obla of prosecuting suspects without recourse to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.
“ICPC had conducted series of investigations on the allegations with preliminary findings showing that some provisions of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and extant laws of Nigeria had been allegedly violated by Mr Obono-Obla.
“Consequently, ICPC had extended several invitations to him, which he had failed to honour without giving any reason.
“Attempts to track and make him appear before the commission also failed, leading ICPC to contact other law enforcement agencies for assistance concerning his whereabouts.
“One of such contact has yielded results as records from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) show that Mr Obono-Obla had travelled out of the country.
“The NIS records revealed that he left the country to an undisclosed location on 17th August, 2019, through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, and has not returned two months after,’’ she said.
DAILY POST recalls that August, President Muhammadu Buhari suspended the suspect, who was also his Special Assistant on Prosecution after the ICPC indicted him for certificate forgery and other corruption-related allegations.
President Buhari departs Abuja Monday
A statement by the President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Sunday, said the summit would focus on exploring and expanding opportunities in security, trade and investment, science and technology, and gas production.
During the summit, President Buhari will meet with President Vladimir Putin of Russia to further strengthen relations between Nigeria and Russia.
Shehu stated that the two leaders would hold bilateral talks on security, trade and investment, and building partnership that would enhance Nigeria’s huge gas potential, following Russia’s remarkable success in gas exportation.
“The summit, which will be attended by African Heads of State, will bring fresh perspectives on some global issues and challenges like nuclear technology, energy development, digital transformation, environment, technical security, mining and steel, education, agriculture, infrastructure and development strategies.
“An African Business Forum, which will bring together African and Russian business leaders, will be held during the event to enhance Russian investments in Africa, and promote African business interest in the host country,’’ he added.
Shehu added that Buhari would be accompanied by Governors Muhammad Yahaya of Gombe state, Bello Matawalle of Zamfara and Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.
Others on the trip are: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite and Minister of State, Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.
PMB signs five bills into law
Mr. Umar Yakubu, Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives) made the announcement at a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.
NAN reports that Yakubu said the Acts was to ensure good governance in the country.
The bills include the Obafemi Awolowo University Transitional Amendment Act, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi Amendment Act, the University of Maiduguri Amendment Act, the National Fertiliser Quality Control Act and the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology Establishment Act.
He said that the University Acts specified minimum qualifications for the Chairmen of the Governing Councils, which is university degree or its equivalent.
Yakubu said that the Acts stipulated that the persons must be physically fit and be able to chair activities of the councils.
He said that the Acts also provided for the regulations of the use of intellectual properties for universities.
Yakubu said that the law stated that any staff or student that sought to sue the university must give a notice of one month to the institution concerned.
He said that the National Fertiliser Quality Control Act sought to protect farmers’ interest and address the issue of nutrient deficiency in the composition of fertiliser, branding and weight loss among others.
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