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Presidential election: Tribunal didn’t dismiss application to check INEC server – Atiku attacks Buhari

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The 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar on Tuesday said the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal did not reject his request to check the purported central server of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as “prematurely” claimed by the Presidency.

Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media to President Muhammadu Buhari, had in a statement on Monday commended the ruling by the tribunal, stressing that the opposition’s attempt to overreach the judicial process was overwhelmingly rejected by a unanimous decision.

Recall that the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal had in a unanimous decision ruled that the request could not be granted since the issue of whether such central server existed or not, is already a subject of controversy in the substantive petition that is challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election.

Atiku, in a statement on Tuesday by his Special Adviser on Media, Paul Ibe, argued that his case to check INEC server was not dismissed as claimed by the presidency, adding that the “main case has not begun and that the matter of granting access to inspect the INEC server is not relevant to the preliminary stages”.

The statement read, “What the honorable Tribunal said is that it is still at preliminary stages and the main case has not begun and that the matter of granting access to inspect the INEC server is not relevant to the preliminary stages. It is a matter to be adjudicated upon when the case proper is being heard.

“Their giddiness has even blinded them to the eye witness testimony given to multiple media in interviews by staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission that there is indeed a server and that they actually submitted results and accreditation through it.

“In their rush to claim a Pyrrhic victory, the Buhari administration missed out the fact that the 2019 budget has multiple line items for procurement, maintenance and service of the server they claimed does not exist.

“Furthermore, the statement tried to spin the recent verdict on the election passed by the EU election observers. For the avoidance of doubt, what the EU report said is that the 2019 elections had significant defects and fell short of expectations. It should be noted that one of the issues they raised is the attempt to muzzle not just the media, but more importantly, the judiciary.

“In the light of this, we remind those who are gloating in their ignorance that ‘he who laughs last, laughs best’. “The last has not been heard of this matter and we eagerly anticipate the actual ruling of the Tribunal when the case proper begins.”

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Chelsea vs Liverpool: Lampard reveals how he stopped Hudson-Odoi from leaving

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Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard, has revealed that one of his priorities after replacing Maurizio Sarri, was to make Callum Hudson-Odoi aware of his first-team plans.

The 18-year-old wanted to leave in the January transfer window and Bayern Munich had multiple offers rejected for the winger.

Hudson-Odoi’s deal was due to expire at the end of the season, but he has now ended speculation over his future by signing a new five-year contract.

“I spoke to Callum in pre-season in Dublin.

“Pretty much as soon as I got the job I made contact with him to make him aware I want him to be part of the plans.

“He’s a young lad who has come through the academy here, club’s worked hard with him, he’s worked hard to get one foot in the first team, for me it just feel it was what everybody wanted.

“It was away from me slightly in terms of the club will deal with the contract in itself but I made it clear I want him at the club because I believe in his talent.

“I also know that a five-year contract is signed the hard work really starts for him.

“He’s got everything in front of him. We know the talent he has, I think there is a lot more and it’s pure hard work that will get him there.

“A lot of the talk [about Hudson-Odoi leaving] was before me, a lot of that talk was from last season and I only saw it from the outside.

“The only conversations I had were were not persuasion, they were just how I see it at the club.

“Hopefully he can look at the other younger players getting their opportunities, which are not just handed on a plate, they are handed because they deserved them because they worked so hard in pre-season when you talk about Tammy [Abraham], Mason [Mount] and Fikayo [Tomori].

“There’s a nice thing for him to see and hopefully he’ll be hungry for and now it’s signed and sealed we can put that to bed and get to work,” Lampard told the media ahead of Sunday’s fixture against Liverpool.

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Ogun Speaker, Oluomo wins at tribunal

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The election petition tribunal, headed by Justice Adenike Coker, today upheld the election of the Speaker of Ogun State House Assembly, Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, as the lawmaker representing Ifo Constituency 1.

Sitting in Abeokuta, the three-member tribunal held that the evidence submitted by the petitioner, Mr Wemimo Owolabi, of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) was insufficient to nullify the election of Oluomo, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Reacting, the Speaker appreciated the Judiciary for being the hope of the common man.

He assured that the tribunal judgement would further spur him into more performance at the helms of the state legislature.

Prince Oluomo emphasised, “that the people of Ifo-1 Constituency deserved good representation at the state Assembly, promising not to betray the trust and love reposed in him.”

He, however, called on all aggrieved parties to put their grievances behind them and pitch their tents with him in a bid to ensure good representation and governance.

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Wike, PDP govs hold closed-door meeting in Rivers

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Six governors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) on Friday night met with Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike at the Government House, Port Harcourt.

The meeting had in attendance: Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri, Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde,Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, Sokoto State Governor, Amimu Tambuwal and Zamfara State Governor, Mohammed Mattawale.

The Governors arrived the Rivers State Government House at about 6pm and proceeded to the official residence of Governor Wike where they held a closed- door meeting with the Rivers State Governor.

The agenda is still unknown as at press time.

Simeon Nwakaudu, Wike’s spokesman, who confirmed, also did not provide details.

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