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ATIKU, OBI, TWO OTHERS ASK TRIBUNAL TO NULLIFY TINUBU’S VICTORY

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Four presidential candidates on Tuesday approached the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja with separate petitions, seeking the nullification of the declaration of  Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress as winner of the February 25 presidential poll.

The petitioners, seeking nullification of Tinubu’s emergence as President-elect as Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party; Peter Obi of Labour Party; Solomon Okangbuan of Action Alliance and Allied People’s Movement’s Chichi Ojei.

Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party came second with  6,984,520 votes; while Obi came third with 6,101,533 votes.

The petition by Obi and LP, marked CA/PEPC/03/2023, had INEC, Tinubu, his running mate, Shettima Kashim, and the APC as respondents.

In the petition, Obi further contended that Tinubu “was not duly elected by majority of the lawful votes cast at the time of the election.”

Obi claimed there was rigging in 11 states, adding that he would demonstrate this in the declaration of results based on the uploaded results.

The petition read, “The petitioners shall show that in the computation and declaration of the result of the election, based on the updated results, the votes recorded for the second respondent (Tinubu) did not comply with the legitimate process for the computation of the result and disfavoured the petitioners in the following states: Rivers, Lagos, Taraba, Benue, Adamawa, Imo, Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Plateau and other states of the federation.’’

 Obi and LP said INEC violated its own regulations when it announced the result despite the fact that at the time of the announcement, the totality of the polling unit results had yet to be fully scanned, uploaded and transmitted electronically as required by the Electoral Act.

Among other prayers, the petitioners urged the tribunal to “determine that, at the time of the presidential election held on February 25,, 2023, the second and third respondents (Tinubu and Shettima) were not qualified to contest the election.

“That it be determined that all the votes recorded for the second respondent in the election are wasted votes, owing to the non-qualification of the second and third respondents.

“That it be determined that on the basis of the remaining votes (after discountenancing the votes credited to the second respondent) the first petitioner (Obi) scored a majority of the lawful votes cast at the election and had not less than 25 per cent of the votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of the states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and satisfied the constitutional requirements to be declared the winner of the February 25, 2023 presidential election.

“That it be determined that the second respondent (Tinubu), having failed to score one-quarter of the votes cast at the presidential election in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, was not entitled to be declared and returned as the winner of the presidential election held on February 25, 2023.’’

Alternatively, the petitioners are also asking the tribunal for an order cancelling the election and compelling INEC to conduct a fresh election in which Tinubu, Shettima and APC shall not participate.

The tribunal has yet to fix a date for the hearing of the petition filed by the petitioners’ lead counsel, Livy Ozoukwu.

Atiku and PDP’s petition was marked marked CA/PEPC/05/2023, with INEC, Tinubu and APC listed as respondents.

A member of Atiku’s legal team, Silas Onu, confirmed the filing of the petition to Channels TV on Tuesday.

Essentially, the petition wants Tinubu’s victory nullified.

When contacted for reaction on Tuesday, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC, Rotimi Oyekanmi, said the commission does not comment on cases filed by political parties.

Also, the Chief Spokesman for the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, disclosed that his principal would not oblige the LP candidate an official response since the case is in court.

Keyamo said, “The APC PCC has no reaction to the petition. Now that the case is officially in court, at my level in the profession and for those of us who know what it means to obey the rule of law, the argument now officially shifts to court.”

Meanwhile, the Action Alliance  and its presidential candidate, Solomon Okangbuan, and Allied People’s Movement and its presidential candidate, Princess Chichi Ojei, have also lodged separate petitions before the court.

In the suits marked CA/PEPC/03/2023 and CA/PEPC/04/2023, Okangbuan and Ojei, are respectively challenging the outcome of the presidential election on the grounds of alleged substantial non-compliance with the electoral laws as well as the guidelines of the INEC.

The AA claimed that its candidate was excluded, based on which the election should be voided.

On its part, the APM claimed that Tinubu was, at the time of the election, not qualified to contest the election by virtue of the provisions of sections 131(c) and 142 of the Constitution and section 35 of the Electoral Act 2022.

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DEADLY CROWD CRUSH DURING SALE OF SEIZED RICE IN NIGERIA

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Bags of confiscated rice for sale are seen in Lagos, Nigeria, in this photo shared by Nigeria Customs services on February 23, 2024. From Nigeria Customs servicesCNN — 

There was a deadly crowd crush during the sale of seized rice in Nigeria. The Nigeria Customs Service says it is investigating reports people were trampled to death during a sale of bags of confiscated rice amid growing anger over skyrocketing prices of food in Africa’s most populous country.

“There was a chaotic situation caused by the impatience of people to follow the laid down procedures and rules that were set up for the exercise,” spokesperson for the service, Abdullahi Maiwada told CNN on Saturday. “I can neither confirm or deny any deaths but we are investigating,” he added.

Long queues have formed outside the Lagos customs office since the commencement of the sale as thousands of locals struggle to grab a bag of the 25-kilogram rice selling at a discounted price of 10,000 naira ($6.80).

Some eyewitnesses said they saw people “trampled to death” Friday.

“A man just died in my hospital, he was stamped on after falling at the custom office trying to get rice. He was on the queue with his wife when he fell down and couldn’t get up on time which resulted to people stamping on him. So sad. Survived by very young children,” said one Nigerian doctor on X.

Last week, anti-government protests broke out in parts of the West African nation as the country battles one of its worst cost-of-living crisis that has seen inflation accelerate to nearly 30% – the highest in 30 years.

The local currency has also significantly depreciated, losing over half its value to the US dollar following its second devaluation in less than a year.

More than 80 million Nigerians live on less than $2 a day, representing “the world’s second-largest poor population after India”, according to the World Bank.

The customs service said the distribution of the seized bags of rice was part of the government’s plan “to tackle the pressing issue of food insecurity.”

The cost of rice, a staple food in Nigeria, has surged in recent months. It is now priced at over N70,000 ($47.60) per 50kg bag, compared to a range of 45,000 to 50,000 naira previously.

The customs service says it has been confiscating contraband rice from smugglers following restrictions on foreign rice imports by the Nigerian government.

Analysts welcomed the rice distribution initiative but questioned its viability in tackling Nigeria’s worsening food insecurity.

“Interventions in terms of food supply look like a good idea but there should have been a policy rolled out to define how this will happen,” political analyst Sam Amadi told CNN.

“There is some distribution in Lagos now, what about other parts of the country? Is it just a Lagos intervention? Is it going to be a one-off, or a consistent sharing and does it have the potential to make some impact?” he asked, adding that “there is a lack of intelligible criteria and framework.”

Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu, who has faced criticism over the spike in the prices of goods and services said he is “dedicated to evolving home-grown solutions to tackle our nation’s food security challenges head-on.”

His government came under fire last November over a budget that allocated funds for purchasing SUV vehicles for the presidency, amounting to N2.9 billion ($3.6 million), and to cover the cost of renovating the president’s residential quarters, estimated at N4 billion ($5 million) as the country grapples with mounting debts.

Tinubu said he trusts the country’s central bank to fix the issue of the plummeting local currency.

The Lagos government said Thursday it was rolling out plans to address the food crisis in the state. Its governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced the opening of special markets “across the state to sell food items at really affordable rates.”

“We aim to serve over 500,000 Lagosians with essential food items at rates that defy inflation” in addition to the construction of food hubs, Sanwo-Olu added.

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DOZENS OF HAMAS TERRORISTS SURRENDER TO ISRAELI SOLDIERS

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Dozens of Hamas terrorists surrendered to Israeli force s in northern Gaza Thursday, Dec. 7, according to reports.

The Hamas terrorists turned themselves in after being pushed back by the advancing Israel Defense Forces near Jabaliya, the Times of Israel reports.

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Photos show dozens of alleged Hamas terrorists lined up on a street, sitting in rows with their hands over their heads.

The men were stripped to just their underwear as the IDF troops lined them up.

In one clip, the dozens of Hamas members could be seen in the back of an Israeli military vehicle.

Channel 13 reporter Almog Boker estimated that more than a hundred Hamas fighters turned themselves in, the largest group to surrender to the IDF since Israel began its incursion into the Palestinian enclave.

However, Israel’s Kan News reported that the group of men were detained before the IDF could verify whether they were all in fact members of Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The New Arab, a Qatari-owned news outlet based in London, alleged that one of the men seen in the footage was Diaa Al-Kahlot, one of its correspondents reporting from Gaza.

Senior Hamas leader Osama Hamdan claimed that the people arrested in the video were unarmed civilians who were not affiliated with the terror group, Arabic broadcaster Al Araby reports.

The IDF has yet to comment on the arrests in Jabaliya.

Many watchers of the ongoing situation in Gaza had always believed it was a matter of time before the Hamas terrorists began to be captured or surrender in their numbers.

Hamas is already claiming the dozens of alleged Hamas terrorists rounded up were not it’s members. Before now, people have been wondering why upon all the footages of the war in Gaza most pro Hamas media organisations have been portraying most graphically, no wounded or killed Hamas combatants have been shown.

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MAN EATEN ALIVE AFTER JUMPING INTO TIGER CAGE IN PAKISTANI ZOO

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Joe Exotic in Tiger King

A zoo in Pakistan has been shut down after a man was mauled to death by tigers in an attack discovered during routine cleaning, officials said Thursday. The body was found on Wednesday morning in Bahawalpur’s Sherbagh Zoo in the eastern province of Punjab after staff spotted one of the three tigers with a shoe…

A zoo in Pakistan has been shut down after a man was mauled to death by tigers in an attack discovered during routine cleaning, officials said Thursday.

The body of the man who apparently eaten alive was found on Wednesday morning in Bahawalpur’s Sherbagh Zoo in the eastern province of Punjab after staff spotted one of the three tigers with a shoe in its mouth.

“The zoo is closed right now as we determine how the man got in,” Ali Usman Bukhari, a senior officer of the province’s wildlife department, which operates the zoo, told AFP.

The condition of the body suggests the attack happened late Tuesday night after he jumped into the cage and was eaten alive by the tigers.

“The autopsy report has not been released, however, evidence gathered from the enclosure points towards him being alive when he was attacked by the tigers,” Bukhari said.

“The tigers did not go out of the den to attack the man, he jumped into their enclosure,” he said.

“If we find a security lapse, we will address it. If need be, we will hire private security guards.”

The man eaten alive has not been identified and no family member has come forward to claim the body.

Speaking to media outside the zoo after the body was discovered on Wednesday, senior local government official Zaheer Anwar said all staff had been accounted for.

“Our assessment so far is that this appears to be a lunatic, because a sensible person would not jump into the den,” he said.

“You can see the den is secured. There are stairs behind the den, maybe he jumped from there.”

The three tigers present in the den when the body was discovered have been restricted to a smaller space while evidence is collected.

The zoo was built in 1942 by the ruling royal family of the former princely state of Bahawalpur and costs adults 50 rupees (18 cents) to enter.

Pakistan’s zoos are generally in a poor condition and frequently accused of disregarding animal welfare.

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