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You can’t extend your political empire to Edo, Obaseki replies Tinubu

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The Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the Edo State Election, Godwin Obaseki, has faulted claims made by the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in a televised broadcast on Tuesday.

Obaseki said this in a press statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie.

The statement was titled ‘You can’t extend your political empire to our state – Edo govt tells Tinubu’.

Obaseki boasted that Tinubu cannot extend his political empire to Edo State, noting that the Edo people were determined to end the godfatherism in the state.

In the broadcast, Tinubu had said Obaseki does not deserve a single vote in Saturday’s election, asking voters to reject the PDP candidate.

Reacting, the statement read, “Our attention has been drawn to a television broadcast in which a former Lagos State Governor and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in his quest to extend his political dominance and empire to Edo State, decided to take over the role of Edo people to choose through the ballot who to govern them for the next four years.

“It has become obvious that the spirited fight which Edo people have put up against godfatherism has sent tremors beyond the shores of Edo to the likes of Tinubu, who has for years sustained a stranglehold on Lagos and other states in South-Western Nigeria, hence this desperate, last-ditch effort to rescue the unproductive political instrument, now popularly referred to as godfatherism, with which he has feathered his nest and built his political empire at the expense of the people.

“Tinubu knows clearly that come September 19, when godfatherism would have been dismantled in Edo State, the people of Lagos may just have found the recipe and formula for removing the chokehold placed on their collective destinies for decades by Tinubu, hence the inciting television broadcast.”

Obaseki described the allegation that he prevented the inauguration of lawmakers in the state as “false”.

“We call on all Edo people, friends of Nigeria and all lovers of democracy to disregard all the comments by Tinubu, as the allegations about the Edo State House of Assembly and other claims in the broadcast are completely false,” he added.

The crisis in the Edo State House of Assembly began when it was inaugurated under controversial circumstances at night with only nine, out of 24 lawmakers-elect, on June 17, 2019, following a proclamation by the governor.

The lawmakers, who were not part of the process, as well as the APC, rejected the process and called on the governor to issue a fresh proclamation.

However, a Federal High Court in Rivers State barred the governor from doing so. A separate court also barred the National Assembly from taking over the Edo Assembly.

This worsened the crisis within the APC in the state and deepened the feud between Obaseki and his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole, who was also the National Chairman of the APC.

The governor orchestrated the suspension of Oshiomhole from the party at the ward level. In retaliation, Oshiomhole ensured that Obaseki did not clinch the governorship ticket of the APC and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu emerged as the winner of the primary.

The crisis in the Edo State chapter of the APC and the multiple court rulings on Oshiomhole’s suspension snowballed into a national crisis that culminated in the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), dissolving the National Working Committee of the APC causing Oshiomhole to lose his position.

An attempt by the aggrieved lawmakers to be inaugurated was, however, scuttled by men claiming to be renovating the Assembly complex.

However, the APC claimed the men were thugs hired by the governor who was afraid of being impeached.

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NIGERIA

Edo guber: Don’t compromise standard, INEC warns staff

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The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, has read the riot act to the Commission’s regular and Adhoc staff participating in Saturday’s Edo State governorship election, warning them not to compromise standard.

In the message he sent to them ahead of the crucial poll, the INEC boss reminded them that the eyes of both Nigerians and the international community are on the Commission to conduct a free, fair, and credible poll.

He further challenged them to ensure that no party or candidate is accorded any undue advantage over the other, promising that the management will continue to improve their welfare and conditions of service within available resources.

While charging them to be neutral and stick strictly to the Code of Conduct and Oath of Neutrality, he said: “As we begin the final countdown to the Edo governorship election, it is clear that all eyes are on INEC to deliver a free, fair and credible process.”

According to him, “I have no doubt that our staff members will rise to the occasion. We have done it several times before and we can do it again. The Commission deeply appreciates the never-ending sacrifices made by our staff at all times, often beyond the call of duty, to ensure that we carry out our mandate.

“The management will continue to improve the welfare and conditions of service of staff within the available resources. Let me appeal to all of you to remain steadfast and committed to the ideals of the Commission Nigerians and the international community expect so much from us.

“They are watching. It is important that we all remain above board in the performance of our respective duties. We must ensure that no political party or candidate is accorded any advantage over the other.

“We must be neutral at all times and stick strictly to our Code of Conduct and Oath of Neutrality to which we have all subscribed. For, at the end of the day, we would have all contributed to the sustenance of democracy and a strong electoral process that all Nigerians can trust.”

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NIGERIA

Nigeria records 221 new cases of COVID-19, total now 56,956

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According to a tweet from the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, NCDC, 48,305 patients have now been discharged, with 1,094 patients losing their lives to Coronavirus.

The tweet revealed that Lagos State had the highest number of infections on Friday night with 59 cases, with Abia State following with 46 cases. The Federal Capital Territory was next, recording 22 cases

Other states recorded as follows:

Gombe-20 Plateau-17 Rivers-11 Bauchi-7 Benue-6 Ekiti-6 Imo-6 Kaduna-4 Kwara-4 Ondo-4 Ogun-3 Osun-3 Bayelsa-1 Edo-1 Kano-1

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NIGERIA

FBI uncovers fresh evidence against Hushpuppi

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The tide seems to be rising in the United States against suspected internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, popularly called Hushpuppi, after the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) unveiled how he allegedly laundered unemployment benefits of Americans.

Abbas was arrested in Dubai last June and immediately flown to the US to face a four-count charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering conspiracies, international money laundering, and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity.

The Nigerian pleaded not guilty to the charges during his initial court appearance in Chicago in July.

He has since been transferred to California with October 13 set for his trial.

The FBI, in an affidavit filed on September 14, with the United States District Court, Central District of California, alleged that Hushpuppi using his email address, registered on a website whizzlog.com (“Whizzlog”) which is a marketplace for buying US Bank Logs to perpetrate fraud.

The FBI said it found in Abbas’ email address “registration contamination from Whizz Log.”

Also found therein were “numerous confirmations and receipts of bank logs he purchased.”

One of the messages cited by the agency read “Your order was successful. You have purchased (the “Financial Institution”) bank log with a balance of $9,839.44. Purchase Price: $955. The bank log details are in your account. Login to your Whizz Log account to view.”

He allegedly bought a “bank log with a balance of over S9,000 for as low as $900.”

If convicted of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, Abbas would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

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