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Atiku Files deposition Against Buhari’s Aide On N2.5bn Libel Suit

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Former Vice President , Atiku Abubakar , on Tuesday , appeared at the registry of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama, Abuja , to sign and file his deposition in support of the N2 . 5 bn libel suit which he instituted against President Muhammadu Buhari ’ s Special Assistant on Social Media , Lauretta Onochie , earlier in June this year .

Pictures of the Peoples Democratic Party ’ s candidate in the last presidential election with his lead counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome ( SAN ) , and others in the legal team were sent to journalists on Tuesday .

In one of the pictures, Atiku was seen seated while holding a pen above a white paper with Ozekhome bent over the table beside him .

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In the caption accompanying the pictures, Ozekhome stated , “ Chief Mike Ozekhome , SAN , OFR , today , at the Central Registry of the FCT, High Court , Maitama , Abuja, with his client , His Excellency , Alhaji Atiku Abubakar , Waziri Adamawa .

“ The former Vice President was physically at the Registry to sign his witness deposition (on oath ) before the Commissioner for Oaths , on the case he instituted against Lauretta Onochie .
“ The Waziri is claiming amongst others, the sum of N2 . 5 bn only , from the Presidential Assistant on Social Media , as general , aggravated , punitive and exemplary damages against her .
“ Atiku is claiming this sum from her for her defamatory story published on her twitter handle and Facebook page , in which she stated that Atiku was on the UAE watch list, as a wanted man , asking, ‘ shopping for terrorists ?”

Atiku had, on June 26 , 2019 , instituted the suit against Onochie for her alleged libelous tweet against him via her twitter handle on May 7 , 2019 .

The tweet allegedly suggested that Atiku was on the watch list of security operatives in the United Arab Emirates and had travelled to shop for terrorists in the Middle East .

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He prayed the court in the suit marked CV / 2287 /19 , to order Onochie to pay him the N 2 . 5 bn as “ general , aggravated , punitive and exemplary damages over the untold embarrassment , derision , public ridicule, odium, obloquy , marital disharmony , mental agony and psychological trauma which the defendant ’ s publications have caused the claimant. ”

Denying the allegations in the said tweet, Atiku said it was “politically orchestrated” “ solely to cause maximum damage” to his “ high reputation” while challenging “ the purported victory ” of Onochie’ s boss , President Buhari in the last presidential election at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal .

The presidential candidate of the PDP in the February 23 , 2019 poll had, through a May 14 , 2019 letter signed by Ozekhome , demanded from Onochie an apology , a retraction of the said post and a payment of N500 m compensation to him “ to assuage” the damage allegedly done to him by her social media post.

He also threatened to sue her should she fail to accede to the demand “ within 48 hours ”.

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Justifying his suit , Atiku stated in his statement of claim accompanying his suit , that rather than show “ remorse by retracting her earlier publication” , she further , on May 20 , made “ another derogatory publication and also published same online in the social and other print media ” against his person. ”

(Punch)

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JUST IN: Sanusi Makes First Appointment Amid Emirship Tussle

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As the controversy trailing Kano Emirate tussle continues, the 16th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II has on Thursday made his first appointment.

This was coming barely a week after he was reinstalled as the Emir.

Sanusi, the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, approved the appointment of a new Ward Head of Kofar Mazugal, Hamisu Sani in Dala Local Government area of the state.

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The Emir called on the new ward Head to ensure peaceful coexistence among the subjects of the area and contribute his quota towards the development of the state as a whole.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Court Stops Police, SSS, Military From Evicting Emir Sanusi

Earlier, district heads and personalities such as delegations from religious and market bodies paid homage on Emir Sanusi at the palace.

The delegation includes, Ansarulddeen Tijjanniya sect and Traders from Kano popular textile market (Kantin Kwari) as well as the commodities market (Singer market) among others.

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Recall that Sanusi II was reinstalled as the Emir of Kano last Thursday after the Kano State House of Assembly and Governor Abba Yusuf repealed and accented the Kano State Emirates Councils (Repeal) Bill 2024 into law.

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INEC Promises Credible Election In Edo, Despite Destruction Of Critical Infrastructure

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The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu on Thursday said the Commission would conduct a credible governorship election in Edo State in spite of last Friday’s heavy downpour that destroyed critical infrastructure in the commission’s headquarters in Benin City.

He said since the Edo governorship election is an off-cycle election, the Commission would also borrow equipment from neighbouring states to ensure a hitch-free exercise.

Yakubu stated this in Benin City while on inspection of the level of damage to the facilities in the office in Benin City, and also to monitor the level of compliance with the on-going Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) and collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVC).

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The INEC boss said he also came with three National Directors in charge of critical areas of the Commission like Voters Registry, Estate, Works and Transport and ICT to assess the level of damage to their facilities and the State Controller of the Federal Ministry of Works which would carry out needed construction work in the facilities.

READ ALSO: Edo Guber: Court Adjourns Suit Challenging Akpata’s Nomination As LP Candidate

He also ruled out moving out of the place because of the perennial flooding in the area.

The INEC chairman who said the Commission was prepared for the election in Edo State, added: “Our visit here is to ensure that we fix whatever we need to fix because of the election. We have three months and three weeks to the election, and that is why we came here to inspect what happened to our facility on Friday last week.

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“We believe, we can fix whatever is damaged before the election, and it is better actually that we conduct the election in our own facilities rather than going to rent any facility outside close to election.

“Before the last governorship election in Edo, we took measures and for three years since the last governorship election, we have had no issues but this is an act of God.”

On whether he can quantify the cost of damage in the facility, Yakubu said: “It is very difficult to quantify now, we are on the assessment, and that is why in this tour we have been joined by three critical Directors responsible for Voters Registry, our Estate, Works and Transport at the headquarters, and our Director of ICT so they will stay behind, do the assessment and advise the Commission.”

READ ALSO: LP Names Ngogbehai, Elumelu, Ismaila, Others To Oversee ‘OBIDIENTs’

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He assured that despite the setbacks, the Commission was ready for the election.

He said: “Let me use this opportunity to assure and reassure Edo voters that it is unfortunate that this thing happened in our office on Friday.

We took a proactive measure to ensure that the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) was not affected by calling for additional resources from the neighbouring states and whatever it takes, since INEC is one national body, and we are only going to have two elections in Edo and Ondo states, I will call for additional resources where it is necessary from neighbouring states and the elections will proceed as scheduled and we will recover from this unfortunate incident.”

Whether the ten days for the CVR would be extended as being agitated in some quarters, Professor Yakubu said: “We have not reached there yet, we will go round and see what happened.

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We are encouraged by the turnout not only of fresh registrants, that is persons who are registered voters or who are not of age when the last registration exercise was done

Earlier, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Anugbum Onuoha said the flood could be termed a blessing in disguise as it has better prepared them for the election.

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Edo Guber: Court Adjourns Suit Challenging Akpata’s Nomination As LP Candidate

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A Federal High Court sitting in Benin, today, May 30 adjourned hearing in a suit filed by a governorship aspirant of Labour Party (LP), Kenneth Imansuangbon, challenging the nomination of Olumide Akpata as candidate of the party for the Edo gubernatorial election to today.

Hearing of the pre-election matter slated to commence today, suffered a setback following an oral application for a short adjournment by Counsel to Olumide Akpata, Mr. N.E Ogbeide on the ground that he was yet to be served with court processes by the plaintiff Counsel.

But Counsel to the plaintiff, A.A Malik (SAN), opposed the application, saying that the case was ripe for hearing as they responded to first defendant’s processes and served same on them since May 22nd 2024.

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At this point, the presiding Judge, Justice Babatunde Quadri, ordered the court file to shown to the disputing Counsel, following which the first defendant Counsel, N.E Ogbeide, conceded that the plaintiff’s processes have been served on them within  jurisdictional address.

Consequently, the presiding Judge, Justice Babatunde Quadri, adjourned hearing in the suit to tomorrow, May 31st, 2024.

Kenneth Imansuangbon is challenging the nomination of Olumide Akpata on the ground that the Labour Party did not follow the electoral guidelines in the primaries and that he (Olumide) did not fill and signed the indemnity form among other grounds.

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