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How Mahmood Yakubu Paid N3bn To Secure Reappointment

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Findings by SaharaReporters have revealed that securing a second tenure in office didn’t come cheap for Prof Yakubu as he had to part ways with huge sums of money to facilitate his reappointment.

Inside details of how Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, secured reappointment for a second term in office have emerged.

But like many public officials favoured by the power blocs in Aso Rock Villa, Nigeria’s seat of power, he was immediately rewarded with another term of five years.

However, findings by SaharaReporters have revealed that securing a second tenure in office didn’t come cheap for Prof Yakubu as he had to part ways with huge sums of money to facilitate his reappointment.

According to a top insider, Yakubu paid at least N3bn in bribes to have his tenure as INEC Chairman extended by another five years.

“He paid a princely sum of N2bn to a group led by Senate President Ahmed Lawan and another N1bn to another group.

“These huge funds were deployed and mobilised by a civil servant and director in INEC, who is described as wealthy and in charge of a strategic department.

“The director was also aided by a contractor to the commission, Mohammed Sani Musa, who is presently a serving senator from Niger State responsible for the printing of INEC ballot papers used for elections under a company (Activate Technologies),” the source told SaharaReporters.

It was further gathered that the reappointment of Yakubu as INEC boss was further made possible with the deaths of President Buhari’s former Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, and Alhaji Isa Funtua, and the disappearance from public glare of Mamman Daura, a key member of a trusted group of allies Buhari relies on before making important decisions.

The absence of these men, it was gathered, created the perfect avenue for powerful government officials with vested interests to persuade the President into handing Yakubu a fresh term in office.

According to the source, the return of Yakubu as INEC boss was part of a larger ongoing tussle among power brokers in the country to have the agency under their firm control ahead of the 2023 general elections, which to a large extent will determine the fate of the ruling All Progressives Congress.

There are currently at least four power blocs within the APC all fighting to determine persons to occupy key positions in the agency ahead of 2023.

One group is said to be headed by Senate President Lawan, another by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, a third by Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omoagege, while the fourth group comprises key individuals in Aso Rock Villa alongside Bola Tinubu’s caucus.

“In the current struggle to take over INEC, the Aso Rock group took the lead very early to outsmart others when they forwarded the name of Ms Lauretta Onochie as a National Commissioner nominee to replace a South-South candidate, Dr Mustapha Lecky, representing the zone whose tenure elapsed on November 9.

“Unfortunately, Mr Lecky is the INEC chairmanship candidate being sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Omoagege, hence he vehemently raised legitimate concerns about the credibility of Onochie even though in actual fact, he did that because of the implication of that choice for his own candidate, who is reputed to be the most corrupt national commissioner and a consultant to politicians.

“The Aso Rock group put Onochie forward even when a serving South-South candidate was from the same senatorial zone in Delta State.

“In the haste to extinguish the Deputy Senate President’s candidate, they failed to conduct the required onground diligence in Delta State.

“In any event, the action of the Aso Rock group also took the Senate President’s group by surprise when the letter containing the nomination of the INEC National Commissioner nominees including Onochie was sent to the Senate President and it was read on the floor of the Senate.

“The shock and awe tactics by the Aso Rock group pushed the Ahmed Lawan group a few hours later to respond by riding on public sentiments against the nomination, hence, it was reported that the Senate caucus then wrote to the President requesting for another nominee to replace Onochie.

“This was done to enable the Lawan group to perfect their own ongoing compromised negotiations with Prof Yakubu, who was desperate to get a second term and was willing to meet any demands made on him to secure a second term.

“To pre-empt the AGF Malami group that had already pencilled their own chairmanship candidate, who is also a professor from the North, the Lawan group moved quickly ahead of the Malami group to get the nod of President Buhari and immediately Prof Yakubu’s reappointment was announced in the media but no letter to the effect was read on the floor of the Senate.

“The procedural omission was to checkmate Malami’s group that were also going to get an approval from the President.

“The tragedy of the Presidency at the moment is that any group that gets to the President first, gets endorsement.

“In fact, the recent strategy is to get your nominee for any appointment announced first in the media to commit the government and then get the President’s signature on it later.

“That was how the Ahmed Lawan group triumphed for now before the Senate proceeded on recess to deal with the 2021 budget.

“Omoagege’s group had been lobbying in the past few months to have Dr Lecky from Edo State as chairman using his Muslim faith to campaign to those around the President.

“Ironically, those who positioned themselves for the interest of Bola Tinubu have not been able to make meaningful in-roads to influence the choice of those to be appointed into the commission.

“As things stand, electoral integrity and the independence of INEC is gone and does not matter in the motivation of any of the contending groups and this portends a grave danger for democracy in Nigeria,” the source disclosed.

This development, according to findings by SaharaReporters, has cast a shadow of doubt over the integrity and fairness of the 2023 general elections under the APC-led federal administration in Nigeria.

On November 12, Hope Democratic Party, one of the parties earlier deregistered by INEC, filed a suit at the Federal High Court to stop the Nigerian Senate from screening Prof Yakubu for a second term in office.

A statement by Auwal Abdullahi for the National Chairman of the party, said that Yakubu’s reappointment did not follow due process as a meeting of the Council of State did not deliberate upon it and approve it as demanded by the 1999 constitution.

No date has been fixed for the hearing, however, Yakubu has stepped aside since November 9 pending his confirmation by the Senate.

Ahmed Muazu is currently heading the electoral agency as Acting Chairman.

Source:- Sahara Reporters

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Governors question security architecture after 43 farmers were killed by Boko Haram insurgents

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The Nigerian Governors’ Forum has reacted to the killing of rice farmers in Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents.

NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi who described the killing as “obnoxious, wicked, unwarranted and morally reprehensible”, added that it raises serious questions on the general security situation in the country and around the capability of the nation’s security architecture.

Noting that the forum would “collectively review these issues” at its next meeting to forge the way forward, Fayemi further stated that Boko Haram has been carrying out attacks each time it seems the situation is getting under control.

He said;

“This sad narrative raises serious questions on the general security situation in the country and around the capability of the nation’s security architecture.

“Since insurgency engulfed the country more than a decade ago, each time it seems like the situation is coming under control, the enemy strikes again. This has happened consistently.

“The farmers were attacked while harvesting their produce totally oblivious of the danger that awaits them in nearby bushes. This method is consistent with the senseless bombings of busy markets, bus stations, schools and abattoirs whenever the terrorists feel overpowered by the security operatives or feel their backs against the wall.

“Governors are concerned that the carnage is degenerating beyond explicable limits, yet again, and the catalogue of destruction is not only seeming to be endless and intractable but it has an adverse effect on everything in the state and the country at large.”

The Northern Governors Forum also condemned the killing of the rice farmers. Chairman of the forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong averred that the entire country was deeply saddened over the killing of the innocent rice farmers who committed no crime except going to the farm to earn a living.

He described it as a great setback to the efforts of Nigeria to attain domestic sufficiency in rice production as well as food security.

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Any gathering where people clap and dance uncontrollably paves way for the devil – Cleric, Adeniyi Oluwabiyi says

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Venerable Adeniyi Oluwabiyi, the minister-in-charge and head of District 4, Holy Flock of Christ Church in Ibadan, Oyo State, has explained why clapping and dancing is not allowed in the church.

He also explained why collection of offering is not allowed in the church.

Oluwabiyi, in an interview with Tribune, acknowledged that there are similarities between his church, the Anglican Church and Cherubim & Seraphim Church. But explained that there are differences and he went ahead to point out these differences.

He said: “We have some similarities, but there are obvious differences. We and C&S are both white garment churches, but in our church, we don’t clap. We have a way of expressing our joy.”

He continued: “The setting is Anglican, but our mode of worship is different. We are a white garment church; we sing, read lessons, listen to sermon, and go home.”

Explaining why they do not clap or dance, Oluwabiyi said: “We say people express their joy while clapping in the church, but Satan will come in to do otherwise.

“In other churches where people go to the extreme by falling down in the name of prophesying or seeing visions, no one falls down here.

“Any gathering where people clap and dance uncontrollably paves way for the devil’s penetration and manipulation. Such activities are not part of our doctrine.”

Collecting of offering in the church is also prohibited and Olubiyi explained why this is so.

He said: “We neither sell nor buy on Sundays. It is a Sabbath Day. Significantly, today is the second day of the desecration of the Sabbath Day.

“This is why we don’t collect any form of offering in the church; the congregation goes out to drop their offering and return into the church for blessings.

“You cannot see members spraying or pelting money on one another in the church. Also, we don’t go to the jungle for any act of deliverance. We pray and sanctify water or anointing oil for deliverance in the church premises.

“We don’t take this with levity in our church. You see people spraying money in the church in other denominations, but at Holy Flock of Christ we follow the Bible strictly and make the temple of God sacred.

“Though, the Bible says we should not come to His house with empty-hand, but we should not forget that it is the same Bible that established the significance of the church as the temple of God, which must always be kept Holy.

“According to the scriptures, Jesus sent out the people buying and selling in the temple. That is why we do not spend or spray money in the church; we come out of the church auditorium, and give our offerings.”

Oluwabiyi stated that Holy Flock of Christ Church started 80 years ago and they have managed to continue in the ways set for them by Christ and their founding fathers.

He further stated that even though they do not make offerings and tithes their priorities, they do not lack.

He said: “With my wealth of experience as a cleric, no genuine and anointed pastor will be hungry. God will commission people to feed you. Unexpected offerings and gifts will come. How much is my pension? Help comes from people I do not know.”

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I received vision that I would be Governor – Oyetola

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Gboyega Oyetola

Adegboyega Oyetola has narrated he received a vision of becoming the Governor of Osun state long before he joined the race.

Oyetola who disclosed this while addressing a congregation at a service held to commemorate the second anniversary of his administration at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Osun Province 1 Headquarters, Osogbo, on Sunday November 29, stated that the revelation has continued to give him confidence of victory each time he is faced with legal and political battles since becoming governor.

He said;

“I am ordinarily not one who sees visions but on two occasions, I had a strange encounter. Imagine the son of an Imam, receiving a Christian song in a dream. That was my encounter.

“All I could remember on both occasions was the last line of the song which says ‘IleriOluwa ni lati se’. Outside of that dream, I had never heard the song before. When the impression was heavy on my heart, I called one of my friends to ask him about the song, and he told me the song was the Track 2 of Timi Oshikoya’s album.

“He went out and got me the album and immediately I started listening to the track, my consciousness was restored and then I had an understanding of what God was saying to me. That revelation has continued to give me confidence of victory each time I am faced with legal and political battles since becoming governor.”

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