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US presidential poll: Biden expands lead as Trump path narrows

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  • Purpose of our politics is not unending warfare, says Biden
  • Don’t claim victory yet, Trump tells Biden

Democratic nominee Joe Biden has taken the lead in Georgia and Pennsylvania, two of the key states expected to decide the 2020 presidential election.

Joe Biden, on the brink of becoming the next president of the United States, addressed the American people from Delaware on Friday night, urging them to remain calm and to stay together.

He said, “Democracy works. Your vote will be counted. The purpose of our politics is not unending warfare.”

It comes at the end of another day of vote counting and frustration across America, with Donald Trump clinging to power despite the Democratic nominee’s lead increasing in critical swing states.

Despite reports that some White House aides were urging Trump to concede, even as others encourage him to fight on, the president himself shows no sign of backing down.

A winner in the battleground state of Pennsylvania is yet to be called because there are votes left to count.

Pennsylvania is among a handful of battleground states Trump and Biden are narrowly contesting.

Trump, who held a 675,000-vote lead early Wednesday, prematurely declared victory in the state earlier this week.

“We’re winning Pennsylvania by a tremendous amount. We’re up 690,000 votes in Pennsylvania. These aren’t even close. It’s not like, ‘Oh, it’s close,”‘ he said during an appearance at the White House.

But Biden pulled ahead in Pennsylvania on Friday and now leads the state by 28,833 votes, as mail-in ballots continue to be counted.

Mail-in ballots tend to favour the Democrats, who encouraged voters to use the system and avoid polling stations amid the coronavirus pandemic.

So far 96 per cent of the votes have been counted.

Democrats had long considered Pennsylvania a part of their “blue wall” – a trifecta that also includes Wisconsin and Michigan – that for years had served as a bulwark in presidential elections.

In 2016, Trump won each by less than a percentage point.

Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes would push Biden over the 270 he needs to win the presidency.

As of Saturday morning, the electoral college votes stood at 253 to 214 for Biden and Trump respectively.

President Trump on Friday said that Biden should not prematurely declare victory in the presidential election — something Trump himself did on election night.

“Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the President. I could make that claim also. Legal proceedings are just now beginning!” Trump tweeted.

Recount possibility in key states

The presidential race still remains too close to call as votes as counted in key states.

The exceptionally thin margins between the two candidates in many of these states could mean voting recounts – but what are the rules?

Georgia – Nominees can request a recount if the margin is lower than 0.5 per cent of votes cast. This request must come within two days of the result being certified. So far, this could be on the cards for Georgia as the race tightens. Biden led with 2,248 votes as of Saturday 11.45am Nigeria’s time.

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Ex-Aviation minister, Stella Oduah, absconded from camp, forged our certificate – NYSC

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A former Aviation Minister and Senator representing Anambra North, Stella Oduah, forged the National Youth Service Corps certificate, the NYSC has said.

It stated this in a letter replying to the request by the Concerned Anambra North Peoples Democratic Party Stakeholders which sought to validate the claim by the senator that she lost her NYSC certificate.

Director General of the NYSC said even though Oduah was mobilised for national service in 1982/83 service year and was deployed to Lagos State, she absconded after the orientation and never completed the service.

“The consequence of this is that she is not qualified for the issuance of the certificate of national service,” the DG wrote in the letter signed on his behalf by Eddy Megwa, dated May 24, 2022, with reference number NYSC/DHQ/PPRU/783/ VILIII.

In 2014, Oduah deposed to an affidavit and obtained a police extract where she stated that she sometime in 2010 while in transit from Akili in Ogboru Local Government Area to Abuja, she discovered that some of her personal belongings were missing.

The affidavit read, “I Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah, Christian, Adult , Nigeria Citizen, Politician of Umuoma Village, Akili, Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State do hereby make oath and depose as follows:

  1. That I am the dependent of the affidavit.
  2. That I am a native of Akili Ozizor in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State.
  3. That sometime in 2010 while in transit from Akili Ozizor in Ogbaru Local Government Area to Abuja I discovered that my personal belongings were missing.
  4. That the missing documents are the originals of my West African School Certificate of 1978 from Zixton Secondary School Ozubulu, First School Leaving Certificate from St. John Odoakpu Onitsha, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Certificate 1982 from St Paul’s College Lawrencevile Virginia USA, National Youth Service Corps Certificate 1983, National Identity Card, United States of America Social Security Card with the number on it.
  5. That all efforts are to trace the missing documents proved abortive.
  6. That I made this affidavit in good faith believing same to be true and correct and in accordance with the Oaths Act.”

However, the Concerned Anambra North Peoples Democratic Party Stakeholders wrote to the NYSC Director General to issue them with a certified true copy of the certificate of national service with the Youth Service Corps issued to Stella Adaeze Oduah in 1982/83.

By the letter, NYSC has confirmed that Oduah served as minister in breach of the nation’s extant law.

The group had earlier written to the national chairman of the PDP to order Oduah to produce NYSC certificate or be disqualified from participating in the party’s primary for Anambra North Senatorial election.

Recall that a former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, was forced to resign after she was found to have forged her NYSC certificate.

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Buhari promises to sign forensics, fraud examiners’ institute bill

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday promised to sign a bill seeking formal establishment of the Chartered Institute of Forensics and Certified Fraud Examiners of Nigeria (CIFCFEN).

He spoke at the State House in Abuja after being honoured with Global Integrity and Anti-Corruption Award of Excellence by CIFCFEN.

He was presented with the highest honour of the institute reserved for only African heads of states with impeccable character and unimpeachable ideals by the chairman of the Governing Council CIFCFEN Board of Trustees, Dr Iliyasu Gashinbaki.

Buhari was the first African leader to be bestowed with the award in recognition of his lifetime outstanding commitment to the fight against corruption and selfless service with exceptional integrity.

He directed the anti-corruption agencies to continue partnering with the institute for the benefit of the country.

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He also directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to work with the Institute in areas of providing technical assistance and capacity building to all revenue generating agencies and regulators in the public sector.

He said: ‘’The need for forensic experts arises in educating, preventing, detecting and prosecuting fraudsters, while fraud examination helps mitigate vices like embezzlement, money laundering, misuse and mismanagement of public resources.

‘’Many Nigerians, who are serious about eliminating corruption in our country, will welcome this review of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy midwifed by the Federal Ministry of Justice and the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption in 2017 and supported by our International friends.

‘’This effort by the institute to undertake the review of the national anti-corruption strategy is highly commendable and it has shown the usefulness of partnerships with professional bodies and my administration will continue to partner with the Institute and as well as other private institutions, the academia and other stakeholders in the fight to stop sleaze and mitigate corruption.’’

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We will restore peace, stability before leaving office, Buhari vows

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said his administration will not relent in its quest to restore peace and stability in the country.

Buhari said this on Monday during the 58th anniversary of the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) in Kano.

He said his administration’s investment in the air force had helped to “turn the tide” against terrorists.

He promised that he would continue to give necessary and sufficient support to the NAF in the battle against insecurity from non-state actors.

“The huge investment in the Nigeria Air Force has helped to turn the tide against terrorist and non-state actors in our nation,” he said.

“In furtherance of our drive to continue to do more to support the air force. Rest assured that our government is willing to do even more to ensure the provision of requisite support and the encouragement to overcome various security challenges.

“This government will not rest until peace and stability is fully restored in the nation. I, therefore, urge you all to remain steadfast, committed and resolute.

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