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EFCC’s witness exonerates ex SGF Babachir Lawal of complicity in alleged N544m contract fraud

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A witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), Julius Sunday Babalola yesterday told an Abuja High Court that the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) knew nothing about the N544 million contract in which criminal charges were filed against him.

Babalola told the court that the Minister’s Tenders Board for the Presidential Initiative for North East was solely responsible for the award of the contract.

Testifying for EFCC before Justice Charles Agbasa, the witness told the court that Babachir Lawal was not a member of the Tenders’ Board and did not participate in any stage of award for the jobs.

Contrary to the allegations of EFCC that two contracts were awarded under emergency procurement procedure, the witness clarified that 18 contracts were actually awarded.

He, however, said that he was not aware of the prosecution of 16 others except the two where the younger brother of the former SGF was alleged to have interest.

Babalola, who is the Head of Procurement Department in the Office of the SGF, insisted that diligent and due process was followed by the Tenders’ Board members for the selection of the contractors.

The witness narrated to the court that the former SGF never participated in the activities of the Presidential Initiative for the North East, (Pine) and the Ministerial Tenders Board under the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF).

The witness who was cross-examined by counsel to Babachir Lawal, Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN), admitted that he authored all the memos that led to the award of the contracts.

He said that the contracts were awarded by the Ministerial Tenders’ Board with due respect to the Emergency Procurement Act 2007.

New Telegraph

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Saudi Explains Why Lightning Can Only Strike Crescent Moon on Holy Mosque’s Towers

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The Holy Mosque in Saudi (Masjid Al Haram and Masjid Al-Nabawi) has explained in a tweet on Sunday night why lighting only strikes the Crescent Moon on the clock tower.

The mosque, through its handle @theholymosques stated that the lightning only strikes the crescent on the clock tower because of the Makkah clock which consists of 20 automatically extending lightning conductors and 800 fixed rods to protect the watch and lights from lightning.

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“The lightning only strikes the crescent moon on top of the clock tower because the Makkah clock contains 20 automatically extending lightning conductors and 800 fixed rods to protect the watch and lights from the lightning.”
The Holy Mosque attracts millions of worshippers annually.

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El-Rufai: Not Even My Corpse Will Be Found Near PDP

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Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has said he can never decamp to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

El-Rufai said this while reacting to claim of Daniel Bwala, spokesperson of PDP presidential campaign, that he would soon dump the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a tweet, Bwala who until recently was a member of the APC, said he was optimistic that El-Rufai would be in the PDP even before the 2023 elections.

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“My attention was drawn to @elrufai laughing at a comment made about me on my past video. Hmm @elrufai is one of the finest we have from the north, I will never join issues with him, especially because I am optimistic he will be with us before the 2023 elections,” he tweeted.

Reacting, El-Rufai quoted the tweet and wrote: “Thanks @BwalaDaniel but no, thanks. Never ever, not even my corpse will be found in the vicinities of your new-found political party. I still dey laugh!!! – @elrufai.”

Bwala recently announced his resignation from the ruling APC to the PDP over the decision of former presidential candidate for the 2023 elections, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s choice of a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

Before decamping, Bwala made a lot of TV appearances where he harshly criticised the opposition PDP, his new party.

Just last week, he was appointed alongside a former federal lawmaker, Senator Dino Melaye, as spokesperson of the Atiku Presidential Campaign for next year’s elections.

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Court to hear ‘certificate forgery’ suit against Tinubu Sept 7

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A federal high court in Abuja has fixed September 7 for the hearing in a suit seeking the disqualification of the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, from contesting in the 2023 elections.

The plaintiffs, four APC chieftains, are asking the court to rule that Tinubu is ineligible to run for president in the 2023 presidential election as the party’s candidate because he allegedly submitted false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In a 33-paragraph affidavit in support of the suit deposed to by one Ibiang Miko Ibiang, the plaintiffs averred that Tinubu falsely swore to an affidavit in 1999 in which he claimed to have attended St Paul Aroloya Children Home School, Ibadan -1958-64, and Government College, Ibadan -1965-68 and presented the same to INEC.

Tlaintiffs said the deposition was untrue. They claimed in his INEC form for the 2023 elections that Tinubu refused to include any information about his primary and secondary schools in order to hide the alleged false information he gave INEC.

The plaintiffs are praying the court to determine “Whether having regard to the provision of sections 1 (3); 4(1)and 2; 14(1),(2)(a), and (c)and 42(1)(a)and (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the provision of section 29(5)of the Electoral Act, 2022 as enacted by the 4th defendant which modified the provision section 31(5) of the Electoral Act,2010(as amended) is not ultra vires the 4th Defendant and therefore unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatever.

“Whether having regard to the decision of the supreme court in the case Modibbo Vs Usman (2020) 3 NWLR(PT.1712)470 and the provision of section 137(1)(j) the 3rd defendant has not presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the 1st defendant and thereby disqualified from participating in the forthcoming 2023 presidential general election,” they said.

Upon the favourable determination of the questions, the plaintiffs are asking for “a declaration that the 3rd defendant (Tinubu) has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the purpose of seeking to be elected into the office of president of the federal republic of Nigeria”.

“A declaration that the 3rd defendant stands disqualified from participating in the 2023 presidential election as a candidate of the 2nd defendant has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the purpose of seeking to be elected into the office of the president of the federal republic of Nigeria.

“An order disqualifying the 3rd Defendant from contesting or participating in the forthcoming 2023 presidential general election as a candidate of the 2nd defendant.

Ruling on an ex parte application, Ahmed Mohammed, the judge, granted an order for substituted service on Tinubu after the plaintiffs’ counsel, Goddy Uche, told the court that substituted service has become necessary because all attempts to serve the presidential candidate proved abortive.

The court ordered that court processes should be served on the national secretariat of the APC and that such service shall be deemed as having been properly served on Tinubu.

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