Allison-Madueke Denies Seeking Asylum

OPEC Diezani-Allison-Madueke-Minister-of-Petroleum-ResourcesMinister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Deziani Allison-Madueke on Wednesday reacted to reports that she is seeking asylum, following the defeat of the incumbent President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential election.

It was alleged that the Petroleum Minister, who is one of the closest to the administration of President Jonathan will flee the country, to avoid being prosecuted over allegations of fraud, especially in the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission (NNPC).

Speaking to State House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, Mrs Alison-Madueke denied seeking asylum in any part of the world.

According to her, this administration has done a lot in the Oil and Gas industry that cannot be rubbished by such malicious claims.

Speaking on the current fuel scarcity across the nation, she said Marketers are cashing in on the transition process to cause scarcity in fuel, adding that the nation has enough reserve of petrol in the system.


Group Challenges Buhari To Debate With Jonathan

groupA PDP support group, Wind of Hope, has challenged the APC presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, to a presidential debate at Chatham House, in London.

In an open letter, published online, the group said; “In our quest for deepening democracy which thrives on robust and constructive deliberations, that aid the electorate, Wind of Hope hereby offers you (Buhari) a platform to debate with the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, before the forthcoming elections at Chatham House, where you were so obviously at ease before your supporters and the international media”.

It further read; “We wish to state further, our readiness to fully sponsor such a forum. All we ask is that you state your preferred date and time”.

According to the group’s National Coordinator, Onoriode Akpeh, a presidential debate with both candidates, would help deepen democracy.

It would be recalled that the APC presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, refused calls for a presidential debate in Nigeria, including one organised by Channels Television and other groups.

Last month, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Director of Strategy, Dele Alake, had explained that Buhari would not attend the presidential debate organised by Channels Television, Arise TV and NPAN, noting that the party “could not vouch for the independence of some of the organisers of the debate”.

On the other hand, the Head of Publicity of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Organisation, Femi Fani-Kayode, had expressed the President’s readiness to participate in any presidential debate, organised by anyone, anywhere in the country.

If the APC candidate accepts the challenge, it could be the final showdown between the two political gladiators in the 2015 Presidential elections, re-scheduled for March 28th.

2015 Elections: Court Backs Prisoners’ Vote

prisonersA Federal High Court sitting in Benin, Edo State, has ruled that prisoners should be able to vote in all national and local elections in Nigeria.

The ruling by the Federal High Court comes barely two months to the general elections slated for February 2015.

The suit was instituted by Victor Emenuwe, Onome Inaye, Kabiru Abu, Osagie Iyekepolor, Modugu Odion (for and on behalf of inmates of Nigerian prisons), against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Prisons Service.

The plaintiffs had asked the court to determine whether having regards to the provisions of section 25 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, the plaintiffs are not entitled to be registered as voters by the 1st Defendants.

In his judgement, Justice Mohammed Lima said, “To deny inmates the right to vote is unconstitutional, illegal, irregular, unlawful, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

“Being an inmate is not an offence that impedes their registration and voting right under section 24 of the Electoral Act,” he added.

The Judge ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to update its register of voters to take into account the prison population.

The court also directed the defendants to ensure that the applicants are not disenfranchised.

The February 14 presidential election would pitch incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan, against his strongest challenger and former military Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari.

President Jonathan had recorded a victory over General Buhari in 2011, amid claims of rigging.