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FG Writes UK, USA Over Alleged Hacking of Buhari’s Medical Records

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Muhammadu Buhari
  • FG Writes UK, USA Over Alleged Hacking of Buhari’s Medical Records

A committee set up by the Federal Government to investigate the recent revelation that ahead of the 2015 general election a Nigerian billionaire and supporter of former President Goodluck Jonathan, paid £2m to Cambridge Analytica, to hack into the medical records of President Muhammadu Buhari, then candidate of the All Progressives Congress, had demanded more information from some countries.

Our correspondent learnt on Monday that the committee had written to the United Kingdom and the United States of America over the matter.

The committee was set up to probe the report that suggested that the consulting firm that combines data mining, brokerage and analysis with strategic communication for electoral process manipulated Nigeria’s 2007 elections by organising campaigns to weaken the chances of opposition parties.

The government set up the in-house committee to investigate whether the firm’s work for the then ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party, in 2007 and 2015 general election campaigns broke the laws of the country or infringed on the rights of other parties and their candidates.

Depending on the outcome, the Federal Government is considering appointing a special investigator and possibly start criminal prosecution by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN).

A top Presidency official familiar with the committee’s work told our correspondent on condition of anonymity on Monday about the panel’s communication with the UK and the US.

He said, “You will recall that when the news broke, the government set up what we called an in-house committee to investigate the matter.

“The last I heard about that committee was that they have written to the US and the UK for more information on what happened.

“I am yet to find out if those countries have responded and the stage which the committee is now.”

When contacted on the matter, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, promised to find out the latest on the matter on his return to Abuja after President Muhammadu Buhari’s ongoing two-day visit to Jigawa State.

Shehu had earlier said although he had not been briefed on the issue, it was the right of Nigerians for the PDP, Facebook and Cambridge Analytical to explain their roles in the matter.

The presidential spokesman had said that a proper investigation would reveal if there were correlations between the violence that had characterised past elections in the country and the revelation.

He had said, “Nigerians deserve answers immediately from the PDP administration, Facebook and Cambridge Analytica on how and why they improperly obtained and used data to interfere in Nigerian elections.

“An investigation should help to determine if there is a linkage between the various killings and maimings that have characterised our elections since 2007 and the misinformation activities of the Cambridge Analytica data flows.

“Such investigations will also help President Buhari to achieve his wish to leave a legacy of improved elections.”

A former employee of Cambridge Analytica, Christopher Wylie, had revealed to British lawmakers how an Israeli spy firm “Black Cube” was engaged to hack Buhari’s data to get access to his medical records.

He had alleged that Cambridge Analytica utilised the services of an Israeli private intelligence firm, Black Cube, to hack Buhari’s data.

Cambridge Analytica had earlier been hired by an unnamed Nigerian billionaire to support the re-election of former President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 presidential election in which Buhari was his main challenger.

According to reports, SCL Elections, a public relations firm that later became Cambridge Analytica, manipulated Nigeria’s 2007 elections by organising campaigns to weaken the chances of opposition parties.

As part of its engagement, the company organised “anti-election rallies” to demoralise opposition supporters from voting in the elections, which saw the emergence of Umaru Yar’Adua as Nigeria’s president.

The Cambridge Analytica team came up with a video to portray Buhari as a leader who would enforce Sharia Law in Nigeria with the intention to sway the minds of millions of Nigerians and vote for the PDP candidate.

The Cambridge Analytica and Facebook were focus of an inquiry into data and politics by the British Information Commissioner’s Office, the United States Special Counsel Robert Mueller and, separately, the UK Electoral Commission is also investigating what role Cambridge Analytica played in the EU referendum.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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FG Declares June 12 Public Holiday for Democracy Day Celebration

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The Federal Government has declared Wednesday, June 12, a public holiday in commemoration of this year’s Democracy Day celebration.

The announcement was made in a statement signed by Aishetu Ndayako, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Interior, on behalf of Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, the Minister of Interior.

The statement urged Nigerians to reflect on the struggles and sacrifices of the nation’s founding fathers and to ensure that Nigeria remains a united, secure, peaceful, and indivisible entity.

“As we mark another Democracy Day in the history of our dear country, let us all reflect on the efforts of our founding fathers and ensure that Nigeria remains a united, secured, peaceful, and indivisible entity,” the statement read.

A Historic Shift

The designation of June 12 as Democracy Day dates back to June 7, 2018, when former President Muhammadu Buhari announced that the day would henceforth be celebrated as Democracy Day.

Prior to this declaration, Democracy Day was observed on May 29, the date marking the inauguration of the Fourth Republic in 1999.

President Buhari’s decision was rooted in the historical significance of June 12, 1993, the day of what is widely regarded as Nigeria’s freest and fairest presidential election.

Despite the election’s annulment by the then-military government, Buhari emphasized that the democratic credentials of the process should be honored.

Honoring a Legacy

To further commemorate the significance of June 12, Buhari posthumously awarded Chief Moshood Abiola, the presumed winner of the annulled 1993 election, with the nation’s highest honor, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR).

The statement from the Ministry of Interior also highlighted President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to implementing positive reforms aimed at reviving Nigeria’s economy and enhancing national security.

A Call for Unity

The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, called on all citizens and friends of Nigeria to appreciate the progress that has been made in the country’s democratic journey and to look forward to a brighter future.

“As we celebrate Democracy Day, we must appreciate the progress that has been made and remain hopeful for a better future for Nigeria’s democracy,” the minister said.

This year’s Democracy Day comes at a crucial time as Nigeria continues to navigate economic challenges and security concerns. The public holiday on June 12 provides an opportunity for Nigerians to reflect on the importance of democracy and the ongoing efforts to strengthen the nation’s democratic institutions.

As the nation prepares to observe the public holiday, there is a sense of anticipation and hope that the values of democracy will continue to guide Nigeria towards a prosperous and harmonious future.

The government’s declaration serves as a reminder of the enduring legacy of June 12 and the importance of upholding democratic principles.

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Guilty on All 34 Counts: Trump Convicted in Hush Money Case

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In a historic and unprecedented legal decision, former President Donald Trump was found guilty on all 34 counts in his “hush money” trial, making him the first former U.S. president to be convicted of a crime.

The verdict was delivered by a jury of 12 New Yorkers on Wednesday, concluding a six-week trial in Manhattan.

The charges against Trump centered around falsifying business records to cover up a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.

The jury found Trump guilty on all counts, concluding that he authorized a scheme to falsify checks and related documents to keep the alleged affair from becoming public knowledge.

Prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office presented evidence showing that the conspiracy to cover up the payment began during Trump’s 2016 campaign and continued into his first year in the White House.

They argued that Trump, along with his associates, created false records to mislead voters and conceal the payment.

Trump, who has consistently denied having any sexual encounter with Daniels, responded angrily to the verdict. Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, he called the trial “a disgrace” and accused the judge of bias.

“This was a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who was corrupt,” Trump stated.

He vowed to continue fighting the verdict, saying, “The real verdict is going to be Nov. 5 by the people, and they know what happened here and everybody knows what happened here. We’ll fight to the end.”

The conviction comes at a critical time for Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president in the 2024 election. Despite the conviction, there is no constitutional barrier preventing him from running for office again.

Legal experts note that the Constitution’s requirements for presidential candidates—being at least 35 years old, a natural-born citizen, and a U.S. resident for 14 years—do not include any disqualification for being a convicted felon.

Judge Juan Merchan has scheduled Trump’s sentencing for July 11. The defense has until June 13 to submit any motions, with the prosecution required to respond by June 27.

Trump’s legal team indicated they would prefer a sentencing date in mid to late July.

Trump’s conviction adds to the already intense political climate as the nation prepares for the 2024 elections. The trial has drawn significant media attention and public scrutiny, reflecting deep divisions within American society.

The trial highlighted broader issues regarding campaign finance and the use of hush money in politics. It also raises questions about the integrity of presidential candidates and the lengths to which they might go to protect their public image.

As the legal and political ramifications of this verdict unfold, Trump’s conviction on all 34 counts marks a significant chapter in U.S. history.

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President Tinubu to Inaugurate Newly Paved Roads to Apapa, Tin Can Ports

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Bola Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu is set to inaugurate the newly constructed paved roads leading to the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports in Lagos on Saturday.

This development is anticipated to bring significant relief to port users and operators who have endured years of hardship due to the previously dilapidated roads and severe traffic congestion in the area.

The commissioning of these roads marks a major milestone in the government’s efforts to improve infrastructure and boost economic activities around the nation’s busiest ports.

The newly paved roads are expected to enhance the flow of goods and services, reduce operational costs for businesses, and alleviate the chronic traffic bottlenecks that have plagued the Apapa and Tin Can Island areas.

President Tinubu, who is scheduled to arrive in Lagos on Saturday morning, will perform the inauguration as his first assignment of the day.

The ceremony signifies a commitment to addressing the infrastructural challenges that have long hindered the efficiency of Nigeria’s maritime sector.

Mohammed Koko, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), highlighted the importance of this project earlier this year.

He emphasized the NPA’s “zero tolerance for all forms of impediments to the free flow of traffic” and reiterated the agency’s dedication to improving port operations.

“Our zero tolerance for all forms of impediments to free flow of traffic is no fluke,” Koko said, noting that the rehabilitation efforts are aimed at consolidating gains achieved first in Apapa and now extending to Tin Can.

In January 2024, President Tinubu directed the Federal Ministry of Works to urgently and comprehensively repair the access roads to the Lagos Port Complex and Tin-Can Island Port Complex.

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, echoed the urgency of this directive, pointing out that the poor condition of the port access roads had significantly increased internal logistics costs for importers and exporters.

“The dilapidated port access roads increase the cost of internal logistics for importers and exporters,” Oyetola noted.

The improved road infrastructure is expected to curb the exodus of businesses from the Apapa and Tin Can Island areas, which had been driven away by the severe logistical challenges.

The restoration of these critical routes is also anticipated to enhance Nigeria’s competitiveness in international trade by facilitating smoother and more efficient port operations.

Following the inauguration of the port access roads, President Tinubu is also scheduled to flag off the Lagos to Calabar coastal road project at Victoria Island in Lagos.

Also, he will virtually inaugurate the newly rehabilitated 3rd Mainland Bridge, further underscoring his administration’s commitment to revitalizing Nigeria’s infrastructure.

The series of inaugurations and project launches underscore a broader strategy to enhance connectivity, reduce operational bottlenecks, and stimulate economic growth through improved infrastructure.

The completion of the Apapa and Tin Can Island port roads is a pivotal step in this direction, promising a new era of efficiency and productivity for Nigeria’s maritime sector.

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