Leaked audio involving Obi and Oyedepo a deep fake – LP campaign; Subsidy removal date to be determined by Tinubu after inauguration – APC | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Leaked audio involving Obi and Oyedepo a deep fake – LP campaign
  • Oyedepo denies ever campaigning for any politician
  • ‘They are buying it’ – APC Senator speaks on 10th NASS Leadership
  • Subsidy removal date to be determined by Tinubu after inauguration – APC
  • Rivers Police release three lawyers handling APC election petitions

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss:

Leaked audio involving Obi and Oyedepo a deep fake – LP campaign

The campaign committee for the Labour Party (LP) has stated that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is attempting to demarket Peter Obi, the LP’s presidential nominee.

A tape purportedly featuring Obi and David Oyedepo, the founder of Winners Chapel, had been released, prompting a response from the campaign committee.

A man whose voice sounds a lot like Obi can be heard in the popular video pleading with a religious leader to persuade Christians in the southwest and Kwara to support him in the upcoming presidential election.

Diran Onifade, the LP campaign’s leader, and Yunusa Tanko, the council’s top spokesperson, issued a statement on Sunday claiming the recording is a deep fake designed to damage Obi’s reputation.

“While we are toeing the constitutional path to retrieve our mandate, those who have truncated the wishes of the majority of Nigerians have recoursed to mischief and endless subterfuge to continue to hold on to what they know does not belong to them,” the LP campaign said.

“From the show of shame in Port Harcourt to the drama in the Ibom Air aircraft, both of which they contrived, they have now moved to the circulation of a deep fake audio file aimed at promoting religious tension in the country.

“All these are meant to serve no other purpose than egregious mischief aimed at demarketing Peter Obi. If the goal is to create a credibility problem, the ploy has failed woefully.

“Peter Obi has long been on record as the only presidential candidate who has urged the Nigerians electorate not to vote for him on the basis of religion or tribe.”

Oyedepo denies ever campaigning for any politician

Bishop David Oyedepo, the founder of Living Faith Church Worldwide, also known as Winners Chapel, asserted on Sunday that he has never spoken on behalf of any political candidate or organization.

Oyedepo made this statement during service at the church’s headquarters in the Ota region of Ogun State, amid rumors of an unconfirmed and unverified audio recording of a phone call between him and Labour Party presidential nominee Peter Obi had gone viral.

The pastor maintained that he has never spoken on behalf of any lawmaker to any organization, and he did so without mentioning the audio recording.

He said that politicians from different political parties in the country came to him for prayers and advice before the general elections.

He said, “I have never campaigned for anybody or spoken on anybody’s behalf and I will not do that till I go to heaven.

“There is no party in this country that didn’t come to me for prayers and advice.

“I advised them, some, they don’t take. Those who chose to take they see results; those who said no are still going about it.

“If you still come again, I will still tell you, nothing will change.”

‘They are buying it’ – APC Senator speaks on 10th NASS Leadership

Ali Ndume, senator for Nigeria’s Borno South district, claims that lawmakers have already begun “buying” positions of power in the new, unseated 10th National Assembly.

While appearing on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, Ndume claimed he would have been elected Senate President in 2019 if he had been better off financially.

The 20-year National Assembly veteran from the All Progressives Congress (APC) advocated for the passage of an “Unexplained Wealth Act” to address the problem of unscrupulous lawmakers with unexplained wealth.

Ndume said, “There should be Unexplained Wealth Act so that if you display wealth that is not in tandem with your income, you should be investigated and (the wealth) confiscated and if it is extensive, you should be prosecuted.

“Now, you can see what is happening, they are trying to buy the position. The position in the leadership of this country is becoming those that belong to kleptocrats and plutocrats. Democracy is no longer there.

“They are buying it already. Didn’t you the accusation that they are sharing money? And I was even thinking in the last election, if I had more money, I would have won. I don’t have money.”

The APC won the majority of the legislative seats during the elections with over 55 Senate seats out of 109 and over 160 out of 360 House of Representatives seats. Many APC chieftains and legislative member-elect have expressed interest in the highly coveted positions in the red and green chambers. They include Orji Kalu, Jibrin Barau, Godswill Akpabio, Dave Umahi, Ahmad Lawan, Abdulaziz Yari, Osita Izunaso, amongst others.

Subsidy removal date to be determined by Tinubu after inauguration – APC

Fuel subsidy removal will be determined by the government of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, according to the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council.

On Sunday, All Progressives Congress PCC Chief Spokesperson Festus Keyamo said that the next government would decide when the subsidy regime would end, despite claims by President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.) that it would end in June when the budget for the initiative expired.

Marketers and other petroleum players fear that the elimination of the subsidy will cause gasoline costs to rise to N750 per liter.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria has advocated for subsidy elimination despite widespread concern about the matter.

Festus Osifo, president of PENGASSAN, made this plea at the association’s National Executive Council meeting in Abuja, noting that the potential hardship caused by the end of fuel subsidy could be mitigated if the country’s refineries are quickly rehabilitated.

The Nigeria Labour Congress, however, has pledged to fight the plan. They believe that the facilities must be operational before any changes can be made to the support.

Recently, the Nigerian National fuel Company Limited claimed that the nation was spending more than N400 billion per month on fuel subsidies, a figure that it contended was unsustainable.

Keyamo said that he was confident that the Tinubu government would follow the Buhari administration’s plan and end subsidy payments.

But he did warn that the former Lagos governor should be given some leeway in deciding when to put the policy into effect, as administration, unlike all policy, is a continuity.

Rivers Police release three lawyers handling APC election petitions

The Rivers State police have released the three lawyers who were being held for filing applications on behalf of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The police in Port Harcourt detained eight people on Friday, including three lawyers, as they prepared petitions for the APC to dispute the March 18 governorship and state House of Assembly elections and the outcomes.

To prevent the APC from seeking redress, as warned by Tuduru Ede, SAN, lawyers who were making petitions to file with the electoral tribunal were arrested and all the papers they were working with were halted.

Grace Iringe-Koko, the state police command’s public relations officer, announced yesterday that the three arrested lawyers had been freed.

She said: “Rivers State Police Command has been drawn to the news of the arrest of lawyers handling APC election matters. It is important to inform the public of what really happened.

“On 31/3/23 at 11.20a.m., information was received that some lodgers occupying three rooms in a popular hotel, were seen carrying packages in and out of the rooms, and printing what seems like INEC documents (including results).

“A video recording of the activities in one of the rooms was forwarded by the informant to the Police Commissioner. The information neither disclosed the identity of the lodgers nor who they were working for.

“As a responsible law enforcement agency, the Police needed to act on the intelligence. Thus, on the basis of the report, the Police approached the court to obtain a search warrant.

“The warrant was dutifully executed on 1/4/23 at 7.02a.m. In the course of the search, eight persons were arrested and several documents, laptops and printers recovered.

“The arrested persons and exhibits were taken to the Surveillance Centre and later transferred to the State CID. An Assistant Commissioner of Police was tasked to lead the investigation team. It was in the process of profiling them that it was revealed that three of the arrested persons were lawyers.”

Iringe-Koko said the police have engaged some experts to confirm if the materials in possession of the lawyers were fake.
“Meanwhile, since the investigating team lacked the technical competence to establish the veracity of the suspected printed fake Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, documents, the state REC was requested to send the commission’s ICT personnel to inspect and identify the documents. The Police command wishes to assure that once that is done, the most appropriate and professional thing will be done,” Iringe-Koko said.

However, the governorship candidate of the APC in the state in the just concluded elections, Patrick Tonye-Cole, has confirmed recovery and receipt of all the electoral documents, laptops, and printing machines earlier ceased by personnel of Nigeria Police in the state.

Speaking after recovering the documents and other materials, Cole, after narrating the level of stress and difficulties encountered in the past hours, said the action of the police in Rivers State is not good for Nigeria’s democracy.

Cole, who addressed newsmen at the State Criminal Investigation Department, accused Rivers State Police command of creating a Unit called Wike Police, which he claimed was being used to harass and intimidate opposition parties in the state.

He said Rivers people must rise up to condemn and end such activities for the freedom of the people.

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