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Rivers APC Guber candidate, Tonye Cole reportedly skipped NYSC, omits degrees in nomination forms

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The gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Tonye Cole, is in trouble for skipping the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme, the NEXT EDITION has found out.

Sources close to the stylish businessman-turned-politician said he is struggling to get the NYSC to help him out with the problem.

The Lagos-based billionaire emerged APC’s gubernatorial candidate for 2019 during the party’s primary in Port Harcourt on October 1.

Lawal Isa, Chairman, Rivers State APC Governorship Primary Election Committee, had said Mr. Cole got 3,329 votes to beat other aspirants.

According to him, Dawari George, a former aide to Rotimi Amaechi, scored 491 votes to come a distant second.

Dumo Lulu-Briggs, another business mogul who stood the election, secured 38 votes while a serving Senator, Magnus Abe, got a single vote.

Mr. Abe was the only person who voted for himself in the primary that was attended by no fewer than 4000 delegates.

But weeks after the primary was conducted and won, Mr. Cole is yet to name his running mate, situation observers blamed on the fear he might be disqualified after all.

This newspaper found out Mr. Cole deliberately omitted his tertiary education qualifications in the nomination forms he submitted to his party and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Under academic records, Mr. Cole indicated he attended Corona School, Victoria Island, Lagos from 1973-1978 and King’s College, Lagos, between 1978 -1983.

This shows in spite of his rich educational background, he only filed his primary school leaving certificate and the ordinary level West African Examination Council General Certificate of Education he obtained in June 1983 from the King’s College.

Apart from the WASCE, Mr. Cole also attached a testimonial from King’s College which showed he was born on January 11, 1967, and had attended the institution from Form One to Five.

With registration number 4107, he was a member of Mckee Wright House as well as the Literary and Debating Club.

The principal of the school at the time, Olapeju Oladele, indicated he held no leadership position but indicated he had a promising career.

“He has very strong personality traits and was well-behaved,” under behavioural traits.

However, under general remarks, Mr. Oladele wrote, “Patrick was a very promising student who has high potential to succeed in his chosen career.”

Based on his WASC attached to his nomination forms, Mr. Cole had credit (4) in English Language, good (3) in Geography, credit (4) in Economic and credit (6) in Mathematics.

Others include Physics – pass (7), Biology – credit (5), Art –credit (5) and Technical Drawing –pass (7).

With only WASC and a testimonial from King’s College attached to his forms, it seemed Mr. Cole, for some undisclosed reasons, deliberately omitted his degrees as contained in his public profiles.

While he failed to indicate his tertiary education qualifications, the APC candidate sumptuously showcased the training he has attended across the globe and the many papers he has presented and positions he has occupied.

But findings by this newspaper showed Mr. Cole went straight to King’s School, Ely, Cambridgeshire, the United Kingdom after he left King’s College, Lagos at age 16.

He is also said to be an alumnus of the University of Lagos and Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil, where he was graduated with merit honours in Architecture.

Curiously, information regarding his tertiary education and the record of his compulsory NYSC participation are all absent in the document he filed with his party and INEC.

 

Given his family background and the age he completed his primary and secondary education, it is very clear Mr. Cole got his first degree before he was 23.

The one-year service, organised by NYSC is compulsory for all Nigerians who graduate from universities or equivalent institutions at less than 30 years of age.

Apart from being a prerequisite for obtaining government and private sector jobs in Nigeria, the NYSC Act prescribes punishment for anyone who absconds from the scheme or forges its certificates.

For instance, eligible persons, who skipped the scheme, are liable to be sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and/or N2, 000 fine, based on Section 13 of the NYSC law.

In Section 13 (3) of the Act, a three-year jail term or option of N5,000 fine is prescribed for anyone who contravenes the provisions of the law.

Subsection 4 of the same section also criminalises giving false information or illegally obtaining the agency’s certificate.

It provides for up to a three-year jail term for such offenders.

NEXT EDITION made several attempts within the last two weeks to speak with Mr. Cole on the issue but failed.

The APC chieftain would not pick calls or respond to text messages from this newspaper.

However, when contacted, on one of his allies, Tonye Princewill, said Mr. Cole could not speak on the issue because the party was yet to set up a campaign structure for the 2019 polls.

All of Mr. Cole’s public profiles show he had tertiary education in Nigeria and in Brazil but none indicates the dates of his graduation.

NEXT EDITION could not also extract any record of where he served in any of such profiles, some of which have been edited recently.

Attempts to speak with the NYSC spokesperson, Adenike Adeyemi, failed as her line was unreachable and text message to her phone was not replied.

But a senior staff of the scheme, who could not be named because he is not authorised to speak on the matter said the NYSC has no record Mr. Cole served or was offered an exemption.

 

*Culled from THE NEXT EDITION

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EFCC quizzes Kwara Govt officials, Sterling Bank staffers over N1 billion

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Information reaching this newspaper revealed that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is currently quizzing some officials of Sterling Bank Plc and Kwara State Government following an alleged N1billion cash withdrawals by the latter from an account domiciled with the bank.
 
According to investigations, the money which was withdrawn at Sterling Bank’s Post Office, Ilorin branch on February 7, 2019 was allegedly disbursed a week before the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
 
The Kwara State Government officials arrested and being interrogated at the Ilorin Zonal Office of the anti-graft agency are Commissioner for Finance Nurudeen Banu; Accountant-General Sulaiman Ishola; Commissioner for Water Resources Yusuf Abdulkadir; Head of Service Susan Modupe Oluwole; Commissioner for Energy, Eleja Taiwo Banu; Chief of Staff, Abdulwahab Yusuf; officials of the Secretary to the State Government, and those of the Government House.
 
Findings show that the Sterling Bank officials also being interrogated – Rahaman Alimi, Akinleye Ademola, Olarewaju Sarafa and Rasaq Abolarin were said to have moved the said money in bullion van and personally delivered it to the Chief of Staff to the Kwara State Governor, Abdulwahab Yusuf.
 
The officials are expected to be arraigned before a Federal High Court in Ilorin next week.
 
…More details as events unfold
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Election: APC alleges massive rigging in Delta South, calls for outright cancellation [VIDEO]

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Alleged Burutu Local Government PDP collation center where all wards and unit materials were allegedly hyjacked, thumprint and result written. The center was reportedly guarded by militants and located in unit 21 Ekoro in Ayakoromo creeks very close to late John Togo's militant Camp during the Niger Delta agitation.

The Delta State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC Campaign Council has alleged massive rigging by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in four local government areas, namely Warri South West, Bomadi, Burutu and Patani.

BIGPEN NIGERIA gathered that this is coming as unofficial results of polls coming from the aforementioned LGAs are currently in favour of all PDP candidates from the presidential to national assembly.

Three of the four councils are believed to be the stronghold of the PDP.

But Mr George Timinimi, the Campaign Director General of the Campaign Organisation of the APC governorship candidate, Chief Great Ogboru alleged that the PDP colluded with INEC official and ad-hoc to massively rig the local governments for the party after hijacking the electoral materials.

An amateur video footage of the alleged rigging in one of the locations in the riverine communities which was exclusively obtained by BIGPEN NIGERIA show a group of recruited youths manipulating and thumb printing ballot papers and result sheets for the LGAs.

According to Timinimi, the four LGAs were massively rigged and APC supporters harassed during the Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly election.

Timinimi also alleged that result sheets were not available in the few polling units and wards in the four LGAs where elections took place.

The APC chieftain in a statement accompanied by some amateur videos showing some persons allegedly thumb printing, said his party would not accept outcome of the election from the four councils.

 

 

Timinimi, a former Water Resources Commissioner during Chief James Ibori tenure of office as Governor, alleged that Ogbe-Ijoh ward 1 of unit 005, 006, 007 and 008 in Warri South West was fraudulently rigged and results formulated in favour of James Manager, the PDP Delta South senatorial candidate and other PDP candidates.

“As you can see above in Warri South West Local government area at Ogbe-Ijoh, in ward 1 of unit 005, 006, 007 and 008 in the riverine areas of the LGA the elections were characterised by massive rigging in connivance with INEC Officials which also include thuggery, harrasment and intimidation of voters and agents.

“It should also be noted that the above vices is what is inherent in Gbaramatu ward, Oporoza ward and Isaba wards of same LGA and that of Burutu LGA not excluding Bomadi LGA and the riverine areas of Patani LGA’S respectively.

“Meanwhile, in all of these Units and wards where few electoral materials were present, the result sheets for the units were missing completely.

“I therefore call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to outrightly cancel the elections in the aforementioned LGAs”, Timinimi wrote in a petition addressed to the INEC resident electoral commissioner, Dr Cyril Omorogbe.

 

Meanwhile, several efforts to reach James Manager were earlier rebuffed as he either picked his calls or responded to text sent to his mobile phone.

However after an hour, he left a missed call on the phone but when our correspondent called him back, he hurriedly said, “You know we are doing election and we are very busy, so can we talk later? When pressed further to react to the text and Whatsapp messages about this report,he reiterated, I can’t talk now, I am expecting a result from somewhere and we are collating”.

SOURCE: BIGPEN NIGERIA

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LEAKED TAPE! APC Presidential Campaign DG, Rotimi Amaechi caught on tape again!

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“We are going to lose. I have packed my bags and prepared my handover notes.”
In what is undoubtedly the most damning statement on the eve of any election anywhere in the world, the head of General Buhari’s presidential election campaign has categorically given the verdict on today’s poll: the APC is going to lose decisively.
Amaechi has form for being caught on tape in the now infamous Amechi tapes that were leaked and played in a string of Twitter posts which caught the imagination of the Nigerian electorate over the last few weeks.
However nothing is as explosive as this revelation from him where he states “We are going to lose”, that has come to light just hours as the polls open today.
Not only does he admit the APC is headed for defeat but that he has known it for a while as he has used the time to prepare for his departure: ‘I have packed my bags and prepared my handover notes”.
The remarks were made in public a few days ago in a chat with journalists on a train.
What makes this revelation all the more extraordinary is that said this statement in the presence of other people so there is no room for denial or accusations of fakery or forgery.
What Amaechi says is in line with what political circles have been alive to for the last four weeks – that the APC was heading for a loss – ever since the PDP Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, visited America on 16th January and the Government made its major blunder with the unconstitutional suspension of the Chief Justice.
That was the moment when the political see-saw decisively tipped in favour of Atiku and ever since, many of the political assets previously on Buhari’s side have increasingly slid into Atiku’s lap.
With the torrent of endorsements from political parties, religious and ethnic groups to the silent departure of many of Buhari’s political supporters in his own party. APC Governors without quitting the party are covertly working to support Atiku in the Presidential race in exchange for being able to migrate to the PDP when Atiku takes office in May.
One of the world’s most famous political strategists, Lord Bell, (“Thatcher’s ad man”) who has worked extensively on Nigerian election campaigns said “The unravelling of the APC is like the unpeeling of an onion where after you have removed a number of the layers before you know it you end up with nothing.
Ever since the PDP Rally in Kano on 10th February which decisively showed ‘Buhari’s northern reboubt’ had fallen, there is an increasing ‘fin de le siecle’ (end of the cycle) feeling about this administration with a growing stench hanging around the coattails of the APC – the smell of decay, despondency and despair.”
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