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Tension as Buhari moves to appoint new election officers, judges

“Security operatives in the United Arab Emirates are keeping a close tab on a former Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who has been in the Middle East nation for several weeks now. What is he doing there? Me: shopping for terrorists,” Lauretta Onochie, President Buhari’s social media advisor, said on Twitter in June 2019. 

Angered by the tweet, Atiku, who was the presidential candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the time, slammed a N2.5bn ($5.7m) libel suit against Onochie, but she remained undeterred. 

In another tweet after the Supreme Court dismissed Atiku’s application to overturn Buhari’s electoral victory, Onochie said: “When some Nigerians told me that God will disgrace Atiku, I did not know it [would] happen so soon at the election tribunal.” 

Onochie had earned a reputation of insulting anyone who criticised Buhari and was a staunch member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). 

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