Elections shift: INEC retrieves sensitive materials from LGs to CBN in Lagos



Elections shift: INEC retrieves sensitive materials from LGs to CBN in Lagos
By Yemi Adeleye
Lagos, Feb 17, 2019 (NNN) The National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State, on Sunday said it had retrieved all sensitive materials for the rescheduled Presidential and National Assembly elections earlier distributed to the 20 Local Government Areas of the state.
INEC Spokesman in Lagos State, Mr Femi Akinbiyi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) in Lagos, that all sensitive materials had been retrieved and kept in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under security watch.
He said that the sensitive materials, which comprised ballot papers and result sheets, had been distributed at the three senatorial districts before they were later moved to the 20 LGAs.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had attributed the postponement of the elections to logistic and operational problems.
Akinbiyi said that the Lagos State Commissioner of Police had monitored the exercise in some local governments.
“The instruction from the INEC headquarters was that all sensitive materials should be moved back to the CBN and the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State was in Ikeja today to supervise such movement.
“The movement across the state was done under tight security,” he said.
According to him, all card readers earlier deployed to each local government area have been returned to the INEC office in Yaba for reconfiguration.
The INEC Public Relations Officer added that all ad hoc staff had been paid their training allowances for the postponed elections.
The Governorship, State Houses of Assembly, and FCT Area Council elections were also shifted from March 2 to March 9.
The INEC state chairman said that the postponement would afford the electoral body the opportunity to address the identified challenges in order to maintain the quality of Nigeria’s election. (NNN)
Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Lydia Beshel


Anambra 2021: Political group backs merit, opposes zoning



A political association, Anambra Destiny Movement (ADM), says that party affiliation or zoning should not determine who becomes the next governor of the state but a candidate with programme that aggregates the challenges of the state.

Chief Ekene Enefe, president of the movement, said this at a parley with newsmen in Awka on Monday.

He said that Anambra had become sophisticated for such considerations and that the group would support candidate from any part of the state who had capacity to address the collective aspirations of the people.

It would be recalled that the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance has zoned its ticket to Anambra South Senatorial District while the opposition Peoples Democratic Party said its ticket was open to candidates from all zones.

Enefe said political parties hoping to clinch the mandate of the people should present the best from among them and not rely on the assumption that the name of their party could win election for them.

According to him, Anambra Destiny Movement does not believe in zoning, apart from not being constitutional, zoning is archaic in a sophisticated state such as Anambra where power has gone round the three zones.

Anambra is neither a birthright of any political party nor an empire that was up for grab by any other party, it is a state in dire need of focused and purposeful leadership, that is why the ADM is calling on them to bring their best to the arena or lose the election.

We are not even going to support anybody because he is a member of party A or party B because experience has shown that the so-called good parties don’t allow the masses to have access to quality candidates.

Candidates for Anambra governorship election in 2021 must be merit based, ADM which is rooted in the 21 local governments of the state, will work for the victory of the best candidate based on his/her track record and the manifesto of the party,” he said.

Enefe said though the present administration had done well in the area of security, Anambra still suffered infrastructure deficit which had hindered its economic prosperity.

He said that part of the agenda of ADM for the next dispensation included rural access roads, functional public water supply, sustainable industrialisation drive and state-wide development approach.

The group called for conduct local government council election to encourage political participation at the grassroots level.

Edited by: Kayode Olaitan

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War against corruption: NASS urges Nigerians to leverage on FOI Act, Whistle-blowing policy



Mr Garba Shehu,Chairman House Committee on Anti-Corruption, has urged Nigerians to leverage on the Freedom of Information Act, Whistle-blowing policy and Open Government Imitative (OGP) to enhance the anti-corruption fight in Nigeria .

Shehu made the call on Monday in Abuja at a rally organised by Say No Campaign a coalition of Civil Society Groups to mark the 2019 World Anti-corruption Day with the theme “United Against Corruption.’’

According to him, Nigerians can use these policies and laws as powerful tools to advocate for good governance and demand accountability especially with the aid of social media.

I want to commend the Coalition of Civil Society for taking it upon them to sensitise Nigerians to the importance of Dec. 9 set aside by UN to highlight devastating impact of corruption.

Corruption deprives the citizens of the resources that should be used to improve on our socio economic wellbeing; we have bad roads, poor schools, we cannot really overemphasise the devastating impact of corruption.

“We should do whatever we can as citizens, as civil society organisations to highlight the impact of corruption in all spheres of our society, because it thrives everywhere, so the war has to be total.’’

Shehu urged Nigerians to be vigilant and work against corruption while the National Assembly would continue to advocate for measures that would empower citizens to be able to fight the war.

Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu, the Co-convener, Say No Campaign, said that the rally was organised to create awareness on the need for citizens to join in the fight against corruption.

Nwagwu said that it was the constitutional responsibility of the government to fight corruption and it would be subverting the constitution for not doing that.

He said it was the duty of citizens to follow-up abandoned projects by tracking the contractors to ensure they deliver the projects.

Ms Vivian Bellonwu, another co-convener,  said that the position of Nigeria today why  the country was not where it ought to be was due to the devastating effect of corruption.

Bellonwu  urged the judiciary to not compromise on corruption cases but help in convicting criminals to serve as deterrent to others .

So today, we want to join our voices not just as women or children but as Nigerians to say that we collectively reject corruption.

“We call on anti-graft agencies to take all necessary measures to see that they bring all perpetrators to book,” she said.

Edited by: Kayode Olaitan

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Gov. Fintiri swears-in newly elected LG Chairmen in Adamawa



Gov. Fintiri swears-in newly elected LG Chairmen in Adamawa


Yola, Dec. 9, 2019 Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa has sworn in 21 newly elected counil chairmen in Adamawa.

Speaking at the ceremony on Monday in Yola, Fintiri thanked the people of the state for voting for candidates of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during Saturday’s poll.

He said the victory of the party was a testimony that the people of the state were satisfied with the performance of the PDP led administration.

“The result showed that the people of Adamawa are happy with the fresh air agenda of this administration,” Fintiri said.

While urging the new chairmen to carry everyone along, he cautioned them against unnecessary traveling outside their areas of jurisdiction.

“Government will not tolerate a situation where chairmen travel at will abandoning their areas,” Fintiri said.

Speaking on behalf of the chairmen, Mr Michael Shehu of Michika local council thanked the people for the confidence reposed in them and assured that they would not disappoint them.

Edited by: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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APC wins all 16 Chairmanship seats in Ekiti council poll



Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission (EKSIEC) on Sunday declared the candidates of the All Progressives Congress winners of all the 16 Chairmanship seats in the local government election conducted on Saturday .

Results of the 177 Councillorship seats were, however, still being awaited as at the time of filing this report.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Chairman of the commission ,Justice Jide Aladejana, had declared the results in Ado Ekiti.

Aladejana said contrary to reports, no death was recorded at any polling booth on Saturday.

” Nobody was killed at Ward 7 Unit 006 in Ikere on Saturday . Nobody was shot, though we heard that someone came violently and made away with unused ballot papers

” Even in the whole unit, there were just 280 registered voters and this does not in any way vitiate the outcome,” he said.

Describing the election as peaceful , Aladejana commended the security agencies in the state for ensuring that no one was intimidated during the poll.

NAN reports that a total of 14 political parties participated in the election , including the APC and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).

Meanwhile, the PDP in the state has rejected the outcome of the poll as announced by EKSIEC, describing it as concorted and unacceptable.

Reacting to the results on Sunday, the Chairman of PDP in the state, Chief Gboyega Oguntuase, said PDP might head for the court.

” From what we heard all over the state, the election was riddled with violence in most places, especially in Ikere Ekiti where one person was reportedky killed and about four others sustained injuries,” he said.

(Edited by: Mufutau Ojo)

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Ganduje restates commitment to human rights protection



Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has restated his administration’s commitment to respect and protect human rights to education, health, justice and life.

Ganduje said this on Sunday while receiving the Most Outstanding State Government Human Rights Award at the 2019 Human Rights Summit/Awards in Abuja.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) organised the summit to commemorate 2019 International Human Rights Day.

The theme of the summit is titled “Adopting Human Rights-Based Approach in the Public Sector Sustainable Development Agenda””

Ganduje said his administration’s provided free education for pupils particularly female students to ensure that they finish secondary school before going into marriage.

He listed the establishment of a commission for physically challenged persons, protection of sick and aged rights as well as establishment of anti-corruption body as some of his administration’s feat on human rights protection.

Mr Tony Ojukwu, the Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, said that the commission held the summit to sensiitise Nigerians to the importance of human rights protection.

Ojukwu, who thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting the commission to deliver its mandate, restated the commission’s determination to ensure that every one’s rights are respected and protected without any hindrance,.

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Edited & Vetted By: Tukur Muntari.

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General news

Lagos Assembly will not repeal ex-govs’ pension law — Spokesperson



Lagos State House of Assembly says it will not repeal the state’s pension law permitting former governors and other public office holders to receive juicy pensions from state coffers.

Mr Tunde Braimoh, Chairman, House Committee on Information and Strategy, told the Nigeria News Agency on Sunday that Lagos Assembly would not go the way of the Zamfara Assembly which recently repealed pension law for its former governors.

NAN recalls that a Federal High Court in Lagos had ordered the Federal Government to recover pensions collected by former governors now serving as ministers and members of the National Assembly.

The court also directed the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, to challenge the legality of states’ pension laws permitting former governors and other ex-public officials to receive such pensions.

Braimoh, however, faulted the court ruling that ordered Malami to take immediate legal action toward the abolishment of state laws that permit “former governors to enjoy governors’ emoluments while drawing normal salaries and allowances in their new political offices.”

He told NAN that as long as the law did not contravene the constitution, state assemblies had the right to make laws for the benefit of the society in which they operate.

According to him, separation of powers as enshrined in the constitution empowers the legislature to make laws, the executive to implement and the judiciary to interpret the laws.

“The Supreme Court had made it clear several times that no arm of government can repeal the constitutional provisions of another arm of government.

“Therefore, legislators make laws that are in tune with the yearnings and dynamics of their society.

“Until another legislature comes to alter, review or amend the law, the law is meant to be obeyed.

“The judiciary cannot pronounce that a law by the state is unconstitutional unless such state law is contradictory to the constitution,” the lawmaker said.

Braimoh said he was not aware of any law that restricted state assemblies from making laws for the provision of welfare package of former governors and public office holders. 

Edited & Vetted By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi

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Bayelsa guber: Accept defeat, stop heating up polity, APC advises Gov. Dickson



All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa has urged Gov. Seriake Dickson, to stop threatening the state and trying to raise tension following the electoral defeat of his preferred candidate..

APC advised Dickson to tow the path of democracy and rule of law by taking his grievances to the court.

Mr. Doifie Buokoribo, State Publicity Secretary of APC, expressed APC’s position in a statement issued in Yenagoa on Sunday.

The APC spokesman said the call was premised on repeated allegations by Dickson after the loss of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Sen. Douye Diri at the Nov. 16 governorship election in the state.

According to him, Diri had lost to the APC candidate and Governor-Elect, Chief David Lyon, who won with over 70 per cent of the votes and defeated his opponent in six of the eight local government areas of the state.

“In the last few weeks, since the overwhelming victory of our candidate at the Nov. 16 governorship election, Chief David Lyon, Gov Dickson has inundated the state and the country with wild allegations and inciting comments.

“He has screamed blue murder at all relevant institutions of state, from the electoral body to security agencies, and the winning APC.

“And he has absolved only himself and his section of the PDP of blame.

“From his furious mind, Dickson has issued threats to the electorate in Bayelsa and APC members, particularly, and he has boasted about his capacity to unleash violence and turn the state upside down.

“Dickson has displayed everything, but commitment to democratic ideals and legal processes of electoral conflict resolution.

“We, however, unequivocally state and also remind Dickson that the elections have been concluded and the governor-elect, Chief David Lyon, is only waiting to be sworn into office as the next governor of Bayelsa.

“And for those who feel aggrieved, like Dickson, there are constitutionally prescribed processes open to them to follow in trying to redress their grievances.

“Disparaging the institutions of state and inciting the public to violence are, certainly not among the processes.

“Dickson is not a court of law, he should stop holding court on the governorship election. He cannot be the plaintiff and judge in a case in which he is an interested party. If he has grievances, the place to go is the electoral tribunal.

“Dickson is also not Bayelsa,  and he cannot claim to be voicing the opinion of the people, who have overwhelmingly spoken with their votes against his nearly eight years of misrule and mistreatment.

“The people of Bayelsa spoke on Nov.16 across political boundaries and the message was clear. Dickson must respect the voice of the people,” the statement read in part.

It will be recalled that Dickson had in a news conference after the election result was announced, accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of colluding with APC and security agencies to thwart the will of the people.

Dickson had alleged that what happened on Nov. 16, 2019 was not an election but a ‘coup’ against the Bayelsa people.

Edited & Vetted By: Chioma Ugboma/ Tukur Muntari.

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2020 budget: Reps minority caucus promises to monitor implementation



The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu (PDPDelta), has pledged the commitment of members of the opposition parties in the house to ensure effective implementation of the 2020 budget.

Elumelu who made the pledge in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, said the opposition caucus would step up its oversight activities for effective monitoring and implementation of the N10.59 trillion budget for the 2020 fiscal year.

He said the minority leadership has worked out an end-to-end monitoring strategy that would ensure effective implementation, check corruption, diversions and plug waste.

“Nigerians have placed confidence on the opposition for solution and as such has directed opposition lawmakers to brace up,“he said.

He said that no stone would be left unturned in ensuring that budgetary provisions, especially the ones that have direct bearing on the wellbeing of the masses were fully implemented.

The lawmaker said part of the implementation monitoring strategy was to stimulate citizen’s ownership of budgetary project by carrying the people along through free-flow of information.

He said that information on siting, size, utility, cost, releases and job execution progress would be made handy.

The minority leader called on all lawmakers to ensure effective and timely implementation of constituency projects in line with their commitment to the people.

He also tasked ministries and agencies to exert its implementation capacity to ensure that all funds released to them were fully utilised and accounted for.

Elumelu called on all ministries, departments and agencies, particularly revenue-generating agencies, to develop more effective wealth-creating strategies that would not place more burden on the citizens.

The legislator assured that the opposition would  not relent but redouble its efforts in protecting the interest of the people.

Edited & Vetted By: Joseph Edeh/Kayode Olaitan

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Adamawa APC rejects LG election results



The All Progressives Congress (APC) has rejected results of Saturday local government elections in Adamawa describing it as “complete sham”.

Speaking to newsmen on behalf of the party on Sunday in Yola, the party’s legal adviser, Mr Shagnah Pwamaddi, said that the party would do everything within the law to seek redress.

“The recently conducted election is a complete sham, undemocratic and below standard of what we call election.

“This is selection that was perpetrated under intimidation and inducement. We are not going to accept it,” Pwamaddi said.

In his reaction on the election, an APC chieftain and former Secretary to the Government of Federation, Mr Babachir Lawan, in a statement said no election was conducted in his local government (Hong).

“In spite of assurance by the Adamawa state governor that there will be an open, free and fair LGA elections, there was no election in Hong LGA even in a single polling unit.

“No election materials and no election officials were sighted any where in the LGA up to 4 pm on Saturday when I returned to Yola.

“It’s such a shameful treatment of our people of which we have taken note.

“We had expected this state government to conduct a credible election because it will not have come to power if the federal government had not allowed INEC to conduct a free and fair election,” Babacir said.

Also speaking on the election the protem National Vice Chairman APC North East, Alhaji Umar Duhu, described the election as a charade which would not be allowed to stand.

On his part, the State Chairman of PDP, Mr Tahir Shehu, said the party was satisfied with the election.

“So far so good. I was in Toungo local government area where the election was smooth.

“I was also in Jada and Mayo-Belwa Local Government areas were I saw massive turn-out in some places,” Shehu said.

Also speaking on the election, the Chairman of Adamawa State Independent Electoral Commission (ADSIEC), Mallam Isa Shettima, said he was satisfied with the exercise and that except for the low turn out of voters, everything was free and fair.

Edited & Vetted By: Emmanuel Nwoye/ Tukur Muntari.

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