Uncertainity remains over S’Court Verdict on Govs’ Tenure
ELECTORATE in Kogi State will today go to the polls to elect a new governorfour another four years.
The outcome of electoral battle which many political observers see as a straight fight between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, Capt. Idris Wada, and his major rival Alhaji Abubakar Audu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN),may ultimately rest on the final verdict of the Supreme Court regarding the expiry date of the tenure of outgoing Governor Ibrahim Idris, between May 29 this year and April 5,2012.
The other governors affected in the case are Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa), Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo) and Segun Mimiko (Ondo).
But unlike the others, Idris is not seeking re-election, as he would have completed the maximum two terms by next year.
The April 15 Court of Appeal’s ruling affirming the February 25 judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which extended the tenure of the Idris from May 29 this year to April next year has put the entire citizenry in suspense as to what would be the fate of the election and the primary elections of the various political parties, especially those that held two primaries.
Incidentally, the PDP and ACN had two contentious primaries in arriving at their final candidates in Kogi State ,which is the first out of the five states to hold the staggered governorship election following the election tribunals’ judgments that either removed their predecessors or voided their earlier victories and ordered a rerun, which they won.
The Supreme Court, midweek, further put the Kogi electorate in suspense when it reserved judgment indefinitely in the suit brought before it by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine the validity of the tenure of the five affected governors, whose tenure were extended beyond May 29, this year, after fresh elections were held in their states.
The electorate’s anxiety is based on the possible consequences of the Supreme Court judgment, heightened on Tuesday when rumours filtered into Lokoja, the State capital, that Idris and four other governors had lost their case at the apex court and were on their way out of office.
The visit of Inspector General of Police Hafiz Ringim to Lokoja to address his officers and men ahead of today’s election and the heavy police presence in the state capital was misconstrued by residents as giving credence to the rumour.
If the Supreme Court upholds the verdict of the lower courts, the judgment will come as a relief for the PDP in many ways. One, the winner of the January primary election, Jibrin Isah, who had his mandate voided upon the elongation of Idris’ tenure boycotted the second primary and went the court, may not push his case further.
The lower court had ruled there was no vacancy in Kogi as at January when the primary election was held and that every steps associated with the April election, including the processes (primaries) remained null and void.
But if the apex court overrules the lower courts the expectations based on precedence is the immediate removal of Idris, while the Speaker of the House of Assembly temporarily takes over.
But while in the four other affected states, the Speakers could only act as governors for a period not exceeding 90 days, within which INEC would be expected to conduct fresh elections, the case of Kogi is a lot more different, as the Speaker can only act for a few days, since there will have been a governor-elect in waiting.
Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq Declares 24-hour Curfew
Following the outbreak of violence in some quarters of the State, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State has declared a 24-hour Curfew on the state starting on Saturday.
Governor Abdulrazaq made this known in a statewide broadcast on Friday night.
Recall that on Friday some residents of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital stormed the warehouses where the government stored COVID-19 palliatives expected to be distributed to citizens.
Also Read: BREAKING: Lagos Government Relaxes Curfew
The warehouses, located at the cargo warehouse of the International airport in Ilorin as well as the agro-mall located in the Sango area of the state were totally ransacked as residents struggled to pack as much food items as they could.
Abdulrazaq said, “Lives are being threatened. Businesses are being looted. Public properties have been targeted. This is unacceptable. It is not who we are.
“To curb these acts of criminalities, I hereby declare a 24-hour curfew in Ilorin metropolis from midnight today October 23rd, 2020. This is in line with Sections 1, 2, and 4 of the Public Order Act Chapter 382 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.
“People are urged to stay indoors in compliance with this curfew. This will be reviewed as we watch developments.
“Our observation is that what has happened today is not a protest, it cannot be defended under any guide, it was a pure act of criminality as some people are hiding under the guise of nationwide protest.”
Lagos Policemen Brutalise PUNCH Journalists For Covering #EndSARS Protest
Two PUNCH journalists, Femi Dawodu and Segun Odunayo, were on Wednesday brutalised by policemen guarding the Lagos State House of Assembly in Ikeja.
The duo had gone to cover events around the Alausa area, a major demonstration ground of the #EndSARS protesters calling for a total overhaul of the Nigeria Police Force.
According to the PUNCH, both Odunayo and Dawodu were recording a live video of activities in the area when the policemen accosted them and ordered them to stop the recording.
After showing the policemen their identity cards, indicating that they are journalists covering #EndSARS protests and monitoring compliance with the government-imposed curfew, the policemen became annoyed and pounced on them.
Odunayo said the policemen tortured them for four hours, adding that they stripped them of their clothes, laid them on the floor, beat them with a stick and guns, and took a video recording of them while torturing them at the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Odunayo said, “Femi and I were at the Secretariat in Alausa around 7 am and were doing a live video of the activities going on in the area. We were heading back to the expressway when a group of armed policemen accosted us at the Lagos State House of Assembly roundabout and immediately collected our phones. We showed them our ID cards, but they refused to let us go.
“What got the policemen annoyed was that we saw them using a stick and a rubber to beat a young man, and during the live video, they heard me saying that they were beating someone. So, after they arrested us, they tortured us and demanded that we should do another live video denying the statement, but we refused.
“Each Time we refused, they slapped us, used a stick to beat us, used the butt of their guns to hit our heads and bodies after stripping us of our clothes. All they wanted was for us to do another live broadcast to claim that we lied and we didn’t because we told the truth.”
Dawodu said it took the intervention of the state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi before they were released at the Alausa Police Station, adding that before their release, the policemen took their details, including their addresses, took a video record of them and threatened to go after them if any negative report was published about what happened.
He said, “The policemen were transferring the aggression of what is happening regarding the #EndSARS protest on us. They later took us to the Divisional Police Station in Alausa, and if not for the DPO, the policemen guarding the LSHA that arrested us would have done more grievous things to us.
“The PPRO and the DPO later spoke with them, and we were released.
“But despite his intervention, we were told to write statements. They collected our details, address, took video recordings of us making false statements during the torture, and threatened to use it to blackmail and go after us if we end up doing any bad report against them.”
CCTV At Lekki Toll Gate Was Not Removed -Lekki Concession Company Says
Lekki Concession Company in their press release has debunked the rumour that the Lekki Toll Gate CCTV camera was not removed.
According to the press release by the company which condemns the unlawful killings of the peaceful protesters said no one gave the order for the removal of the Closed Circuit Television System as the CCTV is still intact as of the time of this report.
Speaking further, the concession company revealed that if the CCTV was to be removed, it would require the use of machinery to reach the heights that they have been installed.
Read the release report below;
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