INEC okays swearing-in, fixes dates for guber polls
PDP summons NEC meeting
THE succession struggle that broke out in the wake of the sack of Kogi State Governor Ibrahim Idris was apparently resolved yesterday with the assuming of office by Capt. Idris Wada (rtd), winner of the December 3 governorship poll.
Last Friday, a Supreme Court judgment outlawed tenure elongation for five sate governors, including Ibrahim Idris. The succession crisis was occasioned by the swearing-in of Wada and Speaker of the House of Assembly, Abdullahi Bello on the same day at the weekend.
But this confusion has abated following the truce meeting held in Abuja at the instance of the Presidency in which Wada and Bello were in attendance. Vice President Namadi Sambo chaired the meeting. Also in attendance were Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Abubakar Baraje, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Muhammed Adoke.
The meeting was said to have prevailed on the speaker to revert to his original position as speaker to allow the erstwhile governor-elect assume office in the interest of peace pending a better interpretation of the Supreme Court judgment.
Wada and Deputy, Yomi Awoniyi were received by dignitaries and stakeholders at the Lugard House where the new governor assumed office at exactly 1:05 p.m. Wada proceeded to the Government House Mosque where he worshipped.
Subsequently, he held a state security meeting with commanders of the services and security agencies. He later met with members of the state executive council shortly, preaching peace, harmony and reconciliation.
The residents of Lokoja, the state capital, however, became apprehensive over the presence of stern-looking policemen at strategic locations in the city.
Earlier, erstwhile acting governor, Alhaji Bello had announced the sack of the Secretary to the State Government and all political appointees in the state, a decision reversed by Wada upon assumption of office.
Rising from over five hours of deliberations, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday endorsed the swearing-in of Wada as Kogi governor following his emergence as the governor on December 3, 2011. The commission based its decision on the fact that prior to the Supreme Court judgment on Friday, the elections had been concluded.
Addressing a press conference, in his office, INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, however, advised those who were not satisfied with the position of the commission to go to court to seek redress, saying as a law-abiding body, INEC was prepared to, at any time, obey any court order.
The short prepared text delivered by Jega read in part: “It will be recalled that the Supreme Court on Friday, January 21, 2012 delivered a judgment that the tenure of office of five governors to wit: Adamawa, Bayelsa, Cross River, Kogi and Sokoto States expired on the 28th May, 2011. INEC, having carefully studied the judgment, after due consultations with its legal team has decided as follows:
• that the Kogi State governorship election which took place on December 3, 2011, is a concluded election and therefore the Governor-Elect be sworn in immediately; and,
• that the dates for the remaining governorship elections are as follows: Adamawa, Saturday, February 4, 2012; Bayelsa, Saturday, February 11, 2012; Sokoto, Saturday, February 18, 2012 and Cross Rivers, Saturday, February 25, 2012. The decision had been taken after due consultation of the logistics, operational and administrative requirements to ensure free, fair and credible elections.
“The commission wishes to categorically state that only candidates who emerged after the Court of Appeal judgment of Friday, April 15 are the recognised candidates for the elections.”
Besides, the INEC in Oyo State yesterday fixed February 11, 2012 as the new date for the conclusion of the re-run election into Olorunsogo/ Oorelope/Irepo Federal Constituency, which was declared inconclusive by the commission last weekend.
Addressing stakeholders at the commission’s office, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Hussein Pai disclosed that the re-run election would be held in five units of Irepo, one each from Oorelope and Olorunsogo where the elections were cancelled.
The INEC chief however appealed to representatives of the various political parties to re-orientate their members on the need to maintain peace.
Representatives of the PDP however stayed away from the stakeholders’ meeting held by the electoral agency in Ibadan where the decision on the date to conclude the re-run poll was communicated to stakeholders.
In his remarks at the meeting, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ladan disclosed that 655 live cartridges and over 100 arms including pump action were recovered from the suspected political thugs arrested during the last Saturday re-run poll.
Ladan said the police authorities had started investigations into the source of the arms recovered and vowed that anyone found to have illegally procured the arms would be dealt with according to the law.
Meanwhile, apparently seeking a quick way out of the crises on its hands, the ruling PDP has summoned a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) for Thursday.
Although a statement issued by the national Publicity Secretary of the party, Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali, said the meeting would discuss the current political situation in the country, The Guardian learnt that the party had more than that to deal with at the NEC meeting.
According to party sources, one of the major issues on the card for deliberation is the transition programme of PDP, which was truncated by the last industrial strike by organised Labour. The party had planned congresses to start on January 7, 2012 with ward congresses and the activities were to culminate at a national convention on February 25, 2012 where a new set of national officers are to emerge.
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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