Akwa Ibom REC Uncovers 23 Polling Units In Politicians’ Compounds

We Won’t Argue Sub Judice Petitions, INEC Tells PDP

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has uncovered 23 polling units at private homes in Akwa Ibom State.

INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Mike Igini, disclosed this during his appearance on Sunrise Daily.

He explained that the discovery was made after he was transferred to the state from neighbouring Cross River State.

“I set up a committee to identify the location of polling units on account of records that I have from within the system found; I discovered 23 polling units were in private homes – the compounds of politicians,” Igini told Channels Television on Tuesday.

He added, “Consequently, 23 polling units were relocated to public places and by the time we are done with the report at the commission, we will be addressing stakeholders again,” he said.

Mr Mike Igini speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on January 28, 2020.

 

According to the REC, elections do not hold in the entirety of the state, especially as it relates to the 2015 and 2019 general elections.

He stressed that the days of not conducting elections were gone and promised that the electoral system in Akwa Ibom State would witness a major turnaround.

Igini hinted that he had informed stakeholders in the state after he assumed office that it would no longer be business as usual.

He also reacted to the allegation of bias preferred against him by some political groups, saying they were only making attempts to secure undue advantages.

Igini also took a swipe at the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

He said, “APC in Akwa Ibom and PDP; they are the same people tied together in a single garment of one destiny.

“They’ve always been together before, forget about all this mutation. It is not whether you agree with me but it’s about the fact on the ground.”

Buhari Seeks Confirmation Of NCAA DG, Others

Minimum Wage: Buhari Meets With Implementation Committee, To Receive Report
President Muhammadu Buhari speaks during a meeting at the State House in Abuja.

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Senate to confirm the appointment of Captain Musa Nuru as the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

He also sought the confirmation of the appointment of the leadership of some other Federal Government agencies.

The President’s requests were conveyed in letters read by the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan, during plenary on Tuesday.

READ ALSO: Security In Nigeria Has Deteriorated, Loss Of Lives Unacceptable – Senate President

President Buhari urged the lawmakers to confirm the appointment of the Chairman and members of the Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

He also asked them to approve the appointment of Dr Kingsley Obiora as the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

After reading out the letters, the Senate President gave a speech to welcome his colleagues back to legislative duties following their six-week recess.

He said, “My distinguished colleagues, let me welcome all of us back from our deserving Christmas and New Year recess when the business of the Senate was put on hold.

“The recess no doubt was an opportunity for us to celebrate the festivities with our families.”

Lassa Fever: 41 People Killed, 258 Cases Confirmed Since 2020 – FG

Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, briefs reporters in Abuja on January 28, 2020.

 

 

At least 41 people have died of Lassa fever in parts of the country since the beginning of 2020, the Federal Government has confirmed.

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this on Tuesday during a press briefing at the ministry’s secretariat in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Giving an update on the raging outbreak of the disease, he revealed that at least two health professionals were among the 41 deaths recorded.

Ehanire added that there were at least 258 confirmed cases recorded across 19 states in the country.

He urged Nigerians in various parts of the country to practice good hygiene and protect their foods from rat contamination.

The minister also spoke about the outbreak of coronavirus reported in China, Germany, the United States, as well as two African countries.

He noted that the Federal Ministry of Health had issued a health advisory in the outbreak of the disease, saying that the risk of importation was high even though no single suspected case has been reported in Nigeria.

Ehanire was, however, worried about the presence of suspected cases in the Ivory Coast and Kenya, considering that coronavirus was being transmitted by humans who infected with the disease.

As part of efforts against the spread of the disease, he said the Federal Government has raised surveillance at all entry points into the country.

The minister was specific about the preventive measures being taken at the five international airports in Nigeria – in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as well as Lagos, Enugu, Rivers, and Kano States.

Security In Nigeria Has Deteriorated, Loss Of Lives Unacceptable – Senate President

National Assembly Is Ready To Work For Nigerians – Lawan
A file photo of the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan. Photo: [email protected]

 

 

The President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, has raised an alarm over the security challenges in various parts of the country.

Lawan, who spoke during Tuesday’s plenary at the Senate chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja, decried that the recent loss of lives recorded in the country was worrisome.

“My distinguished colleagues, the security situation in our country requires serious attention and due consideration by the Senate and indeed the National Assembly,” he told the senators in his welcome speech after the lawmakers resumed from their six-week recess.

The Senate President added, “Recently, the security in the country has deteriorated and the attendant loss of lives is not acceptable.

“We need to secure the lives and property of our citizens, as enshrined in our Constitution. We all are witnesses to how our economy is also affected by the inclement security situation.”

READ ALSO: In Akwa Ibom, They Don’t Hold Elections But Write Results – Mike Igini

Senator Lawan believes there is a need to speedily seek for solutions to fix the security problems the country is grappling with.

He also hinted that lawmakers in the Senate chambers were working to engage the Federal Government on the implementation of the nation’s security strategy.

The Senate President said, “There is an urgent need for a paradigm shift and reform of the architecture and structure of our security systems. Equally important is citizen participation, and collaboration in providing security.”

“In this regard, the Senate will engage the Executive arm of government to discuss the implementation of the recently launched National Security Strategy (NSS) 2019.”

According to Lawan, major stakeholders in the nation’s security and police authorities appear to achieve consensus on the necessity of the introduction of community policing.

He, therefore, gave the assurance that the Senate was in support of the initiative to ensure the adequate security of Nigerians and their properties at the grassroots.

The Senate President promised that the lawmakers would pursue the implementation of community policing vigorously and invite police authorities to give an update on the progress made so far.

On power, he said, “My distinguished colleagues, it is an incontrovertible fact that the power sector cannot function optimally and thrive under the current circumstances.

“The anticipated outcome of improvement in effectiveness and efficiency of the privatisation process has not been achieved and doesn’t look feasible. Therefore, we have to take all the necessary steps to salvage this indispensable sector.

“The ensuing debate on the report of the Roundtable Discussions will no doubt reveal the actions that the Federal Government will need to take,” Lawan stated.

Reps Mourn Muhammadu Fagengawo, Adjourn Plenary

A file photo of late Muhammadu Fagengawo.

 

 

The House of Representatives on Tuesday mourned its late member from Garki/Babura Federal constituency in Jigawa State, Dr Muhammadu Fagengawo.

Fagengawo died on the eve of the New Year in Dubai at a hospital where he had been receiving treatment.

The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, announced the death of Fagengawo and other former members during plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

READ ALSO: Another Loss For NASS As Reps Member Dies In Dubai

While Fagengawo’s death was announced, the lawmakers present held a minute’s silence in his honour.

This was done in line with the tradition of the House while Speaker Gbajabiamila called for the adjournment of plenary.

Thereafter, the Deputy House Leader, Peter Akpatason, moved a motion for adjournment till Wednesday and it was seconded by the House Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu.

Speaker Gbajabiamila had led the principal officers of the House and taken the prayers and the national pledge before the business of the day commenced.

The lawmakers returned to the House about six weeks after they went on recess.

National Assembly Resumes Plenary After Recess

A file photo of the National Assembly complex in Abuja. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

 

The National Assembly complex in Abuja witnessed the presence of members of the Senate and House of Representatives following their resumption from recess.

The lawmakers arrived in scanty numbers on Tuesday at their respective legislative chambers after the break which lasted almost six weeks.

At the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, led the principal officers into the legislative house and took the official prayers.

The day’s proceedings began thereafter while the Senate moved into an Executive Session at about 10:34am.

Some lawmakers were also present at the House of Representatives chamber where the same process took place.

The lawmakers had adjourned until today during the plenary of December 20, 2019.

Cross River Govt Holds Campaign Against Lassa Fever

Death Toll Rises To 75, As NCDC Confirms 355 Cases Of Lassa Fever
File photo

 

 

The Cross River State Government has launched an awareness campaign to prevent the outbreak of Lassa fever in the state.

Amid reports of the death of at least 29 people from 11 states, the government said it was committed to ensuring that the outbreak of the disease does not spread to the state.

The Commissioner for Health in Cross River, Dr Betta Edu, led the campaign to Ugep in Yakurr Local Government Area of the state on Monday.

She told residents of the border community between Cross River and Ebonyi States that the government was putting preventive measures in place and encouraged them to maintain good hygiene at all times.

Edu gave an assurance that the state was Lassa fever free and called for the cooperation of the people of the community in adhering to the preventive measures.

The Director-General of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong, was among the government delegation that visited Ugep.

She urged health workers to look out for the symptoms of Lassa fever in patients and treat such with utmost urgency.

The health team in the company of the Paramount ruler of Ugep, also took the campaign through the streets of the community and ended the walk at the market square.

In Akwa Ibom, They Don’t Hold Elections But Write Results – Mike Igini

Mr Mike Igini speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on January 28, 2020.

 

Mr Mike Igini has indicted his predecessors in Akwa Ibom, saying elections do not hold in the entirety of the state.

Igini is the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the (INEC) Independent National Electoral Commission in the south-southern state.

He stressed that he has evidence to support his claims, especially as it relates to the 2015 and 2019 general elections.

“In that same 2015 in Akwa Ibom, they ‘allocated’ five percent (of votes) to the current President,” the REC alleged during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday.

He was, however, asked to be mindful of his choice of words and he insisted, “Yes, allocated! Because in Akwa Ibom they don’t do election, they write results.”

 

Igini added, “I have the records, you go there; because when I arrived in Akwa Ibom State, leaders – traditional rulers, religious leaders; all groups came to me but that is not new to me, I was the commissioner in neighbouring Cross River State.”

 

Noah In The Bible

He said the days of not conducting elections were gone and promised that the electoral system in Akwa Ibom State would witness a major turnaround.

The INEC official revealed that he had informed stakeholders in the state after he assumed office that it would no longer be business as usual.

He also reacted to the allegation of bias preferred against him by some political groups, saying they were only making attempts to secure undue advantages.

Igini noted that the political actors and the leaders in the state ignored his warning but treated him like the Proverbial  Noah in the bible.

He said, “Noah told the children of God that there will be a great flood, but they didn’t take that seriously.

“I told them that under my watch in Akwa Ibom State, it is the will of the people that will govern.”

Nobody Has Been Licenced To Run Okada Services – Lagos Govt

Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, speaks during an interview on Sunrise Daily on January 28, 2020.

 

 

The Lagos State government says it has not given licence to any person or group to operate commercial services with motorcycles, otherwise known as okada.

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy in the state, Gbenga Omotosho, stated this during his appearance on Sunrise Daily.

“You are talking about registration; as far as I am concern, the government has not registered any company to come and be running okada,” he told Channels Television on Tuesday.

He added, “In fact, what the government was trying to look at is how to regulate these people so that their excesses can be curtailed.

“But as far as I know, nobody has been licenced to go and start running okada because it is unfortunate that … the rate at which people are dying; the rate at which people are being robbed on the roads; the police are worried, everybody is worried.”

He made the comments a day after the government announced that it would enforce the ban on motorcycles and tricycles (also known as keke) on major roads and bridges on February 1.

Omotosho explained that the State Security Council took the decision after a robust assessment of the debate on the rate of accidents in the state.

According to him, the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) recorded about 104,000 accident cases involving the common Lagosians with broken arms and legs.

The commissioner stressed that a large number of those he called the poor people have asked the government to ban okada.

He noted that the areas with the highest figures of fatalities were areas dominated by a large population of poor.

Omotosho, however, said, “The guys who are doing courier services, for example, they don’t carry passengers and they don’t constitute so much danger. So, those ones are allowed.

“They have to be above 200cc and you have to have a box behind you that you are doing courier service and you don’t have to carry passengers; you have to be well-kitted and wear your helmet.”

Lagos Govt Decries Accident Rate, To Enforce Okada, Keke Ban On February 1

A file photo of commercial motorcycles.

 

 

The Lagos State government has decried the rate of motorcycle (okada) and tricycle (keke) accidents on roads across the state.

In order to check this, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, announced that the government would enforce the ban on motorcycles and tricycles in six local government areas, as well as major highways and bridges from February 1.

He explained that the decision was taken after a robust assessment of the debate on the rate of accidents in Lagos, saying security and safety of the lives of the residents were paramount.

“The figures are scary. From 2016 to 2019, there were over 10,000 accidents recorded at the General Hospitals alone.

“This number excludes unreported cases and those recorded by other hospitals. The total number of deaths from reported cases is over 600 as at date,” the commissioner said in a statement.

He added, “The rate of crimes aided by motorcycles (okada) and tricycles (keke) keeps rising.  Motorcycles (okada) and tricycles (keke) are also used as getaway means by criminals.”

According to Omotoso, the law enforcement agents have been directed that with effect from February 1, there would be Zero Tolerance for motorcycles and tricycles in the affected areas.

He warned that all offenders and violators would be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the state.

See the full list of the affected areas below:

LGs and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs)

Apapa LG and Apapa Iganmu LCDA

Lagos Mainland LG and Yaba LCDA

Surulere LG, Itire-Ikate and Coker-Aguda LCDAs

Ikeja LG, Onigbongbo and Ojodu LCDAs

Eti-Osa LG, Ikoyi-Obalende and Iru/Victoria Island LCDAs

Lagos Island LG and Lagos Island East LCDA

The full enforcement begins on February 1, 2020.

This is the first stage of the State Government’s plan to sanitize our roads and protect Lagosians from the negative effects of these illegal modes of transportation.

The Law is very clear.  Motorcycles (Okada) and Tricycles (Keke) are banned on all highways, bridges and the listed roads.

 

Major Highways

Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

Apapa-Oshodi Expressway

Oworonshoki-Oshodi Expressway

Lagos-Ikorodu Expressway

Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway

Eti-Osa/Lekki-Epe Expressway

Lagos-Badagry Expressway

Funsho Williams Avenue

Agege Motor Road

Eti-Osa Lekki Coastal Road

 

Bridges

Iyana- Ipaja Bridge Agege

Dopemu Bridge Agege

Airport/Ikeja Bridge

Agege Motor road/oshodi Loop, Oshodi

Mushin/Isolo Link Bridge

Dorman Long Bridge

Ojuelegba Bridge

National Stadium Flyover

Apapa-Iganmu Bridge

Apapa-Ijora Link Bridge

Liverpool Bridge, Apapa

Mile 2 Bridge-Loop, Amuwo-Odofin

Okota (cele)/Ijesha Link Bridge

Apakun/Apapa-Oshodi Bridge Network

Ikorodu Road/Anthony Clover leaf Bridge

Trade Fair Flyover Bridge

Festac/Amuwo-Odofin Link Bridge

2 Flyover Bridges along Alhaji Masha Road

Ojota Clover leaf Bridge

Ogudu Bridge

3rd Mainland Bridge

Maryland flyover

Ikeja General Hospital Flyover Bridge

Kodesoh Bridge, Oba Akran, Ikeja

Opebi Link Bridge

Sheraton-Opebi Bridge

Jibowu/Yaba flyover Bridge

Carter Bridge, Lagos

Bariga-Ifako Bridge

Apapa-Oshodi Expressway/Alapere Bridge

Bariga/Oworonsoki Bridge

Apapa-Oshodi Expressway/Gbagada U-Turn

Apapa-Oshodi Expressway

3rd Mainland/Oworonsoki Bridge

Eko Bridge

Apongbon flyover Bridge

Cowry Bridge (Officers Mess)

Mcwen Bridge (Bonny Camp)

Marina/Ikoyi Bridge

Ikoyi/Obalende Bridge

Timeline: Maryam Sanda’s Trial For Murder

Maryam Sanda weeps at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja on January 27, 2020. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

On Monday, Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja sentenced Maryam Sanda to death for killing her husband, Bilyaminu Bello.

This brings to climax the legal proceedings trailing the death of Bilyaminu – son of former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Haliru Bello.

Although she could appeal the judgement of the court, Justice Halilu sentenced Sanda to death after convicting her of stabbing Bilyaminu to death.

READ ALSO: Maryam Sanda Sentenced To Death By Hanging For Killing Husband

Upon her conviction by the judge, Sanda broke down in tears and wept uncontrollably but was comforted by her lawyer amid some officials of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) in the courtroom.

Here is a timeline of the 26-month court proceedings below:

On November 23, 2017, the police file murder charges against Sanda.

On November 24, 2017, the court sends the accused to the correctional facility after refusing to grant her bail application.

On December 7, 2017, the court again refuses an oral application for her bail and orders for her return to the correctional facility pending her re-arraignment.

On December 14, 2017, the court again refuses and dismisses Sanda’s bail but grants bail to her three co-defendants.

On February 7, 2018, the court strikes out another bail application made on her behalf.

On March 7, 2018, Sanda is finally granted bail on health grounds.

On March 19, 2018, a prosecution witness in Sanda’s trial disappears after arriving in court.

On April 19, 2018, Witness narrates how Maryam Sanda allegedly made several attempts to stab her husband before his eventual murder.

On May 15, 2018, Sanda’s trial is stalled.

On October 3, 2018, the lawyer representing Sanda withdraws from her trial.

On January 23, 2019, Sanda reveals in a statement that some nude pictures on her husband’s phone led to the fight that eventually led to his death.

On February 27, 2019, the court fixes the date for the final address.

On March 26, 2019, the court fixes a date to rule on the no-case submission filed by the accused.

On April 4, 2019, the court said Sanda has a case to answer.

On October 16, 2019, Sanda opens her defence.

On January 27, 2020, the court convicts Sanda and sentences her to death by hanging.

Police Arrest 86 Suspects For Cultism, Violence In Ikorodu

Police-Policeeeee
A file photo of a police patrol van.

 

 

The Lagos State Police Command says it has arrested 86 suspects for cultism and violent attacks in the Ikorodu area of the state.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Bala Elkana, stated in a statement that the arrests were made in two batches.

“On 25/1/2020 at about 0600hour, acting on credible intelligence, the Special Strike Force on Social Miscreants established by the Commissioner of Police Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu psc arrested 21 cult suspects at Adamo community, Imota.

“The suspects who belong to two rival cult groups, Aiye and Eiye confraternity, mobilised from Emure and Adamo communities to unleash terror on residents of Adamo community and environs,” he said.

Elkana explained that the arrest was carried out in joint operations with operatives from Imota Police Station, Rapid Response Squad, Special Anti-Robbery Squad, and Area N Command.

According to him, this is a follow up to the operations carried out at Ijede where 65 cult suspects were arrested.

The command’s spokesman said 11 assorted pistols of different types with a large quantity of ammunition were recovered from the suspects.

“The suspects confessed to be responsible for series of violent attacks, murder and armed robbery incidents recorded in Ikorodu area of Lagos State,” he added.

Elkana stated that the suspects would be charged to court and the police commissioner has reaffirmed the commitment of the Command to addressing the menace of cultism and youth gangsterism in the state.