INEC Is Committed To Introducing Electronic Balloting For Anambra Elections Next Year – Mahmood

INEC Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television June 30, 2020

 

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, has said that the commission remains committed to improving electoral processes in the country.

According to him, one of the things it plans to implement in the coming year is the introduction of electronic balloting.

Yakubu said the commission intends to introduce this during the Anambra elections, taking place in 2021.

“The commission is committed to introducing at least electronic balloting in the major election we are going to conduct next year, which happens to be the Anambra governorship election and thereafter, with the support of the National Assembly, we hope that the legal environment will improve such that we can also go ahead to collate and transmit results electronically”.

The INEC boss said this on Tuesday during a town hall meeting tagged Fixing Nigerian Elections, adding that “at present, the law doesn’t permit that because the system is essentially manual”.

He made the comments while responding to a question about what he would like to improve about the electoral system in the country.

“There are quite a number of issues, one of which is the deployment of technology,” the INEC boss said.

“We would like a situation where the electoral legal environment is reformed in such a manner that will continue to deepen the deployment of technology in elections.

“I am happy with what the commission has done since 2010. Recall that there is a trajectory. We started in 2010 with the biometric register of voters and so in 2011, the Commission essentially updated the biometric register and we did the same thing in 2014 and in 2017 and in 2018 over a period of 16 months in which we added 14.2 million Nigerians to the register.

“The second is biometric accreditation of voters and there was an innovation introduced in 2015, the smart card readers that go along with the permanent voters’ card.

“We have achieved that. We are looking forward (particularly with the 2015 amendment) to the electoral Act that empowers the commission to deepen the use of technology, in voting, particularly in the era of electronic voting, to see how far we can go a notch higher,” he added.

Obiano Confirms 32 Active COVID-19 Cases In Anambra

A file photo of Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano.

 

 

The Anambra State government has confirmed 32 active cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) and nine deaths in the state.

Governor Willie Obiano made the announcement in a special broadcast to residents on Wednesday at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia in Awka, the state capital.

He explained that the new cases were discovered as a result of the increased testing campaign across the state.

The governor disclosed that out of 302 samples sent for testing, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has released the results of 230 people with 53 of them confirmed positive.

He noted that 13 patients have been discharged and seven cases were receiving treatment at one of the state’s Protective Care Centres, with nine persons dead.

Governor Obiano, however, reassured the people of Anambra not to panic, saying the government was on top of the situation.

He reminded them of the COVID-19 law in the state and appealed to the residents to observe the law diligently.

The governor asked the people to maintain a high level of vigilance to enhance the chances of surviving the pandemic.

He warned that individuals found in public places without wearing face masks would be arrested by the security agencies and prosecuted accordingly.

Police Allegedly Push 80-Year-Old To Death In Anambra

Residents of Agulu community in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State lament the death of an 80-year-old woman allegedly killed by the police on June 10, 2020.

 

Tragedy struck in Agulu community in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State on Wednesday when policemen allegedly pushed an 80-year-old woman to her death while trying to make an arrest.

Channels Television gathered that the area has been thrown into mourning after officers of the Special Anti-Cult section shoved the elderly woman.

According to family members, the policemen stormed the family’s compound early in the morning to arrest the deceased grandson for cult related matters.

The old woman was reported to have been pleading to the officers to let go of the grandson, who is a sickle cell patient before she was shoved aside by the officers and fell to her death.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Fake Inspector, Suspected Fraudsters In Niger

Reacting to the incident, the President-General of Agulu People’s Assembly, Anene Orakwelu the State Police Command to open an investigation into the incident.

Orakwelu said the police authorities have assured the community that the incident will be probed with a view to bringing the culprits to justice.

“The DPO, Anaocha and the Commander, Anti-Cult have assured us that no stone will be left unturned in unveiling whatever thing that happened here,” he said.

The deceased until her death was a farmer who had already prepared bags of cassava she would take to the market on that fateful day.

However, her death didn’t allow that to happen.

Residents of the community called on the police authorities to ensure that justice is served.

PHOTOS: Five Confirmed Dead, Others Injured In Anambra Road Accident

 

At least five people have lost their lives with many injured in a road crash in Anambra State, South East Nigeria.

The spokesman of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Sector Command, Mr. Paschal Anigbo, confirmed this to Channels Television on Tuesday.

According to him, the fatal road accident occurred at Upper Iweka in Onitsha area of the state.

Anigbo, however, noted that rescue operations were ongoing at the time of filing this report.

See Photos Below:

Anambra Records First COVID-19 Death

 

Anambra State Government has confirmed its first COVID-19 related death in the state.

The deceased is a 66-year-old man who was among the 10 confirmed positive cases in the state.

The State Governor, Willie Obiano made the announcement during a special broadcast on Monday.

He noted that the victim did not report to the health authorities early enough.

“People of Anambra,  it is important to explain here that the only COVID-19 death we have recorded so far was a 66-year old man who did not report his ill-health on time.

“The case was reported late to the hospital and by the time his result came back positive, 24 hours later, he had passed away.”

Obiano also announced that there are 10 confirmed cases of the infection in the state, out of which three cases including the index case have recovered from treatment and discharged.

The governor, therefore, assured of the readiness of the state in protecting the people from the fast spread of the pandemic.

He added that the state has ensured that the protective care centers are fully prepared to tackle confirmed cases.

20-Year-Old Man Reportedly Shot Dead By Police In Anambra

Trailer Crushes Seven People To Death In Onitsha

 

 

A 20-year-old man has allegedly been shot dead by policemen at New Tyre Market in Nkpor, Anambra State.

Police Public Relations Officer, Haruna Mohammed in a communique stated that the incident was caused by an unprovoked attack on police patrol team with substance suspected to be acid by some miscreants.

The PPRO in his statement claimed that the youths also tried to snatch some rifles from the police operatives.

READ ALSO: 150 Suspects Arrested In Connection With Unrest In Ogun Communities

Though the police say the youths stirred the unrest, some eye witnesses maintain that the security operatives caused the problem when they tried to disperse some people at a drinking point.

Channels Television gathered that a discreet investigation into the matter has been ordered by the Police Commissioner, John Abang.

As at the time of filing this report, efforts were still ongoing to restore sanity within the area even as a massive protest ensued after the incident.

I Will Be Surprised If My Opponent Heads To Supreme Court – Senator Ubah

A file photo of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah.

 

The Senator representing Anambra South district in the National Assembly, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, says he will be surprised if his opponent, Mr. Obinna Uzoh of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) heads to the Supreme Court over his election victory.

Ubah’s comments on Thursday follow the Appeal Court ruling which set aside a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court judgment sacking him as the lawmaker representing the region.

In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Stephen Adah, the court held that the FCT High Court acted outside its jurisdiction to entertain a matter that arose in Anambra state.

But appearing during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Ubah said he doesn’t think anyone can appeal a verdict given by an appellant court.

“I will be very surprised if they challenge what was given. You need to give me some time so that they (my lawyers) can look at the judgment.

“I don’t think, to my best knowledge, that it is appealable. But if they go to the Supreme Court, I’m more than ready,” he said.

READ ALSO: Buhari Receives Senate President, Yobe Governor In Abuja

Speaking further, Ubah alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been working hard to oust him from office.

According to him, he is the only Senator in the country that has faced two opponents in a tribunal shortly after the general elections.

“I have passed through serious hurdles; I am the only Senator in Nigeria that faced the tribunal with two opponents – from the PDP and the APC,” he said.

“With the court victory in the tribunal, we went to the Appeal Court in Enugu with court victory. They have done everything possible to take me out of my seat. And at the same time, they are working in conjunction with so many parties.

“At the end of the day, touch not His anointed and do his prophet no harm. One with God is a majority. So we are working, I need now to concentrate and give value to those who have elected me,” he said.

Obiano Commissions NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp In Anambra

 

Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano has commissioned the new Permanent Orientation Camp for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Mbaukwu-Umuawulu, in Awka South Local Government Area.

According to the governor, apart from accomodating the corps members, the camp can generate about three hundred direct jobs and over one thousand indirect jobs.

“The orientation camp is expected to cater to 300 direct jobs and over 1,000 indirect jobs. That is the essence of our investments in this project apart from the fact that it will be a comfortable place to put together men and women who are serving their fatherland for a mandatory period of one year. My advice to all of you is to an effective participant in this programme,” he said.

READ ALSO: I Am Moving On, I Don’t Want To Go Back – Sanusi

On his part, the Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr Sunday Dare praised the governor for his administration’s support to the scheme.

The Minister noted that Obiano “is making the best investment in our youths, those of the ground here and the youths of Anambra who are in different skill acquisition centres.”

Speaking also, the NYSC Coordinator in the state, Mr Kehinde Aremu, confirmed the clean health status of all corps members.

He noted that prior to the commencement of the Orientation Course for the Batch A, Stream II corps members, mandatory Coronavirus (COVID-19) tests were carried out for all participants.

Aremu also reiterated the commission’s commitment to safeguarding the health status of all corps members and others involved in the scheme.

See Photos Below:

PHOTOS: Tears As Fire Razes Over 400 Shops In Anambra Market

 

Over four hundred shops have been destroyed by fire at the Old Motor Spare Parts Market, popularly called Mgbuka Obosi, in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

During a visit by Channels Television crew on Saturday, a mammoth crowd gathered at the scene, lamenting the devastating incident, as well as questioning the competence of the market security guards.

They noted that the guards should have taken proactive measures that would have cut down the extent of damage in the market.

Although the cause of the fire has yet to be ascertained, the chairman of the market, Mr Samuel Ezeobodo, gave the report he got from the market security officials after 12 midnight.

According to him, a leaking gas cylinder inside one of the affected shops may be the cause of the fire from where it spread to other shops.

Ezeobodo disclosed the death of one of the market leaders, Mr Godwin Edozieuno, who died of shock upon hearing that his shop was one of those affected.

The damage is massive and some of the affected traders bemoaned their fate, saying they have been rendered helpless.

Amidst the tears of market men and women, one of the traders was lucky his shop was not gutted by fire despite its closeness to those razed.

See more photos below:

Suspected IPOB Members Kill Two Police Officers, Set Vehicle Ablaze

 

Some suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have killed two police officers in Anambra State.

The spokesperson for the Anambra State Police Command, Haruna Mohammed, confirmed this in a statement on Monday.

He added that the attackers injured some officers while a police patrol van was set ablaze during the incident which occurred in Oraifite town in the state.

READ ALSO: Ondo CP Orders Investigation Into Killing Of Truck Driver

Mohammed explained that the security operatives had responded to a complaint against on Ifeanyi Ejiofor, said to be a lawyer to self-acclaimed IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, on alleged case of abduction, assault occasioning harm, and malicious damage to property.

The police patrol teams led by the Area Commander in Oraifite, Oliver Abbey, then mobilised and rushed to the scene in order to arrest Ejiofor who was said to have declined police invitation.

 

“As soon as police arrived at the house, armed men suspected to be IPOB members descended on the police, set ablaze one patrol vehicle and attacked them with rifles and machetes.

“As a result of the attack, two police officers whose identities are being withheld were killed by the suspected IPOB members while others were inflicted with machete cuts,” the Police Public Relations Officer said.

He added, “The injured personnel were rushed to the hospital for medical attention and are presently receiving treatment.”

 

According to Mohammed, the command deployed reinforcements from the State Headquarters comprising personnel of the Police Mobile Force (PMF), Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), and Special Anti-Cult Unit to the area.

He disclosed that this was in conjunction with Nigerian Army troops and other security agencies who cordoned off the area in order to fish out the culprits.

The command’s spokesman noted that the team had begun a joint patrol in the town to prevent a further breakdown of law and order.

He confirmed that some arrests have been made and the Commissioner of Police in the state, John Abang, has vowed to bring perpetrators of the dastardly act to justice.

 

Meanwhile, the IPOB leader confirmed the incident in a statement credited to him but gave a different account of what happened.

He claimed that the police and army invaded his lawyer’s house while three IPOB members were killed.

“Confirmed reports indicate that a combined team of Nigeria police and military assassination squad invaded the home of my lawyer in Oraifite, Anambra State this morning Monday in a bid to kill him and his family.

“Sadly three innocent Biafrans were killed by this invading force at his residence. This comes on the heel of yet another killing of two IPOB family members who were peacefully gathering in Arondizuogu on Sunday, December 1,” the statement purportedly authored by Kanu alleged.

Anambra Govt Restricts Movement Of Fuel-Laden Trucks

A file photo of tankers.

 

 

The Anambra State government has restricted the time which vehicles laden with petroleum products can move in the state.

The Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment in the state, Mr Don Adinuba, announced this in a statement forwarded to Channels Television on Friday.

He explained that the decision followed the incessant collapse of trucks carrying petroleum products in the state recently, including the latest which happened in Onitsha on Thursday.

READ ALSO: Kidnap Suspect Arrested As Police Rescue Boy, Seven Victims In Kaduna

Adinuba stated, “With effect from Saturday, November 2, 2019, such vehicles can be allowed to move within Anambra State from only 8pm to 5am.

“The restriction is to enable agencies like the Anambra State Fire Service, the Nigeria Police Force, the Federal Road Safety Corps, the Civil Defence the Anambra Traffic Management Agency and indeed all other security, law enforcement, and safety agencies to respond effectively and in good time to emergencies created by such accidents which sometimes result in conflagrations, as was the case in Onitsha on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, when a tanker laded with a petroleum product fell on the Enugu-Onitsha Highway and caused a fire that spread up to Ochanga Market through the open drainage,” he added.

The government has directed the Anambra State Police Command and all other security agencies in the state to swing into action.

According to the commissioner, the security agencies are to “religiously enforce” the restriction order on the movement of trucks carrying petroleum products in the state.

They were also asked to ensure that such vehicles do not exceed the speed limit of 90 kilometres per hour in all parts of the state.

“Any violation of either the time restriction order or the speed limit will be punished accordingly.

“The protection of the life and asset of every person in Anambra State cannot be compromised,” Adinuba warned.

He, however, urged oil marketers, workers, tanker drivers and concerned persons among other stakeholders in the downstream oil sector to bear with the state government.

The commissioner asked them to adhere to the regulation which he noted was made strictly in the overriding interest of the public.

Anambra South: Appeal Court Upholds Ifeanyi Ubah’s Election

A file photo of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah.

 

 

The Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu State has affirmed the election of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah as the lawmaker representing Anambra South district in the National Assembly.

In a lead judgment delivered on Tuesday by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, the appellate court upheld the decision of the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal.

It, therefore, dismissed the appeals of Mr Chris Uba of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Senator Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for lacking merit.

In his reaction, Senator Ubah who contested the election on the platform of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) commended the judgement.

He said it was a clear indication that the third arm of government was the last hope of the common man, Anambra South, and Nigeria at large.

READ ALSO: EFCC Witness Testifies Against Fani-Kayode, Others In Alleged N4.6bn Money Laundering Case

The lawmaker commended the judiciary for rising up to its solemn responsibility of ensuring that justice prevailed without fear, favour, or prejudice.

He also appreciated the disposition of Mr Nicholas Ukachukwu of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), who accepted the election result in good faith and opted to respect the will of the people.

Senator Ubah, however, stretched a hand of fellowship to Mr Uba, Senator Uba, and Mr Ukachukwu, as well as urged them and the electorate to join hands with him to actualise the task of rebuilding and developing Anambra South Senatorial zone.

On the other hand, the APGA member representing Idemili North and South Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Mr Ifeanyi Ibezi, lost to Mr Obinna Chidoka of the PDP.