Civil Society Group Faults Credibility Of Edo Governorship Elections

Edo-Elections-ACEThe Alliance for Credible Elections, (ACE), a civil society organisation, has expressed its dissatisfaction with the conduct of the September 28 governorship election which took place in Edo state.

The group claimed that the election was far from being free, fair and credible.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday, the acting General Secretary of the organisation, Mrs Mma Odi, said that there was generally no secrecy in voting, as people voted in the full glare of party agents despite the presence of security agents.

Mrs Odi, while presenting the report of the observation of the election by the Alliance for Democracy, added that there was a form of subtle intimidation of voters aided by open sale of votes for cash.

The group also criticised the delay in the collation of votes which commenced late in the evening despite elections being concluded by 2:00 p.m. local time in most of the polling units across the state.

Smooth Elections

The concerns pointed out by the General Secretary of the group, however, contradict initial comments by several observers who stated that the polls went on smoothly.

INEC National Commissioner, Mrs Amina Zakari, had said that the electoral process went on as expected while INEC officials and security agents worked professionally to ensure it was hitch free.

Furthermore, a poll on the performance of INEC in the election initiated by Channels Television on Twitter had over 5,000 Twitter users participating.

Thirty per cent of the people rated INEC’S performance in the election as excellent while another 30 per cent said it was fair.

Twenty-six per cent rated it poor and another 14% were indifferent.

The election finally came to a close with INEC announcing Godwin Obaseki as the governor-elect of Edo state to take over from Governor Adams Oshiomhole who has ruled the state for nearly eight-year.

After the result was announced, however, aggrieved members of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) alleged inducement of voters and collaboration of INEC and the state government to doctor the results in favour of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The PDP has said it would go to Tribunal to challenge the outcome of the election, but the APC denied inducing voters and said the PDP was a bad loser.

Group Asks FG To Declare State Of Emergency On Economy

Naira, dollar, Market FX marketA Civil Society Organisation (CSO) has advised the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on Nigeria’s economy.

The call follows a report from the National Bureau of Statistics which shows that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has contracted by 2.06% in the second quarter of 2016.

The Executive Secretary of the Centre for Social Justice, Mr Eze Onyekpere, made the recommendation on Wednesday while addressing journalists in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Mr Onyekpere noted that Nigerians were yet to feel the impact of the economic policies.

He advised the government to cut down on its spending and come up with a clear template on how it intends to build the economy.

ZCC Calls On EFCC To Investigate Manitoba

EFCC, Manitoba, A Civil Society Organisation, Zero Corruption Coalition, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over what it called diversion of funds and a breach in the nation’s Public Procurement Act by Manitoba Hydro Limited.

Founder of the Organisation, Senator Dino Melaye, who was at the EFCC headquarters to submit the petition, alleged that the company fraudulently diverted funds meant to improve the nation’s electricity supply.

Some officials of the EFCC were on hand to receive the petition.

Senator Melaye said that he expects the EFCC to act swiftly to address the issue.

Boko Haram Insurgency: Group Urges Rehabilitation Of Children

Boko Haram, ChildrenA civil society organisation, Sterling Centre for Law and Development, is advocating the rehabilitation of children who have been displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria’s northeast.

The Coordinator of the organisation, Deji Ajare, made the appeal on Saturday at an event in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He noted that post-conflict rehabilitation for children should not be taken lightly by any government that seeks to invest in the social well-being of its young population.

Mr Ajare also urged the Federal Government to re-prioritise its agenda for children.

He stressed that at least 60% of the insurgency victims in the Internally Displaced Persons’ camps were children.

Joseph Mbu Resumes As Commandant Of Police Staff College

Joseph MbuFormer Police Commissioner in Rivers State, Assistant Inspector General of Police, Joseph Mbu, has resumed as the Commandant of Police Staff College, Jos in north central Nigeria.

Having served in various police commands including Oyo and Rivers states as well as the Federal Capital Territory as Police Commissioner, AIG Joseph Mbu was officially received at the Police Staff College in Jos, Plateau State as the new Commandant.

His first call to duty was the inspection of the guard of honour mounted by a detachment of the Staff College Police and thereafter preceded to his new office.

In a brief discussion with journalists, the Police boss explained the category of officers that received training at the college and the reason for his deployment to head the college.

The Police boss gave the assurance that the college would witness a face lift in academic and infrastructural development that would produce disciplined and professional police officers.

The Commandant also took time to address some issues surrounding his whereabouts for a while as he cleared the air on his retirement and redeployment.

The staff college trains officers from Assistant Superintendent to Assistant Commissioners of Police in Strategic Leadership and Command Course, Advance Detective Course as well as Junior Command Course.

SERAP Commends Presidency On Declaration Of Assets

serap on assets declarationA Civil Society Organisation, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has said that the declaration of assets by Nigeria’s President and his Vice has set the tone for a culture of transparency in governance.

The rights group’s statement is coming a day after President Muhammadu Buhari and the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo made a public declaration of their assets,development that have been trailed by series of reactions.

A statement by SERAP lauds the President and his Vice for the gesture, saying they have demonstrated that transparency in governance is not a mirage.

SERAP said it hoped that “this public declaration of assets by the President and the Vice President would bring about the needed transformation in the institutional framework for fighting corruption in Nigeria”.

The civil rights group also asked the President to ensure that other top government officials and the ministers to be appointed would take a cue from him.

According to a statement released by the Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, President Buhari had less than N30 million to his name. He also had only one bank account, with the Union Bank.

It also went ahead to say that the “Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who had been a successful lawyer before his foray into politics declared a bank balance of about 94 million Naira and 900,000 United States Dollars in his bank accounts”.

Civil Rights Activists Appeal To INEC On Availability Of PVC

PVCAhead of the February 2015 general elections, civil rights activists have appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure the availability of Permanent Voters Card (PVC) to all registered voters.

The activists, who are members of the Youth initiative for advocacy, growth and advancement, made the appeal while presenting an observatory report on the PVC in Abuja on Friday.

The Head of research, policy and advocacy of the organisation, Mr Samson Itodo, said there was palpable fear amongst the youths that they may be disenfranchised due to inadequate production of  the PVCs.

He appealed to INEC to device new methods of providing the voters cards to all eligible registered voters.

The challenge of poor distribution of PVC across Nigeria has been a major issue and tge activists’ statement gain brought to the front burner as they presented its report on the issuance of the cards.

The Head of Research, Policy and Advocacy of the organisation, Mr Samson Itodo, identified areas the electoral body needed to address before the elections.

Allaying the fears of registered voters on tge PVC issue, the Head of Enlightenment of the Independent National Electoral Commission in the Federal Capital Territory, Mr Okezie Nwankwo, announced the decentralisation of collection centres to enable registered voters pick up their cards in the FCT.

He said the efforts would be replicated in other states with low rate of collection.

With over 54 million permanent voters card received as at January 7, 2015, the Electoral body said it had distributed over 38 million which is about 71 per cent of the cards.

The Commission, therefore, appealed to registered voters to pick up their cards before the end of January so that the over 15.5 million cards yet to be collected will be cleared.

Nigerian Bar Association Won’t Participate In National Conference – Adesina

Dele AdesinaA lawyer, Dele Adesina, on Monday restated the Nigerian Bar Association’s refusal to take the single slot it was allotted at the on-going National Conference, insisting that the Association should be given five slots.

“For us, we believe that the business of constitution making or drafting or amendment is a very serious business and I do not know the platform that can be bigger and better than the platform of Nigerian Bar Association as a body(as an institution),” he said.

The President of the Nigerian Bar Association as well its National Executive Committee had rejected the single slot allotted to the Association prior to the commencement of the Conference. However, while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Adesina confirmed that no one was at the meeting on behalf of the NBA.

Adesina countered arguments that there are some delegates at the Conference who are also lawyers in their individual capacities or representing groups, maintaining that the NBA is concerned with official representation and that five slots would be adequate.

He defended his demand by referring to the number of slots allotted to the Trade Union Congress (6), the Nigeria Labour Congress (6), Civil Society Organisation (24) and stressed that the seeming exclusion of the NBA would cause the Conference to lack legal input and dynamics.

He also said that the Conference could have benefitted from a document containing the NBA’s review of the 1999 Constitution which had been submitted to the president. “The Conference would have benefitted from the pool of knowledge, which today is not there”, he said, hinting that the said document may not be released to lawyers who are at the Conference in their own individual capacity.

Mr Adesina, who said it would be unfair to assume the NBA was not concerned about the Conference for refusing to attend based on the slot allotted, agreed that the Association should have taken the slot and ensure that its representative worked with other lawyers at the Conference.

He however mentioned that “people are there for multi-dimensional interest purposes” and that there may be conflict of interests when a lawyer representing a particular group is expected to also advocate the position of the NBA.

“It is the position of most of us that uncountable number of amendments of an organic document like a Constitution is the best thing,” he said.

Joseph Mbu Removed As Rivers Commissioner of Police

The Police Service Commission has approved the recommendations of the Inspector-General of Police for the redeployment of Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu.

The Police Service Commission has transferred the Rivers State Police Commissioner, Mbu, to Abuja as the new Federal Capital Territory Commissioner of Police.

Also, the Commissioner in charge of the Special Fraud Unit, Johnson Ogunshakin, has been redeployed to Rivers State to replace Mbu as the new Commissioner of Police.

The redeployment affects thirteen (13) Commissioners of Police who have been moved to various Commands nationwide, as contained in a press release.

CP Mbu has been at the centre of the crisis rocking the political scene in Rivers State and has been at loggerheads with the state government, which had accused the police boss of being partisan with regards to State politics.

The All Progressives Congress, APC and the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, have consistently called for the removal of Mr Joseph Mbu, accusing him of being used to frustrate the Governor and the emergence of the APC in the Niger-Delta state.

The Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, Ahmed Mohammed, has however denied knowledge of the redeployment, he said: “The Command for now is not in receipt of any official communication about the redeployment of CP Mbu.”

The Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Sir Mike Okiro, in the press release issued by Mr.Ferdinand Ekpe, admonished the newly redeployed officers to put in their best in their various Commands’ operations, so as to provide a secure environment for business and life to thrive.

Below is the list of the 13 Commissioners of Police approved for redeployment:

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Police Disrupt Anti-Corruption Rally In Abuja

The Executive Secretary of Anti-Corruption Network, a Civil Society Organisation, Mr Dino Melaye, has decried the disruption of a protest by the Nigeria Police in Abuja.

In an interview with Channels Television shortly after the protest was disrupted, Mr Melaye said that the group embarked on the peaceful march to protest the political crisis rocking Rivers State and the need to arrest the situation.

The Anti-Corruption Network are demanding the removal of Mr Joseph Mbu as the Rivers State Commissioner of Police as a means of restoring peace to the state.

“We are going to submit a petition, we are peaceful Nigerians with women, some pregnant and carrying children and we expected them to show civility and responsibility but lo and behold, the police shot sporadically, media men being chased, one camera was smashed.

“In a democratic setting, we have the constitutional power to demonstrate in a protest peacefully. We will not retreat, we will not surrender, the battle to salvage our country from these canker-worms of financial scavengers is a battle of no retreat, no surrender,” Maleye stated.

He vowed to continue with the struggle no matter the intimidation.

“We will fight by the last drop of our blood, democracy will continue to be government of the people for the people and by the people and not government of the greedy for the greedy by the greedy. It is now obvious more than ever that the Presidency and the PDP are behind the instability and impunity going on in Rivers State,” the former House of Representatives member said.

Protesters marched down from the NITEL Junction, along Ahmadu Bello Way at Wuse II at about 11: 20 am to the Ministry of Police Affairs Premises in the Federal Secretariat when they were blocked at the ThisDay Dome Junction by armed policemen.