Perpetrators Of Plateau, Kogi Killings Will Be Prosecuted, Says Dingyadi

 

The Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi, has assured the people of Kogi and Plateau states that the perpetrators of the recent attacks which claimed over 30 lives will be made to face the full wrath of the law.

The attacks by gunmen happened within a week on Tawari community in Kogi Local Government Area of Kogi and on Kunben village in Kombun District of Mangu Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kidnap Four Catholic Seminarians In Kaduna

While commiserating with the government and people of the two states, the Minister affirmed that the Police and other security agencies are investigating the attacks with the view to unravelling its root cause and apprehend those responsible accordingly.

The minister in a statement signed by his Press Secretary, Osaigbovo Ehisienmen, assured that the Ministry is committed to working assiduously with relevant stakeholders to retool policing architecture in Nigeria which will culminate in more Police visibilities, Police community partnership and deepening the intelligence and technological base of Nigeria Police Force to enable it to realize its full potentials.

He also stated that the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Bill which will take effect in the year 2020 will in no small measure assist in bridging infrastructural gaps for a more proactive Policing in Nigeria.

‘No Excuse Or Justification,’ Buhari Condemns Killings In Kogi

A car touched by gunmen during an early morning attack on Tawari community in Kogi State on January 3, 2020.

 

The President has condemned the murder of 19 people by gunmen in Tawari community of Kogi Local Government Area in Kogi State.

President Muhammadu Buhari frowned on the incident in a statement on Friday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, hours after the incident.

He said, “There is no excuse or justification for killing innocent people by anybody or group, and for whatever motive.

“The killings and revenge killings will only aggravate the cycle of violence, creating neither safety nor security for any side.”

READ ALSO: At Least 19 People Feared Killed In Kogi Community Attack

 

The gunmen were said to have invaded Tawari at about 1am and opened fire on residents before setting houses, churches, and many properties ablaze.

Among those killed were the Chief Imam of the village, Zakari Salihu, and Tawari Ward Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ibrahim Simbabi.

Also touched were the oldest clinic established by the missionaries in the colonial era, and the official vehicle of the traditional ruler of the area – Aguma of Tawari, Idris Tawari – among others.

In his reaction, President Buhari warned Nigerians against resorting to violence in a bid to resolve disputes but to do so in accordance with the laws of the land.

“People should avoid taking the law into their own hands because doing so could make a bad situation worse and undermine the government’s efforts to tackle security challenges,” he cautioned.

The President added, “I am gravely worried about frequency and temptation of using violence to settle disputes instead of following lawful and amicable means to avoid needless destruction of lives and property.”

 

A car touched by gunmen during an early morning attack on Tawari community in Kogi State on January 3, 2020.

At Least 19 People Feared Killed In Kogi Community Attack

A car touched by gunmen during an early morning attack on Tawari community in Kogi State on January 3, 2020.

 

 

At least 19 people have been reported killed following an overnight attack by gunmen on Tawari community in Kogi Local Government Area of Kogi State.

Some residents of the community who narrowly escaped death alleged that the attackers could have been armed herdsmen.

Among those killed in the attack which occurred on Friday were the Chief Imam of the village, Zakari Salihu, and Tawari Ward Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ibrahim Simbabi.

The gunmen reportedly invaded the community at about 1am and opened fire on residents before setting houses, churches, and many properties ablaze.

READ ALSO: ‘No Excuse Or Justification,’ Buhari Condemns Killings In Kogi

Also touched were the oldest clinic established by the missionaries in the colonial era, and the official vehicle of the traditional ruler of the area – Aguma of Tawari, Idris Tawari – among others.

The state governor, Yahaya Bello, confirmed the incident in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Onogwu Muhammed.

He called for calm among the residents of Tawari town in Kogi/Koto Karfe Local Government Area of the state.

 

Governor Bello asked the security agencies to immediately investigate the incident and ensure that those who carried out the dastardly act were brought to justice.

He condemned the incident and warned that those with the intention to cause a crisis in the state would have themselves to blame.

The governor assured residents that his administration would do everything to protect their lives and properties.

The deputy governor of the state, Edward Onoja, also confirmed the incident to Channels Television in an interview.

He gave an assurance that the state government would unravel the cause of the attack, in order to prevent an escalation.

 

According to witnesses, a herder was killed and his body mutilated by suspected ritualists some times last year.

The herdsmen were said to have pointed accusing fingers at Tawari community and threatened a reprisal.

But persistent persuasions by the community head against a reprisal made the herdsmen lived with the indigenes of the community in peace until a few days ago when they started moving out en-mass.

Following Friday’s incident, a combined team of police and military personnel have been deployed in the community while the Commissioner of Police in Kogi was also on the ground to monitor the situation.

Kogi Governor Bello Dissolves Cabinet

 

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has dissolved his cabinet.

While thanking them for their service since he assumed office in 2015, the governor asked them to see themselves as a member of the family.

Bello who spoke to journalists after a valedictory session of the Council told the outgoing members to advise the government whenever the need arises.

Mr Kingsly Fanwo who was formerly the Director-General, Media and Publicity to the governor, is now Special Adviser on Information and Communication.

READ ALSO: ‘Senator Uwajumogu Was Full Of Life’ – Lawan, Gbajabiamila Mourn

The finance commissioner, Idris Hashiru is now Special Adviser on Budget and Planning.

Meanwhile, the governor retained the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Folashade Ayoade Arike.

Similarly, the state Accountant General, Momoh Jibril and the state Auditor General, Mallam Yakubu Okala and the Chief Press Secretary to the governor Mallam Muhammed Onogu were reinstated.

Governor Bello had in November sacked all his special advisers, senior special assistants, special assistants and some heads of boards.

Court Adjourns Impeached Kogi Deputy Governor’s Suit

A file photo of Kogi State Deputy Governor, Simon Achuba.

 

The State High Court sitting in Lokoja, Kogi State capital on Monday adjourned hearing in the application brought by Simon Achuba over his impeachment as the deputy governor of the state.

Achuba is seeking to join the Clerk of the State Assembly as a co-defendant and for hearing on the originating summon.

Justice Richard Olorunfemi adjourned till January 15th as date to rule on whether the Clerk has locus standi to be joined in the matter and for the commencement of the hearing on the originating summon.

READ ALSO: Alleged Money Laundering: Faisal Maina’s Trial Resumes In Abuja

It will be recalled that Achuba had challenged his impeachment by the Kogi State Assembly and sought for relief of the court to declare his impeachment as illegal and to be reinstated as the rightful deputy governor of the state.

In their submission, counsel to the impeached deputy governor, Jibrin Okutachi (SAN), in a 13-page counter affidavit, submitted that the court should discountenance the application by the Clerk, describing it as a breach of court order 11, rule 2, subsection 4, and section 115 subsection 4 of the evidence act.

Okutachi described the Clerk of the House as an interloper. He also described his application as a waste of the court’s time, geared towards irritating the claimant. He urged the trial judge to dismiss the application.

In reaction, counsel to the Clerk, Adetunde Oso described the Clerk as the custodian of record of the Assembly. He added that his seeking to be a party on the matter would help clear the air on the exhibits submitted by the claimant.

Justice Olorunfemi, in his ruling described the matter as one that is time bound, adding that he would ensure that the matter is dispensed with within the time frame.

He then adjourned the matter for ruling on the motion for joinder and hearing of the originating summons.

PHOTOS: PDP Woman Leader Who Was Set Ablaze In Kogi Buried Amid Tears

A photo combination of scenes from the funeral of Mrs Salome Abuh in Kogi State on December 7, 2019.

 

 

It was a sad day for the people of Kogi State and indeed, supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state as Mrs Salome Abuh was laid to rest.

Abuh was a PDP woman leader in Kogi East senatorial district set ablaze by suspected political thugs during the November 16 elections in the state.

About three weeks after the sad incident, the slain women leader was buried in her village – Aji-Obala – in Ofu Local Government Area of the state.

READ ALSO: Buhari Orders Thorough Investigation Into Killing Of Kogi PDP Woman Leader

The interment held on Saturday amid tears and agony from the victim’s husband, children, friends, and political associates among other sympathisers.

Dignitaries who attended the funeral included the PDP governorship candidate in Kogi, Musa Wada, his running mate, Samuel Aro, and other PDP chieftains in the state.

Abuh’s killing sparked outrage in the country while President Muhammadu Buhari ordered all security agencies involved in the investigation to do a thorough and expeditious job.

See photos from the funeral below:

 

 

PDP governorship candidate in Kogi, Musa Wada, with some party members at the funeral of Mrs Salome Abuh on December 7, 2019.

 

Gunmen Attack FC Ifeanyi Ubah Players In Kogi

 

Suspected armed robbers have attacked the players and members of the coaching crew of FC Ifeanyi Ubah (FCIU).

The Anambra-based team came under attack by gunmen dressed in National Youth Service Corps uniforms on Friday afternoon in Kogi State.

A statement from the management of FCIU explained that the team were on their way to Kano for their Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) match against Jigawa Golden Stars before the incident occurred.

“This is to inform the general public that at about 1:30pm today, players of FC Ifeanyi Ubah (Anambra Warriors) who were travelling to Kano for their scheduled NPFL matchday 6 fixture against Jigawa Golden Stars ran into a group of armed robbers dressed in NYSC uniforms, operating at Kabba junction, near Lokoja in Kogi state,” said.

READ ALSO: Maina Used Sister’s Name To Run Secret Account, Witness Tells Court

Although no life was lost in the attack, the driver of the bus was said to have been shot with some members of the coaching crew and players critically injured.

The injured persons were already being treated and were responding to treatment at a medical facility.

The club’s management called on the Federal Government and football regulatory bodies in the country – Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the League Management Company (LMC) – to intensify security efforts.

They asked the government to ensure the safety of teams who often have no choice than to travel long distances by road, especially clubs owned by private investors for the growth and development of football in Nigeria.

The club also urged its fans, well-wishers, and Nigerians in general to keep the entire management, coaching staff and players of FC Ifeanyi Ubah in their prayers.

See photos below:

Kogi/Bayelsa Elections: A Wave Of Terror Is Threatening Our Democracy – Secondus

 

Leader of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Uche Secondus, has said that the nation’s democracy is under threat, following the manner in which the November 16th elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States were conducted and the outcomes that followed. 

The National Chairman of the PDP called for the cancellation of the governorship elections in both states, insisting that the elections were marred by violence, which led to several deaths.

Mr Secondus, who addressed journalists after a meeting of the party’s board of trustees in Abuja, stated that the party has video evidence of malpractices committed during the conduct of the elections.

Below is a full speech by Mr. Secondus, on the issues stemming from the governorship polls in both Bayelsa and Kogi states.

READ ALSO: INEC Fixes Date For Supplementary And Rerun Elections For Kogi West, Ajaokuta

November 21, 2019

Text Of Press Conference by the National Chairman Of The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, on the Position of the PDP on the Violence, Killings, Abuse of Human Rights and Rigging in the November 16th Kogi And Bayelsa Governorship Elections.

Gentlemen of the Press,

We have invited you this afternoon to alert Nigerians and the international community that all is not well with our nation. A wave of terror is threatening our democracy; our constitutional order, national cohesion and safety of our citizens are now as at stake.

As the world witnessed, the official conspiracies, bloodletting and mindless killing of innocent citizens by agents of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration in connivance with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to aid the forceful seizure of power in the November 16th Kogi and Bayelsa State governorship elections, clearly show that our democracy is under severe attack.

In an apparent organized attack, government-controlled Police and military, working for the APC, deployed dangerous assault weapons, including helicopters to coordinate the violent invasion of polling units with maximum force; shooting, killing and maiming unarmed civilians, who were called out by government to perform their civic responsibilities at the elections.

The world watched with horror as killer security agents brutalized voters and carted away ballot boxes to government facilities were results were written in favour of the APC and handed to a heavily compromised INEC, which has become part of the crime, to announce.

From the report reaching our party, no fewer than 30 innocent compatriots were killed and many more injured in this organized crime against humanity by the APC, the Police and INEC.

The only crime of the citizens was their expressed determination to vote for the candidates of their choice as governors of Kogi and Bayelsa States as clearly manifested in the results from the polling centers before the forceful seizure of the electoral processes.

Most distressing is the gruesome incineration of one of our party’s woman leaders in Kogi State, Mrs. Acheju Abuh, in her home by APC thugs, a crime that was abetted by unscrupulous security agents.

Our party holds that this electoral fraud and crime against humanity, including established culpable homicide committed by the APC, security agents and INEC cannot be allowed to pass.

The leadership of our great party has thoroughly reviewed incontrovertible pieces of documentary of evidence including video clips, graphic pictures, witness testimonies, manipulated results sheets, proofs of compromising of INEC officials and other hard facts to establish the culpability of the Police and INEC in the electoral fraud as well as the unforgiveable culpable homicide and crime against humanity in the elections.

The PDP also restates that we have the details of the roles played by the Police high command and the INEC as well as other security and INEC officials in this election. Those details will be made public at the appropriate forum and time.

It is instructive to call the attention of Nigerians and the international community to the fact that since the election, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC Federal Government has failed to take any concrete steps to investigate the issues and bring culprits to book. The Police and INEC had also failed to take any decisive action to arrest and investigate their officers accused of involvement in various crimes in the elections.

We have also noted frantic efforts by the police hierarchy to explain away the crimes and sweep the killings under the carpet.

These only validate apprehension that the invasion of polling unit, killings and alteration of results were part of the premeditated power-grabbing designs of the APC.

The PDP states without equivocation that invasion of polling units and killing of voters to manipulate electoral results cannot be allowed in our democratic space. If the APC’s political brigandage that happened in Kogi and Bayelsa State is allowed to stand, such would be extended to other elections including the 2023 general elections and that would be a death knell to our democracy.

It is therefore a sacred duty we all owe our nation to pursue a redress for this crime within the ambits of our national and international laws.

In this regard, the PDP calls for the outright cancellation of the governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States as they are products of bloodshed and do not reflect the true wishes and aspiration of the people of the states.

We also demand the immediate cancellation of the Kogi West Senatorial election. This is the biggest fraud of the century.

The PDP, standing with millions of Nigerians also holds that the INEC and the Police high command must be made answer charges of electoral fraud and crime against humanity at the appropriate quarters.

The PDP therefore calls on the international community as well as international organizations including, the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), Commonwealth of Nations, the African Union (AU), ECOWAS to immediately impose sanctions, including travel bans, on the INEC and the Police high commands for abusing their offices and allegedly aiding or allowing acts that led to electoral fraud and violence in the elections.

The primary duty of INEC and the Police is to ensure free, fair and credible election. This they observed in the breach as even reported by agents, voters, stakeholders and independent observers in the elections. They must therefore be made to face the consequences to serve as deterrent to others.

The leadership of the PDP once more commends the people of Kogi and Bayelsa States for their resilience and resistance against oppressive forces during the election. Such patriotism will never be in vain.

Our leadership also condoles with the families of compatriots who were murdered by the APC. Indeed, their death can never be in vain as the mandate for which they were killed will be surely retrieved.

Moreover, somebody someday will bear the full sentence of guilt at the appropriate quarters, be it within the ambit of our domestic laws or those of the international laws.

In the meantime, we urge all members of the PDP to remain strong and undeterred as we collective exert ourselves in the defence of our nation’s democracy.

Thank you and God bless.

INEC Fixes Date For Supplementary And Rerun Elections For Kogi West, Ajaokuta

Kogi West: Smart Adeyemi Is 'My Political Wife' – Melaye
Dino Melaye Smart Adeyemi

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has fixed the 30th of November for the conduct of the supplementary election in Kogi West Senatorial District.

INEC says it came to the decision after its meeting today at its headquarters in Abuja.

On the same day, the umpire will also conduct a re-run election in Ajaokuta Federal Constituency.

READ ALSO: Kogi Election: Melaye Presents Various Evidence At INEC Office, Demands Cancellation

The Commission could not conclude the election to fill the senatorial seat, after the returning officer, Professor Olayinde Lawal announced that the poll was inconclusive.

He explained that the canceled votes were more than the margin of lead between the leading candidates Mr. Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Senator Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

INEC Presents Certificate Of Return To Yahaya Bello

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has presented the Certificate of Return to Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.

Governor Bello received the certificate on Thursday, three days after he was declared as the winner of the just concluded governorship election in the state.

INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of Nasarawa, Kogi, and Kwara States, Mohammed Haruna, presented the certificate to the governor at a ceremony attended by the Commissioner of Police in Kogi which held at the INEC office in Lokoja, the state capital.

READ ALSO: Yahaya Bello Re-Elected Kogi State Governor

The governor was also accompanied by his deputy, Edward Onoja, and top government officials and chieftains of the All Progressives Congress in the state.

 

Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Natasha Akpoti of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) were the top contender in the November 16 poll.

The election was keenly contested and not without incidents of violence such as attacks on some polling units while at least three people lost their lives.

Two days after the poll was conducted, the governor was returned elected after polling the highest number of votes in the exercise.

The APC candidate polled a total of 406,222 votes to beat his PDP rival who scored 189,704 votes and the SDP candidate who garnered a total of 9,482 votes.

Governor Bello won 12 out of the 21 local government areas of the state while Wada claimed nine LGAs.

On her part, Natasha did not win any local government.

Suspected Thugs Kill PDP Woman Leader In Kogi

 

The Woman Leader of Wada/Aro Campaign Council, Ochadamu Ward, Mrs Acheju Abuh has been reported killed after some suspected political thugs burnt her alive in her home on Monday.

The thugs according to reports arrived Mrs Abuh’s house around 2.00 p.m. and surrounded the house, poured petrol on the building before setting it ablaze.

READ ALSO: Pockets Of Violence Is Not Enough To Discredit Kogi Election, Says Yahaya Bello

The Spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Council, Kogi State, Faruk Adejoh-Audu during an interview on Channels Television programme, Sunrise Daily pointed accusing fingers at the supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who he claimed killed Mrs Abuh as a mark ‘celebration.’

“The woman was killed after the announcement of result on Monday. APC supporters were jubilating and part of their celebration was to surround her house and set the house ablaze,” he said.

He added that the attackers shut the doors and window to Mrs Abuh’s house during the attack and ensured she didn’t have a way of escape.

Kogi State Governor also on the programme, however, dismissed Audu’s claim that the attackers were APC members.

The governor said the PDP woman leader was attacked by PDP supporters.

“The particular incident he reported, after declaration of this victory, jubilation erupted everywhere. But in that particular location a supporter stabbed PDP woman leader.

“The people took law into their hands, however the police is going to investigate that, we are not going to spare anybody,” governor Bello said.

The governor also promised that everyone found guilt of committing crimes will brought into justice.

Yahaya Bello Re-Elected Kogi State Governor

 

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, has been re-elected as the governor of the state.

Governor Bello was returned elected on Monday by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), having scored the highest number of votes in the keenly contested poll.

The Returning Officer for the election and Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Professor Ibrahim Umar, made the declaration at the INEC office in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.

READ ALSO: INEC Declares APC’s David Lyon Winner Of Bayelsa Governorship Election

The APC candidate polled a total of 406,222 votes to beat his closest rival, Mr Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 189,704 votes.

On her part, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Natasha Akpoti, garnered a total of 9,482 votes.

Professor Umar declared the winner following the collation of results from all 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state, an exercise which lasted more than 24 hours.

After several hours of collating the results from 19 LGAs, Professor Umar had announced on Sunday night that the exercise would continue on Monday morning.

Of the results collated before the exercise was suspended, it was a close battle between Bello who won 10 LGAs and Wada who claimed nine LGAs while Natasha had yet to win any local government.

 

Violent Election?

At the resumption of the exercise, the results of the remaining two local governments – Ibaji and Lokoja – were collated, paving the way for the declaration of the winner of the election.

Announcing the final results of the election, the returning officer noted that a total of 1,646,350 people registered for the election while 636,202 were accredited to vote.

He explained that the margin between the winner of the election and the runner-up was 216,518 votes.

READ ALSO: Kogi West Senatorial Rerun: INEC Declares Election Inconclusive

It was a tough day in Kogi and Bayelsa States where INEC conducted elections on Saturday last week as the exercise recorded loss of lives, attack on polling units by suspected thugs, and ballot box snatching among other unfortunate incidents.

While residents of both states headed to various polling units in their respective local governments to cast their votes, the people of Kogi West senatorial district had an extra duty to perform.

The electorate in the senatorial zone also voted in the rerun election to choose who would represent them in the Senate chamber of the National Assembly between Senator Dino Melaye of the PDP and APC’s Senator Smart Adeyemi.

Although the poll favoured Senator Adeyemi who scored 80,118 votes as against the 59,548 votes garnered by Senator Melaye, the election was declared inconclusive.

The returning officer for the election, Professor Olayinde Lawal, explained that the margin of 20,570 votes between both candidates was lower than the 43,127 registered voters in 53 polling units of 20 registration areas in the zone where elections were cancelled.

He informed party agents and others present at the collation centre that he was constrained by the law to declare a winner in such a situation.

See the table below:

LGA

APC

PDP

SDP

ADAVI

64,657

366

279

AJAOKUTA

17,952

5,565

323

ANKPA

11,269

28,108

399

BASSA

8,386

9,724

269

DEKINA

8,948

16,575

321

IBAJI

12,682

10,504

221

IDAH

4,602

13,962

221

IGALA MELA/ODOLU

8,075

11,195

208

IJUMU

11,425

7,587

223

KABBA/BUNU

15,364

8,084

364

KOTON KARFE

14,097

9,404

657

LOKOJA

19,457

11,059

772

MOPA-MURO

4,953

3,581

95

OFU

11,006

12,264

531

OGORI/MAGONGO

3,679

2,145

244

OKEHI

36,954

478

3,095

OKENE

112,762

139

50

OLAMABORO

16,876

8,155

262

OMALA

8,473

14,403

567

YAGBA EAST

6,735

7,546

220

YAGBA WEST

7,868

8,860

211

TOTAL

406,222

189,704

9,482