The Peoples Democratic Party has filed a suit against the Independent National Electoral Commission, Nigerian Immigration Service, Minister of Interior and All Progressives Congress over the participation of foreigners in the elections.
In the originating summons, the PDP is asking the court to determine “whether, having regard to the provision of section 12 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended 2015) and Paragraph 2 of the 2019 INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections, foreigners and/or aliens can participate either directly or indirectly in the General Elections of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
The opposition party also wants the court to determine “whether the participation of Nigerien governors in the 4th defendant’s campaign rally is not contrary to Nigerian law and public policy”.
INEC, the NIS and Minister of Interior are the 1st to 3rd defendants in the suit respectively, while the APC is the 4th defendant.
After determining the matter before it, the PDP wants the court to declare that “having regard to the provision of Section 12 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), foreigners and/or aliens cannot participate either directly or indirectly in the General Elections of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
It also wants the court to declare that “the participation of 2 Nigerien governors in the 4th defendant (APC)’s campaign rally is contrary to Nigerian law and public policy”.
Furthermore, the court wants the court to issue an order directing the 1st to 3rd defendants to preclude and ensure that foreigners/aliens do not participate in the 2019 general elections.
The PDP is also seeking an order restraining APC from inviting or in any way involving foreigners in its rallies and campaigns.
In an effort to revamp the Federal Fire Service across the country, the Federal Executive Council has approved the procurement of 15 firefighting trucks at the cost of 403 million Naira, out of the 2016 budget.
Briefing journalists after the council meeting, the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Danbazza, decried a situation where there are only two functional fire vehicles in the Federal Capital Territory.
The council also approved the ratification of the agreement on the establishment of the west African tax administration forum, which according to the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, is a platform to promote cooperation among west African tax authorities.
“There is an existing provision in the law that any company is supposed to have on its headed paper, the names of directors and their registered office but what we have seen is that many of the companies transacting with the government, only have the name of the company and no details of who the directors are.
“So for tax purposes, it is quite difficult to trace them – The SGF would be issuing a circular reminding agencies and ministries of government that that is the requirement of the law and therefore, they are at liberty not to treat any document that does not comply with the law,” the Finance Minister stated.
Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, has called on Nigerians not to allow themselves be dragged into religious conflicts.
Mr Dambazau stressed the need for the call, following insinuations that the criminal violence in Kaduna State’s southern region has some religious interpretation.
He pointed out that there were people who look for ways to further create division along religious or ethnic fault lines for their selfish interest, with the aim of creating instability in Nigeria’s internal security.
Also, the Minister emphasised that true religious leaders do not fan the embers of hate, but ensure that communities live in peace and harmony.
He maintained that economic growth and development would remain a mirage for Nigeria; with over 500 ethnic groups and multiple religions, unless the citizens resolve to live amicably as a people with common destiny.
Real Enemies Of The Society
Mr Dambazau explained further that those who perpetrate violence against innocent and law-abiding citizens do not discriminate along religious and ethnic lines, citing examples of how communities in Zamfara, Katsina, Taraba, Enugu, Lagos and Niger were victimised by those violent criminals.
He stated that a criminal should be treated as such, whether he was caught in the act or involved in armed robbery, drug trafficking, homicides or cattle rustling.
“People should avoid honouring criminals with religious or ethnic attachment,” he cautioned.
The Interior Minister urged opinion and religious leaders to refrain from giving the crisis between herdsmen and sedentary farmers in Southern Kaduna a religious connotation.
He, however, suggested that attention should be focused on the real enemies of the society, who illegally acquire weapons to terrorise Christians and Muslims communities alike.
Mr Dambazau urged the police to ensure the sustenance of law and order, as well as arrest and prosecute anyone involved in criminal activities.
He also urged Nigerians to cooperate with the police by providing actionable information in its quest to restore normalcy to the troubled communities.
The minister further reassured citizens of the Federal Government’s commitment to tackling the root causes of similar crisis across Nigeria.
He said the government would also pay special attention to measures aimed at eradicating poverty, climate change, population explosion and the issues of youth bulge which he said have been identified as some of the causative factors of the conflicts.
Mr Dambazau made the remarks in a statement issued on Tuesday by his spokesman, Mr Ehisienmen Osaigbovo.
The Federal Government has declared Monday and Tuesday, December 26 & 27, 2016 and Monday, January 2, 2017 as public holidays to mark the Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year 2017 celebrations respectively.
The declaration was made on Wednesday on behalf of the government by the Minister of Interior, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd).
General Dambazau enjoined all Christians and Nigerians in general to remain committed and support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, in his sustained efforts towards building a peaceful, united and prosperous Nigeria.
He also urged the citizens to use the occasion to pray for peace, unity and peaceful co-existence across the country.
The minister wishes all Nigerians at home and abroad, a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.
The announcement was contained in a statement issued by the Acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Interior, Mr Muhammadu Maccido.
The Minister of Interior, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Danbazau, has recommended an effective collaboration and information management strategy among security agents to reduce internal security threats in Nigeria to its barest minimum.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the Executive Intelligence Management Course of the Institute of Security Studies, General Danbazau says the attack on soft targets such as markets, motor parks and public places has made the centrality of information management and inter agency synergy a necessity.
He urged officials of the various security agencies to establish and develop means of coordination that would be efficient and difficult for agents of mischief to penetrate.
“Primarily, it is my opinion that we must centralise information management and increase the level of collaboration between aspects of the Nigeria security infrastructure.
“Without a doubt, we are faced with the threat of terrorism and insurgency.
“The major characteristic of these threats to our national security, a major challenge to the intelligence services, is that these threats always come unexpectedly and are generally highly unpredictable,” he told the officials.
Participants at the course were drawn from various security agencies and the Director General of the Department of State Services, Lawal Daura, asked the graduating students to be change agents in their various agencies.
“I urge you very strongly to sustain your learning in order to ensure effective and sustained application of your newly acquired knowledge in managing the menace of security and strategic challenges you will be confronted with in the years ahead. This is the only way to justify the huge investment the nation has made on you,” he told them.
The Executive Intelligence Management Course, which is the ninth in the series organised by the Institute of Security Service, attracted participants from the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp, Defence Intelligence Agency, Nigeria Custom Service, Nigerian Navy, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Corporate Affairs Commission and the Department of State Services among others.
The Nigerian Senate has decried the situation in Nigeria’s major Prisons, describing it as appalling.
It pointed out that the prisons needed improvement, something that a bill for an Act to repeal and re-enact the Prison Act may be addressing at the completion of the process.
The bill, which was brought before the Senate for its second reading on Wednesday, was sponsored by Senator Shaba Lafiagi. He also led the debate on the bill.
Another Senator, Jide Omoworare, commenting on the bill, said: “Prisoners come home even worst. We need to redirect appropriations already made and rehabilitate our prisons”.
Training Ground For Criminals
The condition of most of the prisons do not provide for nursing mothers that are still serving their jail terms and Senator Oluremi Tinubu, expressed displeasure with the situation.
She said: “There is need for a Crèche, Nursery and a separate facility to improve conditions of Nursing Mothers and Children in Prison”.
On his part, Senator Shehu Sani, told the senate that “the only thing that has changed in our Prisons in recent times is the uniform of inmates”.
An ex-convict, Mr Kayode Williams, who advocates rehabilitation or prisoners and the nation’s prisons had in 2014 referred to the nation’s prisons as a training ground for hardened criminals and Senator Gbenga Ashafa corroborated that claim when he stressed that he was particular about the improvement and attitudinal change of inmates.
Another lawmaker, Senator Utazi Chukwuka, narrated the deplorable state of Enugu Prisons which he said brought tears to his eyes.
For Senator Musa Kwankwaso, modern prisons should be built to accommodate prisoners. He also stressed that there were so many challenges with the operators too.
After most of the Senators had contributed, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary, highlighted that the lawmakers were working towards moving Prisons from Exclusive list to Concurrent list. Items in the exclusive list are solely handled by the Federal government.
He appreciated the sponsors of the Prison Bill, pointing out that it will help improve conditions of Prisoners in Nigeria.
After the deliberations, Prison Bills numbered, five, six and seven were read and passed for Second Reading.
The Deputy Senate President then referred the bill to the Senate’s Committee on Interior and Judiciary to report back in four weeks.
Most prisons in Nigeria are conjected, having more suspects in custody than the already convicted persons.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the sum of 3.5 billion Naira to procure 320 made-in-Nigeria vehicles to aid prisons decongestion across the country.
The approval was in response to the request in a memo presented at a FEC meeting on Wednesday by the Minister of Interior, General Abdulrahaman Dambazau (rtd).
General Dambazau noted that the procurement of vehicles was part of requirements needed to strengthen the criminal justice system.
He told State House correspondents after the meeting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, that at least 75% of an estimated 65,000 inmates were awaiting trial.
The Interior Minister blamed their continued detention on lack of logistics and availability of vehicles to transport them to at least 5,000 courts from prisons within the country.
On September 24, an official of the Prisons Service in Ilesa Prison in Osun State, said 454 out of 582 inmates are awaiting trial, a situation he said was as a result of huge challenges facing the Prisons Service.
The officer in charge of the Prisons, Deputy Comptroller Ope Fanimikun, said that presenting 454 inmates for trial in 72 courts was a huge challenge for officers.
He said that the Prisons service had just four vehicles, the newest of which was given to the prisons four years ago.
The Deputy Comptroller sought the support of Nigerians in form of vehicles’ donation to ensure that inmates were presented for trials to decongest the prisons.
He disclosed that the prison needed at least 20 vehicles, medical facilities and consumables.
To meet this demand the FEC approved monies for procurement of vehicles.
On his part, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, briefed reporters on pending infrastructural projects as well as the state of power generation and transmission in Nigeria.
In the light of increasing dilapidation of Federal Roads, he said no new road contracts had been awarded besides inherited projects.
Mr Fashola further disclosed that the Federal Executive Council approved a memo for the provision of three 150 MVA transformers in three sub-stations in Oshogbo, Shiroro and Ondo.
He said the demand was made by the transmission company of Nigeria, in order to increase electricity transmission in the country.