A female governorship candidate in Kogi State was attacked by suspected hoodlums on Tuesday while the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) organised a meeting for political stakeholders in the state.
The meeting, which was attended by the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, as well as INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, held four days to the November 16 governorship election in Kogi.
Adamu and Yakubu, in the company of some senior police officers and INEC National Commissioners, witnessed the signing of a peace accord by the political parties and their candidates in Kogi.
The event had been going smoothly until commotion occurred when Natasha, the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), arrived at the venue.
Channels Television gathered that suspected thugs attacked the SDP candidate when she was about entering the hall where the event was holding.
In the process, a fight broke out while some policemen at the venue dispersed the hoodlums with teargas which affected everyone in the hall, including the IGP and the INEC boss, as well as other dignitaries present.
According to him, the Police barricaded the area, preventing them from carrying out their activities, despite the party acquiring permission from them as well the Department of State Services (DSS).
“We wrote the Jigawa State Police command that we were going to have the zonal rally today in Gumel, they gave us their consent that they are aware and just this morning, the State Commissioner of Police called the Chairman of our campaign committee telling him that there is a likelihood that hoodlums will infiltrate our gathering, which is not normal,” Ibrahim said.
“I am from this town, I have been in the PDP for the last 20 years and we always hold political gatherings on Wednesdays (market days), I don’t think that the Commissioner of Police who just came to Jigawa yesterday will be telling us what to do in Gumel.”
The state Commissioner of Police Bala Zama Sench, however, told Channels Television that the party did not state the exact location where it had planned to hold the rally.
According to the CP, holding the rally close to a market could disrupt traffic and movement of people, hence the need to ensure that another more convenient location was chosen.
He said, “You will realize that in their letter, they have not said this is the location where the rally will take place in Gumel, they did not indicate until late at night.
“I called the area commander and we were discussing about the strategy to ensure that they hold a peaceful flag off of their campaign in Gumel, so he now told me that the location where they are going to hold the rally is just by the market and that there is no way they can hold such a rally without disrupting traffic and movement of people and there would be a likelihood that there will be breach of peace and I said yes, I believe that the organisers are supposed to know that you cant have a campaign just by the market.
“You have to look for a place that is convenient for everybody.”
Israeli border police dropped tear gas from a drone onto Palestinian protesters in Gaza on Friday, a police spokesman told AFP, acknowledging operational deployment of new technology.
An AFP correspondent saw a drone release around 10 gas canisters as protesters on the border with Israel cursed the small craft.
A number of people were injured by the containers, which fell from a height of between 10 and 20 metres (30-60 feet), the correspondent said.
Use of unmanned aerial vehicles to launch gas is a recent innovation, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
“It was used a few weeks ago around the Gaza Strip area and it is also being used today, in order to prevent protesters getting to the Gaza crossing or Gaza border,” he said.
“It’s a mini-drone which has the capability of flying over certain zones and certain areas and then letting go of tear gas in areas that we want to prevent protesters from reaching.”
Video of the tactic in use was shown in a report earlier this month by the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen TV channel.
Tens of thousands of Gazans took to the streets Friday in mass protests calling for Palestinians to be allowed to return to land that their ancestors fled from in the 1948 war but that is now part of Israel.
The Israeli military said that they threw rocks and petrol bombs at the border fence and troops on the other side.
The army has pledged to stop, by force if necessary, any attempt by protesters to cross into Israel.
At least were seven Gazans were killed as Israeli troops fired live ammunition at stone-throwing protesters gathering on the border, while an eighth man died from tank fire.
Israeli forces regularly use tear gas to disperse Palestinian protesters, whether thrown by soldiers or fired from specially equipped vehicles.
The Police have fired tear gas at protesters demanding that President Muhammadu Buhari should resume or resign.
Protesters under the aegis of Concerned Nigerians had started a protest in the nation’s capital Abuja on Monday, decrying the absence of the President from the country for more than 90 days, while also demanding the disclosure of his health status.
The protest, however, took an unpleasant turn on Tuesday morning as the police moved in to disperse using tear gas and water cannon.
Musician and social activist Charles Oputa who is popularly known as Charly Boy was among the protesters.
Recalling the death of Chuba Okadigbo following a police raid at a rally in Kano state in 2003, Mr Asuette, a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said the intention of the Police commissioner was to harm citizens.
“Let us remember what happened to Chuba Okadigbo, it was tear gas inhalation that killed him. Now, the same tear gas is what Mbu has released against innocent Nigerians which means that Mbu’s intentions are to kill Nigerians just the way tear gas was used to kill Chuba Okadigbo,” he stated.
He further challenged the CP to prove that his allegations are untrue.
He gave his account of the events which led to the disruption of the Save Rivers Movement Rally by men of the Rivers State Police Command, adding that “there’s no justification whatsoever” for the act.
According to Asuette, a letter was sent to the Commissioner to Police, Joesph Mbu, notifying him of the inauguration for last Sunday 12th January, another for next Sunday and members of the group had “specifically asked for police protection.”
The letter was acknowledged and stamped by the Police but “no information (written or unwritten) was related to this group to say you are banned or your inauguration (not a rally) should not hold because there are security reports that there might be some public disorder.”
He noted that the Save Rivers Movement is a registered organisation with ‘credible members’ including lawyers, doctors and engineers and so the said rally was to “inaugurate the Obi Akpor branch” of the association “within a particular confine, at the Rivers State College of Arts and Science.”
Mr Asuette also mentioned that he had noticed a trend in the activities of the Rivers State Police command
“In July 2013, the Niger Delta Civil Society Coalition that I belonged to wrote a letter to the Commissioner of Police notifying him of our intention to hold a (peaceful protest) rally in the Port Harcourt stadium.
However the event could not hold as the “police barricaded that part of Port Harcourt a day before that programme. Our members were beaten and dispersed even when we tried to say we have the constitutional right to gather, the police acted with impunity thinking that we were a political organisation.”
“Courts have decided in ANPP and IGP that nobody should stop any Nigerian from gathering and in that judgment affirmed by the Court of Appeal, there is an order of perpetual injunction against the IGP his agents which include Joseph Mbu from restraining anybody from gathering,” Asuette stated.
He stressed that “there’s no justification whatsoever for what happened on Sunday.”
Asked if there was a possibility of the Police obtaining an intelligence report of impending doom at the last minute necessitating the raid, Asuette said such report was yet to be made public.
He added that the police commissioner was “running wild without respect for the Constitution and elected authorities” as neither the President nor State Governor, could not have given him the order to carry out the raid.
“Every right provided for in the whole hog of section 33 of the constitution to section 45 of the constitution has been breached collectively by one police command under one police commissioner who does not respect constituted authorities,” he said.
Sunday’s event led to the hospitalization of Senator Magnus Abe while several others sustained injuries. Asuette added that properties including cars were also destroyed.
The Senate Committee on Police Affairs is currently conducting an investigation on the matter which has attracted national interest. The Committee, chaired by Paulinus Uwagwu, is expected to submit its findings to the Senate when the House resumes plenary.
The Rivers State Police Command has dispersed a crowd at the state House Of Assembly with tear gas, after the state lawmakers held their plenary on the streets outside their premises.
Twenty-five out of the 26 members of the house had converged on the assembly earlier on Thursday to sit in compliance with a High Court order barring the National Assembly from taking over the functions of the assembly.
Trouble began to brew after the police barricaded the entrance to the state House of Assembly, forcing the lawmakers to hold their plenary in the open.
The lawmakers had gone to the House of Assembly with the intention of resuming the business of law-making after a Federal High Court in Abuja voided the resolution of the National Assembly to take over the legislative functions of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
The court faulted the decision on the ground that the National Assembly cannot assume the law making functions of the House of Assembly when there were no facts that the assembly was unable to carry out its functions.
In nullifying the resolution, Justice Abubakar Mohammed restrained the Senate, the Senate President, the House of Representatives and the Speaker of the House of Representatives from assuming the law making functions of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
The court also ruled that “the National Assembly does not have the powers to direct the Inspector-General of Police to re-deploy the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, or any other Police officer in the River State Police Command”.
Channels Television’s Rivers State correspondent reported that while the lawmakers insisted on entering their official place of work, the Police claimed that it had not been served with any authorising letter to permit them to enter into the premises.
The lawmakers resumed plenary on the road, but were chased out of the place by the police with tear gas.
Some persons suspected to be hoodlums resisted the Police’s action, as tear gas and gun shots rented the air.
Officers of the Nigeria Police dispersed a group of angry women who staged a fresh protest in Awka on Wednesday as a means of airing their grievances on the Anambra Governorship Election conducted by INEC.
Although a group of women had initially protested the election and called for a cancellation, another set of women staged a demonstration march in Awka, the state capital, making the same demand.
The women, who carried placards with various inscriptions, marched through a 2 kilometer road and headed for the INEC office but were prevented from entering the premises by security men who were stationed nearby.
They said that they had been disenfranchised in the process.
One of the protesters who called themselves ‘Anambra Women’ described the election as a ‘scam’ and the ‘destruction of the Igbo land.’
The police officer had to deploytear gas in a bid to disperse the crowd when the confrontation turned physical.
The electoral umpire, INEC, has admitted that there were several lapses in the election process and has announced that there would be supplementary governorship elections in areas where votes were cancelled.