The Inspector General of Police (IG), Muhammed Adamu, yesterday said that 58 suspected high profile electoral offenders were arrested during the 2019 general elections.
Adamu, represented by the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Operations, Abdulmajid Ali disclosed this during the commission’s review of the 2019 general elections with the Inter Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in Abuja.
The IG said that 39 out of the 58 suspects had been conclusively investigated and charged to courts while 19 were still being investigated.
“During the last elections, 58 high profile arrests were made; 25 were during the presidential and National Assembly elections, 17 during governorship election and 14 others.
“Out of this 39 were conclusively investigated and charged to courts while 19 are pending,” he said.
Adamu said there is no gain saying that the experiences of last general elections and the relationship between INEC, the police and other security agencies is quite cordial.
He commended other security agencies, particularly the military for the cooperation given to the Nigeria Police Force and INEC during the elections.
“I want to also assure that the police and other security agencies are ever ready to put in more efforts in ensuring that the forthcoming governorship elections are free, fair, and credible,” Adamu said.
He said that the review came at the right time, particularly when INEC is preparing for Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections.
Early in his remarks, the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said that proven misconduct during the 2019 elections must be dealt with according to the law.
Yakubu said dealing with electoral offenders is one of the surest ways to address impunity and instill sanity in the electoral process.
He said that he was happy to note that the Nigeria Police Force made several arrests of suspected electoral offenders during the general elections.
A’Ibom Rerun: PDP, Ekpeyong Dare Akpabio
Following the ruling by the Appeal Court in Calabar Cross River State, ordering a rerun of the National Assembly elections in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, the Peoples’ Democratic Party as well as the Senator representing Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District, Senator Chris Ekpenyong have expressed optimism to come out victorious in the rerun.
Ekpenyong and the PDP who said they were never daunted with the ruling of the Appeal court challenged Godswill Akpabio to, first of all, resign his position as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and face a rerun, adding that they would defeat him in the polls as they ‘did before.’
The Appeal Court in Calabar on Saturday cancelled the National Assembly elections in Essien Udim Local Government Area, one out of the ten local government areas that constitute the Akwa Ibom North-West Federal constituency due to reported cases of irregularities and violence.
The court added that election results in the other nine local governments remained valid, leaving Akpabio to scout for 38,056 votes in that local government to upturn the victory of his opponent, Senator Ekpenyong.
Results obtained from the other nine local government, excluding Essien Udim Local Government Area showed that Senator Chris Ekpenyong leads with 114, 973 votes while Akpabio has 76,917.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had said that only 19,455 voters were accredited in Essien Udim local government area.
Meanwhile, the PDP State Publicity Secretary, Ini Ememobong in a statement on Saturday described the Appeal court judgement as an opportunity to widen the margin of victory for the PDP.
According to him, “We welcome the judgement of the Court and hereby indicate our preparedness for elections, as this will provide an opportunity for us to widen the margin of victory against Rt. Hon. Emman Akpan, Senator Akpabio and the APC. We are expectant that the Senator will very soon tender his resignation from his ministerial office to meet us in the campaign field, as the law demands.
“Our party urges the general public to ignore the false stories being peddled by members of the opposition, APC, about the judgement- which specifically ordered a rerun in Essien Udim Local Government Area alone. It is on record that the margin of victory currently outstanding is in tens of thousands of votes, which has not been affected by the judgement of the court.”
Dogara Harps On Patriotic Leadership
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has stated that only patriotic citizens at the helm of affairs can save the nation from its series of challenges.
He stated this on Saturday at the 8th and 9th convocation ceremonies of Achievers University, Owo, Ondo State where he was honoured with PhD and subsequently installed as the second Chancellor of the private university succeeding Senator Bode Olajumoke who was installed January 28, 2012.
The federal lawmaker noted that those who are not preoccupied with their parochial ambitions could rescue the nation from the socio-political and economic challenges.
Dogara said: “Nigeria needs true patriots -those who will place premium on the pursuit of freedom rather than the pursuit of personal happiness. This is true if Nigeria would be a great country, especially now that demagogues who are immune to the norms of established society litter the political landscape.”
Meanwhile, the best graduating students in the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 are Sofowora Erioluwa and Jolapamo Titilayo respectively.
Out of the 400 graduates who graduated from 15 departments, 22 of them had First Class, 217 got second class upper division, 130 second class lower division and 31 had third class.
Other personalities honoured with PhD are Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Mrs Olusola Momoh, vice chairman of Channels Television and Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Samuel Ibiyemi charged the Federal Government to give the private universities access to research grants like their public counterparts.
Bayelsa Poll: INEC Boss, NYSC DG Warn Corps Members
The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu and Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, have warned corps members looking to serve as INEC ad hoc personnel at the November 16 Bayelsa State gubernatorial election to play by the electoral laws.
Yakubu urged them to avoid actions that may undermine the integrity of the election.
He stated this yesterday in Yenagoa while addressing corps members during a sensitization forum.
The INEC boss also disclosed that adequate security has been provided for all Corps members and Corps lodges in the state during and after the election.
Mahmood, who described Corps members as the most reliable, dedicated and committed electoral officers promised prompt payment of all Corps members’ entitlements through their bank accounts.
NYSC DG, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim said the involvement of Corps members in the country’s electoral system has added more credibility to previous elections.
He described Corps members, as patriotic Nigerians on national assignment that deserve proper welfare from every Nigerian.
‘Be neutral and non-partisan because NYSC would not tolerate any Corps member that violates the Electoral Act’, he said.
General Ibrahim also advised them to be security conscious and look for escape routes in case of emergency.
“Be courteous when dealing with the electorates, caution yourself when provoked and ensure that your phone is fully charged with enough call cards during the election.
‘Run for your dear lives in case of any emergency and don’t endanger your safety’, the DG added.
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