The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, has said that ‘policemen’ alleged to have disrupted Saturday’s governorship polls in parts of Bayelsa and Kogi States were “fake” and not the personnel officially deployed for election duties.
Adamu stated that all security personnel, who worked during the polls had “special identification tags”, adding that anyone without the tags was on illegal duty.
He spoke with State House correspondents after President Muhammadu Buhari and security chiefs held a meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.
However, he said an investigation was ongoing, while 11 arrests had been made.
Similarly, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, yesterday, said that the police were aware of the plan by politicians to sew police uniforms for their supporters during the Kogi and Bayelsa States governorship elections.
The IGP also said that ‘policemen’ alleged to have disrupted the November 16 governorship polls in parts of the two states were “fake” and not the personnel officially deployed for election duties.
Briefing State House correspondents after a security meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, Adamu stated that all security personnel, who worked during the elections were given “special identification tags”, adding that anyone without the tags was on illegal duty.
The IGP, who said that the security situation in the country was stable, however, said investigation was ongoing to unravel the identities of those that caused violence during the elections, adding that 11 arrests had been made.
On the alleged police extortion of motorists in South East by police officers at checkpoints, he advised that people should always copy the names of such police officers and report them to the police hierarchy in the area.
Meanwhile, the Senate has begun a fresh electoral reform which has mandated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to adopt the much-awaited electronic voting method for future polls.
The lawmakers also compelled INEC to operate an electronic database into which all results in an election should be transmitted.
A bill to amend the Electoral Act 2010 through which the reform would be achieved has already been published in an official gazette and debate on its general principles may begin on the floor of the Senate during the week.
A copy of the bill, made available to newsmen, also stipulates that data of accredited voters must be transmitted to the central data base upon the conclusion of the accreditation of voters which would be done through the use of the card reader.
“At the end of accreditation of voters, the presiding officer shall transmit the voter accreditation data by secure mobile electronic communication to the central database of the commission kept at the national headquarters of the commission.
“Any presiding officer who contravenes this provision shall be liable, on conviction, to a minimum of imprisonment of at least five years without an option of fine,” the bill also stipulates.
It prevents INEC from shutting down the central data base until all petitions arising from the elections are determined by a tribunal or court.
“In respect of data of accreditation of voters, including polling unit results, for an election, the commission shall not shut down its central database kept at its national headquarters until all election petitions and appeals pertaining to that election are heard and determined by a tribunal or court.”
On the specific provisions for the adoption of the central database, the bill, which is being sponsored by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege and Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno State), seeks amendment of Section 65 of the Electoral Act 2010 by introducing a “National Electronic Register of Election Results.”
It states: “The commission shall compile, maintain and update on a continuous basis, a register of election results to be known as the National Electronic Register of Election Results which shall be a database of election results from each polling unit, including collated results of each election conducted by the commission.
“National Electronic Register of Election Results shall be kept by the commission at its national headquarters and any person or political party may obtain from the commission, on payment of reasonable fees as may be determined by the commission, a certified true copy of any election result kept in the National Electronic Register of Election Results for the federation, a state, local government, area council, ward or polling unit, as the case may be and the certified true copy may be in printed or electronic format.”
On electronic voting, the Electoral Reform Bill seeks amendment of Section 52 (2) of the 2010 Electoral Act and introduced a new provision stating that “the commission may adopt electronic voting or any other method of voting in any election it conducts as it may deem fit.”
It was learned that many lawmakers are not comfortable with the additional clause which permits INEC to use any other method it deems fit and may delete that option during the consideration of the bill.
The current law completely prohibits the use of electronic voting as it states: “The use of the electronic voting machine, for the time being, is prohibited.”
The reform bill has also slashed the nomination fees charged by political parties.
Presidential aspirants are to pay not more than N10million while governorship aspirants are to pay N5million.
Specifically, the bill states: “For the purpose of nomination of candidates for election, the total fees, charges, dues and any payment howsoever named imposed by a political party on an aspirant shall not exceed: N150,000 for a ward councillorship aspirant in the FCT; N250,000 for an area council chairmanship aspirant in the FCT; N500,000 for a House of Assembly aspirant; N1,000,000 for a House of Representatives aspirant; N2,000,000 for a senatorial aspirant; N5,000,000 for a governorship aspirant; and N10,000,000 for a presidential aspirant.”
The Bukola Saraki-led National Assembly had attempted the electoral reform but failed to get the presidential approval at the end.
The bill sought to strengthen internal democracy, reduce the cost of politics, widen political participation and the conduct of free fair and credible elections through technological innovations and an electronic database.
However, there were concerns raised over the enforceability of some of its provisions.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in refusing to sign that bill, had said: “I am declining assent to the bill principally because I am concerned that passing a new electoral bill this far into the electoral process for the 2019 general election, which commenced under the 2015 Electoral Act, could create some uncertainty about the applicable legislation to govern the process.
“Any real or apparent change to the rules this close to the election may provide an opportunity for disruption and confusion in respect of which law governs the electoral process.”
We Are Committed To Deepening Democracy, Says Rivers State Governor Wike
Rivers state Governor, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has explained that the support given to the judiciary by his administration is to deepen democracy in Nigeria.
He said all the arms of government need to work in synergy in discharging their responsibilities to serve the people with courage and efficiency.
Governor Wike was speaking shortly after inspecting the progress of work at the reconstructed residence of the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal and other judicial staff located in Amadi flat, Old GRA in Port Harcourt and the Judges Quarters for Judges of Rivers State Judiciary in Orazi in Obio/ Akpor Local Government Area of the state, on Wednesday.
The governor said his administration had commissioned quarters for Judges of the Court of Appeal while the residence of the Presiding Justice and staff of the same court would be ready soon to boost their morale to confidently discharge their duties.
“We are quite impressed with the level of work that is going on there. You must give the people all it takes to do their best because you can’t talk about fighting corruption and then you will not give the Judiciary the support that it requires.
“You cannot talk about deepening democracy without having the Judiciary or Legislature playing their role.
“The three arms of government must work together to be able to engender development for the state,” he said.
Commenting on the provision of quarters for Judges of the Rivers State judiciary, Governor Wike said it would solve the problem of accommodation for Judges on retirement.
“I did say that we are going to give them owner- occupier residence so that when judges retire, they will get accommodation.
“It is very funny to find that when Judges retire, they do not have a place to stay or are compelled to stay in remote places after years of service. So, we thought that there is need to give them a befitting place after retirement.
“We are happy that the contractor has completed the building, and now Julius Berger PLC is carrying out the furnishing. In a short time, we believe that it will be commissioned and handed over to the Chief Judge of the state who will then hand them over to the beneficiaries,” he added.
COVID-19: Rivers State Governor, Wike Sues For Understanding
* Imposes night time curfew from 8p.m to 6a.m on Bonny LGA and Onne Community in Eleme LGA with effect from July 10, 2020 till further notice
*Sets up Taskforce to enforce wearing of facemasks
* Plans to reopen markets
*Sacks serving Permanent Secretary for flouting COVID-19 guidelines
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has appealed to residents of the State to take personal responsibility to curb the spread of Coronavirus.
He also cautioned that with the commencement of inter-state travels and domestic travels, residents must be cautious in relating with friends and relatives coming from heavily impacted areas like Lagos and Abuja in line with the established protocol of 14 days Isolation.
Governor Wike made the appeal in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, in a state-wide broadcast.
“As at July 8, 2020, the COVID-19 status of our State is as follows:
Total samples collected: 4573
Total samples tested: 3871
Total confirmed cases: 1235
Total discharged cases: 810
Total active cases: 382
Total death: 43
New cases: 30
“From the first days of this virus, we took serious measures and literally set the pace in our country to slow down the spread.
“We have noticed that most affected people are resorting to self medication instead of presenting themselves for treatment at the State’s Treatment Centres.
“Those who experience symptoms of fever, cough, loss of smell or taste and shortness of breath, among others should present themselves for appropriate treatment at the expense of the State Government.
“Furthermore, in the face of increasing infections and systemic risk to public health and safety, most residents have continued to disregard the mitigating protocols with reckless abandon.
“Public and private transporters, business owners and churches are refusing to adhere to the relevant protocols.
“Burial ceremonies are also reportedly being conducted in clear breach of the 50 persons maximum attendance limit such that a serving Permanent Secretary had the temerity to chase away officials of the State Ministry of Health who went to enforce the established guidelines on public burials at Oyigbo,” he said.
The Governor therefore announced the sack of the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Sunny Okere with immediate effect for flouting and obstructing the enforcement of the guidelines.
This, he said, would serve as a lesson to all other public officers who may wish to be irresponsible.
He assured that government would decontaminate public schools to keep them safe for resumption in line with the Federal Government’s Guidelines.
Government, he said, is also appraising the prospect of opening markets as soon as it is satisfied that it is safe with appropriate guidelines on social distancing, hand washing and wearing of face masks.
Governor Wike announced the setting up of a Joint Taskforce made up of security and civilian personnel to enforce the wearing of face masks.
He stated that to sustain the progress made in the state, the State Security Council has imposed a night time curfew from 8p.m to 6a.m on Bonny Local Government and Onne Community in Eleme Local Government with effect from July 10, 2020 until further notice.
The Governor assured all health workers, including doctors and nurses that government would continue to cater for their welfare as they continue to serve the state at grave risks to their own lives.
He added that government would not fail to do whatever it takes to slow down the spread of the virus.
Governor Wike Is Building The Future For Rivers State – Nsirim …To Collaborate With CoolWazobiaInfo On Development Reportage
The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, has stated that the State Governor, Nyesom Wike is deliberately building an enviable future for Rivers People.
Nsirim, who stated this on Tuesday, when the Management of CoolWazobiaInfo, operators of Cool, Wazobia, and Nigeria Info radio stations, paid him a courtesy visit in his office, stated that every step the Governor has taken since 2015 had been targeted at developing the State.
“Within the last five years, His Excellency has demonstrated keenly that his passion to turn around the fortunes of Rivers State is not something that he is just playing to the gallery. In almost all sectors of the economy of the State you can see the monumental changes that are taking place here.
“That’s what we have found in this visionary leader and we are quite proud to be associated with him”, he said.
The Commissioner noted that the manner in which the Governor executes all the developmental projects in the State is only characteristic of a leader who is driven by the will to serve the people.
“Do you want to talk about the three flyovers that are ongoing simultaneously? You know, naysayers thought that it was a political gimmick when he said I have paid 70% of the contract sum of the projects.
“The speed with which the work is going on is so amazing. That is what you see when there is political will and you find a man whose passion for selfless service speaks in all that he does”, he said.
While expressing the willingness of the Ministry to partner with the Station in areas that would develop the State, the Commissioner stated that such partnership would be based on the station ensuring strict adherence to the regulatory guidelines set by the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
Such guidelines, he said, has to do with the principles of objectivity, fairness and balance, noting that when this is not done, there is a breach of the NBC guideline, which regulates the operations of the broadcast media in Nigeria.
He stated that media houses are supposed to be bridge builders who harness public opinion for the common good.
According to him, no Media house should expose itself to be seen to be antagonistic.
“Every Media house owe society the obligation to create a balance in the reportage of activities.
The Commissioner assured that the State Government welcomes criticism and would only collaborate with initiatives that will ensure development for Rivers people.
We are looking forward to any partnership that will bring into focus ethics, objectivity, fairness, and balance. A partnership that will engender development for Rivers people.
“Governor Wike has given governance a new meaning and we believe that partnership with the media will compel him to do more for Rivers people.
” We welcome constructive criticism that will promote the state as an investors’ haven,” he said.
Earlier in his speech, the Programme Manager of the Station, Carl Orakwe, proposed a collaboration with the Ministry towards the development of the State.
“Part of the reasons why we are here is to extend our support and let everyone know that coolwazobiainfo family as a media outfit would strive to promote good governance.
He pledged that they would collaborate with the ministry to project the state in good light.
Also present was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Ibiwari Clapton-Ogolo and all the Directors of the Ministry, as well as the Head of Station, CoolWazobiaInfo, Jeta Onomewho.
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