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IPAC Faults inec Over De-Registration Of Parties

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The Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), has faulted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), over what they termed the purported deregistration of 74 political parties, saying the action is against the provisions of the law.
Recall that the INEC National Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu while announcing the de-registration said only 18 parties will now participate in future elections in the country, saying the body has the constitutional powers to de-register parties.
But the IPAC, in a statement issued by its National Legal Adviser, Ezeobika Chukwudi , urged the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu to reverse the decision to avoid infringing on the rights of political parties as guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As amended).
The statement reads: “The Inter Party Advisory Council of Nigeria, IPAC, views with serious concerns, the recent decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission in de-registering 74 political parties without observing due process and provisions of the law.
“The Inter Party Advisory Council of Nigeria is aware of an action instituted at the Federal High Court by 33 political parties, who are members of the Council in Suit Number FHC/ABJ/CS/444/2019 filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja seeking amongst other things, an Order restraining the INEC from deregistering concerned political parties pending the determination of the suit.
“The Federal High Court, upon hearing the motion for an interlocutory injunction on the 23rd of January, 2020, adjourned for ruling on February 17, 2020. It is however, reprehensible on the part of INEC to take such decision which is an affront on the judiciary, an abuse of the Court Process and a conscious disregard for the Rule of law.
“By the action purportedly taken by INEC today, the Council is of a firm view that INEC as an institution no longer has regard or respect for the Rule of Law in Nigeria and has lost the confidence of political parties in the political affairs of the Nation.
“The Council hereby calls on the Independent National Electoral Commission, to immediately reverse the purported decision in order not to infringe on the rights of political parties as guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
“By the Provisions of Sections 221 – 229, no provision is inferior or superior to the other. Section 229 defines a political party to include an association whose activities shall include canvassing for votes in support of a candidate for election into a Local Government Council.
“Furthermore, INEC as an institution ought to have been responsible enough to have waited until elections are held in all 774 LGAs and 8,809 Electoral Wards in Nigeria, after the signing of the 4th Alteration to the Constitution on June 4th 2018, before assuming that a party has not won any elective position. It is however imperative to state that we must, as individuals or agencies of government, be careful not to foist a fait accomplish on the Court.
“It is important to reemphasize the fact that 33 political parties, who are members of the Council, moved a motion in Court 3, at the Federal High Court in Abuja for an Order of interlocutory injunction restraining INEC from deregistering the concerned political Parties, pending the determination of the Suit.
“The court adjourned for Ruling on February 17th, 2020 but the Independent National Electoral Commission proceeded in error to foist a state of helplessness on the court.
“This is an affront on the judiciary and must be discouraged. The Council calls on INEC to listen to the voice of reason and immediately reverse itself on this action,” IPAC stated.

 

Dennis Naku

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Bayelsa Assembly Committee on Environment To Curb Unlawful Sand Dredging Activities.

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With various complaints and pettitions by communities impacted by the activities of illegal sand dredging and mining in the Bayelsa State, the state House of Assembly has organised a public hearing on a bill to regulate the operations of sand dredging to ensure that the environment is not adversely impacted on.

The bill tagged ” Regulation of Sand Dealing and Dredging Operations Bill 2019″  according to the House Committee on Environment is aimed at gathering inputs from experts, technocrats and the public in order to formulate a people-friendly bill that will serve the best interest of Bayelsans.

The House Committee Chairman on Environment and member representing Nembe Constituency one, Hon. Ebi  Ben Ololo noted that the public hearing became necessary on the need to remediate the environment and tackle the challenges posed by sand dredging operations in the state.

” The importance of this bill cannot be overemphasized because it can save lives. You are aware a number of times so many communities and their representatives have sent pettitions to this House, specifically the  Chairman House Committee on Environment as per the environmental degradation that has taken place as regards the illegal sand dealing and dredging activities in various communities all around the state”, he said.

“With those number of complains and pettitions we thought it wise to put up a bill to take care of those issues. Most important thing is that we all know that public hearing is a mechanism by which parliamentary Committees obtain information, deal with the information obtained and also exchange views with experts and the public so as to fine-tune whatever bill there is for the public hearing to come up with a top class bill that will be people- friendly and also save lives of the people in Bayelsa”, he added.

” Lots of suggestions, contributions, opinions and interactions have been made as regards this very important bill, like we have assured the representatives of the various groups that we will go back in our committee, look at those very important areas where they have suggested and also fine tune the bill. So that in no distant time we will come up with a very formidable bill that will stand the test of time. That the people will benefit from”, Ololo reassured.

He lauded participants for their insightful contributions and opinions during the public hearing, promising that the Committee would do justice to come up with a bill that would meet the expectations of Bayelsans.

In her contribution, House Chief Whip and member representing Yenagoa Constituency 2, Hon. Ebiowu Koku Obiyai lamented the deliberate connivance between communities and the sand dealers, warning that if nothing is done to regulate the activities of sand dredgers Bayelsa communities will be eroded away.

The House Whip also expressed concerns on the activities of companies carrying out dredging business near bridges and sued a delibrate efforts by all in order to save the bridges from collapse.

By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.

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COVID-19: Dep Speaker Empowers PPE Producers, Underprivileged In Ahoada East LGA …Ready To Partner UNICEF

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The Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edison Ehie, has stated that his office has contributed to ensuring that the impact of the hardship warranted by effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is lessoned in Ahoada East Local Government Area (LGA).
Ehie, who was speaking to the RCCE Media Team, stated that the measures taken to achieve this came in two-fold: providing necessary finance to producers of Personal Preventive Equipment (PPE) in the area to enable them mass produce, and buying same off them to give to people in the grassroots.
The other measure, he said, was the provision of financial Palliatives to the tune of #5,000 each to identified underprivileged in the LGA. This include the elderly, pregnant women, widows and widowers, and generally the vulnerable.
According to Ehie, towards this end, about #5 million has been expended so far in the first phase, while preparation is being made for the next phase to commence.
The Deputy Speaker explained that his decision to empower people who already have the expertise to produce the PPEs was necessitated by the need to provide the finance for them to mass produce their products, and to provide the products to those who need them.
“So, we give you (them) the  finance to produce hand sanitizers, face masks, etc., then we buy them from you (them) to make sure you (they) profit, then we supply (the products) to the people at the grassroots”, he said.
He also stated his preparedness to partner with UNICEF in any way required to ensure the safety of lives of Rivers people.
Ehie revealed that in addition to what is being done, his office is also preparing for the challenges of post COVID-19 among the people of his constituency.
“We’ve started brainstorming on how we can also support the people as regards the post COVID-19 era. That is going to be another very challenging period for our people because when the pandemic gradually phases out, that’s when the reality of hardship will come on.
“We’re trying to put our heads together to see how we can intervene again at that stage”, he said.
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CROSIEC Deploys About 8,000 Personnel For LG Elections

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Ahead of the next Saturday’s rescheduled Local Government elections in Cross River, about 8000 personnel are said to have been deployed across the state to ensure the smooth conduct of the elections.
The Chairman of the Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission, Dr. Mike Ushie, who disclosed this in Calabar while
speaking on preparations by the commission, said they are ready for the elections and one hundred percent compliant with post COVID-19
elections guidelines recently released by the Independent National Electoral Commission as well as the National Centre for Diseases
Control.
He said: “Eight thousand personnel have been mobilised to cover the two thousand, two hundred and twenty-six polling units in the state.
There will be three personnel per pooling unit, five at the accreditation centres, five at the local government and ward coalition centres.
“Accreditation and voting will take place simultaneously and  in line with INEC guidelines, there will be two levels of queuing  and voters
will vote in batches while maintaining social distance.
“We had to make sure that we are on course and lives are protected. Luckily INEC released the procedure for post COVID-19 elections and I
must say that we are in full compliance with it. INEC said we have to provide hand sanitizers, face masks and we have adopted all the
procedures one hundred percent.
“ We have gone beyond INEC  and have gone ahead to procure hand sanitizers, hand washing containers, a good number of face masks  and
we are working seriously to ensure that the right thing is done”, he said.
He added that the commission has given sufficient notice for the elections and confirmed that five political parties will be participating in Saturday’s elections.
From FRIDAY NWAGBARA, Calabar.
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