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2019 Result Falsification: AGF Fails To Produce INEC Officials In Court

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Attorney-General of the Federation’s office yesterday failed to arraign two officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for their alleged involvement in electoral fraud during the February 23, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The officials, Sulaiman Ikhuoriah and Olugbenga Omotiloye were scheduled to be arraigned before Justice Yusuf Halilu of an FCT High Court, Maitama.
The AGF charged the suspects with falsifying results in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidates against the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidates in the elections held in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo.
Ikhuoriah was said to have served as the Collation Officer for Ward 6 in Saint Maria Gorreti Secondary School, while Omotiloye was an electoral officer at Bishop Kelly, beside St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Airport Road, Benin City.
The alleged infractions of the two officials of the electoral body were investigated by the Edo Command Office of the DSS.
The duo were initially billed for arraignment before the court March 10 but the court did not sit that day.
At the resumed hearing , both defendants were absent in court, prompting the judge to ask the counsel from the Office of the AGF of their whereabout.
The prosecution told the court that the DSS had yet to bring the two defendants to Abuja from Edo State, adding that the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (OAGF) communicated through letters with the DSS to bring the defendants to Abuja and expressed  surprise that the Service did not bring them.
They, therefore, asked for a date in April for the prosecution to bring the two before the court for arraignment.
Justice Halilu, however, frowned at the inability of the prosecution to bring the defendants to court.
According to him, the court was not a warehouse where the prosecution would only come and file the case against the defendants and subsequently do nothing about it.
He then told the counsel from the OAGF that he would not give the prosecution any date, saying, however, that, “If you bring them (from Edo State) today, bring them tomorrow to court for arraignment.”

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Gov Emmanuel Shuts Borders, Suspends Ibom Air

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Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has ordered the closure of all borders and roads leading to the state with immediate effect.
The governor also directed that Ibom Air suspends all flight operations with effect from Sunday, March 29.
The Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, disclosed this in a statement in Uyo, yesterday.
Emmanuel was quoted as directing that workers in the state should stop work with effect from Monday, March 30 for one week. “Following a critical analysis of the situation relating to COVID-19 situation, I have been directed by His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel to make the following announcements:
“Salaries of state government workers for the month of March will be paid on or before Friday, March 27, 2020.
“Workers are advised to prepare to stop going to work and stay at home for one week with effect from Monday, March 30, 2020. The stay-at-home order will be strongly enforced. March 30, 2020. The stay-at-home order will be strongly enforced.
“All borders and roads leading in and out of the state are closed with immediate effect; except for transportation of food items. Ibom Air will suspend all flight operations from Sunday, March 29, 2020.
“Markets are to remain open for sale of foodstuff and essential items only,” Emmanuel said.
The governor appealed to all Churches in the state to fast t situation. and pray on Sunday, March 29 for God’s intervention in the present situation.
He added that while the one week stay at home order would be on, government would continue to monitor the situation and provide update on the coronavirus in the state.
“While the one week stay-at-home order subsists, the Akwa Ibom State government will continue to monitor and provide regular updates on any development in the COVID-19 situation in our state,” he said.

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Partisan Politics: Awuse Wants Civil Servants Isolated

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Elder statesman and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Chief Sergeant Awuse, has said civil servants should be isolated from partisan politics in order to achieve maximum productivity.
Chief Awuse stated this in his remarks at the public presentation of the book, ‘A Handbook on Discipline of Civil Servants in Nigeria’ written by the State Head of Service (HOS), Rufus Godwins in Port Harcourt, recently.
“He stated, “By 1971/72 when we finished our secondary school, I was in Ministry of Establishment. The Permanent Secretary that they had then, if I may say, was a position that many people wanted to have. They were secure. I will want the writer in subsequent review to consider the importance of career civil servants and not political permanent secretaries.
“The reason is simple. Loyalty is always the ingredient for their appointment. But those days, permanent secretaries were judged by their ability to deliver, their ability to perform and they were more secured. I know you may not include that in your book now for obvious reasons.
“But in future, when you are reviewing, please make sure you mention that area. But remember, in every sector today, the politicians are also very important.
“The important thing is that future civil servants should be isolated from partisan politics. They should be allowed to function and use their brains. They should be allowed to do the job, irrespective of which party is in government,” he stated, noting that it was difficult to get the best out of the civil service with frequent rotation.
“Some of them are afraid to function properly because they know that the words that are used that ‘I am directed’. If you are not directed properly you are on your way out,” the elder statesman noted.

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Lagos Assembly Lifts Suspension On Four Lawmakers

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The Lagos State House of Assembly, yesterday, reinstated four of its members earlier suspended indefinitely over alleged misconduct and insubordination.
The Speaker, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, made the announcement during the plenary in Lagos.
The House, had on March 9, passed a resolution sacking two of its principal officers and suspending two members indefinitely for alleged misconduct, insubordination and action that could destabilise the House.
The speaker announced the punitive measures following the voice votes by members present during the plenary.
He said the principal officers that were removed included the Chief Whip, Mr Rotimi Abiru and Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Olumuyiwa Jimoh.
The speaker also announced the suspension of Mr Moshood Oshun (Lagos Mainland Constituency II) and Mr Kazeem Raheem Adewale (Ibeji Lekki Constituency II).
The offices of the four lawmakers in the House were subsequently locked by the Speaker on March 10.
Obasa said on Thursday during plenary, that the House decided to lift their suspension following the intervention by the Governor’s Advisory Council and the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“The Governor’s Advisory Council and the National leader of our party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, have intervened in the crisis and directed that the House should reinstate the suspended lawmakers.

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