A female petitioner and buiding material contractor, Mrs Saviour Mercy Ihejiere, has told the Rivers State Commission of Inquiry Investigating Alleged Police Brutality, Tourture, Killing and Human Rights Violations committed by police officers in the state how she lost her two months’ old pregnacy from complications arising from an alleged torture and assault by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Eleme Division, Mr Adamu Manaseh Jessi in his office in 2019.
Ihejiere made the allegation when she appeared before the panel to give evidence and defend her petition during the ongoing sitting of the commission at the Obi Wali International Conference Centre in Port Harcourt, over the weekend.
She alleged that the DPO, alongside his orderly, assualted and beat her up when she went to demand her N70,000 debt, being the balance of contract sum owed her by Adamu Maneseh Jessi in 2017.
According to her, she supplied building materials to the DPO in 2017, 2018 and 2019, while the accused was in Okirika Police Division for the construction of the divisional police headquarters, adding that efforts made to get Adamu Maneseh to pay the balance of the money since 2017 have proved abortive as he blocked her mobile calls from gaining access to his lines.
She further told the commission that, prescisely, on October 15, 2020, a friend informed her that the DPO had been transferred to Eleme division through a friend after two years of not having any contact with the accused.
“On that fateful day, I went to see him in his office, and after waiting for several hours, one of the admin officers asked me to enter the DPO’s Office, which I did.
“On sighting me in his office, his countenances changed, and he became furious, and wanted to know who permitted me into his office.
“Immediately, he summoned all the personnel working in the admin to know who brought me in, and after that, he ordered two female officers, including his orderly, to push me out of his office, which I ressisted, and insisted that I must collect my money before leaving.
“It was at this point that he got up from his chair, and told his ordely to go and bring his teargas”.
The female witness and mother of two, told the panel that after beating her, the DPO seized her phone and teargased her in the office, adding that she screamed and was wailing, shouting and was then taken out to be detained without any access to her family members.
She explained that her screaming attracted many officers into the DPO’s office, adding that the DPO, on seeing the seriousness of the situation, informed the Area Commander in Eleme, ACP Yaya Hassan, who invited her, alongside the DPO to his office.
Ihejiere added that the area commander, after listening to explanations from both sides, blamed the DPO for his conduct, and ordered him to pay the balance sum of N70,000 owed to her.
“Later, my husband and brothers came to the Area Command’s Office in Eleme, and rushed me to a hospital in Okrika, where I was admitted, and after some days, I lost the pregnancy as a result of the teargas, and merciless beating.
“I had earlier told the DPO that I was pregnant, and that he should pay me my money so that I can take care of my pregnancy”, she stated.
Ihejiere, however, demanded the sum of N3million as compensation to carter for the expenses the family incurred during her ordeal, just as she also that the DPO should be made to face justice for misconduct and apologise to his husband and her family members.
The Presiding Chairman of the commission, Justice Chukwunoye Uriri (rtd), relying on the rules of the panel, adjourned the matter to December 9, 2020, for continuation and cross-examination of the witness by the police.
Only Your Votes’ll Decide Fate Of Candidates, INEC Reassures Nigerians
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reassured Nigerian voters that only their votes will be the sole determinant of the winners among the 15,322 candidates nationwide contesting in next year’s general election.
The commission reiterated its commitment to ensuring that it delivers a credible, free and fair election, reassuring that the votes of the electorate will definitely count.
INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, gave the assurance in his keynote address at the Annual Conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, held in Lagos, yesterday.
He admitted that with the lifting of the ban on political campaigns, the tempo of political activities has increased with parties, candidates and their supporters commencing campaigns, rallies, processions and media advertisements to canvass the support of the electorate.
The chairman, however, warned that the commission will pay particular attention to the conduct of parties, candidates and their supporters, stressing that as the regulator, it will play its role to ensure compliance with the provision of the law as well as our guidelines and regulations.
“The 2023 general election is fast approaching. It is now 141 days to Election Day. Polling Units will open at 8:30 am on Saturday, February 25, 2023, for national elections (Presidential and National Assembly) and the same time on Saturday, March 11, 2023, for state elections (governorship and state assembly).
“Campaign in public by political parties officially commenced on Wednesday, September 28, 2022. Therefore, the tempo of political activities has increased as parties, candidates and their supporters commence campaigns, rallies, processions and media advertisements to canvass the support of the electorate.
“The commission has published the final list of 15,322 candidates for the General Election contesting for 1,491 seats (one Presidential, 28 Governorship, 109 Senatorial, 360 House of Representatives and 993 State Assembly constituencies).
“I wish to restate once again the commitment of INEC to credible elections. Votes will continue to count and will be the sole determinant of the electoral outcome,” he assured.
The electoral umpire boss further explained that technological innovations introduced by the commission will guarantee and protect the sanctity of the choice made by Nigerians at the polls.
“For this reason, the commission has introduced many new innovations, supported by the deployment of appropriate technology, to protect the sanctity of the choice made by Nigerians at the polls ranging from voter registration to voter accreditation and result management,” he said.
“The deployment of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) with its dual fingerprint and facial biometric accreditation process has ensured that only genuine voters are accredited to vote during election. This has curtailed the incidence of multiple voting and other sharp practices associated with voter accreditation during elections.
“The BVAS has come to stay and will be the only means by which voters will be accredited in the 2023 general election.
“Furthermore, the introduction of the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) Portal has made the result management procedure more transparent. Polling Unit results are now uploaded in real-time to the IReV portal for public view.
“This has enhanced the transparency, credibility and consequently public confidence in the outcome of elections. The IReV has come to stay and polling unit results will be uploaded to the portal in real-time in the 2023 general election,” he said.
Yakubu further emphasised that; “as campaigns commence, I also wish to remind political parties and candidates that you all signed the Peace Accord organised by the National Peace Committee (NPC) in which you committed yourselves to peaceful electioneering campaign. I urge you to be guided by the letter and spirit of the accord.
“For our part, the commission will pay particular attention to the conduct of parties, candidates and their supporters. As a regulator, the commission will play its role to ensure compliance with the provision of the law as well as our guidelines and regulations.
“We will pay particular attention to a peaceful campaign devoid of abusive, intemperate and slanderous language as well as the use of innuendoes or insinuations likely to provoke a counter-reaction resulting in the breach of the peace.
“Similarly, we will pay special attention to the observance of limits on party and candidate finance. I urge political parties and candidates to carefully study the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 and familiarise themselves with their obligations as well as the penalties under the law.
“As you are aware, elections are a multi-stakeholder activity. As the commission is doing its best to ensure a credible process, we also appeal to the media for a continuous partnership. Managing the electoral process for credible outcomes is the responsibility of all of us. As campaign activities get underway, the media will continue to play an important role. A lot of the activities will take place in the media of which the new media is a critical player.
“We must continue to work together against the spread of fake news, misinformation and disinformation that seek to create or exacerbate tension or de-legitimise processes and outcomes,” Yakubu charged.
2023: Era Of Ballot Box Snatching Over, Banigo Insists …Lauds Wike For Reappointing Danagogo
Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, has expressed gratitude to Governor Nyesom Wike for the reappointment of Dr. Tammy Danagogo as Secretary to the State Government.
Banigo stated this during a meeting with leaders and critical stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area at the Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The deputy governor, who congratulated Danagogo for his re-appointment, described the re-appointment as well-deserved.
Banigo said she does not take lightly the call to represent Rivers West at the Senate, and noted that her kind of representation at the Upper Legislative Chambers would bring glory to God.
“I encourage you to tell your people to collect their PVCs, because this time around the votes will count, as the new Electoral Act does not allow what they did in 2019, they cannot try it as nobody can carry ballot boxes”, the deputy governor stressed.
In a related development, Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, has commended leaders of the PDP in Ahoada West Local Government Area, for keying into the Divine Kingdom Mandate.
Banigo made this commendation while meeting with them at the Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday, preparatory to the commencement of her campaigns in the upcoming elections.
She motivated the people to exercise their franchise, by collecting their PVCs to vote for credible candidates of the PDP.
“They should come out and vote, because this is our opportunity to chase out this bad All Progressives Congress-led government at the federal level, as they have brought so much untold suffering, untold hardship, bloodshed and kidnapping. We have seen the developmental strides of our governor so much development is going on in Rivers State, and we are poised to give you more”, Banigo added.
Wike Signs Instrument To Withdraw Omehia’s Recognition As Ex-Gov, Today …Re-Appoints Danagogo As SSG
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, will today sign the official instrument to withdraw the recognition of Sir Celestine Omehia as former governor of the state.
A statement signed by the Special Assistant on Media to the Rivers State Governor, Kelvin Ebiri, yesterday, said that the ceremony would “take place at the Government House, Port Harcourt, on Friday, 7th October, 2022 by 12 noon”.
The statement further read, “His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, is to sign the instrument on cancellation of the recognition of Sir Celestine Omehia as a former governor of Rivers State.
“The cancellation of the recognition is sequel to the resolution of the Rivers State House of Assembly adopted on Thursday, October 6, 2022, to derecognise Sir Celestine Omehia as a former governor of the state”, the statement added.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has approved the re-appointment of Dr Tammy Danagogo as the Secretary to the State Government.
A statement signed by the Special Assistant on Media to the Rivers State Governor, Kelvin Ebiri, last Wednesday, said that “the appointment takes immediate effect.”
It added, “His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, has approved the re-appointment of Dr.Tammy Wenike Danagogo as the Secretary to the Rivers State Government (SSG).”
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