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Vote Buying: ICPC Arrests Nine Persons In Osun, Borno, Sokoto, Others

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arrested nine persons over alleged vote buying in Osun, Ondo, Borno, Akwa Ibom and Sokoto States during last  Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly Elections.
According to a statement by the Commission’s spokesperson, Mrs Azuka Ogugua at the Weekend, four vote buyers were arrested by the Osun State Office of the ICPC, two persons were arrested by the Sokoto State Office while one person each was arrested by the Ondo, Akwa Ibom and Borno Offices of the anti-graft agency.
The four vote buyers arrested in Osun State are Adewale Teslim, 32 years; Yemi Adebiyi, 42 years; Shake Idris, 36 years, and Emiola Joseph Oluwole, 69 years.
The suspects, who are in Osun State Office custody, were found with documents containing lists of names, phone numbers and account details of voters during the election in the State.
Operatives of the Commission retrieved a list of names and phone numbers of voters from Adewale Teslim at Polling Unit 07, Ward 07, Ile Aganna in Olorunda Local Government Area of Osun State.
The officers also recovered a list of people who had voted with their phone numbers and account details from Yemi Adebiyi at Polling Unit 06, Ward 04 at Ikirun Junction, Ikirun while Shake Idris was arrested at Polling Unit 6, Ward 10, Ofatedo area of Osun State with a notebook containing over 100 names and account numbers.
The anti-corruption agency also recovered a notebook containing a list of voters’ names and account details from Mrs. Afolabi Adijat at Ward 5, Polling Unit 04 of Ansar-ud-deen Mosque area of Olorunda Local Government. The agency’s officers, however, couldn’t arrest Mrs. Afolabi Adijat due to the volatility of the area and insufficient armed personnel.
The Ondo State Office of the ICPC arrested one Mrs. Idowu-Yemi Omolere at Polling Unit 12, Ward 12 behind Dada Estate Police State in connection with the distribution of recharge cards to voters.
The ICPC personnel recovered 24 pieces of N500 recharge cards, a list of voters and their phone numbers as well as a techno phone.
The Borno State Office of the ICPC arrested one Garba Bahausa at the Bulunkutu Ward in possession of four PVCs and the sum of Forty Nine Thousand Naira (N49,000). The suspect distributed the money, food items and 20 wrappers.
In the course of his interrogation, Bahausa confessed that the money was given to him by a lawmaker to distribute to voters.
The Akwa Ibom State Office of the ICPC arrested a woman, Mrs. Idara Umoren, for collating the names and account details of voters suspected to have voted for her preferred candidate.
Umoren was arrested at the Signature Hotel Polling Unit on Plot 48G Line, Ewet Housing Estate, Akwa Ibom.
In Sokoto State, ICPC operatives arrested two persons – Hassan Muhammad and Nafisa Sani – for vote buying at the Rabah Local Government Area of Sokoto.
Hassan Muhammad was caught in possession of signed tickets which were given to voters that voted for his party.

The ticket enabled the voters to be given women wrappers and bags of rice. Nafisa Sani was intercepted while giving wrappers to voters at a polling unit in Rabah Local Government Area of Sokoto.
The ICPC Team also monitored the election in the Federal Capital Territory where it observed that INEC officials exhibited pronounced slackness in the administration of the elections in Lambata and Yebu Polling Units of Kwali Area Council.

Accreditation and voting were yet to commence in many polling units of the Kwali Area Council due to inadequate supply of electoral materials.

The ICPC operatives visited the INEC Office in Kwali Area Council to compel the officers in charge to provide voting materials which aided the commencement of the exercise in the area council.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, OFR, has commended the officers of the ICPC State Offices and the Headquarters for diligently monitoring the Presidential and National Assemble elections.

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Reps Urge FG To Revisit School Feeding Programme

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The House of Representatives, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to revisit the school feeding programme, suspended over sundry controversies.
The National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme was a pilot programme launched in 2004 targeting 12 states to provide a nutritious midday meal to public primary school pupils in the country:
In 2016, the programme was relaunched nationally, targeting public primary school children using locally sourced ingredients to improve health, stimulate agricultural production, and boost smallholder farmers’ income.
Recall that President Bola Tinubu, on January 12, 2024, suspended all programmes of the National Social Investment Programme Agency for six weeks.
The four programmes administered by NSIPA are N- the Power Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, and Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
Following the adoption of the motion, the House mandated its Committees on Special Duties and Finance to invite the Ministers of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Education, and Finance to revisit the program and propose solutions for its future success.”
The House, while adopting a motion on “Urgent call to revisit school feeding policy” moved by the member representing Tarauni Federal Constituency, Kano State, Mr Muktar Zakari, noted that the philosophy behind the NHGSFP is to encourage enrollment into the public primary schools, address childhood hunger pangs, and improve their ability to concentrate, learn, and increase school attendance.
The lawmaker, a member of the New Nigeria People’s Party, lamented that “The suspension of the NHGSFP by the current administration is unsettling for several reasons, namely reduced school enrollment and attendance, compromised health and cognitive development of the children, and disruption of the income of smallholder farmers.”
He also said “Addressing the programme’s challenges is crucial, but a complete suspension may cause more harm,” noting that “It is important to find alternative solutions or efficient implementation of the NHGSFP to ensure Nigerian children continue to benefit from this important initiative.”
In his words, “The cancellation of the programme is causing an upsurge in the number of out-of-school children, posing a threat to the country’s future and leading to a high rate of crimes, insecurity, and unemployment.”

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Insecurity: Reps Want Modern Technology Deployed In Nation’s Borders

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The House of Representatives has called on the Nigeria Customs Service to deploy modern technology to secure the nation’s borders with neighbouring countries.
The directive followed the adoption of a motion on “Need to employ the use of modern technology to secure the nation’s borders,” sponsored by the member representing Awka North/Awka South Federal Constituency, Anambra State, Obiageli Orogbu at Thursday’s plenary.
Consequently, the Reps mandated “The Nigeria Customs Service to beef up the nation’s border security with modern technological gadgets.”
It also directed its Committees on National Security and Intelligence and Customs and Excise to “Interface with the relevant agencies of the executive arm to ensure implementation and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.”
Leading the debate, Orogbu said that there are over 320 illegal routes into Nigeria “That serves as horrendous channels for the influx of inadmissible aliens and goods.
“Nigeria at the moment lacks sufficient security personnel to safeguard the existing illegal routes across the borders. These unmanned routes provide avenues for insecurity, proliferation of arms, and dumping of unwholesome goods into the country;
“The porous borders have provided an impetus to the thriving drug and human trafficking routes all over the country.”
Justifying the significance of the motion, the Labour Party chieftain noted that, “Border policing has since shifted from the mundane use of only human beings to the deployment of sophisticated electronic based equipment for potency.
“The deployment of technologies like electronic sensors, video monitors, and night vision scopes to detect illegal entries has proved more effective in western countries than human security.
“Advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, (drones) and dark fighter cameras are available to further enhance border controls,” she added.

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Kogi Lauds Appeal Court’s Verdict On Ododo’s Victory

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The Kogi State Government has hailed the verdict of the Appeal Court, Abuja that yesterday uAtiku hails Supreme Court judgment on LG autonomypheld the victory of the state governor, Usman Ododo.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, made the government’s position known in an interview with journalists shortly after the judgment was delivered in Abuja.
Fanwo described the judgment as “sound,” adding that the it represents “echoes of the indisputable victory” of the governor at the poll.
He said the governor remains unwavering in his faith in the judiciary.
The conmissioner said, “Today’s judgment represents echoes of our victory on November 11, 2023. We campaigned round the state and worked hard to reassure the people that our party is the most reliable to take the state forward.
“November 11 will continue to be remembered in Kogi as the day that Kogites across the senatorial districts united to speak with one voice, birthing a resounding victory for the incumbent governor.
“Today’s verdict has offered another great opportunity for those who lost at the poll and in the courts to join the governor in moving the state forward.”
Fanwo said the court case did not in any way slow governance down as the governor has continued to “roll up his sleeves and deliver democracy dividends to the great people of the state.
“The jubilation that greeted the verdict affirming the victory of the Chief Servant of Kogi is a demonstration of the triumph of the people’s will.”
He urged the people of the state to continue to support the governor to make the state the Confluence of Excellence.

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