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INEC Distributes Election Materials In Delta

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Wednesday, started the distribution of sensitive and non-sensitive election materials in Delta State.
INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in the State, Rev. Monday Udoh-Tom, said in Asaba that the Commission started distribution from the six riverine local government areas of the state.
“We are here in the premises of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Asaba, for the purpose of distributing the sensitive and non-sensitive election materials for the Governorship and House of Assembly election that is taking place on March 18.
“Though the election was earlier shifted because of some logistics challenges and the reconfiguration of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) which was concluded on Tuesday.
“We are here today to take delivery of the materials to the various LGAs of the state, starting with the riverine areas, like Bomadi, Burutu, Patani, Warri North, Warri South and Warri South West,” he said.
Udoh-Tom appealed to political parties and their candidates to work towards achieving peaceful election in the state.
“I want to appeal to political parties in the state and those contesting to ensure peaceful election where everyone would be allowed to cast his or her vote without violence, bitterness and rancour.
“Every person that is going to win this election is from Delta. He or she is not a foreigner.
“Therefore being an indigene of the state, we should give them all encouragement that would ensure free, fair and credible election.
“As INEC, we know what is expected of us to go out on election day. Sometime, we meet hostile communities and this always make work difficult for us.
“We appeal that everybody should sheathe their swords and go out for peaceful election where the winner will be happy and the loser will embrace the winner,” he said.
Udoh-Tom also said that 18 political parties had fielded candidates for the Governorship election and 322 candidates for the House of Assembly election.
On his part, the Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council in Delta, Mr Emeka Bidokwu, said political parties confirmed that the materials were complete and intact before the commencement of the distribution.
“We have confirmed that the materials are complete and intact. The various political parties are all represented here.
“The REC will sign all the results sheets going out and the Electoral Officers will also sign the result sheets from the field in order to avoid fake results sheets.
“This is grassroots election and we have done our best to ensure there is peace in the state,” he said.

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Niger Delta

Eno Sacks Commissioner For Special Duties

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Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno has relieved the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Bassey Okon, of his appointment with immediate effect.
Secretary to the State Government, Mr Enobong Uwah, disclosed this in a statement in Uyo on Monday.
Uwah, who did not give reasons for the commissioner’s sack, directed him to hand over all state government properties in his possession to the Permanent Secretary.
He thanked the former commissioner for the period he served the state, and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Niger Delta

Check Oil Pollution In N’Delta, Stakeholders Urge Oil Firms

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Stakeholders in host communities have demanded that oil companies be compelled to address adverse health impact of oil exploration in the Niger-Delta.
They made their position known on Monday during a public presentation of the research report on the impact of oil extraction on women’s health in Otuabagi community in Bayelsa.
The Tide’s source reports that Dr Emem Okon, Director, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, an NGO, championed the event.
The source also reports that Otuabagi Community within the Oloibiri District in present Ogbia Local Government Area is where crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity in Nigeria in 1956.
Okon said the report highlighted the adverse consequences of oil extraction which had profound negative impact on health and livelihood of women in Otuabagi community.
She said research revealed that several of the participants had hydrocarbons in their blood sample more than World Health Organisation (WHO) threshold and therefore demanded for compensation from oil companies and government.
“There is, therefore, a need to demand for compensation and restoration of polluted sites as well as health actions to keep us alive and to resist death, poverty and injustice”, she said.
She stated that the findings and data would serve as a tool for policy makers, community leaders and all those who strove for a more equitable and sustainable future.
Meanwhile, Dr Bieye Briggs, a public health physician and head of the research team, said from the findings of the report, it was revealed that there was very high and unacceptable level of exposure of the people to hydrocarbons.
Briggs advocated for the Federal Government to carry out health audit in Otuabagi community and other oil producing areas in the Niger-Delta region.
He explained that such audit was with a view to instituting intervention program to halt and reverse the impact of oil exploration.
Similarly, Chief Daniel Amangi, the traditional ruler of Otuabagi community, commended Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre for undertaking the project and urged the Federal Government to focus on developing the community.
Amangi also called for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the research findings for the overall benefit of the people.
In the same vein, Alagoa Morris, a stakeholder, lamented that life expectancy was lower in the Niger-Delta region than in other parts of the country due to the hazards caused by oil exploration.
He called for compensation to be paid to host communities to ameliorate the health impact of oil extraction in the region.
The ceremony also featured a drama presentation by Otuabagi women and panel discussion on the findings of the report.

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Niger Delta

Court Orders AAU Graduate’s Car, iPhone’s Forfeiture To FG

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A Benin High Court on Monday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to sell a Toyota Venza 2012 model, recovered from a graduate of Biochemistry from Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Osadolor Edomwonyi.
The EFCC charged Edomwonyi with internet fraud.
Delivering judgment, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba, sentenced Edomwonyi to three years imprisonment.
The judge also ordered the forfeiture of an iPhone 13 Promax, recovered from the convict .
He also ordered that balances in his Opay account, Kids Bank account and Access Bank with which he was charged and convicted to the Federal Government through EFCC and the accounts be parmanently closed.
The convict prayed the court for a plea bargain agreement.
Ikponmwonba, however, gave him an option of fine in the sum of N100,000.
Earlier, the EFCC counsel, Mr I K Agwaisaid, said the convict committed an offence contrary to the provisions of Sections 6 and 8 (b) of the advance free fraud and other fraud-related offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The prosecutor said in a plea bargain agreement, Edomwonyi pleaded guilty to the one-count charge of possession of fraudulent documents.

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