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Daily Archives: November 17, 2019

Nigeria Army: Crocodile to smile in Lagos, Ogun Nov 19 to Dec 23

The 81 Division of Nigerian Army says it will commence Exercise Crocodile Smile IV on Tuesday in Lagos and Ogun states simultaneously.

Major Kamarudeen Adegoke, Acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, said in a statement that the exercise would be conducted from November 19 to December 23.

The Army Spokesman said that the exercise was aimed at enhancing troops operational proficiency, inter-agency cooperation and civil -military coordination.

It said that the exercise was also aimed at curbing prevalent contemporary security challenges such as kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism, ritual killing and pipeline vandalism within its area of responsibility.

There would be free medical outreach, maintenance of some selected roads and distribution of educational materials to some schools in Lagos and Ogun State, he said.

The statement advised members of the public not to panic on sighting troops and movement of military equipment throughout the period of exercise.

It said that the Gov Babajide Sanwo-Olu would declare the exercise open on Tuesday.

APC leaders visit Jonathan

Some All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders, led by Governor Mohammed Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State, visited former President Goodluck Jonathan a few hours after the Bayelsa State governorship election…on Sunday.

APC leaders visit Jonathan
Jonathan

 

APC leaders visit Jonathan
Patience Jonathan with Ita Enang

 

APC leaders visit Jonathan
With Patience Jonathan

Kogi: INEC postpones further announcement of results

Further announcement of the results of the governorship election in Kogi State has been postponed till 9 a.m. on Monday.

The postponement was necessitated by the non-arrival of the results from Lokoja Local Government and Ibaji Local Government.

The Returning Officer, Prof. Ibrahim Umar, said that the postponement would allow the staff to sort things out and give other stakeholders time to rest.

Before the postponement, Governor Yahaya Bello of All Progressives Congress (APC) was leading Mr Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and 23 other candidates.

“Results of 18 local government had been announced while issues surrounding that of Dekina Local Government will be finally resolved also on Monday,” Umar said.

Nigerian entrepreneur wins $250,000 Jack Ma foundation grant

Temie Giwa-Tubosun, a Nigerian entrepreneur, has won $250,000 grant from Jack Ma foundation.

The entrepreneur emerged as the top winner of the foundation’s first annual prize for African businesses.

The event took place in Accra, Ghana, on Saturday.

Jack Ma, a Chinese investor, had started the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) with $1 million.

Giwa-Tubosun is the CEO of LifeBank, a Lagos-based blood and oxygen delivery company that connects registered blood banks to hospitals and patients in need of urgent blood supply.

Tubosun’s team in action

Speaking at the event, the entrepreneur said the prize will ensure the growth of LifeBank in  Nigeria and beyond.

“The Africa Netpreneur Prize will give me the resources to grow LifeBank and expand our presence in Nigeria and throughout the rest of Africa. I look forward to continuing my journey to solve problems and make a significant impact on the future of Africa,” she said.

In a tweet, she thanked the Chinese investor, adding that more work will be done.

“Thank you Mr. Ma! Let them know that we are who we’ve been waiting for! We will continue to do the work and show them that greatness is evenly distributed!” she tweeted.

Temie Giwa-Tubosun@temite

Thank you Mr. Ma! Let them know that we are who we’ve been waiting for! We will continue to do the work and show them that greatness is evenly distributed! ❤️

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Giwa-Tubosun established LifeBank in 2015 “to help reduce blood shortage in Nigeria”.

LifeBank provides records of blood banks across Lagos. It allows health centers to find the relevant blood types and order for delivery.

The company delivers an average of 300 pints of blood a month to more than 170 hospitals across the state.

When he visited Nigeria  earlier in the week, Jack Ma had expressed delight that Nigerian entrepreneurs were finalists in the competition.

“In the next few days we are going to have the all the internet prize, everyone in Africa can apply for award. I am happy to know that four Nigerian entrepreneurs are among the top 10. We will have the final competition in two days and I think Nigeria entrepreneurs will have great result,” he had said.

 

VIDEO: ‘This is not an election’ — Melaye rejects result ahead of INEC declaration

Dino Melaye, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi west, says he has never seen an election like that of Saturday in his life.

In a video he posted on social media, the politician alleged that all the returning officers in the senatoral district were compromised.

He said the Independent National Electoral (INEC) ought to declare the exercise inconclusive because the number cancelled votes is higher than the margin between the two leading candidates.

Melaye said the exercise fell short of expectation.

Smart Adeyemi, his A;; Progressives Congress (APC) rival, was leading with over 14,000 votes in the results of five of the seven local government areas earlier announced.

Below is the video:

 

Wada rejects election results, says ‘APC has taken us back to the dark days’

Musa Wada, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Kogi state governorship election, has rejected the exercise even before declaration of results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Addressing a press conference, in Lokoja on Sunday, Wada alleged that the results were all false.

He said what happened in the state over the weekend was neither democracy nor a reflection of the wishes of the electorate.

He accused security agencies of colliding with INEC to undermine the will of the people, describing it as a sad day for Kogi people.

“Imagine Okene LGA which used to return 40,000 votes in the past elections suddenly brought out 112,000 votes while her neighbouring Okehi also brought in 64,000, the figures that will be more than the rest local governments in the state,” he said.

“It is the insincerity of the APC that has made the whole process a sham… APC has taken Nigeria back to the dark days It is not about Wada but of the suffering masses of the state. I am pained for the people to continue to suffer for another four years.

“On whether I will get justice, it is a common knowledge about how all the institutions have been bastardised by the APC government. However, I have to exhaust all legal means to get redress. Look at how the results were written by the agents of government and you can see that Lokoja, the state capital which was agog yesterday is a shadow of its self as nobody is celebrating.

“The results are not the true representation of what happened on the field, figures are just been allocated. Our aim to contest is to effect positive change which the people massively gave us their votes before the government decided to kill the joy of the people.”

Wada said he campaigned vigorously across the state, alleging that “the cabal in the APC government will not allow the will of the people to prevail”.

“We were prepared for the election, we campaigned across all the Local Government Areas. But how can one confront a government with all the apparatus of coercion,” he said.

“Imagine security agents using helicopters to teargas voters. It happened in Ganaja, some people were shot from the helicopter. In fact two persons lost their lives.

“We have to reject the results even when the release is ongoing because you don’t need to be killed before you cry out.

“I won this election free and fair. Just imagine that they leave out the rigged election of Okene, Okehi and the several cases of brutality meted on our supporters, and the widely reported cases of ballot snatching, I would have won neatly.”

APC takes Bayelsa, defeats PDP with over 200,000 votes

David Lyon, candidate of the the All Progressives Congress (APC), has secured the highest number of votes in the Bayelsa governorship election.

Lyon defeated Douye Diri, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in six out of eight locals government areas of the state.

The APC polled 352,552 while PDP secured 143,170 votes, leaving a margin of 209,382.

This is the first time an opposition party would win a governorship election in the oil-rich state since the return of democracy in 1999.

The state, which was created in 1996, has always been governed by the PDP.

Below are the scores from each local government area as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the state collation centre in Yenagoa.

Sagbama LGA

APC – 7, 831
PDP- 60, 339

Brass LGA

APC – 23, 831
PDP- 10, 410

Nembe LGA

APC – 83, 041
PDP- 874

Ekeremor LGA

APC – 21, 489
PDP- 18, 344

Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA

APC – 8, 934
PDP- 15, 360

Ogbia LGA

APC – 58, 016
PDP- 13, 763

Southern-Ijaw LGA

APC – 124, 803
PDP- 4, 898

Yenagoa LGA

APC – 24, 607
PDP- 19, 184

INEC is about making final pronouncement on the election.

Interpol detains ex-Justice minister, Adoke in Dubai

Mohammed Bello Adoke, former attorney-general of the federation, has been held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, by Interpol following confusion over a warrant of arrest that has already been vacated, The Cable is reporting.

A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) high court in Abuja had issued a warrant of arrest against Adoke and four others on April 17, 2019 following a request by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the controversial OPL 245 deal executed by the federal government in 2011.

However, following an application by Adoke’s lawyers, the court, presided over by D. Z. Senchi, vacated the warrant on October 25, 2019, declaring it “null and void and of no effect whatsoever”.

The Cable says that while the first order was sent to Interpol by the Nigerian police, the vacating order was not transmitted, thereby creating confusion for the multinational force.

Adoke, who was said to have arrived Dubai on Monday, November 11, for a scheduled medical check-up, was quizzed by the Interpol and then taken into custody following the mix-up.

A source who is in the know of the development said the police are asking for a certified copy of the vacating order before they can release him and allow him to proceed for his medicals.

It could not immediately establish from where he flew into Dubai, with different sources saying China and Rwanda.

Adoke has been on self-exile since 2015, accusing the EFCC of trying to humiliate him and maintaining that he did no wrong in the OPL 245 affair.

He recently published his memoirs, “Burden Of Service: Reminiscences of Nigeria’s former Attorney-General”, detailing his role in the OPL 245/Malabu Oil deal as well as other events that happened in the Goodluck Jonathan administration, which he served as AGF from 2010 to 2015.

Delta policemen collect N150,000 school fees from student at gunpoint

Weeks of tireless efforts to raise his school fees paid off on Monday when his parents credited his bank account. The next day, Efe Ifie didn’t waste time. Excited that he would be able to pay his tuition fees before the December deadline, the 300 level student of Civil Engineering at the Delta State University took his travel bag and left for school at noon.

As the journey progressed, he basked in the excitement that the worries over raising the school fees were over. Little did he know that a shocker was awaiting him some kilometres away along Sapele-Warri Road. Some armed policemen at a checkpoint stopped the bus he was travelling in and reportedly compelled him to cough up N150,000 meant for the school fees and his feeding.

Ifie told City Round during the week the policemen flagged down the bus and asked him to disembark for inspection.

He stated that after the men checked his bag without finding anything incriminating, one of them collected his phone.

“While he was checking it, he saw two Gmail accounts,” he disclosed. “One is my personal email addresses bearing my name while the other carries the name of my dance crew.”

The 22-year-old explained that to his amazement, the policeman afterwards tagged him a fraudster for operating two email addresses.

He recalled, “I told him I am not a fraudster and was trying to explain to him that the second email is for my crew. He called his colleague to take me into their vehicle far from where the bus I was travelling in was and they handcuffed me. They told the driver to leave me. I told them I am a student and that I was going to school.”

He said he repeatedly pleaded with the cops to allow him call his parents but they declined.

Ifie said they reportedly asked him to ‘settle my case,’ a request that left the young man startled and helpless.

He added, “I asked them what they meant by that. One of them asked to know my tribe and I told him I am Urobo. He said Urobos are thieves. They said my settlement fee was N200,000. I screamed and asked them where they wanted me to get that amount.

“I asked them again to give me my phone so I could call my parents. They said I should settle them at that spot or they would take me to their station. They were there for over an hour, intimidating me. Their names were not on their badge.”

He explained that the policemen eventually took him to the station, Ekpan Police Division, around 2pm and threatened to lock him up if he failed to settle them.

Ifie stated, “Meanwhile, I have the credit alert of my school fees and feeding money in my phone. They threatened to put me in a cell where other boys like me have been for over two weeks. They said they would thereafter take me to the EFCC. I begged them to let me call my parents but they did not answer me.

“They asked me if I have money in my account and I told them I didn’t. They started searching my phone and saw the alert. They said they must collect N200,000. I begged and told them it’s my school fees. They took me to an ATM point but it did not work. They then took me to a POS stand around the station and forced me to withdraw N150,000 from my account for them. My school fees was about N80,000 while the remaining money was for my welfare. The payment for school fees is closing next month.”

The student said the policemen took him back to the station, gave him his bag and freed him.

“As I was walking away, one of them called me back and said another police team was ahead and that if they arrested me, they would bring me back to the station and collect another money from me. I told him I was going home; he then put me in a tricycle that took me to the park.

“When I got home I narrated what happened to my parents and they were upset because it was difficult for them to raise that money. I don’t know the names of the policemen because they didn’t wear name tags but I can identify them,” he added.

An activist, who is following up the case, Mr Harrison Gwamnishu, lamented on his Facebook page that the Delta State Police Command had not acted on the case.

He wrote, “Dear CP Adeyinka Adeleke, some officers from Ekpan Division, Warri, collected a student’s school fees (N150,000). No statement. No crime. His only crime was having a phone and money in his account.

“Sir, the office of the PPRO (Police Public Relations Officer), state command, headed by DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya has never issued a statement to the general public on your stand against these criminal activities by your officers.

Appeal court sacks 2 lawmakers in Imo, orders re-run in 90 days

An Appeal Court sitting in Owerri on Saturday sacked Obinna Onwubuariri, the member representing Isiala Mbano/Onuimo/Okigwe Federal constituency of Imo in the House of representatives.

The Chairman of the Panel, Justice R.N Pemu, who read the judgment, said that the election that brought Onwubuariri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to power in Feb. 23 was not in tandem with the electoral act of 2010, as amended.

The appellate court said the lower court was right to have ordered a fresh election in the federal constituency.

Pemu said the petitioner, Miriam Onuoha of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was able to prove her allegations of over voting, mutilation of figures and violence which marred the election.

The court, therefore, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return it had earlier issued Onwubuariri and conduct a fresh election in the entire federal constituency within 90 days.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the tribunal had sacked Onwubuariri, but the lawmaker dissatisfied with the judgment, appealed the judgment.

The court also nullified the election of Mrs Uju Onwudiwe of the Action Alliance (AA) representing Njaba State Constituency and ordered fresh elections in 12 polling units in Njaba state constituency within 90 days.

The PDP candidate, Mr Charles Abia had challenged the victory of Onwudiwe in the appeal court.

DSS has given three contradictory reasons for not releasing Sowore, says Falana

Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, says in the last one week, the Department of State Services (DSS) has given three reasons not to release Omoyele Sowore, convener of RevolutionNow Movement.

Sowore was arrested in Lagos on August 3 and later flown to Abuja where he has been in detention despite two court orders on his release.

The DSS has come under intense pressure over the detention of Sowore and other notable Nigerians.

On Friday, Peter Afunanya, spokesman of the DSS, said Sowore chose to remain in custody of the agency because he is being taken care of.

He said the activist could have been remanded in prison but he appealed to the court to allow him stay in the DSS facility.

But Falana described Afunanya’s statement as an embarrassment to the country.

“Within a spate of one week the state security service (SSS) has adduced three contradictory reasons for not complying with the order of the federal high court for the immediate release Sowore and Bakare from illegal custody,” he said in a statement.

“In a public statement issued on 9/11/19 the SSS claimed that it had wanted to release the duo but for the fact that no one had showed up to receive them. When their lawyers and family members offered to receive them the SSS disqualified them.

“The SSS turned round to say that it would only release the detainees to their sureties. Having found that it lacks the vires to vet sureties that have verified by the federal high court the SSS has asked Nigerians to believe that Messrs Sowore and Bakare had applied to be detained in its protective and comfortable custody!

“Instead of apologising for exposing Nigeria to underserved odium the spokesperson of the security agency has asked us to believe that Sowore and Bakare, Mr. and Mrs Elzakzaky and Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) “rather chose to be looked after by the DSS”!

“Since we are counsel to the majority of these detainees in question, we are compelled to join issues with the SSS on its latest justification for such brazen abuse of power.”

Falana said the federal government had consistently disobeyed court orders on the release of detainees.

“At various times in the past 4 years, the federal high court, the federal capital territory high court, the court of appeal and the ECOWAS court of justice admitted Col. Dasuki to bail pending trial. Upon meeting his bail conditions on 30/12/15 he was released by the Kuje prison authorities. However, the SSS operatives arrested him at the gate of the prison and has since been detained in defiance of the orders of the aforementioned municipal and regional courts,” he said.

“With respect to Elzakzakys the Information Minister, Mr. Lai Mohammed had said on June 16, 2017 that “Elzakzaky is actually not in prison custody nor police custody nor DSS custody? El-Zakzaky is in a house with his family, this is the honest truth.

“The court ruled that he will be released after his house has been rebuilt. Nobody wants to accept El-Zakzaky as a neighbor. So we have been able to build a house, where do we release him to?” When were the Elzakzakys transferred to the custody of the SSS from the house built for them by the federal government?

“On another occasion the federal government claimed that Mrs Zeinat Elzakzaky was not detained but that she chose the company of her detained husband, Mr. Elzakzaky. As if that was not enough Mr. Lai Mohammed disclosed that the federal government was spending N3.5 million to feed the Elzakzaky per month. Since the Elzakzakys have been detained illegally for the past 46 months the federal government must have wasted N168 million on feeding the couple!

“The federal government has since justified the detention of Col Dasuki and the Elzakzakys by saying that the local and regional courts had failed to take cognisance of the fact that “national security takes precedence over the rule of law.” In fact, for not realising that Sowore ought not to have been admitted to bail the sss was reported to have threatened to report Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the federal high court to the National Judicial Council.”

Bloody elections: Four killed in Kogi, violence rocks Bayelsa

The Kogi and Bayelsa states’ governorship elections as well as the Kogi West senatorial rerun were on Saturday characterised by violence, shootings, killings, vote-buying and ballot box snatching as many polling units across the two states experienced tension created by political thugs.

Four people were killed in Kogi during the election by political thugs while many were injured in Bayelsa where peace took flight as a result of electoral violence.

The Commissioner of Police in Kogi State, Hakeem Busari, had before the elections assured residents of the state of the safety of their lives and property as adequate personnel would be drafted for the polls.

The elections commenced on a peaceful note across the state as there was a large turnout of voters with the electorate, mostly women trooped to the various polling units as early as 6.30am in Kogi.

But in spite of Busari’s assurance and voters enthusiasm, mayhem broke out in some polling units in Kogi East, Kogi West and Lokoja, the state capital.

Two persons were also reportedly killed by stray bullets at the Adankolo polling unit in Lokoja.

Sunday PUNCH gathered that the incident happened when some hoodlums tried to snatch ballot boxes at the polling unit.

APC chieftain house set ablaze

Eyewitness said the two persons were killed when voters resisted the thugs. The thugs, it was gathered, killed the two persons while a passerby sustained a life-threatening injury from gunshot wound.

This angered the youth who mobilised and set the house of a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in the area ablaze.

When the state police command was contacted, its spokesperson, DSP William Aya, said all enquiries should be directed to the Commissioner of Police in the state Commissioner of Police.

But the commissioner did not pick his call when one of our correspondents put a call across to him.

An officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, who spoke to one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity at a restaurant in Lokoja, scored security low during the election.

He claimed that there were many thugs terrorising voters with guns, adding that security operatives were brazenly bribed by party officials.

One of our correspondents, who monitored the elections in Kogi West, observed that in some of the polling units visited, one or two security officers were attached to each of them.

The voting areas were largely unguarded while the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission seemed overwhelmed by the crowd.

At the Okoro/Gbede in Ijumu council area of Kogi West, the zonal coordinator of the Peoples Democratic Party in the area, Kola Ojo, alleged that in Odokoro, where the sole administrator of the council area came from, ballot papers were allegedly snatched from INEC officials.

When one of our correspondents visited the Odokoro polling unit 002, the PDP party agent at the polling unit, Razak Arekemase, alleged that an influential native of the community stormed the place with personal security men.

The man, he alleged, said those who were not going to vote for a particular political party should leave the queue.

But the traditional leader of the area, Olu of Olokorodo, Oba Isa Elemenimeji, who also spoke to one of our correspondents at the unit, denied intimidation of voters by anyone.

He said he was on the ground to ensure that peace reigned in the area.

He said, “I was told that the PDP members were not allowed to vote. It is a mere gimmick and fallacy. I held a meeting with all the political party leaders and told them that they should give everybody freedom to make their choices. It is a lie.”

Shooting at Dino Melaye’s polling unit, journalists attacked

But at Ayetoro town where the PDP candidate in the Kogi East Senatorial election, Dino Melaye, cast his vote, it was not only about accusation and counter-accusation of rigging, guns were freely used and violence reigned supreme.

About an hour after Melaye voted at ward 01, unit 004 and left, suspected thugs numbering about 10 in two Toyota Hilux vans and a Honda Civic stormed the polling unit, firing gunshots into the air to scare voters to run for safety.

In the commotion, the attackers made away with the ballot boxes and electoral materials and in the process of escaping from the scene after youths made efforts to resist the attack, a young man who was passing by was shot and badly wounded. He was rushed to a nearby hospital.

Some journalists covering election at the polling unit were attacked by the angry youths while attempting to get their reaction.

A Toyota Sienna belonging to Splash FMwas badly damaged in the attack.

Violence thrives in Kogi East

Elsewhere in Kogi East, where the PDP governorship candidate in the election, Musa Wada,  voted, men dressed in the uniform of officials of the NSCDC were apprehended by voters in Ayingba as they attempted to disrupt the accreditation and voting.

One of our correspondents, who covered election in the senatorial district, observed that electoral materials were hijacked in wards 01 and 02 in Odu and Community High School in Ayingba by thugs.

It was learnt that the thugs came in a Volkswagen Gulf car, shooting sporadically into the air, stole the ballot boxes and drove away as voters, electoral officers and observers ran for safety.

Also in the CMM Primary School, Eti Aya ward 01 in Anyigba, thugs made away with ballot boxes while voters and other people at the polling unit fled.

Journalists, election observers escape death

Also, the Executive Director, Search for Common Ground, Gift Omoniwa, who was monitoring the election was attacked by hoodlums at Ganaja polling unit in Kogi East.

Sunday PUNCH correspondent in the area said the hoodlums insisted that Omoniwa must stay away from the polling unit until election was concluded.

The hoodlums alleged that when she monitored election in the area during the last election, thugs came and disrupted the election and carted away ballot boxes after she left.

They also said that the thugs that snatched the ballot boxes in the area came in Toyota Sienna similar to the one that brought Omoniwa to the polling unit.

Omoniwa stated that it took the intervention of the security operatives and some good Samaritans who rescued her after they overpowered the hoodlums.

Some journalists include Sunny Omachi of Radio Kogi, Sam Egwu of the Leadership and some staff of the DAAR Communications Limited, INEC ad hoc staff and some voters were also attacked in Dekina.

It was gathered that Egwu and Omachi were in a private vehicle around the Unity Roundabout in Ayingba when they were attacked by the hoodlums. They sustained injuries while their vehicle was damaged.

Also at Polling Unit 006, Ajatachi in Dekina, some AIT journalists covering the election were attacked by thugs, who hijacked the ballot box and drove away with it after they harassed and intimidated the journalists, electoral officers and observers.

Thugs kill two youths in Dekina

There were also reports that two people identified as Umoru Shuaib and Faruk Suleiman were feared killed in Abocho community in Dekina council area. They were said to have been attacked by men in police uniform while voting was going on at the Barrack Polling Unit 01.

A source said, “Some able-bodied men on a bus who dressed as policemen came to the polling unit while voting was going on. Many people in the polling unit did not suspect them. The bus went too close to two young men who were discussing while the occupants of the vehicle suddenly shot them and left.”

Sources also said there were sporadic shootings in Emewe Okapada, Ajiyolo communities as well as the Egume Police Station Polling Unit in Dekina.

It was learnt that some masked armed men stormed a polling unit in Aikpele-Ajaka Polling Unit 002, shot sporadically into the air and disrupted voting while INEC officials and voters fled.

It was also learnt that there were ballot snatching and abduction of INEC officials in Lokoja Club House, Ajayi Crowther Memorial College, Ward 07 in Lokoja, Locogona, Barrack area, Takete, Feyintolu, Mopa-Moro council area and in SUBEB area.

It was also learnt that there was violence and general insecurity in Ganaja area.

We arrested 20 for electoral offences in Kogi – Mba

However, the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Frank Mba, said 20 suspects were arrested in Kogi State over electoral offences.

Speaking during a Channels Televisionprogramme on the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections monitored by one of our correspondents on Saturday night, Mba said the police also impounded vehicles and recovered ammunition from some suspects.

He, however, said the percentage of violence and thuggery was minimal during the polls.

He noted that it was not impossible that the police would have been impersonated by some of the people who perpetuated the illegal acts.

CSOs score election low, say INEC staff, security agents take bribe

Meanwhile, a civil society organisation has decried ballot snatching, vote-buying, and voter intimidation.

The Director, the Centre for Democracy and Development, Idaya Hassan, said there were voter suppression, vote-buying, intimidation of journalists and election observers during the election.

Speaking during a media briefing in Lokoja, she said the election witnessed poor logistics arrangements, adding that voting materials arrived late while accreditation and voting commenced late in many polling units.

Hassan also said even with the large deployment of security operatives, thugs moved around in vehicles without being challenged.

Also the Chairman, Yiaga Africa, Dr Hissaini Abdu, during a media briefing said there were voter inducement and vote buying.

He said, “Specifically, YIAGA Africa, received reports of voter inducement and vote buying in some polling units in Adavi, Ankpa, Itale, Idah, Yagba East, Kogi West and Ajaokuta LGAs.

“Voters were paid as much as N5,000 in some cases in exchange for their votes. At Aluaja, Iyano Ward in Ibaji LGA, INEC officials were given N15,000 and security agents N50,000 to compromise the process.”

He also said the CSO received reports of accredited voters who were not allowed to vote, non-use of the card reader for accreditation, intimidation and harassment and disruption of the polling unit process.

Ballot snatching, violence, protests mar Bayelsa gov poll

In Bayelsa State, election was marred  by snatching of electoral materials, violence, protests and late arrival of materials at polling units across the eight local government areas of the state.

In some polling units, thugs took advantage of the security lapses  to unleash mayhem on voters, party agents and Independent National Electoral Commission officials.

In other polling units, heavy security presence, it was learnt, also had its adverse effect on the election as some of the voters were not allowed to vote.

Soldiers stopped me from voting –Tricycle operator

A commercial tricycle rider in Yenagoa, the state capital, Simon Ogu, said he was prevented from getting to his polling unit at Ekeki by some soldiers, who told him to come out of his tricycle and trek a distance to where he was to vote.

Corps member feared missing as thugs attack polling unit in Bayelsa

In Opolo,  there was panic among corps members over the disappearance of their colleague during the election.

The corper, who has yet to be identified, was said to have gone missing when a group of thugs loyal to one of the two major political parties, attacked a polling unit in the area.

Some of the corps members explained that the hoodlums stormed the polling unit at 1pm and began to threaten INEC officials.

One of them, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said some of them were saved by some agents of another a political party, who called the attention of security operatives to the incident.

At Bishop Dimieari Grammar School in Opolo, a police officer, Edohie Ordu, ordered the arrest of a party agent for trying to fight at the point where security personnel planned to find a solution to a report of a missing ad hoc INEC staff member.

All entreaties on the police to release the party agent fell on deaf ears as they (policemen) forced the party agent into a waiting Hilux van, which later sped off to a nearby police station.

Thugs brandish weapons in Bayelsa community

Still in Opolo, youths suspected to be loyal to one of the two major political parties brandished weapons which scared voters away from their polling units, even as the development delayed the distribution of materials to other communities in the area, including Etegwe and Biogbolo.

Some journalists and election observers fled when they saw armed youths coming close to them in Opolo.

Voting materials set ablaze in Jonathan’s LGA

Angry residents  set voting materials ablaze in one of the wards in the Ogbia Local Government Area, Otuoke, where former President Goodluck Jonathan comes from.

Anambra State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Nkwachukwu Orji, who is in charge of the Bayelsa State governorship poll in the Ogbia LGA, disclosed this in an interview with one of our correspondents.

Orji said apart from the ugly incident, the polls in the area were peaceful.

Women protest, allege disruption of voting

Also, a group of women protested in Yenagoa, alleging that some thugs working for the All Progressives Congress disrupted the exercise in some parts of Yenagoa.

One of the placard-carrying protesters, identified as Miss Oboh, said her younger brother, Mr. Kafu Oboh, was abducted by thugs loyal to the APC.

I’m disappointed in our electoral system– Jonathan

Expressing his disappointment over the late arrival of INEC officials and election materials in Otueke, Jonathan said he was at his polling unit in Ward 13, Unit 39 at Otazi Playground at 8.19am without anyone to attend to him.

He stated that Nigeria had no reason not to get her electoral processes right, adding that many African countries had been able to maintain a good electoral system.

He said, “We must conduct ourselves if we want to bring real people to rule us either as president or governors. Nigerians are always blaming people in authority and the leaders, so here they must blame themselves.

“I was around at 8:19am, but the materials have yet to arrive in the polling unit. I have led election monitoring teams to other African countries; we used to go there 30 minutes before the time and in our reports, we indicated the exact time when the vote started.

“So, for election to start after that time, it is an indictment of the electoral body that manages election. There is no reason the election here should not start by 8am.

Dickson wants INEC to cancel elections in areas thugs hijacked materials

Governor Seriake Dickson, on his part, accused the security agencies of conniving with the APC to rig the governorship election and called on INEC to cancel the results of the elections in areas where voting materials were allegedly hijacked by APC thugs.

He listed the areas as  Nembe and the Southern Ijaw. He stated, “They (APC)  also have the Nigerian Army and rogue elements of the police force working in concert with them to deny the citizens of these communities their right to vote. So as we are speaking, in our country, in this day and age,  gun-wielding militia men, with the aid of security forces,  have overrun the election officials and most of the electoral officials in the  Southern Ijaw.

“These officials,  as we speak, have been  kidnapped and held hostage. This has been what we have been managing since 2015 with the APC at the centre, not caring about the lives and dignity of our people. The APC at the centre are too hungry and determined to make Nigeria a one-party state.”

He called on  President Muhammadu Buhari to do something. Dickson stated, “This is not democracy. What is going on in Bayelsa in the name of an election is not  democracy.

GOC connived with APC to rig Bayelsa poll –Dickson

Also,  the governor said that because of the desperation of the Federal Government, the GOC 6 Division, Port Harcourt, Gen. Jamil Sarham,  was deployed in Bayelsa State to ensure that the state was delivered to the APC whether the people voted or not.

Dickson said Sarham had been   transferred to the Nigerian Defence Academy  as commandant.

He stated, “I wonder what lessons he will be giving to those young cadet officers. Gen Sarham has defied   his transfer order and has stayed back to complete his mission of rigging Bayelsa for the APC.

Reacting, the acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Major Charles Ekeocha, challenged Dickson to provide evidence of his claim.

Ekeocha said, “If you are in Bayelsa, did you see the GOC there? But the thing is let the person tender evidence so that you will know whether to agree or not to agree.”

Allegations against us false – Bayelsa APC

The state acting APC Chairman, Mr Ebierein Etubo, denied the allegations levelled against the party by the PDP as false, adding that they had no thugs that would attack anybody during  elections.

He stated, “We know the antics of the PDP and they cannot go through suppression anymore. So, the people came out en masse to vote.

“We didn’t attack anybody.  We don’t have thugs. Nobody went out to attack any PDP person. We campaigned and the people have seen that we are coming to develop Bayelsa State.

Election better conducted than 2015 Bayelsa gov poll –Sylva

Also, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, decried the situation in the Sagbama and the Ekeremor local government areas, just as he added that the 2019 governorship election was better than the exercise conducted four years ago.

Speaking after voting at his polling unit at Okpoama in the Brass Local Government Area, Sylva said, “I have voted and it is a peaceful election in  Ward 4, Okpoama. As you can see, I have been confined to my ward and election has been smooth so far.

“I heard that there are a few skirmishes here and there in Sagbama and Ekeremor. I have not heard of any other problem here in Bayelsa State. As for INEC, they have been progressively improving and every year,  the processes are improving.”

In his remarks after voting  at Olugbobiri  in the Southern Local Government Area, the APC governorship candidate, David Lyon,  described the election process as peaceful, saying INEC did a better job.

Cancel election in troubled areas -Diri

But the Bayelsa PDP governorship candidate, Senator Douye Diri, called on INEC to invoke its powers and cancel elections in areas where electoral fraud and violence occurred.

Diri also cautioned the security agencies to remain neutral and be professional in their duties to ensure a free, fair and election.

He stated “I can only speak about my ward, unit and the reports I have received in my local government area. The election is going on smoothly. Here I have just voted and the voting process is orderly.

“However, I have reports of pockets of electoral fraud committed by the APC, coming on with thugs to hijack electoral materials and preventing the PDP members from voting.

“I have raised the red flag about Nembe-Bassambiri and the report I have is that no PDP agent is allowed to go to Nembe-Bassambiri. At Enewari, the report I have is that the APC went with thugs; at Opolo the report I have is that the APC went there with thugs.  We are monitoring the process.

“We are calling on the umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission,  to be alive to its duties because we have received reports from other wards and local government areas. Where they need to invoke their powers, they should invoke their powers of either not accepting cooked up results or where materials have been hijacked.”

Boat conveying journalists capsizes

Meanwhile, a boat conveying journalists across flooded parts of Sampou community on Nun River in the Kolokuma Opokuma Local Government Area capsized on Saturday.

The boat was carrying four journalists covering the governorship poll in the state. The journalists were returning from a polling unit when the incident happened. They were rescued by residents.

Sunday Punch