Stray bullet kills teenage girl as Oyo conducts LG poll

An eighteen-year-old girl was killed at Idi Oro, Ekotedo area in Ibadan by a shot allegedly fired by an official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) during the Local Government election held across Oyo State on Saturday.

The girl identified as Kofoworola Abubakar was said to be a student of St. Bridget Secondary School, Mokola where she reportedly wrote the last paper in her Senior Secondary School Examinations the previous day.

According to eyewitness account, Kofoworola met her untimely death in front of a patent medicine store where her mother sent her to buy some items.
The eyewitness recalled that a brawl had broken out between two rival cults gangs in the area which prompted residents to call on a team of NSCDC men, who were on election patrol, to come and rescue the situation.
On getting to the spot, the security men shot to the air to disperse the hoodlums, and in the process, one of the bullets hit the poor girl in back of her neck and pierced through her left eye.
Reports said she died on the spot.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Adekunle Ajisebutu, confirmed the incident, saying the suspect was already in the command’s custody.
Ajisebutu added that the state Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Odude, had directed his men at the Investigation and Intelligent Department to commence diligent investigations into the unfortunate incident.
The NSCDC men were said to have hurried left the scene to avoid been mobbed by residents, who were obviously pained by the girl’s death.
A police team later came to fetch her remains.
Meanwhile, a local government election was held across the state on Saturday.
Despite the constitutional provision for periodic elections in the third tier of government, the state local governments were witnessing the exercise for the first time in the last seven years.

Though peaceful as no incident of violence was recorded in any part of the state, the election witnessed an abysmally low turnout.

Residents used the opportunity of the sit-at-home order imposed by the state government to allow them participate in the election to attend to personal issues.

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, and his wife, Florence, voted at Ward 9, Unit 20, Community Grammar School, Oluyole Estate III in Ibadan South West Local Government Area.
The governor told newsmen that the poll was quite free, fair and peaceful, adding that everybody was well organised as he commended the people for supporting the process.

“It is great that Oyo has moved from the era of brigandage for which it was known before the inception of this administration in 2011. Since we came on board, we have been encouraging peace. The purpose of government is to ensure peace, security and socio-economic wellbeing of the people of the state. We will continue to do these.”

The CP and the state Coordinator of Civil Societies Organisation from Abuja, Mr. Friday Maduka, also said they visited some parts of the state capital to monitor the election and ensure that law and order were maintained.

OYSEIC proposed normnation form fees illegal, says SPN

OYSIEC

Press Statement

The attention of the Socialist Party of Nigeria, SPN Oyo State chapter has been drawn to the plan of the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission, OYSIEC to charge nomination fees of N150, 000:00 and N100, 000:00 respectively for Chairmanship and counsellorship candidates contesting in the forthcoming local government election to the 33 local government areas and 35 LCDA across the state scheduled for May 12, 2018
The SPN condemns and rejects in absolute terms this proposal by the OYSIEC and demand immediate dropping of the plan which is not only illegal but also capable of undermining the credibility of the election itself.
The OYSIEC is a public institution whose establishment by the state government is supported by the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria to conduct election into local government areas across the state. This therefore implies that the funding of OYSIEC including the provision of materials to facilitate its function and the basis for its establishment should be the sole responsibility of the state government and not political parties or individuals that are to participate in the election to be conducted by the commission.
Again, charging candidates for nomination form will make the election to be less participatory and gives rooms for the election to be reduced to a show among few candidates of ruling political parties who have public money at their disposal to throw around. Also to participate in such “cash and carry” election are other pro-capitalist parties including those often sponsored by moneybags and godfathers with their ill- gotten wealth with a view to loot public resources as their returns on investment in candidates.
The implication of this is that the election will not only be far from being credible but also is that its outcome will produce a government that will compromise the economic and social needs of the people in favour of self-serving interests of the few rich capitalist elites in the state.
It is in the consideration of this inherent danger in the intention by the OYSIEC to charge nomination fees towards the May 12 LGA election that SPN calls on OYSIEC to immediately drop this intention., Otherwise we will be left with no choice but to conclude that the intention is a deliberate attempt to exclude the poor masses from participating in the election so as not to endanger the chances of candidates of pro-rich parties especially APC in the election.

Journalists disrupt own election in Ekiti

Journalists

An attempt to appoint a new set of leadership for the Ekiti State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) ended in fiasco on Thursday as some aggrieved members of the union disrupted the process and caused its abrupt end over alleged fraud.

NUJ elections are often controversial owing to attempts by contestants to explore all available means, including manipulation of voters list, to outwit their opponents and take the victory at all cost.

According to sources at the venue of the Ekiti state election, voting had commenced around noon and everything seemed to be going on smoothly until the aggrieved members stormed the venue, snatched the ballot boxes and destroyed the canopy erected for their colleagues to relax after voting for candidates of their choice.

Interestingly, the disruption took place in the presence of security operatives deployed to the venue to maintain law and order, as well as the very senior officers of the union, including the B Zone (Southwest) Vice President, Cosmos Oni, his secretary and Chairmen and secretaries of Oyo, Osun and Ogun States.

Apparently disappointed by the conducts of his members, Oni was said to have strongly condemned the act, insisting that there were better ways of expressing their displeasure in such situation.

Other members of the union scampered for safety when the situation almost got out of hand.

Meanwhile, the zonal leadership of the union had constituted a five-member Caretaker Committee to steer the ship of the NUJ state council in the interim.

This became necessary since the last executive council led by Laolu Omisilade had been dissolved ahead of the election.

The committee, headed by Amos Ogunrinde of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, will be in the saddle for next three months during which it is expected that all issues would have been resolved and an acceptable election would have taken place to form a new executive council for the State.

Anambra guber: IPOB denies ‘vote and die’ threat as police deployment hits 47,000

Anambra

After its alleged death threat to eligible voters in the November 18 Anambra State governorship election went viral, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has described the information as false.

This came as the Nigeria Police Force announced an additional 26,000 police officers to the 21,000 it earlier planned to mobilize for the election.

According to a statement issued by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, in Awka on Sunday, the instruction to its members was to boycott the election as ‘a form of civil disobedience’, not to disrupt it or harm anyone who chooses to participate as being speculated in a widely circulated video last week.

He noted that the threat of violence against the people of the state during the election was being sponsored by some leaders in the Southeastern part of the country to discredit the IPOB.

“We insist on total boycott of all election because voting in Anambra or any other elections in Nigeria is an exercise in futility since Aso Rock has already decided who it wants to be sworn in as governor of the state.

“Risking one’s life to go and vote on Saturday, with trigger-happy Hausa/Fulani soldiers looking for a Biafran to kill, is a risky adventure not worth undertaking by any sane person,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim, has ordered the deployment of additional 26,000 police personnel to augment the 21,000 originally mobilized for the Anambra governorship election, holding on Saturday.

The development was contained in a statement by the Force spokesman, CSP Jimoh Moshood.

According to him, the composition of the contingents would include police special forces, Police Mobile Force ( PMF), Counter Terrorism Unit ( CTU), Special Protection Unit ( SPU), Anti Bomb Squad, Marine Police, Force Armament Unit, FCIID, Mounted Troops, Dogs Section, Police Gun Boats and the Armoured Personnel Carriers ( APC).

The police spokesperson also informed that the members of the team, who are under strict instruction to be civil and polite in the discharge of their duties, will be led by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of operations. The DIG will be assisted by an Assistant Inspector-General of Police.

Adding, the FPRO said a Commissioner of Police will be assigned to man each of the three senatorial districts of the state, while about 303 police patrol vehicles were among the operational vehicles deployed to cover the entire state, including the riverine areas.

Moshood warned the outlawed IPOB and its members from attempting a disruption of the exercise as he stated that there would restriction of vehicular movement in and out of the state from midnight on Nov. 17 till after the voting period on the day on the election.

Anambra election: We’re ready for IPOB – Police

IPOB

The Nigeria Police Force has reacted to the threat issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) against the Anambra State governorship election scheduled for Saturday, November 18.

The proscribed secessionist group had issued a threat during a road show at the state capital last Saturday to warn the would-be electorate against participating in the election, declaring death as consequence for not yielding the warning.

It was a renewed threat as IPOB, who sought to carve a sovereign entity for the South-Eastern part of Nigeria, had often insisted on scuttling the election.

Apart from promising death to the electorate, the group also demanded the release of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who whereabouts remains unknown since the military raided his country home in a recent operation.

But, in an interview published by the Punch newspaper on Sunday, Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Garba Umar, said the command was fully prepared to ensure a violence-free election for the state.

“We are all aware that IPOB is already a proscribed group and the proscription stops them from meeting or carrying out any activities. We will go after them if they try to foment trouble, through our intelligence network. Since their proscription, we have not had any activity from them like before when they went about molesting people.

“Sometimes, in the past, they passed through my office and even throw stones at us and insulted us but since the Federal Government waded in and got them proscribed, we will not have any of that because they are now an illegal organisation and if they surface, we will go after them,” he said.

According to him, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has approved and made available all human and material resources needed to make the police discharge its duties effectively before, during and after the election.

“The IG did the entire mobilisation and we have taken everything into cognizance so we can have a free and fair election. We assure members of the public that we will have the best election with enough security; and people are sure, they know and have seen our strategy on security, and they are ready to come out and vote because they have seen our strategy,” the CP added.

While defending the large number of police officers (about 28,000) mobilized for the election, Umar said it was not intended to intimidate the voters and other residents of the state, but in compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act which stipulates how police officers should be distributed for election operations.

Court relaxes order against Oyo LG election

Town Planning

Oyo State Government has secured an order that will facilitate the conduct of local government election in the state.

In a statement in Ibadan on Wednesday by the Commissioner for information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun quoting the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Oluwaseun Abimbola, the government stated that Order 3 of the interim injunction forbidding INEC from releasing the voters register to OYSIEC for conduct of elections into LGs and LCDAs has been discharged by the court.

According to Mr. Abimbola, “in respect of the case filed by Oyo baales challenging the LCDAs and in which the court had issued an injunction preventing the conduct of elections into LG&LCDAs. I made an application to the court to discharge the part of the Interim order preventing our conduct of elections into LGs since the subject matter of the suit is only on the propriety of LCDAs and not LGs.

“The other counsels in the matter all conceded to the point as canvassed by the Oyo State Government on this matter. Consequently, the Order 3 of the Interim injunction forbidding INEC from releasing voters register to OYSIEC for conduct of elections into LGs and LCDAs has been discharged by the court. Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) is now at liberty to conduct LG elections only, but not into LCDAs which is still pending in court,” the Attorney General explained.

Abimbola hoped that this would development would clear the air and misrepresentation by the people who believe that the state government was not interested in the conduct of the local government election, pointing out that the order secured is a demonstration to the fact that the state government is ready for the conduct of the election and the barrier has been removed.

INEC to create polling booths in prisons

INEC

The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission is working towards creating polling booths in prisons across the country to enable inmates cast their votes in the next general elections.

Yakubu made the disclosure in Abuja on Tuesday during a session with the Nigerian Civil Society Room Dialogue, a coalition of over 70 civil societies organisations across the country.

Though the INEC boss noted that not all the inmates will be allowed to participate in the exercise, he said the commission is already making arrangements with prisons authorities to ensure that those who meet the laid-down criteria were part of the 2019 elections.

“We have already engaged the Comptroller-General of Prisons and we have statistics on the number of prisoners nationwide and the number of inmates that are registered. We are looking at the possibility of creating polling units in the prisons and to enable some categories of prisoners to vote.

“Ghana does it but there are some categories of prisoners who by the nature of crimes committed lose the right to vote. Whatever we can do to open up the process to ensure that as much as possible Nigerians are given the opportunity to vote, will be done,” he said.

On the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State, Yakubu vowed that the commission would ensure everything within its powers to ensure that it is not inconclusive.

While making his remarks at the event, the Executive Director, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, and Convener of Situation Room, Clement Nwankwo, said the event was designed to determine the level of preparedness of INEC for Anambra State governorship poll and get the updates on other elections.

Nasarawa Dep Gov eyes Karate federation presidency

The Nasarawa State Deputy Governor, Silas Agara, has declared interest in the office of the President of Karate Federation of Nigeria.
He made his intention known through a press release he personally signed and issued to journalists in Lafia, the state capital, recently.
Agara hinged his ambition on the desire to reposition the Karate Federation for improved performance.
“I, Silas Ali Agara, Deputy Governor and Pillar of Sports in Nasarawa State, formally wish to declare my intention to vie for the Office of President of the Karate Federation of Nigeria.
“As a seasoned Sports Administrator, I hope to bring my wealth of experience to bear in the task of repositioning the Karate Federation for improved performance,” he declared in the release.
The politician also said he was disturbed by the dwindling fortunes of the federation over the years, saying only change in leadership and approach to issues concerning the body would change the course of events.
While commending the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for ensuring a level playing ground in the conduct of elections into offices of all Sports Federations in the country, Agara hoped that the Karate Federation of Nigeria’s election scheduled for June 13, 2017 in Abuja would also be allowed to be free and fair.