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2019 election: INEC speaks on fire outbreak in its offices, reveals number of PVCs burnt

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said 8,966 Permanent Voters’ Cards and other materials were among the things destroyed by the fire that engulfed its offices in Abia and Plateau states in the past seven days.

INEC in a statement on Sunday signed by Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, said the Smart Card Readers were not affected in both incidents, which happened within one week.

The Commission however assured Nigerians that it will not succumb to the antics of arsonists whose motive might be to create fear in the minds of voters and sabotage the conduct of the 2019 general elections.

Meanwhile, the commission has urged all relevant security agencies to arrest and bring to justice, persons or groups involved in the attacks on the offices of the Commission.

The statement reads “The fire incident that occurred at the Qua’an Pan Local Government office of the Commission in Plateau State on Saturday 9th February 2019 is the second of such incidents in less than a week. The first incident occurred in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government office of the Commission in Abia State on Saturday 2nd February.

”Some of the items destroyed in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government include 2979 Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) and other materials. At the Qua’an Pan office, items destroyed include 5987 uncollected Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs), 380 Voting Cubicles, 755 ballot boxes, 14 generators, election forms and official stamps.

”The Commission has notified the Acting Inspector General of Police of the emerging trend of the burning of the Local Government Offices of the Commission close to the conduct of the elections and at a period when the Commission is engaged in the massive movement of election related materials nationwide.

”In view of these developments, the Commission has taken the following steps: “Notified the Inspector General of Police of this new trend and requested that additional security measures be provided to enhance security around INEC Offices and other critical structures of the Commission.

“Directed the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Plateau State to open a register for all those in the affected Local Government Area who approach the Commission to collect their PVCs within the specified period. The Commission will print the PVCs and make them available for collection in good time before the elections.

“Reprinted and delivered the Permanent Voters’ Cards of the affected registered voters in Isiala Ngwa South in Abia State.

“Made temporary arrangements for the relocation of the burnt offices of the Commission. The said offices will be ready for the conduct of the February 16 and March 2, 2019 elections.

“The Commission will proceed as planned in the affected Local Government Areas and all the burnt materials will be replaced in good time and as such will not affect the conduct of the elections.

“All relevant security agencies have been requested to arrest and bring to justice, persons or groups involved in the attacks on the offices of the Commission.

“The two fire incidents did not affect the Smart Card Readers that are presently being configured in the respective state offices of the Commission.

“The Commission wishes to assure all Nigerians that it will not succumb to the antics of arsonists whose motive might be to create fear in the minds of voters and sabotage the conduct of the 2019 general elections.“

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APC cries out over attempt to assassinate Ngige, fingers PDP, APGA

The All Progressives Congress, APC, Anambra State chapter has fingered the two major parties in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, as the alleged sponsors of the attempt on the life of its leader and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Nwabueze Ngige.

In a statement made available to DAILY POST on Tuesday, by its Zonal Publicity Secretary, Igboeli Arinze, the APC described the attack as barbaric and heinous in nature.

The former governor and lawmaker reportedly escaped assassination after he was attacked by some yet-to-be-identified gunmen during the week.

The APC berated certain elements in the PDP and APGA, who it fingered as being responsible for the attack owing to their fears of the minister’s strong influence in the forthcoming elections.

The APC said, “We were shocked, when news streamed to us about the attack on the home of the leader of the APC in Anambra and the Minister for Labor and Employment, Senator Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige.

“Such news, should be seen as a setback to the climate of peace that has reigned in Anambra’s politics, and we the members of the APC in Anambra Central together with the good loving people of Ndi Anambra jointly condemn such an attempt which is heinous as well as barbaric.

“We, however, ask the question, why Senator Ngige? What should warrant an attack on his home and perhaps his life? This is a man who eschews violence as a requirement in politics.

“Could it be that certain elements in the aforementioned parties that are struggling for relevance in Anambra State are seeing Ngige as a threat to achieving their ambitions?

“We must note that Anambra Central which is Ngige’s senatorial zone, has the largest number of votes in the state, perhaps it seems that these people feel threatened by the minister’s presence in the zone, did instigate this attack.”

The party further called on security agencies to immediately commence investigation into the matter, while urging party members to remain calm and focused on the forthcoming presidential and National Assembly polls.

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Nigeria elections 2019: What will happen to PDP on Saturday – Gov. Ajimobi

The Oyo South Senatorial District candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, has described this Saturday as a day of reckoning for the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, to reap its 16 years of misrule.

He, therefore, urged leaders and supporters of the APC to remain steadfast and faithful to the course of the ruling party by ensuring that they come out in large numbers to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari to consolidate on the gains of the past four years.

Addressing a stakeholders’ forum at the Western House, state Secretariat, on Tuesday, the governor warned against complacency, adding that the desperation of the opposition to upset the applecart was unimaginable.

Ajimobi, who attended the National Executive Committee meeting of the APC in Abuja, on Monday, said that the national leadership of the party had given the state executive committees the marching orders to go and re-energize the party’s campaigns.

The governor said that the APC was at peace with itself at the national and state levels, judging by the huge turnout at its campaign rallies and the insistence of the electorate not to be swayed by the opposition’s empty rhetoric.

Ajimobi said, “The opposition had adopted all manners of subterfuge and empty rhetoric to mislead the people into supporting them without success. Our people have refused to buy into their deceits, hence their desperation and provocative statements.

“I want to appeal to you not let off your guard for a moment until victory is assured in all the elections. We should not be complacent, because the opposition is throwing everything into this election as if the world will end when, mark my word I did not say if, they lose.

“This Saturday is a day of reckoning for the PDP for its 16 years of misrule. After ruining our economy and creating many loopholes and leakages that has pauperized the people and enriched their friends they are now desperate to stage a comeback.

“The APC has invested in the people in the last four years at the national level and eight years at our state level. Abandoned infrastructure and projects have been revived, with many at different stages of completion.

“Saturday is around the corner. All APC leaders and members should go back to their various units and wards to solicit the continued support of the good people of Nigeria. That is the mandate from our meeting on Monday, in Abuja.”

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Tunde Ayeni: Judge blasts EFCC for misleading court in ex-Skye Bank Chairman’s case

An FCT High Court Maitama on Tuesday, set aside an order it earlier granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to detain a former Chairman of the defunct Skye Bank, Tunde Ayeni for 14 days.

Justice Yusuf Halilu, setting aside the order, said that the EFCC had suppressed facts which, misled the court into earlier granting the application, thereby, making the detention illegal.

According to NAN, Justice Halilu held that the Court was not aware of all the facts presented by the applicant and which the EFCC could not deny.

“Having considered all the facts before the court, it is clear that the commission suppressed facts to mislead the court.

“If indeed there is a fresh petition against the applicant, and a pending matter is before the Federal High Court, the respondent needs not a remand order, but to apply to amend the charge in which it is prosecuting the applicant.

“By coming for a remand order, the respondent had come to tamper with the sacred right of the applicant, which he enjoys. I wonder

“On this note, I hereby set aside the earlier remand order and order the immediate release

Mr. Ahmed Raji SAN Ayeni’s counsel had approached the court seeking his release from the EFCC custody.

The anti-graft agency had last week approached the Court through an ex-parte application seeking a 14 day remand order of Ayeni.

The EFCC had premised the request for a remand on a need to investigate a petition submitted by the Office of the Vice President in respect of his alleged roles as the Chairman of the defunct Skye Bank.

The court then granted the said ex-parte application.

In his submissions, Raji argued that the application is challenging the jurisdiction of the court and the action of the Commission.

He informed the court, of a pending suit before the Federal High Court against the applicant on the same subject matter and that the trial judge at the Federal High Court, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba had in the particular case admitted him to bail.

He added that the bail condition had since been perfected

Raji added that the detention of the applicant was a breach of his fundamental human right as he went to the Commission by himself on invitation.

He further submitted that anti-graft agency purportedly admitted the applicant to administration bail on a non -realizable terms, which amounts to “giving bail with one hand ,and collecting it back with the other hand”.

Raji argued, that the subject matter in which the applicant was detained centers around Skye bank issue which is already before the Federal High Court.

He however prayed the court to set aside the remand order and release the applicant.

In his response, respondent counsel, Mr. A.I Audu opposed to the application on ground that the subject matter of which the applicant is being detained was fresh quite different from the that of the matter before the Federal High Court.

He added that asides the petition submitted by the Office of the Vice President, the acting Chairman of the Commission also received a petition against the applicant from a Non Governmental Organization.

He however added that the applicant was invited based on the petition that he received about N8 billion from CBN to buy over Union Homes.

Audu further submitted that the applicant has been giving useful information to the Commission but fell ill along the way and he was consequently taken to the hospital.

He added, it is the illness of the applicant that prompted the Commission to seek for an order to further remand him to complete the investigation.

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