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Yobe South: INEC ad-hoc staff admits alteration on election documents

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Dr Adamu Abubakar, the Returning Officer for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the Yobe South Senatorial election held on February 23, on Thursday, said that there were alterations carried out during the collation of results of the election.

Abubakar, who monitored the election in Nagere Local Government Area of Yobe, admitted this while being cross-examined by Mr Paul Erokoro (SAN), counsel to Sen. Mohammed Hassan, the petitioner before the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal for Yobe, sitting in Abuja, NAN reports.

According to him, there were cancellation and alterations in some of the result sheets used for the election, where some were torn and corrections effected.

The witness also admitted before the tribunal that a total number of 12 alterations were made and that the changes were not counter signed.

“During our training, we were told to make amendment on issues that seem so confusing to us, I discarded some forms after receiving them.

“lNEC sent me on assignment and some of my reports were made orally to it, there was no violence on the election that was held in Yobe South Senatorial District, no crisis, everything was peaceful.

“I had a training as a local government collation officer, I was familiarised with forms used for the election like EC8B, EC8C, I know a voter register as a voter, but as a collation officer, that was not part of my training,” the witness said.

Meanwhile, another witness brought by INEC, Mr Ishaq Yebua who monitored the election in Fika Local Government Area, listed the result of some wards in the local government and said that the alteration in the documents he had were counter signed by parties in the election.

According to Yebua, “I have been working with INEC for the past 31 years, I have been in Fika for a year, I was at the local government collation centre and I monitored the election”.

He said that the election was peaceful and that the collation at the centre took place between Feb. 24 down to Feb. 25

“I am familiar with election materials and the materials are to be used depending on the type of election to be conducted, we have form EC8A, EC8A1, EC8A2, EC8B1, EC8B2 and many more.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in this petition, Sen. Mohammed Hassan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had dragged Sen. Ibrahim Bomoi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) before the tribunal.

Hassan had alleged in his petition that there were series of irregularities observed during the election and that on that ground Bomoi did not score the highest lawful votes cast.

He also alleged that card reader machines were not used in some of the polling units during the election and that some electorate were disenfranchised.

Hassan is praying the tribunal to declare him the winner by virtue of the alleged irregularities perceived during the election.

NAN reports that INEC, which is first respondent on Thursday closed its defence while Bomoi, who is the second respondent is to open his defence on Friday, July 5.

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Ekweremadu: FG reacts to IPOB’s disgrace of ex-Senate President in Germany

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The Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has condemned the attack on the former deputy senate president, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, in Nuremberg Germany.

Senator Ekweremadu, who was attending the 2nd Annual Igbo Cultural Festival as a speaker and special guest of honour at the event organised by the Ndi-Igbo Germany community, was beaten up and publicly humiliated.

Dabiri-Erewa in a statement on Saturday described the incident as an embarrassment to the country.

She stated that some of the culprits who perpetrated the act had been apprehended and called on the German government and law enforcement agencies to ensure they faced the consequences of their actions.

The statement reads, “It is also shamefully pathetic that an event which was nobly put together by the Ndi-Igbo community in Germany whose members make up the majority of Nigerians living in Germany, to amongst other things provide a forum for the Diasporans and various stakeholders to network and to facilitate a better cooperation between German and Nigerian businesses, ended up in such a disgraceful manner.”

She appealed to Nigerians to be of good behaviour wherever they find themselves “because such incidents tarnish the image of the country.”

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FG reveals date for indefinite closure of Enugu airport, gives reason

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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has said the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu would be closed indefinitely on August 24.

A statement on Saturday in Lagos by FAAN’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, said the closure is to enable the Authority carry out major repairs on the runway.

“The closure would address existing safety and security concerns at the airport,” the statement said.

It added that the closure of the runway would take effect by 12:00 a.m. on August 24.

She said a date to reopen the runway would be communicated in due course.

Yakubu further said, “FAAN remains committed to its core values of safety, security and comfort of airport users in the country.”

It would be recalled that the immediate past Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had said during his recent ministerial screening that the airport would be closed down because of the state of the runway.

He also said the airport might be downgraded, sparking controversy as different personalities and groups urged the government against the move, citing the importance of the airport in the region.

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Shehu Sani reacts as IPOB members attack Ekweremadu in Germany

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Shehu Sani, immediate past Kaduna Central Senator, has condemned the attack on the former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, in Nuremberg Germany.

Senator Ekweremadu, who was attending the 2nd Annual Igbo Cultural Festival as a speaker and special guest of honour in an event organised by the Ndi-Igbo Germany community, was beaten up and publicly humiliated by suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

Reacting, Sani condemned the attack.

The former lawmaker noted that the agenda of those that attacked Ekweremadu cannot be achieved through violence or assault.

Sani on his Twitter page wrote: “The attack on Senator Ekweremadu in Germany stands unreservedly condemned.

“Whatever is the political or philosophical agenda of the people that attacked him, the strategy of physical assault or violence cannot lead them to success.”

Meanwhile, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB had owned up on the attack on the former Deputy Senate President.

IPOB said the attack serves as a warning to Nnia Nwodo, Dave Umahi, Okezie Ikpeazu, Willie Obiano and others to stay away from any public event abroad unless they want to be humiliated.

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