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2019: SDP expresses doubt over INEC’s preparedness for general elections



2019: SDP expresses doubt over INEC’s preparedness for general elections

With about four months to the 2019 general elections, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has expressed doubts in the preparedness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free and fair elections.

The National Secretary of the party, Shehu Gabam, stated the fears to a team of PREMIUM TIMES editors when he led some officials of the party on a visit Wednesday in Abuja.

“INEC is clearly not prepared for the election” he said.

He said alleged militarisation of Nigeria’s civic space, infraction between police and INEC, the challenge of deployment of materials and the uncertainty around the budget of the electoral body, all cast a pall on the expectation of elections that can support and deepen Nigeria’s democracy.

Mr Gabam said in the light of all these factors, “this election cannot hold, INEC is not prepared”.

The commission’s chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, sometime last month said the lack of discrepancy between the figure of N189.2 billion the commission submitted to the executive and what the National Assembly appropriated shows everything was fine.

Mr Yakubu said the commission does not foresee any form of difficulties in meeting the requirements to conduct the elections.

However, making reference to recent elections in Ekiti, Osun, Bauchi and Katsina states, the SDP scribe said they hint at INEC’s unpreparedness.

“If you look at the recent by-elections we had, in Ekiti and Osun states (governorship) and part of Bauchi and other places, you can see clearly they are not prepared for this election.

“If you look at the way some of the by-elections have been militarised, and the excessive money that was used, you know that they haven’t done their job in terms of sensitisation. The National Orientation Agency, I can’t remember when last I heard of them to sensitise Nigerians on some of these things.

“It is a collective responsibility and also if you look at the conflict and the infractions between what the INEC says and what the police say, who is to report who is guilty, who has committed an offence, you will know that the institution is still suffering from a lot of deficiencies.

“And if you look at the budget itself, vis a vis what INEC has said, that if they have not gotten the resources six months to the election, it is going to affect whatever they are doing today.

“This is a national election, it is not just one or two states that you deploy thousands police and I wonder if the Nigerian government is going to apply to the UN or ECOWAS to deploy troops to Nigeria to monitor this election. Our security agencies are overstretched because of crisis all over the country and I haven’t seen anything on ground to suggest that this election will be conducted under free and fair atmosphere.”

Mr Gabam said there is need for all to come together to face the reality as nothing shows INEC is ready for a free and fair election.

“So for me I will love to encourage INEC to be forthcoming, to be honest, to be transparent. All of us can put heads together, particularly the political parties, to find a way to rescue the situation. So far, they are making us to believe that they will conduct the election, that they are ready for the election, so we will keep on monitoring.”

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OAU Professor Allegedly Involved In Sex-For-Marks Scandal To Be Arraigned By ICPC



The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is set to arraign a former lecturer of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Professor Richard Iyiola Akindele, at the Federal High Court, Osogbo.

Mr Akindele was accused of demanding sex from one of his students, Ms. Monica Osagie, in order to upgrade her academic result.

In a statement by the spokesman of the commission, Rasheedat Okoduwa,Professor Akindele will be docked on Monday 19th November 2018, on a 3-count charge having been accused of using his position as a lecturer in the Department of Management and Accounting to demand for sexual benefit from a student and fraudulently upgrade her result in Research Method course which she supposedly failed in 2017.

The Commission says that his actions were contrary to Sections 8 (1) (a) (ii), and 18 (d) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and are punishable under the same sections.

One of the counts reads, “That you, professor Akindele, on or about the 16th day of September, 2017 at Ile-Ife did corruptly ask for sexual benefits for yourself from Ms. Monica Osagie on account of favour to be afterwards shown to her by you in the discharge of your official duties as a lecturer in the Department of Management and Accounting, Obafemi Awolowo University, to wit; altering her academic grades in the course with code MBA 632- Research Method from fail to pass; and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 8(1)(a)(ii) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”

The 57-year-old professor has asked for plea-bargain having admitted guilt. He also cited ill-health as a factor that may make him unable to stand the rigours of prison life, notifying the Commission through his lawyer, Omotayo Alade-Fawole.

He pleaded that his prayers for plea-bargain be considered, more so as he was already serving punishment for his offence having been sacked by the university.

Ms. Osagie had earlier expressed a lack of confidence in the capacity of ICPC to give her a fair hearing.
According to the commission, the public announcement of the professors impending arraignment is in fulfillment of its promise to the public to avail them of the outcome of the investigation in due time.


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Traditional Ruler Arrested Over Alleged N15.5m Fraud



What we're doing to rescue kidnapped party chairman, senatorial candidate, others – Police

THE traditional ruler of Ferowa village in Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State, Chief Muyideen Folorunso, has been arrested by men of the Ogun State Police Command over an alleged dubious land deal worth N15.5 million.

The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, in a statement made available to TribuneOnline, said the arrest of the traditional ruler followed a petition written by the management of a real estate firm against the traditional ruler.

DSP Oyeyemi said the company approached the traditional ruler for the purchase of about 23 acres of land in his domain, which was negotiated for N15.5 million, and the company paid the amount to the suspect after showing them the land.

“Surprisingly, some months after the payment was made, the traditional ruler started selling the same portion of land to another set of people, and before the company knew what was going on, he had sold 17 acres out of the 23 acres.

“As a result of the petition, the state Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, directed the officer in charge Public Complaints Bureau to look into the case and bring the suspect to book.

“The traditional ruler was subsequently arrested, and on interrogation, he admitted collecting the said amount of money from the complainant after showing them the land.

“He stated further that it was when he needed some money for his coronation that he was tempted to sell parts of the already sold land,” DSP Oyeyemi stated.
The police spokesperson said CP Iliyasu had ordered a thorough investigation into the case, and that the suspect would be arraigned in court in accordance with the anti-land grabbing laws of Ogun State.


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Court orders forfeiture of N300m bonds over Kanu’s absence



Court remands man for allegedly slapping wife to death


A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the interim forfeiture of the N300 million bail bonds by sureties to Nnamdi Kanu following their failure to produce him in court on Tuesday.

Justice Binta Nyako ordered that the money be deposited in the court’s bank account and not the Federal Givernment’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) before the next adjourned date on March 28, 2019.

The judge ruled that the sureties: Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe; a Jewish priest, Immanuel Shalom, and an Abuja-based accountant, Tochukwu Uchendu, would be given six months to argue their applications challenging the forfeiture.

However, the co-accused to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Bright Chimezie, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, and Chidiebere Onwudiwe were present as their trial on three count-charges bordering on conspiracy to commit treasonable felony and setting up illegal broadcast stations, continued.

Earlier, prosecution counsel Suleiman Labaran asked the court to order the sureties to show cause why the N100m bail bond for each of the them should not be forfeited to the Federal Government.

But counsel to Abaribe, Chukwu Machukwu-Ume (SAN) said the lawmaker went on an oversight function with the Senate Committee on Niger Delta.

Justice Binta Nyako threatened to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of Abaribe and Uchendu, who was said to be ill. Shalom was present in court.

The sureties had filed separate applications asking the court to stop their suretyship on the ground that they can no longer perform that responsibility because of some supervening and exceptional circumstances.


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