The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said contrary to insinuations, it only transmitted results, electronically, during Anambra and Osun governorship elections and not during the 2019 general election.
According to INEC, although the server exists, it was not deployed during the general election which held between February and March, this year.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, are at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in the February 23 presidential election.
In Osun State, yesterday, INEC National Commissioner, Solomon Soyebi, explained how the electoral body was forced to drop the idea of electronic transmission of the results to a central server.
He insisted that the Commission only experimented with the technology during some staggered elections in 2018. INEC reiterated that the clarification became necessary because of rising controversies on the transmission of the presidential election results from states to the INEC server.
Speaking during the Post Election Retreat organised by the Commission for its staff and ad-hoc staff engaged for the last general election in Osun, Soyebi added that INEC experimented with electronic transmission of results during Anambra, Sokoto and Osun elections held before 2019 elections but the Commission did not sustain the use of the technology during the general election.
He maintained that the late release of INEC’S budget for the 2019 elections and controversies over the Electoral Act, among others reasons, forced the Commission to jettison the idea of using the technology to transmit results to the central server.
“We piloted the use of transmission of election results electronically in Sokoto, in Anambra, even in Osun. What happened was that we were trying to pilot to see the desirability of such technology in our electoral process.
“First, our budget came out very late, there was also issue (with) the Electoral Act. For these and some other reasons, the Commission did not adopt that option. 2019 elections were conducted according to Law.
“We used the Constitution of the Federal Republic, we used the Electoral Act and our guidelines for 2019 elections. If you look at the three instruments carefully, the issue of server was not highlighted.
“Once in a while, you will see an experiment going on but we have to pilot it before we will deploy wholesale for election. We did not use it because of circumstances beyond the control of the Commission,” Soyebi said.
Earlier, Osun Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Segun Agbaje, said the 2019 elections were largely successful; despite daunting challenges that characterised its conduct.
He, however, lamented the ”do-or-die” attitude of some politicians which involved different illicit practices, including use of thugs to win an election at all cost. He added that the Commission in collaboration with security agents in the state drastically reduced the phenomenon during the general elections.
Egypt’s first democratically elected civilian President, Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist who was ousted after one year of divisive rule, died during a court hearing on Monday, the attorney general said.
Reuters reports that a top figure in the now-banned Islamist movement Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi, collapsed in a cage after speaking at a hearing on charges of espionage.
Morsi, who was 67, was toppled by the military in 2013 following mass protests against his rule.
The Islamist leader had been in prison since his ouster on trial for several cases including for spying for Iran, Qatar and militant groups such as Hamas in the Gaza Strip. He was also accused of plotting terror acts.
He was sentenced to death in May 2015 for his role in jailbreaks during the uprising that ousted his predecessor, longtime autocrat, Hosni Mubarak.
Morsi’s hearing in the capital, Cairo, was related to charges of espionage emanating from suspected contacts with the Palestinian Islamist group, Hamas.
He collapsed moments after addressing the court from a cage where some defendants are kept in during sessions, Egypt’s public prosecutor said, adding that a medical report showed no apparent recent injuries on Morsi’s body.
AFP reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a strong ally of the Islamist President during his brief tenure as Egypt’s leader, paid tribute to Morsi and called him a “martyr.”
Qatar’s ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, another strong backer of Morsi, took to Twitter to say, “We received with deep sorrow the news of the sudden death of former President Mohammed Morsi.”
There are indications that the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has shortlisted former governors of Nasarawa, Abia and Kebbi states – Abdullahi Adamu, Orji Uzor Kalu and Adamu Aliero – as well as the senator representing Ondo North Senatorial District, Prof. Ajayi Boroffice, for the remaining principal office positions due to the ruling party in the Senate.
A source, who is privy to the arrangement, told New Telegraph yesterday that Adamu has been tipped for the position of Majority Leader, while Kalu, Boroffice and Aliero have been shortlisted as Deputy Majority Leader, Chief Whip and Deputy Chief Whip, respectively.
The source revealed that the choice of the quartet was arrived at, following a zoning process adopted by the APC National Working Committee (NWC) and that list to that effect, which will be forwarded to the Office of the Senate President this week, is expected to be adopted on July 2, when the Senate resumes from its two-week break.
But another source within the APC told our correspondent that the party is yet to arrive at a final decision on the position of Majority Leader.
He said though most members of the APC NWC are disposed to South-East occupying the position through Kalu, a final decision would be taken by the time they meet tomorrow.
The party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, is said to be out of the country, but is expected back before today or tomorrow.
Senators Ahmed Lawan (North-East) and Ovie Omo-Agege (South-South) have earlier emerged as Senate President and Senate Deputy President, respectively, during the inauguration of the 9th Senate on Tuesday last week. The two are the party’s preferred choices for the positions.
It was learnt that the ruling party shunned former Governors Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) and Rochas Okorocha (Imo) who indicated interest in the Senate leadership.
New Telegraph learnt that the zoning process through which the party arrived at the three former governors, who interestingly served within the same period (1999-2007) under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), first, involved ceding of the four positions – Majority Leader to North Central, Deputy Majority Leader to South-East, Chief Whip to South-West and Deputy Chief Whip to North-West.
The second step involved meeting of party zonal leaders in the respective zones to decide on who among senators from their areas will get the positions.
The source, however, disclosed that the second step was not adopted in the case of the South-East as the national leadership decided for the zone.
“The APC national leadership zoned the four offices to the respective four zones and after that, their zonal leaders met and decided on who among the senators will get the positions, with the exception of the South-East to avoid the process being truncated because Rochas Okorocha showed interest for the position of Deputy Majority Leader,” one of the sources said.
Besides adopting zoning to ensure that all the six geopolitical zones were accommodated in the sharing of principal offices in the Senate, New Telegraph was informed by an APC senator, who preferred to speak on the condition of anonymity that the party’s hierarchy resolved to compensate loyalists, who respected party decisions and supported preferred candidates at the Assembly elections and thereby frustrated the PDP from taking any slot in the majority leadership of the two chambers.
“It is payback time. The APC is set to reward those loyal party members who refused all temptations to rock the boat for the party during the inauguration of the National Assembly on Tuesday last week because it will act as an encouragement to party members in future elections.
“So, those National Assembly members who sacrificed their personal ambitions to run for specific offices are definitely going to be rewarded in one way or another. If they had gone ahead to contest for the position of Senate Deputy, do you think that Omo-Agege, who is the party’s candidate would have won?
“In fact, the 2015 scenario was almost repeating itself, but for the last minute pressure, which made people like Orji Uzor Kalu, Kabiru Gaya and Ajayi Boroffice to step down. You saw what PDP planned to do, but luckily, there was unity of purpose among the APC senators-elect and that was the saving grace for the party,” the ranking senator told New Telegraph.
Meanwhile, the source, who spoke on the zoning arrangement, revealed that Adamu was considered for the position of Majority Leader because he not only shelved his interest in the position of Senate President, when the party opted for the North-East, but has been a strong supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“You will recall that the former governor of Nasarawa State (Adamu), who has been in the Senate since 2007, was at a time the chairman of Northern Senators Caucus as well as leader of pro-Buhari senators, which pitted him against the leadership of the 8th Senate under Bukola Saraki,” the source added.
For Kalu, the source said he was naturally going to be the choice of the South-East being the most ranking lawmaker of APC extraction in the Red Chamber from the zone.
The former Abia State governor was a member of the House of Representatives in the aborted Third Republic. He also heeded to the party’s directive to drop his ambition for Senate President and Senate Deputy President to support the preferred candidates.
Kalu had insisted on running against Omo-Agege even up to the eve of the inauguration of the Senate, but stepped down in the interest of the party.
For the position of Chief Whip that was zoned to the South-West, New Telegraph learnt that seven senators from the zone were screened. They are wife of APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Oluremi, and Solomon Adeola (Lagos); Olubunmi Adetunbi and Opeyemi Bamidele (Ekiti), Teslim Folarin (a former Senate Leader, Oyo), Lekan Mustapha (Ogun) and Boroffice (Ondo).
The two APC senators from Osun State – Basiru Surajudeen and Adeyemi Oriolowo – were not considered because they are first-timers in the Senate, while the immediate past governor of Ogun State, Amosun (Ogun Central), a second-timer, was overlooked as he is presently under suspension over alleged anti-party activities during the last elections.
It was further gathered that the contest was between Senators Tinubu and Boroffice, who both showed interest in the position of Senate Deputy President before backing out.
The Ondo senator emerged tops because APC leaders in the South-West argued that it would be unfair for Lagos Central (Oluremi Tinubu’s senatorial district), which produced the Speaker of House of Representatives – Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila – to also take the position of Senate Chief Whip.
On the part of Aliero, who was shortlisted as Deputy Chief Whip, the source said he was considered on his strength as two-term governor, two-term senator and former minister.
This is even as it was learnt that some leaders of the party are also considering Senator Kabiru Gaya, representing Kano South, for the position.
Gaya, a former governor of Kano State, had insisted on contesting for the office of Deputy Senate President against Omo-Agege, but shelved this ambition shortly before the inauguration of the 9th Senate.
Besides the principal office positions, New Telegraph also learnt that the ruling party has tipped Senator Adeola (Lagos West) for the chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
The PDP had, on Friday, named Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, representing Abia South Senatorial District, as Minority Leader of the 9th Senate.
Also named by the opposition party were Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba South), who retained his position as Deputy Minority Leader and Philip Aduda (Federal Capital Territory), who also retained his position as Minority Whip.
Investigators are hitting the road today in search of lawmakers’ N900b constituency projects in states.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is verifying constituency projects executed by immediate past senators and members of the House of Representatives.
The commission said it will make recoveries on projects/contracts confirmed to have been inflated or in which contractors underperformed or did not perform at all.
To be verified are 180 key projects in the 36 states at the rate of five per state.
The probe covers projects between 2015 and 2018 embarked upon by members of the 8th National Assembly.
About 2, 516 projects were tracked between 2015 and 2017. Of the lot, 918 were not done, 395 ongoing and 214 cannot be located.
According to a document released by the spokesperson for the commission, Mrs. Rasheedat A. Okoduwa, the first phase will be conducted in 12 states.
The states are: Kogi and Benue (North-Central); Adamawa and Bauchi (North-East); Sokoto and Kano (North-West); Imo and Enugu (South-East); Lagos and Osun (South-West); and Akwa Ibom and Edo (South-South).
Okoduwa said members of the Steering Committee of the investigation/ verification team were drawn from the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), the Budget Office of the Federation, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, “Premium Times”, the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), the Public and Private Development Centre, the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), the Community for Peace & Corrupt-free Society and BudgIT.
The document said: “The first phase of the exercise is to commence in 12 states across the six geo-political zones of the country from Tuesday. At least five projects have been identified for tracking in each state.
“Site visits in each state by the tracking team will involve ICPC and representatives of other members of the Steering Committee as well as a competent officer from the executing agency for each project.
The tracking teams is to:
- investigate fraudulent procurement practices in the award of contracts for constituency projects and other projects with potential to impact the lives of ordinary Nigerians;
- monitor in collaboration with critical stakeholders, the implementation of constituency projects from inception to completion;
- make recoveries on projects/contracts confirmed to have been inflated or in which contractors underperformed or did not perform at all;
- Track contracting companies for all statutory regulatory compliance, including, among others but not limited to, tax obligations.
The ICPC listed expected outcomes as improved delivery of social welfare services to the citizens; value for money in execution of public projects; increased performance of the Commission’s enforcement mandate; enhanced collaboration between the Commission, CSOs and the media; increase in the quality and quantity of shared information/intelligence; increase in recovery of public funds; and improved opportunity for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, gave a three-year breakdown of the projects done by the lawmakers.
He said: “The level of implementation of constituency projects in 16 focus states for 2015 is revealing. Out of 436 constituency projects for the year that were tracked, 145 were completed, 77 ongoing while 211 were not executed at all.
“For 2016, out of a total of 852 constituency projects in 20 states in the 2016 Budget that were tracked, 350 were completed, 118 were ongoing, 41 locations not specified in the budget and 343 not done or performed.
“In 2017, a total of 1,228 constituency projects in the budget were tracked for performance as at June 2018. Out of these, 478 were completed, 173 in unspecified location, 200 ongoing, 13 abandoned and 364 not started. The level of performance of constituency projects is therefore disputable.”
He said constituency projects had been turned into avenues of corruption.
Owasanoye added: “Constituency projects are intended to be developmental, such as provision of water, rural electrification, rural clinics, schools, community centres and bursary for indigent students.
“In the light of annual budgetary allocations to constituency projects and based on actual releases by the government, it is firmly believed that the impact of constituency projects on the lives of ordinary Nigerians ought to be more visible.
“Regrettably, available statistics from open sources paint a bleak picture of the level of performance or delivery of constituency projects.
“Over the years, constituency projects have become enmeshed in controversy among non-state actors, the promoters of the projects and the communities that are supposed to benefit from the projects.
“The concern is that in Nigeria, rather than address the needs of constituents, many constituency projects have become avenues of corruption.”
The Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria (GAFDAN) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency listen to the advice of former President Olusegun Obasanjo on how to move the nation forward and halt the numerous crises bedevilling the land.
Speaking with newsmen in Jos the Plateau State capital, the National Chairman of the group, Alhaji Sale Bayari, said the present administration ought to listen to other eminent Nigerians too in solving the nation’s problems, but that from the signs he is getting, things are not in order.
He said considering the tribal, ethnic, religious and sectional agitations from the south, East, North and West, things must be done urgently to address and avert national crises. According to him, there is no part of the country that agitation is currently not going on.
He stressed that even the crises that is already happening in the Northern states like Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger, Sokoto, Taraba, Benue, Nassarawa and so on, is not good for the country, including that of the other regions like Niger-Delta militants, Ipob, Afenifere and the rest.
“In moving the nation forward, the government must listen to some elder statesmen irrespective of whatever their political views or affiliation is. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is one of them. I have found out that if any government in Africa is to tap one-third of what is in the brain of Obasanjo and use it, Africa will be better. Similarly, West Africa and Nigeria will be better for it.
Obasanjo knows our problem. And then whenever he talks and explodes sometimes, I have found out that it is because he has made efforts to be listened to without success. He will then feel that posterity will judge him harshly if he does not come out to tell Nigerians and the world the truth of things.
“Undoubtedly, Obasanjo is an embodiment of knowledge, experience and he know very well the problem of our country, Nigeria. There is nobody dead or alive today that thinks the way Obasanjo does or knows what Obasanjo knows.
“He knows Nigeria, Africa and the entire world like the back of his hand. That is why I am advising this government to tap the brains of people like Obasanjo. He is a person that can lead the government into looking critically at the problem bedeviling the nation and finding a way forward.
“We know that government can do and undo, but any government desiring to move forward will require the support of statesmen and nationalists like Obasanjo.
“There are other statesmen the government should listen to; people like Yakubu Gowon, Ango Abdullahi, Sultan of Sokoto, Oni of Ife, Eze of Onitsha, and others. These are people have this nation at heart and would not want it to disentegrate. If they put their machinery in place, I bet you that peace and progress will be achieved.
According to him said, But is unfortunate, nobody is mobilizing them or seeking their imput in solving the national crises.
“These people know what to do or the right people to call, among other things in solving the problems,” he said.
Bayeri said his fear is that if the government does not carefully handle these looming crises and they degenerate, the nation does not have the well-withal in terms of security to tackle it.
He said if the nation has been unable to tackle Boko Haram since 2009, then it is a greater danger if crises burst out in other states or regions in the nation.
“Recently, the Secretary of the Government, Boss Mustapha said if the armed banditry is not carefully handled, it will be worse that the Boko Haram insurgency. I totally agree with him entirely because if you look at the way the thing is building up now, then you will know what I am talking about. Very soon, some religious and insurgent groups may capitalize on it to recruit people for other nefarious acts. We should not allow this to happen, and we should do everything possible to halt it,” he added.
The Aare Onakakanfo Council led by Gani Adams has asked the federal government to contain activities of “killer herdsmen” in the south-west to avoid retaliation.
In a communique signed by its members, the council said the activities of herders “who have been ravaging our land” have become a serious concern for the Yoruba race.
It said the herders have continued to wreak havoc in the southwest despite several appeals made to them.
It said the threat posed by the herders cannot be overlooked, adding that for peace to reign among people who occupy a common territory, all the parties involved must ensure that every unit in this country respect each other in all ramifications.
The council called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take immediate and decisive action.
“The campaign of blood by Fulani herdsmen, who have been ravaging our land, kidnapping, killing, maiming and raping our people in recent years has become a serious source of concern for the Yoruba race; a race renowned for their staunch passion for peaceful coexistence, national cohesion, and development,” read the communique signed by Adams and read.
“It is disheartening and most embarrassing that the group, despite several appeals to their consciousness and common sense, has continued to wreak havoc on our land, and forcibly planning to reap where they have not sown.
“They have been plundering Yorubaland, and we recognize evil when we see it. Every true blood of the Yoruba race is at the risk of being haunted and slaughtered by this reckless group if we keep sugar-coating the bloody implications of their evil enterprise.
“We are acquainted with the nature of Fulani nomads in the past, and we know as a matter of fact that they were not carrying AK47s. It is because of this naked truth that we ask that these people be labelled as what they are.
“Consequently, we hereby ask these Fulani marauders to stop their murderous activities and vacate every inch of Yorubaland they currently ravage. Failure to reconcile themselves with these terms may warrant maximum retaliation as the principle dictates that a bully only respects a bully.”
The council listed some areas in the southwestern region as dark spots where the federal government’s intervention is needed.
It advised the kings and local chiefs to be more conscious of the activities of people in their midst, saying it is their duty to account for and monitor strangers in their jurisdiction.
The council also warned “all Yoruba sons and daughters in power” that they risk being declared persona non grata if they fail to use their capacities to speak up against the ills and injustice ravaging Yorubaland.
Professor Mahmood Yakubu has announced that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will give automatic employment to members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) who performed distinguishably during the 2019 general election.
The INEC chairman made this known while presenting laptops and phones to NYSC members. The devices were used by the European Election Observation Mission and were given to 75 NYSC members selected by a panel of NYSC and EU delegation.
Speaking in Abuja on Monday, the INEC chairman added that Corp members who will participate in the governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi Will also benefit the same.
More details shortly
The Plateau Specialist Hospital, Jos has handed over the baby stolen from its maternity ward, to the biological parents, after medical and police investigation.
The Chief Medical Director, Dr Philemon Golwa, while handing over the baby to the parents, expressed happiness over the recovery of the stolen child from its abductors.
Golwa said that generic testing conducted on both baby and the parents confirmed that the baby biologically belongs to the parents the baby was stolen from.
“Today is not a day of mourning; it is a day of celebration of life that was thought to have been lost but now found.
“When this special baby was stolen from this hospital, I was worried, but with our efforts and that of the Police, God has made it possible for us to celebrate.
“We had a breakthrough on Thursday with the recovery of the baby from the woman who “technically” snatched her. The woman has confessed to the Police that she actually stole the child.
“Paternity test, done through DNA, and the blood groups genotype testing, have all shown that the child belongs to the couple. They are the real parents of the child.
“Even though the DNA test will be ready in two weeks as we have taken it to another state for confirmation, the testing of the blood group clearly shows that this couple are the baby’s parents.” the exited CMD said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), recalls that a baby belonging to 30-year-old Mary Chukwuebuka, a resident of Zarmaganda, Jos, was stolen from her, three days after birth, at the Hospital where she went for delivery.
Chukwuebuka had told newsmen that she gave birth on May 28, and the child, a baby girl, was stolen from her on May 31, by a woman who dressed and posed as a doctor in the hospital.
According to her, the woman had claimed that she was taking the baby for further tests at the theatre.
The suspect, Mrs. Leritshimwa Diyal, had claimed that she was kidnapped hours to her expected time of delivery and had been delivered of a healthy female child while in the kidnappers’ custody.
Diyal, 30, claimed that she was taken to a bush somewhere near Abuja, some 300 kms away from Jos, where she was delivered of the child.
The Police are yet to make a statement on their level of investigation and when they intend to arraign the suspect.
Thirty persons have been confirmed killed in a suicide bomb attack in Mandarari ward of konduga town, the headquarters of Koduga local government area of Borno state.
42 other persons also sustained various degree of injuries when three suicide bombers detonated their person.
Confirming the attack, the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) on Monday said 30 persons lost their lives while 42 others were injured when three suicide bombers detonated Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Mandarari community of Konduga Local government area of the state.
The Director Search, Rescue and Operations of the SEMA, Alh Usman Kachalla who disclosed this to newsmen when he visited the scene of the attack on Monday, said the incident occurred around 8 pm on Sunday.
According to him. the three suicide bombers, comprising two females and a male, detonated the IEDs in a local tea joint and film centre in the community.
He said that about 17 persons died instantly during the attack while the, a death toll rose to 30 on Monday as a result of lack of immediate medical attention and drugs.
Lamenting that his staff could not reach the spot of the incident on Sunday evening when the incident occurred, as a result, if the closure of the road by the military and that the hospital in Konduga did not have enough facilities to handle the situation.
Alh Kachallah said “When I and my team arrived Konduga early this morning, the military prevented us from gaining access to the community to assist the victims. They told us they were given orders from above not to open the road until 9 am.”
Our correspondent who visited the scene of the report of the attacks s that dozens of the wounded victims were seen being conveyed in pick-up vans by relations to hospitals in Maiduguri, the state capital, a distance of about 80 km from their town.
A resident of the area, Abdullahi Garba, said ” the suicide bombers initially wanted to attack a viewing centre but were sent way where the end up attacking a tea vendor place and night market. it is unfortunate we lost 30 people, while 40 others were injured in the attack including my junior brother was killed.
He said “initially 15 people were killed instantly but due lack of medical equipment and facilities the dead toll rose to 30, over 40 others injured.
The Action Alliance (AA) has suspended Uche Nwosu, its candidate in March governorship election in Imo state.
Nwosu, who is the son-in-law to Rochas Okorocha, a former governor of Imo, was accused of insubordination, anti-party activities and mismanagement of funds.
Kenneth Uneze, national chairman of AA, made this known while addressing journalists in Abuja on Monday.
Uneze alleged that Nwosu had “serially undermined the principle of party supremacy” and also divided its members in Imo.
“This is a crisis we have tried to manage in-house for a while now. We have tried to make Uche Nwosu sees reasons to keep faith with the CUPP pact. But he has refused. As a party, we are bound by morality and good conscience to honour our words. This is why the NWC has decided to suspend him, and has recommended his expulsion to the NEC,” he said.
The party chairman also threatened to dissolve AA in Imo if its members continue to disobey the party.
“It is absurd that Uche Nwosu has chosen to recruit a handful of our members in Imo state to disobey directives of the party,” he said.
“It should be stated in clear terms that any further acts that entail subversion of the will of the party shall have all the structures of the party – from Ward to State – in Imo dissolved.”