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The Federal Government is partnering with Portland Gas to construct CNG conversion sites in the country.
At the Portland Gas Green Park’s groundbreaking ceremony earlier this week, Farouk Ahmed, the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), announced the federal government’s approval for Portland Gas to commence constructing Compressed Natural Gas conversion sites.
Farouk, who was represented by Lukman Cardoso, emphasized the NMDPRA’s efforts in promoting cleaner fuels like CNG, LPG, and others for domestic and industrial use.
By establishing the facility in Lagos’s Ojota area, which sees a growing population, the aim is to provide cost-effective alternative fuels for households and industries.
- “The idea to set up a one-stop shop fusing Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), and Electric Vehicle Charging services in one facility is a powerful testament to your unwavering commitment to innovation and environmental stewardship.”
Additionally, Olu Verheijen, the Special Adviser on Energy to President Tinubu, who was represented by Eriye Onagoruwa, highlighted the collaboration between the Federal Government’s compressed natural gas initiative and Portland Gas.
This partnership aims to transition towards a more environmentally conscious and economically sustainable energy landscape.
- “The park will create new jobs, diversify our economy, and enhance our energy independence. This will in turn enable us to reduce our reliance on imported fuels, stabilize energy prices, and boost our economic growth. It will demonstrate to the world that Nigeria is committed to tackling climate change and building a cleaner, more resilient future.”
Meanwhile, the founder of Portland Gas, Folajimi Mohammed, noted the removal of fuel subsidies and the regulation of petroleum product prices, resulting in increased fuel costs.
He stressed the need to explore alternative fuel sources like CNG and EV (Electric Vehicles) for transportation. The projects at Portland Gas include eco-green CNG generators, converting vehicles from petrol or diesel to CNG, and establishing training centres.
Mohammed also highlighted the affordability of CNG compared to traditional fuels, noting significant cost savings, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, less pollution, and enhanced safety, reflecting a positive shift towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly fuel options.
What you should know:
The FG had earlier disclosed that the cost of CNG per litre is N250. Meanwhile, during his Independence Day speech on October 1, President Tinubu said that plans are underway to expedite the procurement process for new CNG conversion kits.
He pledged that the kits would soon become available, facilitating the conversion of existing vehicles to utilize CNG.
He also said that efforts were underway to establish training centres and workshops nationwide. These facilities aim to equip transport operators and budding entrepreneurs with the necessary skills and opportunities in this innovative transportation landscape.
The Kogi State Election Petition Tribunal, led by Justice Yusuf Ado Birnin-Kudu in Lokoja, has granted Murtala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and his legal team to access documents used in the November 11 gubernatorial election.
Following an application by Ajaka’s counsel, S.E. Aruwa SAN, who struggled to obtain the documents from Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) offices, the Tribunal ordered INEC to comply within 24 hours.
Justice Birnin-Kudu acknowledged the merit of the application under the Nigerian Constitution and the Electoral Law of 2023.
He ordered INEC to provide certified copies of the election documents within two days to John Adele, SAN, and S.E. Aruwa (SAN) representing Ajaka and the SDP.
The Tribunal also directed INEC to give access to the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and other electronic materials used in the election within 48 hours, responding to a request by Ajaka.
Naija News recalls that Ajaka contested in the governorship election held in Kogi State on the 11 of November 2023.
Ajaka who came second in the governorship election was defeated by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Usman Ododo.
The Abuja-based Baze University, said to be owned by the running mate of Peter Obi, the 2023 presidential candidate of Labour Party, Yusuf Baba-Ahmed, has been barred by the Council of Legal Education (CLE) from further admitting students into its Law Faculty for next five years.
The decision by the CLE, it was learnt, was informed by the university’s alleged consistent abuse of its admission quota for Law students.
The Acting Secretary and Director of Administration of the Nigerian Law School, Aderonke Osho said, in a statement, that Baze University was banned for consistently violating its admission quota of 50 students per session as approved by the CLE.
The Chairman of the CLE, Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN) also confirmed the development when contacted on Saturday by The Nation .
Osho, in the statement, added that the ban resulted from the findings of the CLE, to the effect that the university’s Law Faculty currently has a backlog of over 347 law students waiting to be admitted into the Nigerian Law School.
She said the university runs a three (3)-year LL.B programme for some UTME candidates without the approval of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and CLE.
Part of the statement reads: “At its quarterly meeting held on November 23, 2023, the Council of Legal Education (CLE) presided over by its Chairman, Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN, OFR, considered the report of the Accreditation Panel to the Faculty of Law, Baze University, Abuja.
“It emerged from the findings by the panel, led by the Director-General, Nigerian Law School, Prof Isa Hayatu Chiroma, SAN, that Baze University consistently and most flagrantly had contravened its admission quota of 50 students per session as approved by the Council of Legal Education with the result that the faculty is currently having a backlog of over 347 law students waiting to be admitted into the Nigerian Law School.
“Since 2017 the Council of Legal Education has grappled with the excesses of Baze University by admitting over 750 law students which ordinarily would have taken about 15 years of admission based on the quota allotted to the university.
“Under the NUC Minimum Benchmark Academic Standard (BMAS) for law degree programme in Nigerian universities, Law is a five (5)-year programme for UTME candidates and four (4)-year for Direct Entry students.
“The Council of Legal Education, after thorough consideration of these infractions, resolved as follows:
*The imposition of a moratorium on admission of law students to the Faculty of Law, Baze University, Abuja, with immediate effect;
*The moratorium will last in the first instance for a period of 5 years and may be renewed if no satisfactory action is taken to remedy the situation.
*The Council, in the interest of the innocent students, parents and guardians, will use the 5 year period to find ways to deal with the backlog of law students admitted by Baze University in excess of its admission quota.
*Follow-up visits will be paid to the university to ascertain the extent of the measures it has taken to remedy the anomalies observed during the accreditation visit.
*The National Universities Commission (NUC), Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), parents, guardians, prospective applicants and members of the public are hereby put on notice on the status of Baze University Abuja and its Faculty of Law.”
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, on Saturday, congratulated former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on the occasion of his 77th birthday.
In a congratulatory message on his X account, Obi hailed Atiku as a ‘dear Respected Elder Brother and leader’ who has contributed positively to the economic growth of the nation.
His words: Your Excellency, My Very dear Respected Elder Brother and leader, Alhaji Abubakar, Waziri Adamawa, I rejoice with you as you mark your 77th birthday today.
“Along with your family, friends and numerous well wishers, I celebrate your many contributions to the socio-political and economic development of our beloved country and in particular your unique role in deepening our nation’s democracy.
“You have undoubtedly positively impacted the nation’s economic growth through your various business establishments which not only create jobs for our people but add to our overall national productivity.
“You have, also through your educational institutions continued to add to the growth of education and man power development in our country. In this field you have added tremendous value to all tiers of education through your investment in institutions at all levels: primary, secondary, and tertiary levels.
“Your many scholarship awards to students have expanded opportunities to the indigent. You have contributed to pulling people out of poverty through your business establishments which not only create jobs for our people but add to ou overall national productivity.
“May God grant you more wisdom to continue to contribute to the progress of our dear nation and to grant you more healthy and fruitful years ahead as you age gracefully.
“Happy birthday Sir.”
The armed wing of Hamas said Saturday it was delaying the handover of a second group of hostages due to be released under a truce deal until Israel “adheres to the terms of the agreement”.
The entry of humanitarian aid to the north of the Gaza Strip and the selection criteria for the liberation of prisoners were the issues in question, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement.
The group of hostages seized in the Hamas attacks on southern Israel on October 7 was due to be handed over on the second day of a four-day truce agreement between Israel and the Islamist movement, with Palestinian prisoners being released in exchange for a ration of three to one.
A Hamas source had told AFP that the handover of 14 hostages to the Red Cross had begun, then said the transfer process had been halted.
An Israeli official said the hostages had not yet been handed over to the Red Cross.
“Israel has not violated the agreement,” an Israeli source told AFP.
The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Kogi has given INEC 48 hours to issue certified copies of electoral materials for the Nov. 11 off-cycle election in the state to the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
The court also ordered INEC to allow the SDP’s forensic experts to examine some electoral materials.
The materials include the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System and result sheets for Adavi, Okene, Okehi, Ogori-Magongo, Ajaokuta, Lokoja, Kogi, and Bassa Local Government Areas.
The tribunal ruled on Saturday in Lokoja that the SDP requested the materials to prove its case in the petition it filed against the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the election.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu, gave the order following two ex-parte motions filed on Nov. 19 by the SDP and by its governorship candidate, Alhaji Muritala Yakubu-Ajaka.
Justice Birnin-Kudu said the orders became imperative in view of the time constraints the tribunal had to discharge its mandate.
“The order is in compliance with Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution (as amended) and with the Electoral Act (2022).
“INEC is hereby ordered to produce all the documents being sought by the plaintiffs within 48 hours to enable proceedings to go smoothly and without hitches,’’ he declared.
SDP and Yakubu-Ajaka earlier filed seven ex-parte motions to support their demand but withdrew five and pursued two.
Lead counsel to the petitioners, Mr John Adele (SAN), had earlier told the court that efforts made to obtain certified copies of materials used in the six local government areas from INEC had been fruitless.
“Time is of the essence in this matter, and that is why we filed the motions with your lordship to help salvage the situation.
“Each time we approached INEC since Nov. 13, its officials failed to provide us with even one of the electoral materials for which we requested.
“We believe that if your lordship grants our application, INEC will do the needful to enable us to prosecute this case within the time limit,’’ he prayed to the tribunal.
Justice Birnin-Kudu adjourned the case to Wednesday, Nov. 29, for the submission of report of compliance by INEC and continuation of the hearing.
The SDP and Yakubu-Ajaka are challenging the victory of the APC and its candidate, Alhaji Usman Ododo, at the election petition tribunal.
INEC declared Ododo the winner of the election with 446,237 votes, while his closest rival, Yakubu-Ajaka, got 259,052 votes.
DEREK Chauvin, US police officer whose murder of George Floyd sparked massive racial justice protests in 2020, was stabbed in prison on Friday, the New York Times reported citing unnamed sources.
Chauvin knelt on the 46-year-old Black man’s neck for more than nine minutes on a Minneapolis street despite the dying man’s pleas.
Floyd’s cries of “I can’t breathe” were a rallying call for demonstrators domestically and abroad who took to the streets in the killing’s aftermath.
The US Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed an assault to AFP without naming the person wounded.
“An incarcerated individual was assaulted at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Tucson,” in the southwestern state of Arizona, it said in a statement.
“Responding employees initiated life-saving measures for one incarcerated individual,” the statement said, adding that the wounded individual was sent to a local hospital “for further treatment and evaluation.”
Chauvin survived the attack, according to a New York Times source.
Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in 2021, and sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison.
The incident was caught on video — providing a drastically different version of events than the initial police news release, which simply stated “officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress.”
A Justice Department probe into the Minneapolis police, the findings of which were published in June 2023, said that officers in the department routinely resorted to violent and racist practices, “including unjustified deadly force.”
The city of Minneapolis, in the midwestern state of Minnesota, also settled a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Floyd family, agreeing to pay his relatives $27 million.
– 2020 protests –
Chauvin appealed his second-degree murder conviction, which was rejected by the US Supreme Court earlier this month.
“At the end of the day, the whole trial, including sentencing, was a sham,” he said from prison in a recent documentary.
But at his sentencing hearing, he spoke little, “due to some additional legal matters at hand.”
“I do want to give my condolences to the Floyd family,” he added.
Otherwise he remained expressionless, as he did during the trial, even when witnesses gave damning testimony against him.
Chauvin’s lawyer Eric Nelson had said his client “exuded a calm and professional demeanor” in his interactions with Floyd, and sought to convince the jury that the ex-cop only applied a hold that was authorized and consistent with his training.
But the prosecution successfully argued that Chauvin had used excessive force — not only with Floyd, but with others he arrested during his 19-year career on the force.
Prior to the trial the prosecution dug up several examples of his “modus operandi,” including the case of Zoya Code, a young Black woman arrested by Chauvin in 2017.
“Even though the female was not physically resisting in any way, Chauvin kneeled on her body, using his body weight to pin her to the ground,” the prosecution said.
But the Floyd case was from the beginning a bigger story than individual accounts of injustice, helping galvanize huge protests and a reckoning on racism and policing in the United States and internationally.
The reverberations are still playing out in the United States today, with debates over racism still roiling politics and schools.
– Paper trail –
After the murder, colleagues later sketched a portrait of Chauvin as a silent, rigid workaholic who often patrolled the city’s more difficult neighborhoods.
His commitment to the job earned him four medals throughout his career. But he also racked up 22 internal complaints and investigations, according to a public record scrubbed of all details.
Only one of these numerous complaints, filed by a white woman whom he had violently pulled from her car in 2007 for speeding, in front of her crying infant, was followed by a letter of reprimand.
Delta State Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori has congratulated Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate in the 2023 general election, on his 77th birthday.
The Governor’s felicitation was featured in a statement issued on Saturday in Asaba by Sir Festus Ahon, his Chief Press Secretary.
He praised Atiku for his political and economic efforts, which had led to the nation’s wealth and unity.
Oborevwori lauded the Wazirin Adamawa’s unwavering devotion to Nigeria’s progress, calling it noble and deserving of commendation.
He described Atiku’s role in defending and expanding democracy in Nigeria, as well as his incisive and relentless advice on national issues, as exceptional and significant.
Oborevwori regarded Atiku as a detribalized Nigerian and a unifier whose goodwill had benefited many people’s lives by spanning socioeconomic class, party lines, gender, ethnicity, and religion.
“On behalf of the government and people of Delta state, I congratulate our great leader and former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, GCON, as he celebrates his 77th birth anniversary.
“You have amply demonstrated what you preach by creating opportunities for people to make a living through your massive investments,” he said.
Governors from NorthEast gathered in Yola, Adamawa State capital, for a meeting aimed at addressing the challenges in the the region.
The event, which held on Saturday at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Yola, and was attended by all the six governors in the region.
During the meeting, the chairman of the forum, Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno , emphasized the need for collaborative efforts to overcome the daunting challenges in the region.
The governors expressed a renewed commitment to work together to tackle issues such as insecurity, poverty, and underdevelopment in the area.
Zulum also urged the federal government to lend support to the region in addressing key issues such as the poor state of roads, the lack of functional rail lines, and the underutilization of waterways.
He commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his efforts to promote peace in Nigeria and the Northeast region.
The host governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, delivered a welcome address in which he acknowledged the forum’s efforts in charting a new course for the region.
He noted that the forum has been successful in attracting the necessary attention to the NorthEast and has played a key role in the battle against insurgency.
Governor Fintiri highlighted the achievements of the forum, stating that the Northeast states have been able to restore peace and stability to the region through their collective efforts.
He attributed the encouraging results witnessed by the region to the governors’ commitment to ensuring robust development, peace, and tranquility in the Northeast states.
Governor Zulum emphasized the importance of maintaining regional peace and urged his fellow governors to remain committed to creating opportunities for their citizens.
He suggested stimulating small industries and building agricultural value chains as solutions to address the alarming rate of unemployment and poverty in the region.
President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of eight new Permanent Secretaries in the Federal Civil Service .
This is contained in a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, on Friday in Abuja.
The statement said the appointment followed the recently-concluded selection process by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
According to the statement, the new permanent secretaries include : Ndakayo-Aishetu Gogo, Adeoye Adeleye Ayodeji, Rimi Nura Abba and Bako Deborah Odoh.
Others are Omachi Raymond Omenka, Ahmed Dunoma Umar, Watti Tinuke and Ella Nicholas Agbo.
Tinubu tasked the new appointees, who were successful among other equally qualified candidates in the selection process, to deploy their expertise and competence in the effective execution of the Renewed Hope mandate.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the mandate is to revitalise service delivery in all Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies in the interest of the people of Nigeria.
President Bola Tinubu has approved an increase in the yearly recruitment into the Nigeria Police Force.
The Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, made this known on Friday during a one-day working visit to the Kwara State Police Command in Ilorin, Kwara State.
Egbetokun stated that there is a need to increase the police workforce in the country, adding that an increase in recruitment would be gradual following the president’s directive,
He also disclosed that his administration would also look into the welfare of policemen in the country and training to achieve a professionally competent Police Force.
He said: “We’re paying attention to manpower. I know there’s a shortage of manpower in the command. I know the stress that I went through while as CP in ensuring the job was done. I know one policeman does the job of two policemen.
“A policeman would close from night duty and resume for morning duty, and as he’s closing from morning duty, he’s resuming night duty. When he dozes off in public, his photograph is taken and posted and made an object of ridicule; I’m aware of all these.
“We’re making efforts to increase your strength. The President had recently given approval for a yearly recruitment into the police; that’s the way forward. We need to double the strength of the police in the country.
“We cannot do it overnight, but gradually, and gradually, we’ll get there. We’ll also emphasise training to achieve a professionally competent Police Force.
“We’re also looking into welfare in the increase in salary and other areas to improve the lives of officers, just as equipping the Police Force is a priority. We promise to take care of the insurance plan, too.”
Also speaking, the Commissioner of Police, Victor Olaiya, requested the supply of an armoured personnel carrier to enhance the security of banks further and improve crime-fighting capacity in the state.
Press Statement Regarding the Discrepancy in the Court of Appeal's Judgement in the Kano Gubernatorial Election Appeal - Olumide AkpataWritten by Admin
1. While serving as the 30th President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and concurrently as a member of the Interview Committee of the National Judicial Council (NJC), I openly queried what I considered to be the sub-optimal manner in which potential Justices of the Court of Appeal were being screened by the said Committee and the fact that some of the candidates displayed a confounding lack of knowledge of very basic legal principles. Regrettably, the justification given by some members of the Committee in defence of these candidates who were aspiring to be elevated to the Court of Appeal was that these would-be Justices of that Appellate Court would learn on the job.
2. At the meeting of the National Executive Council of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA-NEC) held in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State, on March 18, 2021, I informed members of the NBA of this shocking state of affairs and I also warned of the potentially negative and detrimental consequences of this unfortunate situation. My statement, referred to above, was immediately publicised on social media, with some embellishments, by a lawyer who was present at that meeting, and this report immediately went viral, much to the chagrin of some of the operators of our Judicial system.
3. For starters, My Lord, Hon. Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, the President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), took umbrage at my well-intentioned comments and publicly and very stoutly defended this patently defective recruitment process.
4. Since the conclusion of my tenure as NBA President in August 2022, I have had cause, at different fora, to revisit and highlight this vexed issue of the sub-optimal recruitment process in the Nigerian Judiciary and what it portends not just for the future of the institution but of the entire nation.
5. My most recent intervention in this regard was at the Rule of Law Symposium held as part of the Annual Conference of the International Bar Association (IBA) on the 3rd of November, 2023, in Paris, France. At that event, I stated that the lethal combination of a shoddy recruitment process and the impoverishment of Judges and the Judiciary, by the executive arm of Government at both national and sub-national levels is an insidious attempt by the Nigerian political class and their collaborators to "capture" the Judiciary, and this constitutes a clear threat to the Rule of Law in Nigeria, a situation that calls for the urgent intervention of the IBA.
6. Ever since the video recording of my aforementioned contribution to the Symposium surfaced on the internet, I have been, again, roundly criticised by some very defensive Judicial officers and their cohorts for airing what they considered to be internal national issues on the international stage.
7. It must be said, however, that my position on this issue, as enunciated at the IBA Conference in Paris, has also been supported and endorsed by many wellmeaning Nigerians, including senior Legal Practitioners and some Judges.
8. My position has also been very unfortunately vindicated by recent occurrences in our Judiciary. A case in point being the scandalous and extremely embarrassing report of an apparent discrepancy between the Judgement pronounced in open court and the Certified True Copy obtained from the Court Registry, in the Kano State Gubernatorial Petition Appeal. This rather bizarre incident has further accentuated the crisis in the Nigerian Judiciary, which is exacerbated by the many confounding decisions emanating from our Courts that continue to bewilder and befuddle observers of this once-revered arm of government.
9. As expected, the news media and the rumour mills are awash with suggestions that this Judgement may have been “intercepted” on its way to delivery and that this ostensible mix-up was in fact a Freudian slip that occurred in the course of a hastened heist. These suggestions and allegations, even though unsubstantiated, are very quickly gaining traction and taking root in the minds of very many Nigerians and indeed non-Nigerians - a situation that could very quickly imperil the Judiciary in Nigeria and, by extension, our nascent and floundering democracy.
10. I recently came across news reports from usually reliable media sources, quoting the Chief Registrar of the Court of Appeal, Umar Bangari, as having attributed the discrepancy in the said Judgement to a clerical error. Furthermore, he is reported to have requested parties to the Appeal to apply to the Court to correct the purported error pursuant to Order 23 Rule 4 of the Court of Appeal Rules. With the greatest respect, the Chief Registrar's approach to this matter is most untenable, as it flies in the face of reason and also does not conform with our extant laws on the subject. Whilst, acknowledging the fact of human fallibility and the possibility of mistakes occurring, the fundamental nature of this "error" and the impact it has on such a consequential part of the Judgement, make it extremely difficult to accept, without more, the aforementioned assertion by the Chief Registrar.
11. It is for this reason that I urgently call on the PCA, My Lord, Hon. Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, as the Head of the Nigerian Court of Appeal to provide, for the benefit of Nigerians and, indeed, the world, a hopefully cogent explanation and clarification of this quagmire. It is the very least My Lord can and should do in the circumstances.
12. It is imperative that His Lordship makes a categorical statement on this matter because the stakes are way too high and the current situation in the Judiciary (and indeed the country) too dire for the issue to be left in the hands of Registry officials.
The convener of the National Peace Committee, Bishop Matthew Kukah, has stated that politicians who boast about their kinsmen’s extensive tenure in power are only concerned with looting public funds.
Kukah said this at the 8th House of Justice Summit and Burgundy Ball Banquet in Kaduna on Friday with the theme ‘Electoral Accountability and Democratic Stability’.
He expressed criticism over instances of Nigerian politicians boasting about how long they will remain in power.
“When somebody tells you, ‘Muslims will be in power, Igbos will be in power, Yoruba will be in power, Hausa will be in power’, the only reason they are making that point is that they are just saying, ‘Our people will continue to steal from Nigeria and we will continue’ because without stealing, you cannot win elections,” he said.
“These characters who are telling you, ‘We will be in power for this period of time,’ are just saying, ‘We will continue to control the stealing box.'”
According to Kukah, when politicians speak of their communities’ prolonged dominance in power, it is a veiled endorsement of a culture of corruption and electoral manipulation, where the primary focus is on sustaining a system that allows for the misappropriation of public resources.
In his address, the bishop highlighted what he described as the arrogance of politicians who, having designed systems to favour them, confidently project a 16-year grip on power.
The cleric took aim at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which held power for 16 years until former President Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat in the 2015 presidential.
“I think that at the height of their arrogance, after they had designed this thing to suit them, they now said we would be in power for 16 years,” he said.
“They didn’t anticipate that Jonathan would come and drop the ball and say, ‘No, I am a gentleman.’ Now, the shoe is on the other foot and you are going to continue to watch this feeling of arrogance: ‘We have it; we will hold it for this number of years."
Election monitoring group, Yiaga Africa has blamed the unsuccessful attempt by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to clean up Nigeria’s voters register on the inability of the National Population Commission (NPC) and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to produce reliable data’s of deceased persons and persons who have permanently relocated out of the country.
Yiaga Executive Director Samson Itodo who made this observation, Thursday in Abuja at the launch of a discussion paper on Improving the integrity of Nigeria’s voter register, regretted that the credibility and accuracy of the register remained a key concern for most electoral stakeholders despite efforts by the electoral body to updates and clean-up the register in line with legal requirements to improve the quality of the voter register.
“Consequently, there are still many persons who were legitimately registered but should no longer be on the Register, such as deceased
persons and persons who have permanently relocated out of the country.
“Part of the challenge with the clean-up of the register is that the National Population Commission (NPC) does not have reliable data on deceased persons. It is even more difficult to get reliable data from the Nigerian Immigration Service about Nigerians who may have relocated permanently out of the country.” He noted.
According to the director, one of the legends of the voters’ register in Nigeria is its inflation for political reasons through the inclusion of persons who are ineligible to be registered.
“This is a widely held view among politicians and the electorate alike. Yet, it is difficult to say by how much the register may be inflated. However, the repeated discovery of confirmed foreigners in the register, as well as a lingering problem of underage registrants, strongly suggests that the register may be inflated.
“Beyond registering the ineligible, there is also the lasting issue of multiple registrations. At the end of the last phase of CVR in July 2022, about 45% of all registrations nationwide, rising to as high as 50% in some states, were detected by the Automated Biometric ldentification System (ABIS) deployed by INEC as either multiple registration or incomplete registration.”
To address the issue, Itodo called for the creation of an interagency framework for the clean-up of the register to include INEC the lead in collaboration with the National Population Commission and National ldentity Management Commission, the National Bureau of Statistics, the Nigeria Immigrations Service, civil society and academia.
He went on: “The voters’ register should be effectively linked to census, civic registration and other databases for easy verification and updating.
“The register needs to be depoliticized by increasing citizens’ involvement in its compilation. Ironically, because of the mindset of politicians, the fact that INEC compiles the register immediately makes it prone to politicisation.
“Consequently, INEC should shift its focus from registration to management of the voters’ register. It should allow other agencies to collect data based on clear guidelines to procedure and quality of data and focus more on deduplication, verification and management of the data.
“INEC should commence full online registration of voters immediately.
“The existing portal should be equipped with all the necessary capabilities for registrants to provide their information, as well as to capture their biometrics.
“The portal should be able to return a message confirming the successful registration of a voter and offer an electronic PVC to be printed and laminated by the registrant.
“Discontinue the printing of PVCs and move the funds to voter registration. INEC should issue PVCs as paper documents at the point of registration, which can be printed and laminated by the holder. INEC should also offer downloadable PVCs from its registration portal, ensuring the necessary checks against identity theft.
“INEC should use specified identity documents such as international passports and National ldentity Cards for voting. This should be piloted in several off-cycle and by-elections.
“INEC should consider an independent audit of the voter register using qualified
external experts and organisations. This will build public confidence and transparency.