The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), President Bola Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) were rattled on Wednesday following the decision of the former Vice President of Nigeria, Abubakar Atiku to bring subpoenaed witnesses into the hearing of his petition
President Bola Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) jointly stood their grounds that the witnesses must not be allowed to testify until June 8.
Following the concern of the PEPC on Tuesday that Atiku and the PDP were turning out their exhibits in piecemeal, their lawyer, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, SAN complained that INEC was frustrating their litigation against Tinubu and the APC despite having paid Six Million Naira (N6,000,000) in fees to the electoral body.
They consequently applied for and were granted the order to subpoena witnesses at the court’s resumed hearing.
At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, Atiku, who was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the disputed February 25 presidential election had called his first subpoenaed witness at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPEC) to tender some sensitive documents but the move was vehemently opposed by INEC and Tinubu.
INEC, Tinubu and APC through their individual lawyers objected to the taking of the evidence of the witness who was said to be an Adhoc staff of INEC.
Lead counsel to the PDP, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, after the admittance of exhibits from 10 local governments in Kogi State, called in one of his listed witnesses who gave evidence on how INEC failed to transmit results in real time “as promised”.
Shortly after the end of cross examination of the witness, Hon. Ndubuisi Nwobu from Anambra State, Uche informed the court that the petitioners have three subpoenaed witnesses and went to call the first one, an Adhoc staff of INEC.
However, immediately the witness entered the witness box and barely before he could take his oath, counsel to INEC, Mr Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, rose in objection to the hearing of the evidence of the witness.
He informed the court that he was only served this morning with the statement of the witness and, as such, would have to study the statement in order to do a thorough cross examination.
His position was shared by Tinubu’s lawyer, Chief Akin Olujimi, SAN and APC’s lawyer, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, who added that he was only served barely 20 minutes ago with the statement and has not seen what it contains.
Responding, Uche argued that with a subpoenaed witness, they were not supposed to front-load his statement to the respondents, adding that there was nothing strange in the statement of the witness to warrant an adjournment.
Uche pleaded with the court to take at least one of the subpoenaed witnesses so as to judiciously make use of the time allotted it because the adjournment would eat into their allotted time.
Presiding Justice of the Court, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani, while trying to be considerate, proposed standing down trial for 30 minutes to enable respondents to look at the documents and thereby cross examine the first subpoenaed witness.
INEC, however insisted that the witness cannot be talking and should not be taken because the witness “is said to be an Adhoc staff of the Commission” and as such he would have to go and look at INEC’s records to enable him confirm the status of the witness and prepare adequately.
Following the respondents’ insistence, Uche urged the court to adjourn till tomorrow for the calling of the three subpoenaed witnesses.
Earlier in his evidence, Nwobu told the Court that the election went smoothly in most polling units he visited, including where he cast his vote, but “magic started happening” at the Ward Collation Centres.
According to him, results of the election were entered into the forms EC8A at the polling units but were not transmitted real time into the IReV because of the failure of the BVAS machines.
He told the panel that, but for his intervention, some staff of INEC would have been attacked due to their inability to upload results in real time.
“There was no real-time transmission of results as we were promised by INEC,” he said.
Meanwhile, further hearing into the petition has been shifted till June 8.
Kogi CSDA renovates 75-year-old Ochadamu Leprosarium with N15m
By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.
KOGI State Community and Social Development Agency (CSDA) has flagged off renovation work on the 75-year-old Leprosarium, now known as Holey Memorial Hospital, Ochadamu.
Chief Dauda Momoh, General Manager of the Agency presented a cheque for the first stanche of the N15 million intervention on Wednesday at Ocharamu, Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi.
He said the intervention was part of the 16 micro project interventions under the Basic Services Infrastructure of the Nigeria Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) Programme.
Represented by Engr. Bayode Oladipo, Operations Manager of the Agency, the General Manager hinted that the Leprosarium which was established 1948 as a leprosy and rehabilitation centre with a twin male and female colony now enjoys support from Kogi State NG-CARES Programme.
Chief Dauda Momoh said the renovation work entailed renovation of Ward, Toilets, Pharmacy building with Supply of drugs and equipment and was expected to cost ₦11,193,546.00
He said that renovation of classroom s and furnishing would take ₦3,803,887.50 bringing the total projects cost to
He said that the projects would reinvigorate the leprosarium with healthcare and sanitation facilities.
Momoh added that the Group Development Plan (GrDP) had revealed that the intervention also aimed to revamp the educational facilities provided for the children of the affected persons.
The General Manager explained that the GrDP would be implemented through the Group Project Management Committee of the Association of Persons Affected by Leprosy in Ochadamu.
He charged the group to ensure quality and timely completion of the intervention projects as he assured them that quality delivery would attract further intervention especially, in the area of termite eradication, to the hospital.
The Holey Memorial Hospital Administrator, Rev. Uduak H. Mmah who resumed duty barely a month ago, pledged seamless collaboration and support of the management with the implementing team and the Agency.
Mr Mark Abu, Finance and Administration Manager of the Agency, tasked the Community Projects Monitoring Committee (CPMC) on proper book keeping saying that various monitoring teams would be coming to monitor the projects from time to time.
Mr Akpa Adaji, Chairman of the Community Projects Implementation Committee assured of due diligence in the project implementation as he pledged the committee’s resolve to deliver within the stipulated time frame.
In his vote of thanks, the Hospital Secretary, Mr Daniel Ameh thanked God for the intervention and commended the CSDA, management of the hospital and the CPMC for making it a reality.
Highlight of the occasion was the presentation of a cheque of of N3.274 million to the committee as first tranche of the total project sum of N14,997,433.50. (Ends)
LP says it is in full solidarity with Nigerian workers over indefinite industrial action
***Says, Nigerian workers have shown enough patience, understanding
The leadership of the Labour Party (LP) has declared its support and solidarity with Nigerian workers over its planned industrial action to press for better welfare and equitable remuneration under the yoke of bitting economic down turn
The party reiterated the position that it is in support of any legitimate means deployed by Nigerian workers to press for better condition.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Obiora Ifoh said the party fully supports the resolution of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to embark on an industrial action slated to commence as of Tuesday, October 3rd.
“We have followed with keen interest, in the last four months, various meetings between Organized Labour and various government bodies including the President of the Senate, the presidency, and the ministers of Labour as well as all the efforts made by the Labour leadership to get the government to understand the magnitude of the hardship government policies have thrown Nigerian Workers and the entire populace into since the enthronement of this administration.
“Labour Party is not in any way surprised at the government’s apparent indifference, insensitivity, intransigence, and recalcitrant posture towards the genuine demands of the Labour bodies because their usurpation of power was not sanctioned by both the workers and generality of Nigerians.
“Nigerians went to the polls with clear conviction of the government they wanted but this was denied them through institutional conspiracy.
“Today, Nigerian workers are being punished for taking a stand during the February 25 Presidential Election.
“Labour Party is also aware of the sordid conditions which workers, the majority of them being our members, are subjected to, whereby many of them go to the office on a Monday and are forced by the prevailing economic challenges, to sleep in their offices all through to Friday before they return home.
“Labour Party is surprised that the government claimed that it has removed subsidies on Petroleum products and that it now generates over a trillion naira monthly, yet it finds it difficult to address workers’ demands.
“Daily, Nigerians are subjected to harsh economic realities where the inflation rate is nearing 30 percent, where a dollar is sold above N1000, and where par-capital income has depreciated. Many families are withdrawing their wards from schools over a hike in school fees, while criminal activities are surging daily.
“We think that the Nigerian workers have shown enough patience and understanding.
“We are also using this medium to inform all our members and supporters to stock their homes with their necessary needs ahead of a long-drawn mass action until victory is ascertained.”
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Subject: LP says it is in full solidarity with Nigerian workers over indefinite industrial action ***Says, Nigerian workers have shown enough patience, understanding
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INEC to conduct mock accreditation October 14 in Imo, Kogi, Bayelsa polls
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has indicated that it would conduct a mock accreditation on October 14, 2023 in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states, ahead of the off-cycle governorship elections.
The Commission had scheduled the off-cycle elections for November 11, 2023.
INEC, in a statement signed by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun, indicated that the mock accreditation would include using the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System and upload of polling units results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal.
The statement reads, “The Commission met today Monday 25th September 2023 and, among other issues, reviewed the preparations for the forthcoming off-cycle Governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States scheduled for Saturday 11th November 2023.
“As was the case in recent off-cycle Governorship elections, the Commission will conduct a mock accreditation using the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System and upload polling units results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal.
“The test run will take place simultaneously in the three States on Saturday 14th October 2023 from 8.30am to 2.30pm.
“A maximum of three polling units in each Senatorial District have been identified across each of the three States, covering a total of nine Senatorial Districts and 27 polling units.”
It further stated that lessons learnt from the exercise would be taken into consideration in ensuring a seamless process on election day.
“Full details of the polling units, including their locations by Local Government Area, Registration Area/Ward, Delimitation Code and number of registered voters have been uploaded to our website and social media platforms.
“The Commission appeals to registered voters in the selected polling units to turn up with their Permanent Voters’ Cards for the exercise.
“The public is advised that this is strictly a test accreditation exercise and not the actual election,” INEC added
The collection of Permanent Voter Cards commenced on September 11, 2023, and will end October 9, 2023.
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