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Angry Youth Captures Suspected Bomber in Gombe, Sets Him Ablaze [Photos]

Apparently irked by the spate of incessant bombings in their domain, youths in Gombe, the capital city of Gombe state on Monday captured a man suspected to be carrying a bomb and set him ablaze.

The suspect was captured at about 1pm at the popular Gombe line, the transport company of the state government where similar explosion occurred days ago.

The bomber was said to have arrived the park with a sack, but refused to be screened by people at the entrance of the bus  station in Gombe, the capital of Gombe state, North East Nigeria.

He forced his way into the premises of the park where he dropped the wired sack said to be an Improvised Explosive Device.

He then tried to run away with a remote control in his hands.

He was accosted by the people who put tires on him, doused him with petrol and burnt him alive, Daily Trust gathered.

A youth from among the crowd took the risk of taking out the IED the bomber left in the park to the main road so as to limit  the damage the bomb would cost if it explodes.

selfdefense

nurn-gombe

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Tambuwal Opts Out of Presidential Race, Settles for Governorship

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Tambuwal has withdrawn from the presidential race and will soon declare his intention to contest for the Sokoto State governorship post on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

Earlier reported was that some members of the House purchased the APC presidential nomination form for Tambuwal, urging him to go for the highest office in the land.

According to LEADERSHIP, Tambuwal has opted out from this offer and will now contest for the state’s governorship instead.

It was also gathered that necessary plans have been put in place to enable Tambuwal declare for the Sokoto State governorship seat anytime soon.

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Detained AIT Journalist Floors Controversial Police AIG, Josheph Mbu in Court

A senior Reporter with the African Independent Television (AIT), Amachi Anakwe has floored controversial Assistant Inspector General of Police, Joseph Mbu in court.

Mbu had on Thursday ordered Anakwe’s arrest after he was invited to the AIG’s office for what he desribed as calling him a controversial police officer on air.

But while he ordered for his release on Friday, he charged him to an Abuja magistrate Court and the court subsequently discahrged the day over claims by Mbu that he referred to him as controversial.

The Chief Magistrate, who presided over the court, Anthony Ogboi, discharged the AIT journalist, after the prosecution counsel, Chijoke Okezie, orally applied for the withdrawal of the charge.

Okezie told the court that Mbu instructed that the charge be withdrawn and that Anakwe be brought to his office for further clarification on the issue.

The defence counsel, John Kalu, had earlier informed the court that he had yet to get a copy of the First Information Report to enable him to know the offence his client was charged with.

He however did not oppose the application for the withdrawal of the charge but he prayed for an order restraining Mbu or its privies from further harassing or arresting Anakwe.

In a short ruling, the magistrate discharged the journalist but declined to make an order restraining the police.

According to the magistrate, making such a restraining order could amount to impeding the duty of the police.

Meanwhile, Anakwe’s lawyers, Kalu and Ayo Ogundele, described the arrest of their client as gross abuse of rights.

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REVEALED: “Abubakar Shekau” Killed Was One Bashir Mohammed

Nigerian military intelligence source has told SaharaReporters that the top Boko Haram figure killed in a recent operation was one Bashir Mohammed, leader of the Islamist sect’s Uye camp.

Cameroonian authorities yesterday released a photo of a dead man they identified as Abubakar Shekau, the loquacious and attention-seeking leader of the terrorist group that has launched deadly strikes in Nigeria’s northeast zone as well as Cameroon.

The Nigerian intelligence source told SaharaReporters that Nigerian soldiers, not Cameroonian troops, had killed Mr. Bashir last Friday in a fierce battle against Boko Haram insurgents in Konduga, Borno State. The late Mr. Bashir, who bore a striking resemblance to Abubakar Shekau and had appeared in a recent video, was killed as he led insurgents who were attempting to capture Konduga and then made a bid to seize Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, as well. Nigerian soldiers routed the Islamist militants in Konduga, killing hundreds of them and capturing weapons as well as vehicles abandoned by fleeing insurgents.
Image of terrorist killed in Konduga battle. No confirmation if this is Shekau II
Image of terrorist killed in Konduga battle.

The military as well as Nigerian government-appointed negotiators claim that the original Mr. Shekau had died since last year, reportedly assassinated by his lieutenants.

The intelligence source said Mr. Bashir had adopted Mr. Shekau’s nom deguere and had been the person responsible for issuing video messages in recent times.

Even though our source said the military was cautious not to claim credit for Mr. “Shekau’s” death, he added that the Nigerian military was buoyed by the capture of the armored tank usually displayed in the background of recent videos issued by the sect’s spokesman.

SR

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Boko Haram: Allegations Against APC Still ‘Hearsay’ – DSS

TheCable – The Department of State Security has described recent accusations against the All Progressives Congress as “hearsay”.

The APC had been accused of funding Boko Haram by a senior member of the European Parliament, Franz Obermayr, which is the latest in the series of accusations against the party.

Obermayr, in a statement issued on September 16, alleged that the APC was diverting European Parliament Financial aid to Boko Haram in the northeast of the country, and called for a probe of the party.

The European parliament member’s allegation is coming after a member of the British Parliament; Andrew Rosindell, called for an inquiry into the relationship between the APC and Boko Haram in July.

Speaking with TheCable, the DSS spokesperson, Marilyn Ogar, said that the agency was yet to receive an official report from either the British parliament or the European parliament over the allegations against the APC.

“Our investigations are in-depth. We have not got a report of the accusations against the APC from the UK parliament or the European parliament. They still just media reports that are based on hearsay. Our investigations are always thorough,” she said.

Meanwhile, the APC has denied Obermayr’s allegations calling them political. In an electronic message to TheCable, the party’s spokesman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed wrote: ” The allegations that were made were political and that’s the reason why why he (Obermayr) did not give details, and you have heard no response from the donors that give grants.”

“Grants are not structured in such a way as to be misappropriated in the manner he claims. They are structured to be applied for certain purposes and/0r beneficiaries. The donors invariably monitor the use of the grants to ensure they impact the purpose to which the grants were made in the first place.”

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PDP Clears The Air On Role Of Zonal Integration Committees, Sets Up Caretaker ommittee for Yobe

Our attention has been drawn to a plot by the opposition to cause confusion among our leaders and members by organizing groups to disrupt the activities of the recently inaugurated PDP Zonal Integration
Committees in some states while attempting to distort the facts regarding their roles in relation to the party structures in the states.

The  national leadership wishes to state categorically that the Zonal Integration Committees have absolutely nothing to do with the party structures in the states and have no powers whatsoever to interfere with their composition and activities.

The national leadership has immense respect for the dictates of the provisions of the PDP constitution with regard to structure, roles and powers of our party leadership at all levels and will ensure that this
is respected at all times.

Members of the committees are indeed notable and respectable leaders of  the party who know that it is not within their schedule to interfere with the party structures in the states.

Also, the National Working Committee has set up an eight-man Caretaker Committee for Yobe state. The committee has Alhaji Sule Abdulkadir Doguwa as Chairman and Ahmad Sani Kaura as Secretary.

Signed:

Olisa Metuh
National Publicity Secretary

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Panic In Lagos As Clash Between PDP, APC Youths Leaves Three Dead

Commercial activities  in most parts of the economic hub of Lagos Island has been paralysed due to fears that violent clash which broke out between youths in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the ALL Progressives Congress over the weekend might resurface again.

The violence between the two opposing youths which started on Saturday and spilled to Sunday has left at least three persons dead.

Trouble started immediately after President Goodluck Jonathan and other PDP national leaders ended a rally at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Saturday.

The rally, which was attended by leaders of PDP, including President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Nnamadi Sambo, created discomfort for residents of the state, as several roads around the venue were closed by security operatives, causing traffic in the densely populated region.

It was learnt that some boys known as the Abija group, attacked and killed a chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Alhaji Azeez Asake.

Two of the assailants identified as Olokodana and Ade Lawyer were said to have led the attack on the deceased.

The Lagos State chapter of the All Progressive Congress said Olokodana and Ade Lawyer were supporters of the Minister of State for Defence, Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro.

The APC in a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, said Obanikoro’s boys also killed one Wasiu Lawal in Ajah last week.

According to, “After the PDP South-West rally in Lagos on Saturday, one Alhaji Azeez Asake of the APC was shot and killed by the notorious Abija group led by one Olokodana and Ade Lawyer loyal to Senator Musliu Obanikoro; a junior minister in the Ministry of Defence.”

Although this claim was denied by an aide to the fomer Senator who does not want to be named, the situation got worse on Sunday afternoon, when two PDP youths were allegedly killed by APC youths in Ebute Ero in retaliation of Asake’s murder.

It was learnt that it took a combined team of policemen from several formations to restore peace in the area.

But while the clashes may have ended on Sunday, fears that another round of violence would break out on Monday pervades the air.

A resident who did not want to be named told TheCable that a fresh crisis could break out on Monday because the burial of one of those affected would hold later in the day and his colleagues could decide to avenge his death.

“No one is really safe around here anymore. These touts might strike today,” he said.

“It is in their habit to cause serious trouble during the burial of any of their members who dies during violence. We just hope that government will provide adequate security.”

Most banks, shops and houses around Idumagbo, Enuowa, Ashogbon,  Idumota did not open for business, while the few who did, operated in panic mode. The banks around Nnamdi Azikiwe street particularly experienced  low patronage and an unusual presence of policemen.

TheCable said it obtained an internal memos of a bank in the area updating staff on the situation and recommending early closure from work.

“This is to notify you of the civil unrest that took place in Idumota/Idumagbo axis over the past weekend. This was a fallout of the PDP rally that took place on the Island on Saturday and this emanated into thugs of the party and the opposition party involving in a free-for-all fight in which we learnt four people were killed,” one read.

“The camp of those killed have promised to retaliate; and as a result of this, there is visible tension in the environment. All the shops in the area are locked while traders are seen hanging around in groups.

“All the banks we visited in the vicinity are not open for business for now, but their staff are in their premises, scanning the environment just as we too are doing. We are not open to customers too at the moment but we are still in the branch watching out to know how the development unfolds.”

Another memo read: “Dear all, please hurry up, balance well and vacate the branch once 4.00pm, as the situation in the area is not okay. Our lives and bank assets are very key.”

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Enugu Deputy Governor Impeached

The Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Sunday Onyebuchi, has been impeached.
Mr. Onyebuchi was removed from office Tuesday by the State House of Assembly, the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports.

The assembly accused the embattled deputy governor of disobeying Governor Sullivan Chime on several occasions and allegedly operating a commercial poultry at his official residence.

More Details coming….

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Sen. Saraki Congratulates Aregbesola and People of Osun for Defeating Federal Might

In spite of the overwhelming pressure mounted by the unnecessary influx of over 70,000 armed personnel across the state of Osun; the illegal arrest and harassment of opposition members, and; the propaganda from the PDP, the great people of Osun have spoken with their votes. Osun has decided to give Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola another four year mandate.

I heartily congratulate my brother, Ogbeni Rauf on his sweeping re-election on the people-centered platform of  the ALL Progressives Congress (APC).

From every nook and cranny of the State of Osun, people came out en mass to send a clear and loud message: we will not be bullied into submission; we will not cower until we get the change that we rightly deserve; and we will remain united in the firm belief that we can? rescue our nation from the failed governance of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Osun has shown those seasonal politicians, that come out few months before election to claim a mandate from the people that no federal might can defeat the will of a powerful people. I know there are many out there that believe its time for a change but are held back because they believe “federal might” can’t be defeated or the people wish or voice doesn’t count , fellow Nigerians the good people of Osun has shown how that is such a fallacy in today’s Nigeria  

Despite the clear-cut democratic victory that we have witnessed today, now that the dust has settled, we must get back to building strong precedents for our nation.

I commend Nigerians especially the youth of Osun state, who followed the electoral process all day long to ensure results were not tampered with at any stage of the electoral process. A job well done

The 2015 General Elections are only months away, therefore, before the single most important democratic contest of our time, we must bring those that choose to trample on the tenets of our democracy to justice. We must begin to investigate the new trend of arresting opposition leaders prior to elections. We must also begin to honestly question the restrictions placed  on many of our fundamental Constitutional freedoms when elections come around.

Osun is not only a victory for Ogbeni Rauf and the people of his state, it is a victory for the future of this nation. So, as we celebrate this monumental achievement, I urge Ogbeni Rauf to keep doing the will of his people. I also urge all changemakers, pacesetters,  and progressive minded Nigerians to come on board and join us in the battle to reclaim the mandate of our nation.

We can rescue Nigeria, however, like Osun has demonstrated today, we have to work hard and work together.

God bless the great people of Osun. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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FG Turned A Normal Electoral Process To War – Aregbesola’s Victory Acceptance Speech

AUGUST 10,2014 ELECTORAL VICTORY SPEECH BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF OSUN, HIS EXCELLENCY, RAUF AREGBESOLA

DEMOCRATIC VICTORY OVER THE TYRANNY OF POWER

After an unnecessarily tense, tortuous and even traumatic process, the Independent National Electoral Commission this morning declared me as the winner of the Osun state governorship election on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC). On behalf of my party, we are delighted to claim victory for our hard work, focus and dedication in this election. I thank the Almighty God for our triumph at the polls, against all odds.

To the good people of State of State goes our unflinching gratitude. We salute your steadfastness, courage, loyalty, commitment and fierce determination to defend your sovereign rights and the integrity of our nascent democracy. You have demonstrated in this election that in a democracy, power truly belongs to the people. I am humbled and honoured by your trust and abiding faith in me and my party. I pledge that your confidence in us shall never be betrayed or taken for granted.

Ordinarily, this should be a moment of joy and celebration consequent upon the hard earned triumph of the people’s will. However, this election shows that democracy is still gravely endangered in Nigeria. We witnessed gross abuse of power and, of due process before, during, and even after the actual voting process. It is so sad and unfortunate that what should be a normal, routine process was maliciously allowed to snowball in to a needless virtual war by the Federal Government and the PDP.

The State of Osun was unduly militarized in an unprecedented manner through criminal intimidation and psychological assault on our people. This election witnessed an abuse of our security agencies and amounted to a corruption of their professional ethics and integrity.
The security agencies were unprofessionally utilized in Osun state to harass, intimidate and oppress the people whose taxes are used to pay their salaries and provide their arms. Hundreds of leaders, supporters, sympathizers and agents of our party were arrested and detained. Also, hundreds of other innocent citizens including women and the aged were harassed, brutalized and traumatized. In spite of this condemnable repression and abuse of human rights, the unflagging spirit of our people triumphed.

Our victory is due to the steadfastness and resolute determination of our people to assert and defend their rights. The PDP obviously did all it could in a most desperate manner to steal the people’s mandate. A critical analysis of the elections shows a trend of general low voter turnout largely because of the atmosphere of deliberate tyranny and fear caused by the excessive militarization of the state. Despite our victory, it is pertinent to condemn and also point out the fact that the number of accredited voters in most local governments was less than half of registered voters. Against this trend, it is curious that the bulk of the PDP candidate’s votes came from only four Local Governments- namely Ife Central, Ife East, Ife North and Ife South. This suggests an inexplicable large turnout in his stronghold which is a curious departure from the general trend of voting across the state.

The outcome of this election, once again, shows the unswerving determination of our people to ensure that democracy triumphs in Nigeria. We have sent a strong signal to all and sundry that no might is powerful enough to thwart the will of the people. This should always strengthen our resolve to ensure that as from now on, every vote must not only be counted but must count in this country. Nobody or party must ever exercise power unreasonably at any level except in accordance with the will of the people to whom sovereignty belongs.

Let me assure the good people of Osun state that I appreciate that this victory is a reward for our hard work and commitment to the welfare of our people. I promise that we shall not rest on our oars but shall be spurred to work even harder with all well meaning people of the State of Osun and the generality of Nigerians to continue to enjoy your trust and support. You can be assured that we will leave no stone unturned in our continued effort to transform Osun into a land of progress, prosperity and peace for all with renewed fervour. I realize that this victory and the challenges we went through is a call to greater service and sustained commitment to our people. I pledge a rededication of myself to the service of our people and the strengthening of democratic values in Osun and Nigeria generally. Our country remains in political bondage and we must set her free.

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Who Will Buy Osun State at the 2014 Election Bazaar? By Orukotan Ayomikun Samuel

Political gladiators have started beating the drums of war and singing proverbial songs. Some followers are busy dancing to the peculiar melody while others are fanning the cinders of bigotry and hatred. Political instability has been rife in Osun state ever since political campaigns started. The centre for democracy and development under its director, Hassan Idayat has warned against pre-election and post-election violence because according to her,  the political actors in the state is adopting strategies aimed at destroying the shape of democracy and governance in Osun state. These unhealthy campaigns have since created panic and tension among the people, sending out wrong signal of a do- or- die election. Thus, a sense of anarchy and electoral riot is gradually being registered into the sub-conscious mind of the people. War of words has since be energised between different political parties,  there have been accusations, counter-accusations and denials from different quarters, the nailing of some persons personalities via series of hot media campaigns  is also not left out coupled with the formation of derogatory comments.

The much anticipated contest is between Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of the APC and Mr Iyisola Omisore of the PDP and probably candidates of other mushroom political parties who lacks much room to enjoy high ratings. Recently, the acting inspector general of police, Suleiman Abba who had been inundated with complaints about the boisterous behaviour of party thugs read the riot act to those planning to foment trouble during the Saturday governorship election in Osun state and he has since assured a free and fair election. Nevertheless, many statements have emerged prior to Saturday’s election. The national publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed alleged that President Good-luck Jonathan reportedly instructed security agencies to ensure victory for his party by all means. Ladoja objected this claim by saying, “deploying soldiers to Osun was the right move”.

At the weekend, Oregun and its cohorts have asked all APC stalwarts both at state and national level to storm Osun state before Saturday’s election in assertion of APC’s choice of words. “We will record landslide victory in OSUN”. What are they coming to do in Osun considering the fact that some of them are not eligible to vote? What impact are they going to add to the credibility of Saturday’s election? Is it to subvert electoral process? Or to uphold electoral rules and regulations? The ever conscious average Osun-ite is asking, I just hope they get answers before Saturday. However, the PDP has since rejected the “assumed prophecy” by coming to say, “Its candidate, Iyisola Omisore is already coasting to victory. The party further said, Mr Omisore’s acceptance by the voting population, wide-spread political structure and a track record of abiding affinity and loyalty to Osun people are the reasons for its assertion. While I leave others to worry about the sense and non-sense happening in the politics of Osun state, I want to divert my thoughts to thought provoking issues as the day draws close.

Close followers of the scenario in Osun state contend that the forces struggling for political power and control were once upon a time united against the progressive bloc in the state. As days grind on towards the battle for supremacy, the battle field is tense and the guerrillas are also not tired of fighting. As election draws near, fingers remain crossed; expectations are high as to who will become the next elected governor of Osun state. However, it is noteworthy that preparation be made by INEC (Independent National Electoral commission) to conduct a free and fair election because often a time, elections conducted by INEC in Nigeria has been marred with irregularities and electoral fraud. History is here again to make your credibility known and advertise your readiness for 2015 general elections. If I were you, I will answer to the call of history that tells the story of credible entities. I casted my bread upon waters long time ago, now it’s time for you to send it back to me toasted and buttered on both sides.

The fight between Mr Iyisola Omisore and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola represents the quandary man could face when he wants to prove to a woman that he truly loves her. The deal is to tell me something sweet aside “I LOVE YOU” and its constituents.  What will I say now ooooo? He asked himself quiescently. This is an emotional trauma the man is likely to face but will he think of the post-modern attitude as that of a man who loves a very cultivated woman? Knowing fully well that he cannot say to her, “I love you madly” because he knows that she knows these words have already been used by Barbara Cart land. What else will he say? While still thinking about this question, sociologist would have loved to get an answer from the pace setting people of Osun state as a reflection of dexterity and intent. After all, it has already been settled that there are many sugar-coated politicians whose mind is like a soup dish, wide and shallow such that it could hold a small amount of nearly anything but the slightest jarring spilled the soup into somebody’s lap. The people of Osun must be ready to contend with the most emotive and moving aspects of poverty to elect a governor else, we will end up crowning a governor.

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Reasons why Polling Agents cannot be 300 Metres away from the Polling Units By Bisiola Bakare

At the stakeholders forum held today, the 6th day of August, 2014, at the Leisure Spring Hotel, Osogbo, the Chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, originally stated that no polling Agent would be allowed within 300
metres from the polling booth before later recapitulating. It is important to note to that the Chairman did not only goof but demonstrated high level of ignorance of the Electoral Act, 2010 that regulates electoral activities in Nigeria.

By Section 45 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) [hereinafter referred to as “the Act”] the mode of appointment of polling agents by political parties at the various polling units and collation centres was regulated.

Also by section 45(2) of the Act, a candidate shall not be precluded from doing any act or thing which he has appointed a polling agent to do on his behalf under the Act. Section 45(3) also provides that where an act or thing is required to be done by or in the presence of a polling agent, the non-attendance of the polling agent at the time and place appointed for the
act or thing or refusal by the agent to do the act or thing shall not, if the act or thing is otherwise done properly, invalidate the act or thing.

Thus, a candidate is at liberty to be his own agent or appoint any other person to so act for him. Since it is however impracticable for the candidate to be at all the polling units simultaneously, it is inevitable that he must appoint agents. There are so many rights a candidate or his agent possesses at the polling booth and for which it is imperative that the agent or the candidate must be present within the polling booth.

To this end, the very first pertinent provision on the importance of the presence of the polling agent at the polling unit is contained in section
50 of the Act. The section provides that:

“A candidate or a polling agent may challenge the right of a person to receive a ballot paper on such grounds and in accordance with such
procedures as are provided for in this Act.”

Based on the above provision, it is clear that it is only when the polling agent or the candidate is at the polling unit that he may make such challenge on the issuance of the ballot paper to any person since he cannot be a magician that could imagine or discover same without sighting or supervising the process. A supervisor cannot be separated from the scene or event to be supervised hence, the order to distance a polling agent by 300 metres cannot be in any way sound or consistent with the rules of free and fair election.

Furthermore, by section 59 of the Act, a polling agent has the power to inform the presiding officer that he has reasonable cause to believe that the person is under the age of 18 years or that the person has committed an offence of impersonation where such a person is still within the polling unit. Based on information provided by the polling agent, the Presiding Officer has the right to order a police officer to arrest that person which shall be sufficient authority for the police officer to so act. To perform this task, It is mandatory that the polling agent has to be within the polling booth in order to identify “a person under the age 18 years or an impersonator”. If he is metres away from the polling unit, how can he inform the presiding officer?

By section 61(1) of the Act, the Presiding Officer shall regulate the admission of voters to the polling units and shall exclude all persons other than the candidates, polling agents, poll clerks and persons lawfully entitled to be admitted including accredited observers. It must be noted that the Presiding Officer is a staff of the INEC and must cohabit with the persons exempted. By implication, therefore, INEC cannot exclude the polling agent. The Presiding Officer is also required to keep order and comply with the requirements of this act at the polling unit. It is, therefore, submitted that the presiding officer cannot exclude the polling agent from the polling unit. If this is the case, then a polling agent cannot be 300 metres away from the Polling Unit and still carry on his duties under the Electoral Act. This is tantamount to excluding polling agents from the election. With all the above duties of polling agents, one cannot but agree that polling agents are not only required to be in the polling units but must be in close contact or communication with the Presiding Officers. Without mincing words, the Act requires the presence of the polling agent at the polling unit. Therefore, any attempt to exclude them is not only unlawful but preparatory to the much anticipated rigging by INEC in favour of the PDP.

In addition, by section 63 of the Act, polling agents are required to take part in counting of votes and shall after the Presiding Officer signs the result or Form, counter-sign the said result or Form. Where the agent is not satisfied with the counting of votes, polling agents is empowered to demand for a recount. By the combination of sections 54(1) and 67(1) of the Act, where a voter makes any writing or mark on a ballot paper by which he may be identified such paper shall be rejected and the Presiding Officer shall endorse the word “rejected” on the ballot paper, but if an objection to the decision of the Presiding Officer to reject a ballot paper is raised by a candidate or a polling agent, the Presiding Officer shall add to the word “rejected”, the phrase “but objected to” and the Presiding Officer shall prepare a statement on the rejected ballot papers stating the number rejected, the reason for rejection and their serial number and shall on request, allow a candidate or polling agent to copy the statement so made.

Again, by sections 67(2) and (3) of the Act, a polling agent shut out of the polling unit and kept at 300 metres (or any other distance) away from the polling unit cannot perform any of these statutory functions. Where any person purports to use the instrument of the law to so shut out the polling agents, such person is engaging in unadulterated illegality and criminality..

Another pertinent point raised at the forum is that relating to the decision of a voter to photographically capture his ballot paper. Going by the provisions of the Act, a voter has the right to take a picture of his or her ballot paper where the voter so decided provided the voter does not make any writing or mark on the ballot paper by which he may be identified.

The summation of all the foregoing is that the INEC need to categorically come out again to clarify these position if it must not be taken to be a conspirator in the rigging plan by the PDP.

The relevant provisions of Section 125(1) and (2) which regulate the need for a polling agent, Presiding Officer or any other person to maintain secrecy of voting process has to do with a restraint on disclosing information by a third party on whether a voter actually voted for one party or another. The provisions in issue have nothing to do with a voter who decides to preserve to himself a photographic record of his voting.

We hereby consider it pertinent to notify the whole world of these unpopular decisions of INEC by which it has decided to tilt the scale of voting in favour of PDP. All lovers of democracy must object to this shenanigan as same enjoys no recognition under the Electoral Act, 2010.

Bisiola Bakare lives in Osogbo.

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