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Only presidential election results refuse to upload – INEC presiding officers tell court

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Three Presiding Officers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday told the Presidential Election Petition Court ( PEPC) that the refusal of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to transmit the presidential election results on election day frustrated their jobs.

The Officers admitted that the results of the Senate and the House of Representatives election were transmitted unhindered and that the problems of technical hitches arose at the point of transmitting only the presidential poll results.

Testifying on Subpoena at the ongoing hearing of petitions challenging the outcome of the February 25 presidential election, the three witnesses admitted that the election process went well until the period the BVAS machines refused to work.

The three witnesses are Janet Nuhu Turaki, Christopher Bulus Ardo and Victoria Sani who served as INEC’S Presiding Officers at Yobe, Bauchi and Katsina States respectively.

They had been summoned by the Court through the joint application of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Abubakar Atiku to appear before it and give accounts of their experiences in relation to results transmission during the last presidential election.

Janet Turaki who first testified in the petition filed by former Vice President Abubakar Atiku against the election said the accreditation of voters was successful but the process became frustrating at the point of uploading of the election results.

She emphasized that while the results of the National Assembly election sailed smoothly, that of the presidential poll failed and refused to work throughout the day.

The witness, however, informed the Court that the collated results in the forms EC8A were signed by the party agents and herself as INEC’s Presiding Officer.

In his evidence, Christopher Bulus Ardo told the court that he felt unfulfilled in his assignment with INEC on the election because he could not transmit the presidential election results as required by law.

In her own, Victoria Sani said she could not remember the candidate that won the presidential poll in Katsina State but insisted that all did not end well due to the inability to transmit the presidential aspect of the February 25 election.

Monday’s proceedings were conducted by Eyitayo Jegede SAN for Abubakar Atiku and PDP as petitioners, Abubakar Mahmoud SAN for INEC, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Charles Edosomwen SAN for the All Progressives Congress APC.

Meanwhile, the Presiding Justice of the Court, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani has fixed June 20 for the continuation of hearing in the petition.

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Elemure of Emure-Ekiti demise sad, shocking – Oyebanji

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Gov. Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti has expressed shock and sadness over the passing away of Elemure of Emure-Ekiti, Oba Emmanuel Adebayo.

Oyebanji, in a condolence message issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Yinka Oyebode, described the royal father’s demise as a sad development, given the fact that he did not exhibit any sign of illness during the recent meeting of traditional rulers.

He described the late Oba Adebayo as a loving and dependable traditional ruler, who loved and cared for his people and showed tremendous interest in their welfare as well as the development of Emure-Ekiti.

Oyebanji condoled with the late monarch’s family, the Elemure-in-Council and the people of the town over the exit of the royal father.

He urged them to be consoled by the fact the late oba lived an impactful life of service to the town, the state, Nigeria and humanity in general, for which he would remain unforgettable.

“My condolences and that of the government of Ekiti State to the immediate family of the late Kabiyesi, the Elemure-in-Council and the good people of Emure-Ekiti on the demise of the Elemure, Oba Emmanuel Adebayo.

“The late Oba Adebayo was a great leader of his people, a lover of development and a patriot, who devoted his early life to the service of the country.

“As a police officer, he rose to the position of Commissioner of Police before ascending the throne of his forefathers, where he also made his mark as a traditional ruler, whose reign attracted huge development to his town.

“Our prayer is that the good Lord would grant the dear departed monarch eternal rest and comfort the family and the good people of Emure-Ekiti,” the governor said.

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NSCDC vows to arrest attackers of its headquarters in Lafia

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence  Corps (NSCDC) in Nasarawa,  says it has commenced investigation to unravel those behind the attack on its headquarters in Lafia.

Mr Jerry Victor,  the NSCDC Public Relations Officer in the state said  this in an interview with the newsmen on Tuesday in Lafia.

The unspecified number of suspected bandits attacked the NSCDC Lafia office in  the early hours of  June 17,  but were repelled by the personnel of the command.

Victor said that the state commandant of the corps, Ismaila Abdullahi, had  directed the Intelligent unit to get to the root of the attack with a view of apprehending the attackers, collaborators and sponsors.

He said  that those behind the attack would not escape justice as the command would go after them, no matter their status in the country.

Victor said that preliminary investigation  revealed that the bandits wanted to set some of their members at their custody free.

“They came in large numbers with iron rods and attempted to break some part of the command’s fence to gain entry into the facility.

“Our personnel swiftly responded by opening fire on the hoodlums, whose mission was to release some high-profile suspected criminals including informants of kidnappers in our custody,” he said.

Victor  said that the command had beefed up surveillance in and around their office to forestall future occurrence.

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NCAA praises Keyamo’s contributions toward Nigeria’s ICAO’s audit rating

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The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has praised the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development,  Mr Festus Keyamo’s contributions to Nigeria’s 71.04 per cent audit rating by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Mr Michael Achimugu, Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection of NCAA, made the commendation before journalists on Tuesday in Lagos.

Achimugu said that Nigeria scored 71.04 per cent in the ICAO-conducted Universal Security Audit Programme-Continuous Monitoring Approach (USAP-CMA).

He said that Keyamo (SAN) and the Acting Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Chris Najomo, played huge roles during the recently-concluded ICAO’s USAP-CMA in the country’s aviation industry.

He said that Keyamo and Najomo were pivoted to the ICAO’s rating due to their leadership skills and mobilisation of human  and material resources to ensure that all gaps were closed.

The NCAA spokesman described as mischievous, comments in some quarters that the minister and Najomo were responsible for  alleged poor ratings Nigeria had.

“It is ironic that the writer blames the ‘failure’ of the security audit on the honourable minister (meaning that the minister should have intervened and done whatever was necessary to score higher).

“At the same time, the writer  blames the minister for “intervening” in security and safety issues. He needs to decide if he wants the minister to be involved or not,” he said.

Achimugu said that both Keyamo and Najomo came into office months ago and swang into action immediately to improve  infrastructure and workers’ remuneration.

“Six months ago, we met a dilapidated industry with poor infrastructure. The security and safety issues did not start in the last six months.

“Had it not been for the tireless efforts of the honourable minister and the D-G, NCAA, what we met on the ground would not have scored 30% in the audit.

“Going by what was on ground when Keyamo and Najomo assumed office, the current score is a substantially good showing, a miracle if I must say.

“The narrative being pushed out is just a part of the larger strategy to push out Keyamo and Najomo from office. It is the handwork of paid mercenaries,” he said.

According to Achimugu, ICAO auditors praised Nigeria’s performance during their final briefing at the NCAA and  mentioned that they  had complained about an absent infinfrastructure.

According to him, the auditors eventually  said that they were pleasantly surprised that the infrastructure  was made available the following day.

ICAO had in March conducted the USAP-CMA for the Abuja and Lagos airports.

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