The Nigeria Police Force has advised all politicians to eschew violence and caution their supporters against threatening voices of dissent and opposition in the run-up to the 2023 general elections.
The police said any threat to life was a criminal offence, adding that the Electoral Act is also clear on the appropriate punishment prescribed for election-related crimes.
The Force spokesperson, Olumuyiwa Adejobi stated this in an interview with The PUNCH on Sunday against the backdrop of online bullying and violent verbal exchange between the supporters of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu and the Labour Party flagbearer, Peter Obi.
A report had alleged that the Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo advised Tinubu to seek medical care and give the LP presidential candidate the chance to rule, but the Ghana High Commissioner in Nigeria, Abdulrashid Bawa, had since denied the report in a statement.
The High Commissioner described the report as false and misleading, adding that the Ghanaian leader did not write such a letter to the APC leader.
A viral video of the Pyrates Confraternity in which the members were mocking a leading presidential candidate in a song also attracted anger and condemnations across the country.
Similarly, there has been increased cyber bullying on social media and attacks by over-zealous presidential candidates’ supporters sparking anxiety that this might culminate in electoral violence during the campaigns which would kick off in September.
This is happening as findings indicate that no fewer than 27 persons were killed in 28 separate incidents of electoral violence in the country in the past seven months.
But stressing that the police would not take lightly the violation of the provisions of the Electoral Act, Adejobi advised anyone who felt threatened to report to the police for necessary action.
He stated, “Threats to life is a criminal offence, and everyone has the right to take up cases against anyone who threatens their life or engages in an act capable of making their life precarious, or causing a problem in the country. Hence, whosoever feels threatened is at liberty to approach the police formally, for necessary action.
“The Electoral Act is clear on electoral offences and appropriate punishments. Also, our criminal laws can be applied in handling election-related crises. We have our laws and we are duty-bound to enforce them at all times.
“While we urge all political actors to be law-abiding and desist from violating the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, we will always engage relevant stakeholders, especially politicians, in deliberations, from time to time, on how to have a seamless exercise in 2023.”
1,174 total views, 3 views today
2023: I’ll Put An End To National Grid Collapse If Elected President, Peter Obi Assures Nigerians
…As Ihedioha Distances Self From Calling Peter Obi’s Igbo Supporters ‘Saboteurs’
…Aisha Yesufu Blasts Ex-Imo Gov Over Comments
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has said that national grid collapse will be a thing of history under his watch if elected as President in 2023.
The former governor of Anambra State said this in reaction to news of yet another collapse of the national grid, which he described as disturbing.
Proffering solution, Obi stated that his team has a strategic plan to progressively scale up power generation and the liberalisation of the transmission infrastructure in the country, to ensure that Nigerians enjoy adequate and stable power supply from 2023 onwards.
He tweeted on Wednesday, “The report of yet another national grid collapse is very disturbing to me, and is a reminder of the long rescue and recovery journey ahead of us. Effective power generation, transmission and distribution remain a national security issue.
“This also places power on the front burner of campaign and policy. Painfully, this latest episode is the 7th national grid collapse in 2022. As part of the Obi-Datti policy plan, we have put together a strategic plan to progressively scale up power generation, and the liberalisation of the transmission infrastructure in the country, to ensure that Nigerians enjoy adequate and stable power supply from 2023 onwards. Power is critical to the development and sustainability of all sectors of the national economy
“For us, power remains a top priority. Under my watch, national grid collapse will become a matter of history and a reference point for erstwhile administrations. -PO.”
Meanwhile, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, on Wednesday, denied calling Igbo people who are supporting the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, saboteurs.
Ihedioha in a statement issued in Owerri, the Imo State capital, by his spokesperson, Chibuike Onyeukwu, said that there was no way he could have called Igbo people supporting Obi saboteurs when he shared close relationship with the LP presidential candidate.
The statement accused those it described as “fifth columnists” of being responsible for the media bashing he had received following the development.
Ihedioha said his address at the new yam festival of Mbaise people living in Ghana was misconstrued, adding that he was referring to members of his political party, the Peoples Democratic Party, who were sabotaging the party in the South-East zone.
The statement read, “A few days ago, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha CON, on the invitation of his kinsmen, was in Accra, Ghana, to celebrate this year’s Iri Ji festival with the Mbaise community in that country.
“As a founding member and one of the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, he seized the opportunity of that visit to address PDP issues nationally but particularly in Imo State and assuage the anxiety of the members of his party who have been apprehensive of the developments within the party.
“In doing so, he decried what, at best, is the insouciant attitude and worse, the outright sabotage of some acclaimed party leaders who are engaging in acts that are inimical to the success of the PDP, especially in the South-East by working in cahoots with the other parties. He was only talking about members of his own political party.
“For clarity purposes, His Excellency neither referred to members of any other political party, especially the Labour Party, as saboteurs. He only spoke in the context of the PDP and the emphasis was on the need for members of his party to remain consistent and committed.
“It is inconceivable that he will refer to anybody who is supporting Mr. Peter Obi, Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, his long time friend, with whom he shares close political affinity and has utmost respect for, as a saboteur.
“It is unfortunate that his well-intentioned speech, which addressed the specific issue of happenings within his own political party, was, again, manipulated by fifth columnists to suit their mischievous scheme of bringing him on a collision with Mr. Peter Obi, whose unwavering political philosophy of ‘Taking Back Nigeria’ from the draconian stranglehold of the failed ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, he wholeheartedly shares.
“His Excellency respects the aspirations and passion of members of other political parties, even as he remains committed to the cause of his own political party and it is not in his character to cast aspersions on those who hold contrary political opinion.”
However, popular Nigerian activist and social critic, Aisha Yesufu, has attacked the former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, for his recent statement in which he labelled Peter Obi’s supporters as saboteurs.
Recall that Ihedioha had said that Nigeria’s presidency would rotate to the South-East after the administration of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, if he wins next year’s election.
He also called those supporting Peter Obi and Labour Party saboteurs.
Reacting to the statement by Ihedioha, the human rights activist in a video said he (Ihedioha) had continuously kept everyone down so he would be the only one riding at the top.
“You called citizens saboteurs because they dared to vote for good governance, accountability, and transparency.
“You called citizens saboteurs because they dared to go with a candidate who has competence, character, and capacity.
“You are sitting down there and telling people that it will be the turn of Igbos after Atiku Abubakar. No, it will be your turn; that is why you want people to go that way, even when they consider there is a better candidate who happens to come from their region.
“We are not saboteurs; you are the saboteur. You and your ilks are the saboteurs of Nigeria; those who have held our country back and have only done what is in their interest,” she said.
213 total views, 213 views today
Bamise: Again, Absence Of BRT Driver’s Lawyer Stalls Court Hearing
The trial of Andrew Ominikoron, a BRT driver who allegedly raped and murdered Oluwabamise Ayanwole, a 22-year-old fashion designer, again failed to go on today owing to the absence of his lawyer.
The lawyer, Abayomi Omotubora, arrived at the Lagos High Court, sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square after the trial judge, Justice Sherifat Sonaike, had adjourned the hearing to Thursday owing to his absence.
It is about the fifth time that Omotubora would be absent from the court hearing since the start of the trial.
He was absent at the court proceedings on July 30 but sent a junior counsel. He was also absent at the proceedings of June 7th and 9th.
At the last sitting of the court on July 7, where he was again absent, Justice Sonaike condemned his continuous absence. The judge described it as “appalling and unbecoming of the noble profession.”
The court also ordered the defendant to get a lawyer to defend him before adjourning till today, Sept 28.
When the journalist sought to know what happened after he arrived late to today’s proceeding, the lawyer said that he came all the way from the Ikorodu area of the state to the TBS.
On his repeated absence, the lawyer said that he also has other matters to attend to.
“This is not the only matter, I have to appear for other matters too,” he said.
350 total views, 350 views today
High Court Orders Obi’s Supporters Not To Converge At Lekki Toll Gate
The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the Labour Party and its supporters not to converge at the Lekki toll gate for its #Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally billed to hold on the 1st of October, 2022.
The court also directed the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, and the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Abiodun Alabi, to ensure compliance with the order.
Justice Daniel Osiagor made the order today while ruling on a motion for injunction brought by 10 plaintiffs, who are asking the court to, among others, restrain the LP, its presidential candidate Peter Obi, his running mate Datti Baba-Ahmed, one Julius Abure and their loyalists from holding the rally.
The court also held that while Obi’s supporters cannot stop at the Lekki toll gate, they can pass through the venue to access Falomo Bridge and other venues at which the rally plans to meet.
A preliminary objection filed by the defendants seeking to stop the court from hearing the motion on the grounds that it lacked jurisdiction could however not be entertained as all parties to the suit had not been served.
The court adjourned hearing of the substantive suit to November 4, 2022.
In the suit, 10 plaintiffs are Adedotun Ajulo Esq., Salamatu Suleiman Lewi Esq., Hakeem Ijaduola, Esq., Ogunbona Akinpelu Esq., Owolabi K. Oluwasegun, Esq., Mogbojuri Kayode Esq., Wuyep Mantim Nadom Esq., Dimimu Mabel, Esq., Kolawole Salami, Esq. and Mr. Wale Abe Lawrence.
The 1st to 10th defendants are Obi, LP, Baba-Ahmed, Abure, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Commissioner of Police (Lagos State Command), Director-General (Department of State Services), Lekki Concession Company (LCC) Limited, Attorney-General of Lagos State and The Governor of Lagos State.
In the substantive suit, the plaintiffs are arguing among other things that a repeat or celebration of the “infamous” EndSARS protest of 2020 under the political guise of “#Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally” will cause a breakdown of peace and will result in post-traumatic stress disorder for them and the public.
355 total views, 355 views today
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