A coalition of over 80 human rights organisations under the aegis of the Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room, on Thursday, raised the alarm that unresolved issues in the areas of security, economy, transportation, and education may constitute a serious threat to peaceful and credible general election in 2023.
The NCSSR said that the situation could also create a tense political atmosphere which could be latched on by disgruntled groups to disrupt the polls.
The Convener of the Situation Room, Eneh Obi, raised the issues during a press conference which held at the Headquarters of the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre.
According to her, it was disappointing that there were clear lapses in the areas of security, economy, transportation and education in Nigeria that have remained largely unresolved
Obi said that the Abuja – Kaduna bound train incident where passengers were abducted was still pending with the victims yet to regain freedom.
The activist said that other issues of concern including the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities which has lasted for more than three months and the continuous plummeting of the Naira against the dollar were disturbing signals against the election.
“Yet, the political appointees in these sectors appear focused on their future political ambitions thereby neglecting their key responsibilities which scorecards reveal that they have not performed maximally; a great disservice to Nigeria. These issues raise questions, yet nomination forms are being purchased while the nation and Nigerians suffer.
It is pertinent to state that these actions can have a direct negative effect on the 2023 general elections and result in low voter turnout because young people and others making up the marginalised groups, did not have a chance at nominations and their state of mind due to the present situation of things in the country had been befouled.
This could also create a tensed political atmosphere created by disgruntled groups who are underrepresented.
“Situation Room therefore calls on the Federal Government to address these concerns and create a democratic environment to ensure a free, fair credible and inclusive 2023 general elections”, Obi said.
The organisation expressed the hope that the government would enforce the May 16, 2022 deadline given to Ministers vying for elective office to resign.
“Violations to the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act 2022 are already ongoing. Situation Room notes that the belated directive for political appointees to resign contravenes Sections 66 (1)(f), 107 (1)(f), 137 (1)(g), 182 (1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution which stipulates that elected public officers, which include civil servants, who want to contest an election must have resigned their position at least 30 days to the date of the election. Political party primaries elections begin the electoral process for any candidate,” she said.
The group also called for the resignation of the Governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele over rumours of his presidential ambition.
BREAKING: EFCC Restricting Me From APC Presidential Screening – Okorocha Voices Out
Former Governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha has alleged that the seige on his Abuja home by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC is an attempt to stop him from attending the presidential screening of the All progressives Congress, APC.
Okorocha raised alarm on Tuesday when operatives of the Anti-graft commission stormed his Abuja home.
He says that he never received any invitation or got court summons from any quarters.
“Frankly speaking, the situation I find myself is a situation of what I call hostage. Policemen and EFCC operatives are currently in my compound and they want to possibly whisk me away… my gate is blocked.
“All I am asking for now is to allow me to go for my screening because I am a Presidential aspirant and our election comes up on Sunday. If I am not allowed to go for this screening, I might miss it.”, he said.
Lagos Explosion: Gas Plant Owner Dies, Lawyer Insist On N800m Compensation
Justice Oyindamola Ogala of the Lagos State High Court, on Monday, struck out the criminal charges against the owner of Fash Oil Limited, Alhaji Waidi Fashola, popularly known as Larafash, following his death.
As at the time of filling this report , the FidelinfoNews couldn’t gathered the cause of the sudden death of the defendant.
The Lagos State Government had dragged Fashola to court following an explosion at his gas plant, Bestroof, on Cardoso Road, Baruwa Estate, Ipaja.
No fewer than eight people died in the explosion, which happened on October 8, 2020, on Baruwa Estate, in the Ipaja area of the state.
Many houses and shops were also destroyed in the explosion.
During the short court sitting on Monday, the defence counsel, Ademola Adeshina, announced appearance for the defendant and informed the judge of his death through a letter to the court.
While the judge was going through the documents, she asked the counsel, “What happened to him?”
Adeshina replied, “We wrote a letter and also attached pictures and other documents.”
The state counsel, Abike Oluwasanmi, acknowledged the service of the letter and expressed her condolences.
“In the circumstance, we apply that the case be struck out,” Adeshina added.
Justice Ogala in response said, “Honestly, we extend our condolences too. The case is struck out.”
The 64-year-old businessman was facing 30 counts and was granted bail.
The charges read in part, “That you, Waidi Fasola, committed an offence on October 8, 2020, around 5.45am at 61b, Cardoso Road, Baruwa, Ipaja, in the Ikeja Judicial Division, when a loaded truck in your company with negligence and unlawful permitting the discharge of LPG (gas) into a tank, led to the deaths of Aderinsoye Olamilekan, Aderinsoye Mowa, Mohammed Abubakar, Abike Oluwasanmi, Evans Udom, Adebowale Aisha, Adeleke Olusola Amos and Adeleke Oluwadarasinmi.”
The prosecution also claimed that the unlawful act of “failure to take precaution against danger” led to severe bodily harm to Adebisi Micheal and Adache Blessings, while causing severe burns to Bose Oyelumade, Nuru Nasir, Ayo Ademisoye, Emmanuel Udom, and bodily injuries to Omorieghe Josephine, severe burns to Usman Yakubu, Ronke Gbele, Mrs Juwon Abiodun, as well as inflicting head lacerations on one Sunday.
Aside from the deaths and bodily injuries, the prosecution equally claimed that the failure of Fashola to take precautions led to the destruction of houses and shops and the destruction of some apartments in the community.
The counsel for the family of victims affected by the explosion, Akeem Fadun, while condoling with Fashola’s family, said the death would not affect the already filed civil case in court.
He said, “The civil case in court is against the Lagos State Government and Bestroof Limited, and the death of the man will not affect the case in any way. The total number of people that died in the explosion is 10.”
Fadun said the compensation being sought for families of the deceased and those who were injured was about N800m, which he said his law firm would continue to pursue.
Lawyer Criticises EFCC’s Arrest Of Advert Executive In Enugu
Human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, has criticised the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over its arrest of an advertisement executive, Baron Nnamdi, in Enugu State.
The FidelinfoNews reports that EFCC said the billboard advert is an “offensive political campaign message”.
The EFCC accused Mr Nnamdi of publishing an “offensive political campaign message” on a billboard in Enugu, with the commission’s name and logo on it.
In a message on the billboard obtained by The FidelinfoNews.The message reads; ‘2023: Enugu PDP Learn From 2007 Election… EFCC Is Coming With Koboko On Corrupt Candidates’.
The EFCC arrested Mr Nnamdi on Saturday, according to the commission’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren.
Mr Effiong, however, said Mr Nnamdi committed no offence and, therefore, should be released immediately by the anti-graft commission.
He also asked the EFCC to apologise to him.
The lawyer, in a statement on Sunday, said the reasons given by the EFCC to justify the arrest of Mr Namdi were “baseless, false and legally unfounded”.
“The use of the logo or name of the EFCC is in itself not a criminal offence,” Mr Effiong said.
“There is no Section of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004 that makes the mere use of the name or logo of the EFCC, without more, a criminal offence.
“Section 6 (q) of the EFCC Act provides for the functions of the Commission, which includes: ‘carrying out and sustaining rigorous public and enlightenment campaigns against economic and financial crimes within and outside Nigeria.’
“By Section 24 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), citizens have a constitutional duty to assist law enforcement agencies in the discharge of their functions,” he said.
Mr Effiong dismissed as “false and misleading” the claim by the EFCC that the billboards at Otigba and Zik Avenue Junctions in Enugu could threaten the aspiration of some politicians in the state in the buildup to the 2023 general election.
The lawyer said the message in the billboard is positive and promotes the agency’s war against corruption.
“It is rather ironic that the same EFCC that claims to be investigating politicians regarding the source of the humongous sums they are using to buy nomination forms, is now antagonising patriotic citizens who are warning corrupt politicians to be mindful of the same EFCC.”
Mr Effiong described the arrest as “needless persecution and distraction”.
He said the commission should rather commend the group that sponsored the advert.
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