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INEC wields the big stick, sacks 3 staffers, prosecute lecturers

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INEC wields the big stick, sacks 3 staffers, prosecute lecturers

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akwa Ibom State is to arraign three university lecturers alleged to have been found culpable in electoral malpractices during the 2019 general elections in court

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Mike Igini, who disclosed this to newsmen at the commission’s headquarters in Uyo also said that three staffers in the ICT Unit that were involved in electoral fraud proven beyond reasonable doubt had been sacked.
He explained: “The lecturers who were engaged as collation and returning officers during the 2019 general elections were reported to have manipulated and falsified election results aimed at producing outcomes contrary to the will of the people as expressed through the ballot.
“Following a formal request by the commission, the authorities of the affected institutions released the lecturers to appear before an investigative panel set up by INEC headquarters on the 12th and 26th August 2020. The panel subsequently established a prima facie documentary evidence of deliberate criminal manipulation of election results against the collation/returning officers. They will be arraigned in court.
According to Igini, the actions became absolutely necessary because of the belief by some members of the public that the commission does not sanction persons involved in electoral malpractice during elections.
“We must have an institution that has integrity to protect the will of the people in any election. This will serve as a lesson and a clear message to those who will be engaged in INEC jobs in future in this state, particularly those playing the role of supervising presiding officers as a very important link, as the last set of people in charge of election materials, including the ballot papers and result sheets,” the REC said.
Igini expressed regret that, despite the training given to the electoral officers and staff of the commission, they went a different way to involve themselves in unethical conduct by manipulating and falsifying election result, thereby producing outcomes that were contrary to the will of the people.

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Kogi Ag. CJ embarks on state-wide visit to Correctional Centres, emphasises cleanliness

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Kogi Ag. CJ embarks on state-wide visit to Correctional Centres, emphasises cleanliness


By Friday Idachaba

Acting Chief Judge of Kogi, Justice Henry Olusiyi has commenced tour of the six Custodial Centres (Correctional facilities) in the state with emphasis on cleanliness to check infestation of diseases.

Olusiyi who commenced the tour with a visit to Dekina and Ankpa Custodial Centres disclosed this while reviewing warrants of 35 Awaiting Trial Inmates incarcerated for various criminal offences.

The acting CJ said that there was need for the centres to be kept clean and neat to avoid communicable and other diseases adding even the clinics in the centres did not have drugs to take care of minor diseases.

“In the clinic also they don’t have essential drugs for instance, the inmates in this centre, most of them are infected with infectious skin diseases and they don’t have drugs”, he said.

Olusiyi however commended the two correctional centres saying, “What we have seen is good in terms of cleanness. The environment is clean and the officers are doing well with the little that they have.”

On possible congestion of the facilities, the acting Chief Judge said Dekina Custodial Centre was underutilized because it has capacity for 105 inmates but presently has 14 inmates including nine awaiting trials and five convicts.

“In Ankpa Custodial Centre, we have 26 inmates out of which one Gabriel Odiniya has been released unconditionally. The facility is underutilized but it is good. It is not all the time that we should expect correctional centres to be over full. It is good.

“That is a takeaway from this visit. That our correctional centres are not congested. Ankpa and Dekina are not congested. That means that our courts are working and our correctional officers are also working.

“We have already told our courts at all stages that the essence of our mandate is the administration of justice and justice delayed sometimes can be Justice denied and at the same time Justice rushed sometimes can be Justice crushed.

“So we need to balance the two, to make sure that whatever we do, we do not allow cases to linger in our courts and at the same time, do not over rush them so that we don’t miss out on the Justice of the matter.

“We wish to commend the Chief Superintendent of Corrections in Ankpa Custodial Centre, Umoru Onuh and Superintendent Omole Olumuyiwa of Dekina and their officers and men for a job well done”, he said.

NAN reports that the acting CJ had earlier visited the Eje Dekina, Alhaji Usman Obaje and commiserated with him over the demise of late Attah Igala, Dr Idakwo Michael Ameh-Oboni and Onu Abocho, Alhaji Tijani Okwutachi who died Sunday morning. (NAN)

FDJ/

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Kogi Ag. CJ releases 17-year-old from Ankpa Custodial Centre

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Kogi Ag. CJ releases 17-year-old from Ankpa Custodial Centre


By Friday Idachaba
The Acting Chief Judge of Kogi, Justice Henry Olusiyi has unconditionally released a 17-year-old boy, Gabriel Odiniya, remanded in the centre and standing trial for alleged trespass, intimidation and attempt to commit theft.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Chief Judge released the juvenile inmate on Tuesday in Ankpa while on inspection visit to Medium Security Custodial Centre in Ankpa as part of his state-wide visits to custodial centres.

Olusiyi said there was no prima facie case against Odiniya aside the fact that he was a child who under extant laws, was certainly not supposed to be in the custodial centre in the first place.

“I have listened carefully to the learned legal officer prosecuting this case and on the whole, I am satisfied that this is an appropriate case for me to exercise my discretion in favour of the defendant by letting off the hook completely in this matter.

“I have also observed that he is suffering from skin rashes which if not controlled, may result in other inmates being infected.

“In the light of all the foregoing, the defendant is hereby released as no useful purpose will be served by his continued detention in this Custodial Centre.

“He shall be released forthwith to the acting Ochogwu of Ogugu, His royal Highness Emmanuel salifu for proper handling etc”, he said.

The acting Chief Judge also implored the Reverend Father Boniface Opaluwa, incharge of the Catholic Church in Emagaba-Ogugu, to take charge and provide spiritual guidance to the fatherless boy.

Odiniya was allegedly framed by a woman who he had worked for and who dragged him to court over alleged theft of money and secured conviction but Odiniya was given an option of fine by the court.

The woman according to Odiniya, had caused him to be arrested again boasting that she would make him to spend five years in jail as he was subsequently arraigned before Chief Magistrate Court, Okpo, Olamaboro Local Government. (NAN)

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Court orders Fidelity Bank, BNSG to pay N1.4b to staff of defunct Taraku mills Ltd

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Court orders Fidelity Bank, BNSG to pay N1.4b to staff of defunct Taraku mills Ltd

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria, has ordered Fidelity Bank and the Benue State Government to pay the sum of N1.4 billion Naira to one Aondohemba Agba Injo and 210 others over unpaid claims of the creditors who are staff of the defunct Taraku Mills Limited.

The court also issued a Writ or execution against the garnished /Respondent thereafter, by directing the Deputy Sherriff of the court to seal the Banks branches in Abuja, Lafia, Makurdi and any others in Nigeria for the purpose of enforcing the judgment of the  court.

The two major branches of the bank in Abuja situated in the Business Central Area and Maitama were consequently sealed up this afternoon.

Honorable Justice R. B Haastrup who delivered the judgment on the 19th of November 2020 in a suit no NICN/ABJ/241M/2020 said, “I have  carefully perused through the processes filed by the judgment creditors /Applicants herein and have also listened to the oral submissions of counsel in respect thereto vis-a-vis the authorities cited in support thereof.
“The rules of this court as stated by the Applicant’s  counsel are indeed clear on the requirements for the issuance of the Writ of execution as embodied in Order 49 Rules 3 and 6, which the Applicants herein has compiled with”.

While the seal up of Fidelity Bank was executed in some of its branches in Abuja, a top bank manager said the process of paying off the debts has begun.

One of the Creditors, Aondohemba Agba Injo and their team of lawyers yesterday who besieged the bank premises told our reporter that,” they have showed us bank drafts to show that they are processing the payments but what we don’t know is if it’s a gimmick because they promised to compete it in three hours but it’s well past three hours now but we are still here and waiting”.

Sources however told our correspondent that while the bank is slow in rounding up the process was to buy time while they explore possibilities of obtaining a stay of execution order from the Supreme court.

But  a lawyer, Barrister A Usha told our reporter that cases of such nature terminates at the Industrial court of Appeal.

It was also gathered that the Benue State Government was mounting pressure on  the officials of the Industrial Court of Appeal to illegally unseal the banks premises against a lawful order.

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