Electoral Act: National Assembly Bent On Aiding Electoral Fraud – HURIWA
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has described as unconstitutional the illegal decision by the nation’s lawmakers to make mode of transmission of election subject to the National Communications Commission and the National Assembly’s approval because it contradicts section 78 of the Constitution.
HURIWA quoted Section 78 as stating: “The registration of voters and the conduct of elections shall be subject to the direction and supervision of Independent National Electoral Commission.”
HURIWA wondered why legislators in the National Assembly suffered from temporary amnesia and intellectual poverty by failing to remember that they lack the power to make a legislation that is at variance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
The rights group said that decision is null, void and of no consequence in law and in practice.
It dismissed the failure of the National Assembly to pass the legislation authorizing both electronic voting and transmission of results electronically as the handiwork of electoral merchants whose intention is to perpetuate the electoral robberies that have characterized most previously conducted elections in Nigeria.
The rights group said the crooked amendments amount to a breach of international benchmark on transparent, credible and accountable election even going by the protocols adopted by ECOWAS Heads of States because the process leading to the amendments lacked the buy-in of the prospective voters and all political stakeholders.
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According to HURIWA, the National Assembly members are so shameless to even admit publicly that telecommunication services lack network coverages in some constituencies of Nigeria even after two decades of the advent of the GSM Services.
“This is a show of shame which goes to show that for over two decades the National Assembly failed to make the NCC and Ministry of Communication to be accountable and transparent even with the humongous revenues that the nation ought to have made from licensing of multiple telecom providers since over two decades. What happens to the billions released for upgrade of telecom infrastructure over the last two decades?”
“We think there is a game plan by the President retired military General Mohammadu Buhari and his political party the All Progressives Congress to self-perpetuate or to rig the 2023 election to plant a political surrogate to the current president so as to cover his back to stop any kind of adversarial legal aid criminal investigations of their misrule”.
The National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Director Miss Zainab Yusuf in the statement averred that HURIWA believes that the rejection of electronic transmission of results that was done by the National Assembly is for a criminal purpose and intent because the party has never won a clean, free, fair and peaceful elections since 2015 till date.
HURIWA said the office of the president, that of NCC and the Senate and Federal House of Representatives are colluding to ensure that there is no accountability and transparency in the 2023 poll.
It dismissed the statement on the issue of electronic transmission of election results by the National Communications Commission as an act of illegal intrusion into the jurisdiction of conduct of elections that is exclusively the preserve of the INEC.
“HURIWA finds the statement by the Nigerian Communications Commission that barely fifty per cent of the nation’s 119,000 polling units have network coverage as a conspiracy of election racketeering gangsters. We totally condemn the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Maska Ubale, who stated this while fielding questions from lawmakers in the House of Representatives. We read that he says based on a 2018 report, 49.7 per cent of polling units in Nigeria are without network. Responding to one of the lawmakers’ questions, Maska Ubale said Nigcomsat is not under the purview of the NCC.
“He said the fifty percent has 2G and 3G network and 49.7 per cent with no network has only 2G. He also revealed that the 4G can work only where there is 3G network. These affirmations from NCC are politically motivated and are part of a well- coordinated scheme by the All Progressives Congress and President Muhammadu Buhari to manipulate the 2023 election. Nigerians must wake up and denounce these plots to actualize electoral brigandage and vandalism by the All-Progressives Congress come 2023”.
HURIWA told the National Assembly that their decision on the electronic transmission of results of elections which is against the popular will of the majority of Nigerians directly offends the Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance (A/SP1/12/01) which the Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) endorsed as follows:
“MINDFUL of the ECOWAS Treaty signed in Cotonou on 24th July 1993 , notably its Article 58; MINDFUL of the Protocol relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security signed in Lomé on 10 the December 1999; The following shall be declared as constitutional principles shared by all Member States:
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a)”Separation of powers – the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary.
Empowerment and strengthening of parliaments and guarantee of parliamentary immunity.
Independence of the Judiciary: Judges shall be independent in the discharge of their duties.
“The freedom of the members of the Bar shall be guaranteed; without prejudice to their penal or disciplinary responsibility in the event of contempt of court or breaches of the common law.
“b) Every accession to power must be made through free, fair and transparent elections.
“c) Zero tolerance for power obtained or maintained by unconstitutional means.
“d) Popular participation in decision-making, strict adherence to democratic principles and decentralization of power at all levels of governance.
“e) The armed forces must be apolitical and must be under the command of a legally constituted political authority; no serving member of the armed forces may seek to run for elective political.
“f) Secularism and neutrality of the State in all matters relating to religion; freedom for each individual to practise, within the limits of existing laws, the religion of his/her choice everywhere on the national territory. The secularism shall extend to all parts of the State, but shall not deprive the State of the right to regulate, with due respect to human rights, the different religions practiced on the national territory or to intervene when law and order break down as a result of any religious activity.
“g) The State and all its institutions belong to all the citizens; therefore none of their decisions and actions shall involve any form of discrimination, be it on an ethnic, racial, religion or regional basis.
“h) The rights set out in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other international instruments shall be guaranteed in each of the ECOWAS Member States; each individual or organization shall be free to have recourse to the common or civil law courts, a court of special jurisdiction, or any other national institution established within the framework of an international instrument on Human Rights, to ensure the protection of his/her rights. In the absence of a court of special jurisdiction, the present Supplementary Protocol shall be regarded as giving the necessary powers to common or civil law judicial bodies.
“i) Political parties shall be formed and shall have the right to carry out their activities freely, within the limits of the law. Their formation and activities shall not be based on ethnic, religious, regional or racial considerations. They shall participate freely and without hindrance or discrimination in any electoral process. The freedom of the opposition shall be guaranteed. Each Member State may adopt a system for financing political parties, in accordance with criteria set under the law.
“j) The freedom of association and the right to meet and organize peaceful demonstrations shall also be guaranteed.
“k) The freedom of the press shall be guaranteed.
“l) All former Heads of State shall enjoy a special status including freedom of movement. They shall enjoy special benefits compatible to their status as former Heads of State.
“1. No substantial modification shall be made to the electoral laws in the last six (6) months before the elections, except with the consent of a majority of Political actors.
“2. All the elections shall be organized on the dates or at periods fixed by the Constitution or the electoral laws.
“3. Member States shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that women have equal rights with men to vote and be voted for in elections, to participate in the formulation of government policies and the implementation thereof and to hold public offices and perform public functions at all levels of governance.”
HURIWA has therefore threatened to mobilize Nigerians for a national protests if the National Assembly fails to rescind its unconstitutional decision within seven days.
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Arrest Interim Govt Plotters Now – Governors
Governors of the 36 states have asked the Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest and prosecute those involved in a plot to put in place an interim government as part of moves to truncate the nation’s democracy.
Condemning the move, the governors under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum assured of their commitment to continue in the defence of Nigeria’s democracy as elected leaders.
In a statement on Friday by NGF Chairman and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal at the end of the 4th meeting of the Governors, he warned the DSS against issuing statements without arrest as that amounts to heating the polity.
Tambuwal said, “The Forum deliberated extensively on the alleged plot by some unscrupulous elements to install an interim government, as contained in the recent statement issued by the Department for State Services (DSS). Governors condemned in the strongest terms, any unconstitutional means of regime change and pledged its commitment to continue to defend Nigeria’s democracy as elected leaders.
“In addition, the Forum believes that issuing statements without arrests is akin to heating up the polity and causing unwarranted tension in the country. It called on the DSS to do its job by immediately arresting and prosecuting all those involved in the plot as a matter of urgency.”
Recall that the DSS had on Wednesday confirmed rumours that a section of the political class was planning for an interim government in order to truncate the result of the recently-concluded general elections.
The Spokesman for the DSS, Dr. Peter Afunanya in a statement said that the agency had identified some key players in the plot for an Interim Government in Nigeria but did not give the names of the masterminds.
The agency had said that the planners of the interim government had already held several meetings, during which they weighed many options to actualize their plot including sponsoring endless mass protests across Nigerian cities, securing a warrant to declare a state of emergency or a court injunction to stop the inauguration of the executive and the legislature at the federal and state levels.
BREAKING:Lagos Govt Arraigns Chrisland School, Principal, Others Over Death Of Pupil Whitney Adeniran
The Lagos State government has arraigned Chrisland School, Opebi, its principal, vice principal and two other employees over the death of one of the school’s pupils, 12-year-old Whitney Adeniran.
On Wednesday, the government of Lagos State had filed charges against Chrisland School and four others over the death of the 12-year-old pupil, Whitney Adeniran.
The school and its workers were accused of involuntary manslaughter and reckless and negligent acts.
The workers who were arraigned before Justice Oyindamola Ogala of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja include Ademoye Adewale, Kuku Fatai, Mrs Belinda Amao, Nwatu Ugochi Victoria and Chrisland School Limited.
The school principal, Mrs Belinda Amao, broke down in tears while in the dock as the court and counsel tried to agree on a date for the commencement of the trial.
Whitney died during the school’s inter-house sports competition at Agege Stadium in Lagos on February 9.
Blessing Adeniran, her mother, had accused Chrisland of negligence over her daughter’s death.
The school’s management, however, dismissed insinuations that there was foul play in the death, saying she slumped in public.
Chrisland also argued that Whitney complained about “not-too-buoyant health” a few days before she died.
However, an autopsy conducted at the Lagos State University Hospital (LASUTH) confirmed that the deceased died from “asphyxia and electrocution”.
In the charges filed on behalf of the state government by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Babajide Martins, who disclosed that their negligence killed Whitney because they failed to ensure her safety.
The charge also disclosed that they all acted in a reckless and negligent manner that endangered human life.
The offences are contrary to Sections 224 & 251 of the Criminal Law, C17, Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015
If found guilty, the offences carry a penalty of life imprisonment and two-year jail terms respectively.
On Tuesday, the state government granted access to Chrisland High School, Opebi branch, to open for physical learning ahead of the school’s forthcoming examination after parents’ appeal.
The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu had ordered that the school be shut down on March 3, 2023, following the investigation into Whitney’s death.
Sanwo-Olu through the state Ministry of Education said the closure of the school would pave the way for unhindered investigation and afford all stakeholders, including parents, students, staff and friends of the deceased, time to grieve.
The reopening followed an appeal by the Parents of all Chrisland School Units who visited the Ministry of Education on Monday to seek the government’s understanding for “the sake of 500 plus students some of whom also have terminal examinations.”
The management of the school had tendered an apology over Whitney’s death.
BREAKING: Abacha’s Ex-chief Of Staff Oladipo Diya Dies
Retired Lt.General Donaldson Oladipo Oyeyinka Diya, the former Chief of Staff in General Sani Abacha’s military government, is dead.
His death was confirmed by Prince Oyesinmilola Diya. He said the former military administrator of Ogun State passed on to glory in the early hours of 26th March 2023.
Born on the 3rd of April, 1944, Diya was military Governor of Ogun State after the Buhari-Idiagbon coup of December 31st, 1983.
Diya joined the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna and fought during the Nigerian Civil War.
He later attended the US Army School of Infantry, the Command and Staff College, Jaji (1980–1981) and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru.
While serving in the military, Diya studied law at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he obtained an LLB degree, and then at the Nigerian Law School, where he was called to bar as Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
He held other top military posts like GOC, 82 Division and finally the Chief of General Staff (military Vice President) to Gen Sani Abacha
The statement read: “On behalf of the entire Diya family home and abroad; we announce the passing on to Glory of our dear Husband,Father, Grandfather,brother, Lt- General Donaldson Oladipo Oyeyinka Diya (Rtd) GCON, LLB, BL, PSC, FSS, mni.
“Our dear Daddy passed onto glory in the early hours of 26th March 2023. Please keep us in your prayers as we mourn his demise in this period. Further announcements will be made public in due course.
“Barrister Prince Oyesinmilola Diya, on behalf of the family.”
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