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Legislative aides write EFCC, Buhari over unpaid allowances, accuse Saraki, Dogara of funds diversion.

Staff members of the National Assembly during a protest against alleged nonpayment of their allowances, poor remuneration and non-implementation of CONLESS, a new salary structure approved since 2010 for them, at the National Assembly in Abuja on Monday (4/12/18). 06283/4/12/2018/Hogan Bassey/ICE/NAN
Some legislative aides to federal lawmakers have written a petition to the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, demanding an investigation into “criminal diversion of their budgeted legitimate entitlements.”

They also asked the EFCC chairman to bring the culprits to book and ensure the prompt payment of their allowances.

Also copied in the letter is President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, Director General of the State Security Service, Yusuf Bichi, and the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Bolaji Owansanoye.

In the letter which was made available to PREMIUM TIMES, nine of the aides, who do not want their names mentioned for fear of victimisation, signed on the endorsement page of the petition. The letter was dated November 19 and received by the anti-graft agency same day.

They accused the Senate President, Bukola Saraki; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sani Omolori, of diverting funds appropriated to them. They accused them of complicity in the management of the legislative aides’ account.

An investigation in 2016 revealed that no fewer than 2,570 aides are engaged by the 469 members of the 8th National Assembly. Out of the number, 700 aides work for lawmakers in the Senate, while the remaining 1,870 are engaged by House of Representatives members.

As provided in the National Assembly Act, each lawmaker, excluding principal officers, is entitled to five aides – one Senior Legislative Aide (SLA), two legislative aides, a personal assistant and a secretary.

Also, the President of the Senate is entitled to 45 aides, his deputy, 30, and 20 each for principal officers.

Similarly, Speaker of the House of Representatives has 35 assistants, Deputy Speaker, 15 and 10 each for the six principal officers of the House of Representatives.

The number of aides to each legislator, it was gathered, includes those in their constituency offices.

The monthly emolument of the aides, which ranged from N150, 000 to N250, 000, sources at the assembly said, has been reduced to between N75, 000 and N180, 000 by the current leadership of the assembly.

All the aides are paid from the coffers of the assembly.

The letter, dated November 19, is titled “Petition on criminal diversion of funds of legislative aides by the clerk and presiding officers of the 8th National Assembly.”

In it, they explained that aides are employed on a short-term basis and entitled to allowances as applicable to other public servants and a severance package of 300 per cent of their annual basic salary at the end of the four -year tenure of their principals. ‘

Part of the allowance, they said, is the Duty Tour Allowance (DTA).

“Each SLA from Level 15 to 17 is entitled to the sum of N100,000 while other category of aides receives the sum of N75,000 every quarter as. DTA allowances. In essence, each aide is entitled to between N300,000 and N400,000 yearly as DTAs.

“We are also entitled to be trained four times yearly which was later compressed into twice a year. At the end of each training, each aide is entitled to a honorarium of N50,000 making a yearly total of N100,000,” part of the letter read.
They said of the 13 quarters DTA owed legislative aides of the 8th Assembly since June 2015, only two quarters has been paid, adding that there has been no training activities for the past three and half years despite the budgetary allocations for these items, “which were neither used for the said activities nor were they returned to government coffers as unused funds.”

“The non-payment of these accumulated legitimate entitlements has turned legislative aides into legislative slaves. We have been pauperized to the extent that we are unable to meet our financial obligations like payment of school fees, hospital bills, house rents, debt serving, putting us into several embarrassing situations.”

The aides praised the past senate presidents for reportedly ensuring the payments of such allowances and accused the present leadership of fraud.

“It is pertinent to point that past Senate Presidents including Evan Enwerem, Chuba Okadigbo, Adolphus Nwagbara, Pius Anyim, Ken Nnamani and David Mark were all diligent in ensuring that legislative aides receive their appropriated DTAs and training allowances.

“We are hereby alleging criminal diversion of these yearly appropriated legitimate entitlements by the Senate President and Chairman of the National Assembly, Senator Bukola Saraki, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara and the Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Sani Omolori because of their complicity in the management of the legislative aides account,” they said.

The aides said all avenues employed in appealing to Messrs Saraki, Dogara and Omolori were unsuccessful, hence the last recourse to the petition.

Referring to a PREMIUM TIMES’ report on how National Assembly mismanaged billions of Naira through illegal expenditures and fraud, the aides said instead of settling the accumulated entitled, Mr Omolori engaged in sundry white elephant projects which are not captured in the original plan-of the National Assembly. These projects, they said, served as a conduit pipe of diverting and misappropriating funds meant to settle our entitlements.

When contacted, Mr Saraki’s spokesperson, Yusuf Olaniyonu, told PREMIUM TIMES that the Senate President has nothing to do with the salaries and allowances of legislative aides.

He explained that payment of the aides is controlled by the “management committee” of the National Assembly and that the aides are speaking ignorantly.

“The salaries and allowances of National Assembly aides including me, is handled by the people they call the Management committee which is headed by the clerk, like the bureaucracy of the National Assembly. The Senate President does not have anything to do with it. In fact, I attended a meeting he held with them the other day, and he told them, “I don’t know a single thing about your salaries and allowances”

“They have paid my salary now and he doesn’t even know. My letter of employment is issued by the clerk, my ID Card is signed by the clerk. My salary is paid by the clerk, I don’t collect my salary from the Senate President.

“Funds that come into National Assembly, come under various headings. If it is senate, it goes to the clerk of the senate who then, administers it there. The one for House of Reps goes to House of Reps. Then the one for management goes to the entire staff, both political and bureaucratic.

“Even if he was not my boss, I cannot accuse him of diverting funds because he does not have anything to do with my salary and allowance. They are speaking ignorantly,” he said.

Efforts to reach Mr Omolori and Mr Dogara’s spokesperson, Turaki Hassan, were unsuccessful as they did not respond to calls and text messages sent to them.

This alarm raised by the legislative aides is not the first. They had on October 9, staged a protest at the National Assembly Complex to demand allowances – a protest which the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazak Namdas, described as “uncalled for.”

This petition also comes days after hundreds of staff of the National Assembly shut lawmakers out of the complex to demand payment of their entitlements.

The workers held placards bearing inscriptions such as ‘Omolori is a contractor’ ‘Killing staff with poor condition of service’ and ‘Constitute the National Assembly Commission Now.’

Mr Omolori had addressed the protesters and declared that the problem was not from him but that the federal government had not approved the money for payment of such entitlements.

My husband donated his sperm for IVF without my consent – Nigerian lady cries out.

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A Nigerian lady has cried out, just after her husband donated his sperm for IVF without her consent to his best friend who has been married for 3 years without a child.

According to the Nigerian lady, her husband who donated his sperm for IVF without her consent was given One(1)million Naira, and she only got to know about it after it went sour. Read her post below;

My husband donated his sperm for IVF without my consent!! We have been married for 8 years with 5 children, 2 boys and 3 girls. He has a best friend who has been married for 3 years without issues. The wife is my friend. My husband was given One(1)million Naira for his sperm to be donated to my friend , the wife to my husband best friend. I was never put into the picture. When her pregnancy was annouced around October 2017. I was so happy for her, she never disclosed anything to me let alone of she went for IVF procedure. She gave birth to 2 daugthers in August, 2018. They throw party and painted their city red.

In mid-November 2018, the kids just turned 3 months when one of the babies fall from the baby rocking little bed on their parlour chair in their sitting room, when the house maid went out to get sometime behind their house. She was bleeding, so they rushed her to the hospital, only to discover she was S.S, later took the other one there for test she is A.S. They called my husband 2 weeks ago at 2am early morning on that day to come to the hospital, he wanted to go alone I said I will come as I will be worried for the baby..

The first thing that shocked me, is that baby so much looked like my daugthers at that age. She has the big eyes of my husband and my 5 kids.. My husband was told to donate blood as he has O negative like the child. He is the only one to give the child blood, as her blood went down for her age of 3 months. After 2 hours there we went home. I could not sleep, I told my husband direct ” Is there something about Ur friends child U want me to know?’ he said no. I said ok. I slept off.

I noticed he was already awake and left home for work too early. I quickly dressed up and went to the hospital to see the wife. Only to see my husband there with them. I told them straight that it was my husband that donated his sperm for the IVF? Because my husband is AS genotype like his wife unknowly, while I am AA like her husband. My husband knew but wanted the One (1) Million Naira.

They did not bother to find out. She told me she wanted to tell me when they were all planning it last year, it was my husband that kick against it, that I will never agree to the plan. Now I called his family and my uncle only, as I do not have parents, that I can only remain in this marriage if the 2 daughters of his best friend is giving back to me. They are my husband kids and mine as well, or they MUST pay me 2 million Naira, or I quit my marriage. My husband is a cow. the twins are too beautiful like my husband for me to leave them with that family. My last child is lonely needs them to call sisters.I need advise what to do next.
        My husband donated his sperm for IVF without my consent - Nigerian lady cries out lailasnews 1

Police arrest man who told kids Santa Claus is fake.

Police in Texas, United States have arrested a man after reportedly telling kids outside a church that Santa Claus is not real.

Aaron Urbanski, 31, was charged Saturday with criminal trespassing after a complaint that he and two others were demonstrating outside a church in Cleburne, according to The Associated Press.

The United Methodist Church of Cleburne was holding a “breakfast with Santa” event for families, according to the AP.

Police said that Urbanski refused to leave and “continued to cause a disturbance,” when he was arrested. Parents told a local NBC affiliate that the protesters were shouting that Santa isn’t real.

They reportedly accosted parents and children with the question: “Do you let your kids believe in a fake Santa or do they know who Jesus is?”
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Scott Cain, mayor of Cleburne, posted about the incident on Facebook, writing: “Don’t Mess With Santa!”

“While I understand folks right to protest, Cleburne loves Santa and those protestors who were naughty and broke the law when they trespassed were arrested promptly,” Cain wrote. “Guess they wanted coal in their stockings to go with a court appearance.”

Last week in New Jersey, a school district fired a substitute teacher who told students that Santa Claus is not real.

Gunmen kill estate agent in Delta.

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A 44-year-old builder and land agent, Mr. Celestine Kaine, was reportedly killed by unidentified gunmen in Kwale, Ndokwa West Local Government Area, Delta State.

Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Andrew Aniamaka, who confirmed the incident, said the gunmen gained entrance to Kaine’s residence at night through the window and demanded money.

He said: “In fact, they thought there was money in the house and when they made their demand and no such money was not  forthcoming, they shot him. In addition, they also collected two phones from the house.

He said the Police was on top of the matter, noting that “we are gathering intelligence that can lead to the arrest of the hoodlums.” 


Man Catches Wife With Female Lover In Ibadan.

Infidelity is highly detestable in any marriage but it is even more hateful when spouses catch their partners being laid by people of the same sex (Gays, Lesbians)

That was the case in Ekotedo area of Ibadan metropolis recently where residents were reportedly woken up from sleep by the distress cry of a middle-aged woman simply identified to as Martha.

It was said that she was being beaten by her husband, who allegedly caught her with her female lover in a hotel.

It was gathered that the couple, who is based in Benin City, Edo State, were reportedly invited to Ibadan by her step-father for a discussion over a misunderstanding between them, which was amicably settled.

A source disclosed that after the intervention of the step-father, the woman was said to have lodged at a hotel for the night because her husband had other engagements in town.

However, trouble started when the husband, Dickson, who had checked on her early in the morning, allegedly caught her in the act of lesbianism.

Angry Dickson reportedly pounced on his wife and beat her to stupor.

It was the noise of the woman that woke up the people in the area, who expressed surprise when they got the hint of what led to the scuffle.

The battered woman, who denied the allegation, reportedly went to Iddo Police Station to lodge complaints before going to a nearby private hospital for treatment.

Recently also a suspected lesbian, Dasola Aliu was caught in the act but escaped from police custody in Lagos on the 11th of March, 2018.

Dasola a native of Ibadan, Oyo state and her partner were arrested in connection with lesbianism.
in the course of the investigation, she fell ill.

She was supposed to be transferred to the Gender Section of the police command but for her ill state of health, she was taken to an undisclosed hospital for treatment.

It was reported that she was brought back to the station after her treatment.

The policemen on duty slept off and negligently forgot to lock the suspect up inside a cell.

The distraught complainants(Husband of Dasola lover) we gathered has since been asking for punitive action against the policemen involved.

I don’t care what my customers do with the guns I sell – Gunrunning Suspect.

I don’t care what my customers do with the guns I sell - Gunrunning Suspect lailasnews
A 45-year-old gunrunning suspect who was arrested by the Niger State Police Command for unlawful possession of firearms, has disclosed that he doesn’t care about what his customers do with the guns he sell.

The suspect identified as Musa Mora from Babana in Borgu Local Government Area of the state, who was arrested with six locally-made single barrel guns and three live cartridges disclosed that he bought the guns from Benin Republic and sold them to those who needed them for self-protection.

The gunrunning suspect who alongside his accomplice, Babangida Rabiu, an indigene of Dangulu area of Zamfara State, who is still at large, had on two occasions travelled to Benin Republic to illegally purchase firearms.

“I buy and sell locally-made guns and I sell them to people who are in need of guns to protect themselves, but if they do any other thing with it, that is none of my business,” Mora said.

The suspect who has been involved in the business for six years before his accomplice joined him, added that they were making money from gunrunning. When asked if he regretted his action, the suspect said;

“I do not regret anything; it is my source of livelihood; I used the money to take care of myself. I don’t kill people with the guns.”

The State command’s Public Relations Officer, Muhammad Abubakar, told Punch that the suspect had confessed to the crime.

“The police will no longer tolerate unlawful possession of firearms in the state and we have warned people to desist from it or face the consequences of the law,” Abubakar stated.

Tanker drivers allege torture, extortion by naval officers at Apapa.

Tanker drivers plying the Apapa road have decried the inhumane treatment and torture meted out to them by some naval officers, who they allege extort huge sums of money from them daily before their excruciating movement inwards the port.

This came on the heels of two drivers who were handcuffed to a truck in the scotching sun at the weekend by a naval officer after allegedly brutalizing them in the bid to extort money from them. The Guardian gathered that almost all the tanker and truck drivers face similar situations everyday if they refuse to pay between N150,000 and N200,000 before they can proceed to the port.

It was the turn of Saheed Arowoshafe and Kamoru Atoba, two tanker drivers who faced the same torture at the weekend after been beaten severely and handcuffed to a trailer for hours.According to Arowoshafe, who lamented his ordeal to The Guardian, “the naval officer came and met us inside our trucks where we do sleep and told us to stand up. I asked what happened, he said he would slap me and the next thing was that he started brutalising me. I kept on screaming what have I done. He shouted at me to come down from my truck. I kept begging him while he continued to hit me.

“I was on my way to Mile 2, I didn’t insult him, he hit me everywhere, my face, my body and tore my clothes and I was begging him but he refused to listen. The truck driver in front of me was also asked by the naval officer to step down from his truck. The next think was that the officer brought out handcuff and handcuffed both our hands to the back of a trailer packed under the sun. He took the keys and left us to perish under the sun for more that three hours.”

The drivers revealed that the naval officers are the brain behind the traffic congestion at Apapa road, stressing that the officers purposely refuse to allow them pass just because they want to extort money from them, especially once it is nightfall.

Confirming the hazards faced by the tanker drivers, the Vice Chairman, Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Lagos State chapter, Abdullahi Inuwa, lamented that the drivers are exposed to the inhumane treatments of the naval officers, in which the association wades in to come to their rescue.

He said this has lead to some of the drivers been badly injured while some are in a worst state of health. He added that he received the information about the two tanker drivers who were handcuffed and instructed that the naval officer be found and the drivers released.

“For more than two hours, they were in search of the officer until he was found and the drivers were released and given first aid. We want government to intervene in this issue before we record more deaths or some tanker drivers go violent,” he said.

It would be recalled that the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) have recently appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to check the excesses of naval officers at the Apapa loading depots in Lagos.

The appeal, contained in a statement issued by Mr. Salmon Oladiti, the National Chairman of PTD, an arm of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), noted that the activities of the officers were causing untimely death of drivers apart from impeding loading of oil and free flow of traffic.

“Navy illegal operations are the major problems of tanker drivers; there are so much extortions, harassment and beating of our members who failed to meet their demands. We want the activities of the navy to be checked; they are not trained to be controlling traffic. Their activities are affecting our operations. We want them to be withdrawn from the road.”


Police arrest six for allegedly destroying campaign posters.

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Operatives of the Lagos State police command yesterday arrested six persons allegedly caught pulling down campaign posters of others political parties’ candidates and replacing them with that of the African Action Congress (AAC) presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore.

The suspects are now being detained at the Ikeja police station. According to Lagos police spokesman, Chike Oti, “the Anti-crime patrol team of the state command, Ikeja Division, at about 2:30a.m. yesterday arrested six young men, namely Olagokun Odunayo, Kool-kloud Henry, Ugaju Joseph, Damilola Omidiji, Michael Kate and Banwo Olagokun, of ‘Take It Back’ movement, tearing posters of other political parties and replacing them with that of the African Action Congress (AAC) contrary to the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) laws that forbade advertisers from pasting posters at no other hour than day time. 

“It would recalled that an agreement was reached to the effect that no political party should undertake the defacing of campaign posters of other political parties nor the destruction of their billboards, at a meeting held at the Police Officers Mess, GRA, Ikeja, on Wednesday, December 5, tagged Security and Stakeholders meeting involving chairmen of all political parties in the state and their flagbearers, chaired by the Commissioner of Police, CP Edgal Imohimi.

“The following exhibits were recovered from the suspects: a poster bearing the picture of the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, (AAC), Sowore, brush, buckets containing gums and turn off posters of other political parties.

“The CP has directed that the suspects be charged to court on Monday for malicious damage and conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace to serve as a deterrent to others”.

Story Of Pmb’s Refusal To Sign Electoral Amendment Bill

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Indications emerged yesterday as to why President Muhammadu Buhari refused to append his signature on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill last Friday.

LEADERSHIP investigations revealed that the president took the decision not to sign the bill when it was discovered that some unscrupulous Nigerians had perfected plans to tamper with results of the 2019 general elections with the help of a new technology they had acquired which they would have used to distort the functioning of the electronic voter machine.

These individuals, it was also learnt, had taken their plan a notch higher by engaging the services of a Russian firm to hack into the electoral system in order to manipulate the results in favour of their clients.

Our usually impeccable source further disclosed that President Buhari declined assent because under the new electoral bill, electronic voting and transmission of results are mandatory, a situation that could have, with the hacking arrangement, vulnerably exposed the 2019 electoral process to manipulation.

According to the source, when President Buhari got wind of the sinister plot, “he quickly contacted his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, who assured him that he would ensure that no rogue elements would find the space in Russia to interfere with Nigeria’s elections in 2019”.

It was also gathered that some politicians have already entered into a contract with Cambridge Analytica, a British IT consulting firm, for the management of their political campaigns, among other services. The plan, our source added’ is to use the consultancy firm “to reach out to other ‘hacktivists’ (subversive users of computers and computer network to promote political agenda) in UK, Russia and others”.

LEADERSHIP recalls that the IT consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, had in recent past been accused of using the personal data of millions of Facebook users to influence how people vote in many countries. Following a report early this year that a former employee of Cambridge Analytica, Christopher Wylie, had told British lawmakers how an Israeli spy firm, ‘Black Cube,’ was “engaged to hack into Buhari accounts to get access to his medical records and private emails,” the federal Government in April this year commenced a probe into the revelation.

It was reported that the federal government is also probing the report which suggested that the consulting firm that combines data mining, brokerage and analysis with strategic communications for electoral process, manipulated Nigeria’s 2007 elections by organising campaigns to weaken the chances of opposition parties. Cambridge Analytica had earlier been reported to have been hired by an unnamed Nigerian billionaire to support the re-election of a former Nigerian president in the 2015 polls.

Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu had reacted then saying “Nigerians deserve answers from the PDP, Facebook and Cambridge Analytica on how and why they improperly obtained and used data to interfere in Nigerian elections.

“An investigation should help to determine if there is a linkage between the various killings and maiming that have characterised our elections since 2007 and the misinformation activities of the Cambridge Analytica. Such investigation will also help President Buhari to achieve his wish to leave a legacy of improved elections”, Shehu added

It was also reported on March 28, 2015 that the INEC website was hacked by a group calling themselves the ‘’Nigerian Cyber Army’’. In a statement posted on INEC’s website-, the group replied however that they hacked and took control of the website to protect results from being manipulated by anyone, through any means. They also claim to be protecting the rights of Nigerians to elect their leaders.

Confirming the hacking through its Twitter handle, @inecnigeria, INEC said, “We are aware of the recent hack of our @inecnigeria website, we are currently investigating this incident #NigeriaDecides”

While pre-empting the situation as well as making provision to tackle possible interference in the 2019 polls, chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, on January 30, this year, said that although the 2019 election results shall be announced electronically, the physical copies of results of the elections would be given to party agents.

President Buhari had last Friday declined assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill 2018, citing impending confusion that would pervade the 2019 elections if the bill is signed into law as reason for not signing the bill. Major high points of the Bill include the use of card readers and other electronic devices in the conduct of elections.

Invariably, Sections 49 and 52 of the Electoral Act, 2010 was amended and reviewed, to allow INEC use card reader to authenticate voters’ card, use total number of voters authenticated with card reader as actual figure of voters that voted in that unit, and transmit the votes electronically.

Section 153 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) gives power to INEC to issue regulations, guidelines or manuals for the conduct of any elections in the country. Electoral Act, 2010 draws inspirations from Section 153 (1) (f) and Third Schedule Paragraph F. 15(f) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). An example of this is Guidelines and Regulations for the 2015 General Elections.

Supporters of President Buhari have described the Electoral Act amendment bill controversy as unnecessary distraction to blackmail the President into signing the law with his eyes closed. According to them, the new Electoral Act amendment bill is like a landmine laid on the path of the president by the PDP-led National Assembly, despite the fact that the president has unambiguously explained his reasons for not assenting to the Electoral Act.

They argued that the Act is fraught with dangers which, if ignored, could create chaos and confusion during the 2019 elections.

In recent survey of views conducted by our sister publication, LEADERSHIP Weekend, some lawyers had warned that since INEC neither budgeted for the use of card reader in the recently approved budget to conduct election nor trained officials for the use of the electronic device all this while, the use of card reader in view of 2015 experience in the country is enough to discard any idea of its use anywhere in the country for the conduct of the 2019 elections.

The use of card reader they held, requires INEC officials at the end of voting process to compare the number of voters verified by the card reader with the number of accredited voters, and total votes cast for consistency, which led to avalanche of conflicting judgements in the court after the 2015 elections.

Besides, they said it is fraught with abuses and is easy to manipulate the electoral system since the election officials have not been properly trained in the use of the technological device to authenticate and transmit results.

Presidential Candidates Back Decision

Meanwhile, the Forum of Presidential Candidates has endorsed President Buhari’s refusal to assent to the controversial Electoral (Amendment) Bill.

After a consultative meeting they convened yesterday to review recent developments in the polity, the 40 presidential candidates, who are members of the forum, said that they supported President Buhari’s action because “the time is obviously inauspicious to tinker with the Electoral Bill, especially when the process leading to the 2019 general elections is fully on course.”

In a statement signed on their behalf by the presidential candidate of Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance, Alhaji Shitu Mohammed Kabir and his Movement for the Restoration of Democracy counterpart, Mallam Danjuma Muhammad, the presidential candidates said their earlier position had been vindicated that the amendment bill contained “deliberate hurdles” capable of derailing the forthcoming general elections.

The statement reads in part: “Our position is premised on the fact that we see stumbling blocks against a free and fair election next year. To be specific, the Amended Electoral Bill which stipulates electronic verification of voters and transmission of results will deliberately disenfranchise many voters, especially in the rural and remote areas of the country owing to obvious constraints of power supply and internet connectivity.

“The time left for the 2019 elections is too short for INEC to recruit relevant staff and give them adequate training. We also think that the electoral body may not be in a position to respond fast enough in cases where the electronic devices malfunction. The constraints and impediments of time and resources in difficult terrains will deliberately deny many local communities the opportunity to vote.”

The presidential candidates said they suspect that those asking President Buhari to sign the amendment bill have a sinister design to derail the electoral calendar.

“We suspect a hidden agenda if the electoral umpire is forced to adjust its programme to accommodate the personnel, budget and other logistics in the guise of abiding with the provisions of the amendment bill”, they said.

Last week, the forum had filed a suit at a Federal High Court in Abuja, where it prayed the court to stop Buhari from signing the Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2018.

The three plaintiffs, Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance, Allied Peoples Movement and Movement for Restoration and Defence of Democracy, joined the Senate president, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, INEC chairman and the Attorney-General of the Federation ad Minister of Justice as defendants.

‘I pay N100 daily to sleep under Oshodi bridge’.

One of the 62 miscreants and hoodlums arrested, weekend, by operatives of Lagos State Task Force at Oshodi, Lagos, 35-year-old Gani Yusuf, said he paid N100 everyday to their ring leader before he could be given a little space to sleep under the Oshodi bridge.

The miscreants and hoodlums were arrested by operatives of the Lagos State Task Force during a night raid around Oshodi and its environs. Another arrested suspect, Gbenga Ololade, 38, who claimed he came from Ibadan and has been sleeping under Oshodi bridge for three years, said he was initiated into a cult with a particular tattoo on his face by their group leader under the bridge.

Chairman of the task force, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, confirmed that many of those arrested have different tattoos on their arms, indicating they belong to a particular cult. He added that the mid-night raid was part of ongoing efforts aimed at flushing out miscreants and other criminal elements out of Oshodi and the state at large.

CSP Egbeyemi, who confirmed that no weapon was found on the 62 suspects, added that there were strong indications that they were part of the criminals attacking motorists on Oshodi bridge during peak hours.

The raid According to Egbeyemi, “we got to the area as early as 2a.m. It was an eye-sore to have found these miscreants and hoodlums under the bridge at Oshodi at such odd hours, walking aimlessly while some were also caught smoking Indian hemp popularly called Marijuana.

“Many of these arrested miscreants have different tattoos on their arms, indicating they belong to a particular sect or cult. While many are chain smokers, others robbed residents and pedestrians of their valuables such as phones, wallets and jewelleries in the early morning and late night.”

He added that the suspects had been screened while the under-age ones were referred to juvenile homes for rehabilitation, adding that most of these ‘young miscreants’ that are between 12 to 17 years are products of broken homes.

Egbeyemi pointed out that after the completion of all the ongoing projects by the state government in Lagos State, especially around Oshodi axis, there would no longer be any hideout for criminals to use in unleashing terror on innocent members of the public again.