Nigeria News – Ebere Amaraizu, General Manager, Crime Busters FC of Enugu, says that his utmost dream is to qualify the police football team to the Niger…
July 30, 2019 Kunle Sanni
Voter suppression, low voter turnout were some of the challenges that characterised Nigeria’s 2019 general elections, the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room has said.
According to its report released on Tuesday in Abuja, the group faulted the decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the election a few hours to the start of the polls.
It said the postponement ”worsened voter apathy” in the country.
The organisation said the delay did not only expose INEC as ill-prepared for the polls but that it also shrunk the ”nationwide enthusiasm that had built up for the elections.
”It made it impossible for many electorate who had travelled earlier to vote in their constituencies to take a second trip, worsening voter apathy.”
According to the election monitoring group, despite the postponement and assurance of improvement by INEC, logistical and operational challenges still undermined the electoral process.
”There were significant delays to the start of voting due to the challenges in deploying INEC officials and materials, and many cases where materials supplied to polling units were incomplete, perceived in some quarters as deliberate acts of voter suppression.”
The group also said reports received by monitoring teams across the country showed that election kicked off as late as 11 a.m. across the country, creating space for electoral malpractices.
”INEC materials did not reach a significant number of polling stations across the country until 11 a.m as voting also ended late and marred the conduct of the elections.
”The collation of results, another major weakness of Nigerian elections, remained a concern throughout the elections, with election observes reporting interference with the process, especially by political parties and security agencies oftentimes, with the active participation of INEC officials.”
PREMIUM TIMES had reported in June that the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM), in its released election report, said both the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) failed to curb electoral violence in the country.
”The leading parties were at fault in not reining in acts of violence and intimidation by supporters, and in abusing incumbency at federal and state levels,” the observers,” the group said.
The APC candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, won the presidential election with the PDP’s Atiku Abubakar coming second. Mr Abubakar and the PDP are challenging the results of the election in court.
Also, only the APC and PDP won governorship elections in the 29 states where governorship elections were held. Many of the governorship election results are being challenged in court.
The report by Situation Room also said there were discrepancies in the data in the voters’ register declared by INEC before the election and the total number of registered voters announced by the commission during the collation in 30 of Nigeria’s 36 states.
The organisation, however, acknowledged some general improvements by INEC toward building accurate and inclusive register through its continuous voter registration, the public verification of the register and the issuance of voter cards.
The Situation Room made up of 72 civil society groups across Nigeria, also suggested that many of the irregularities could have been avoided if President Muhammadu Buhari had signed the Electoral amended Act.
”Many of the lapses that were observed could have been taken care of the Electoral Act amendment passed by the National Assembly had been signed into law and put into use’
INEC conducted the presidential and National Assembly elections on February 23, while governorship and state assembly elections were held on March 9.
Supplementary elections in five states were also held in March.
According to the report, there were instances in the elections where the military acted “outside of the limits allowed by (the electoral) law.”
The group said “Section 29(3) of the Electoral Act specifically states that military involvement in the elections shall only be at the request of INEC and only for the purpose of securing the distribution and delivery of election materials and protection of election officials.
“In places like Rivers State, the military posed significant challenges and obstructions to the performance of election duties by INEC officials. Situation Room received reports of incidents of partisan involvement in the elections by the military, particularly in Rivers State,” the report said.
Police IG Mohammed says Shiites are free to practise their religion.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has met with some police chiefs at the force headquarters in Abuja.
The meeting was held amidst the security challenges plaguing Nigeria. These challenges include insurgency, banditry and kidnapping.
At the meeting, the police boss briefed the officers on some of the achievements of the force in tackling the challenges.
Also discussed was the incessant protests by the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) against the incarceration of the group’s leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat.
Over a dozen people were killed last week during the Shiites protests. The victims include a senior police officer, a journalist and many Shiites.
The government on Friday secured a court order to proscribe the group.
On Tuesday, Mr Adamu vowed that the police would deal with anyone that associates with the IMN.
“In consequence, henceforth, any person engaged or associating, in any manner that could advance the activities of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria, shall be treated as a terrorist, enemy of the State, and a subversive element and shall be brought to justice within the context of the Terrorism Act,” he said.
Mr Adamu also announced the deployment of police officers for community policing. He gave the breakdown of officers to be deployed to the 774 local government areas of the country.
The presidency on Tuesday restated its often repeated claim that the Boko Haram insurgency has been defeated……………
Three police officers in Anambra State have been arrested for allegedly extorting money from three residents…………….
‘We are facing the biggest wave of migration in history. If we open the floodgates, no European government will be able to survive for more than six months. We advise them not to try our patience.’ — Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu. ‘Turkey is
The Government of President Muhammadu Buhari has published in its Official Gazette the court order proscribing the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, also known as Shiites.
The gazetting was done on Monday.
The Federal High Court in Abuja, which proscribed the group on July 26, ordered the Federal Government to publish the order in its gazette and also in two national dailies.
The government has also done the newspaper publications.
Arguments by the Democratic National Committee in a lawsuit against Russia, WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign over the 2016 election were “entirely divorced” from facts, a federal judge in New York said as he threw out the case.
The DNC sued in April 2018, claiming that the Trump campaign welcomed “help” from Russia and WikiLeaks, who stole and published the party’s emails in an effort to sway the US electorate during the 2016 presidential election, in which Donald Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton. On Tuesday, US District Judge John Koeltl disagreed.
The DNC “raises a number of connections and communications between the defendants and with people loosely connected to the Russian Federation, but at no point does the DNC allege any facts … to show that any of the defendants – other than the Russian Federation – participated in the theft of the DNC’s information,” Koeltl wrote in the 81-page opinion dismissing the lawsuit with prejudice.
There can be no liability for publishing materials of public interest under the First Amendment to the US Constitution, so long as those disseminating it “did not participate in any wrongdoing in obtaining the materials in the first place,” Koeltl wrote, explaining that the DNC offered no proof that either Trump campaign staff or WikiLeaks did so.
“The Witch Hunt Ends!” Trump tweeted celebrating the ruling, noting that Koeltl was “a highly respected judge who was appointed by President [Bill] Clinton.”
The judge did take for granted that Russia was responsible for hacking the DNC servers and obtaining the emails, though this has never actually been proven and remains an assertion based on the claims of DNC contractor CrowdStrike. However, he told the DNC that it could not sue the Russian government in US courts, due to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act
Moscow has repeatedly rejected allegations that it had somehow interfered in the 2016 or any other US election, saying that such charges were “absurd” and made up to explain Clinton’s loss to Trump.
The DNC lawsuit’s dismissal is the latest victory for Trump in the fast-unraveling ‘Russiagate’ narrative. A two-year investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller concluded in March, failing to find any evidence of Trump’s “collusion” with Russia during the 2016 campaign and trying instead to paint Trump as “obstructing” the probe without actually saying so or leveling charges against the president.
Mueller’s indictment of a dozen Russian nationals he accused of an “active measures” campaign on social media was seriously undermined by another federal judge in May. In court filings unsealed earlier this month, District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich pointed out that Mueller’s report treated as established fact that the group was affiliated with the Russian government, without the indictment actually proving that in any way.
When Mueller testified before two House committees last week, it quickly became obvious that he had very little to do with writing the final report that bore his name, was unfamiliar with its basic premises and conclusions, and had not looked into the probe’s dubious origins with DNC-funded opposition research because it was “not in his purview.”
INEC has reacted to a report by civil society groups in Nigeria which portrays the 2019 general elections in the country as being below the standard