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Buhari’s aide, Lauretta Onochie is not qualified to be an INEC commissioner – Femi Falana

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Human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana has condemned the nomination of Lauretta Onochie, an aide to President Muhammadu Buhari as a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria described Onochie as an “unrepentant member” of the ruling party and one who has “consistently attacked members of other political parties.

Falana also pointed out that one of the criteria provided in the Constitution to determine who is fit for the position is that nominated persons must not be partisan.

The statement reads in full;

MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS OF POLITICAL PARTIES ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO BE INEC COMMISSIONERS

In view of the desire of President Muhammadu Buhari to fill some vacancies in the Independent National Electoral Commission it has become pertinent to draw the attention of the Council of State and the Senate to the following provisions of the Constitution:

1. In appointing the members of the INEC the President is required to consult with the Council of State pursuant to section 154 (3) of the Constitution;

2. Paragraph B of Part 1 of the 3rd Schedule to the Constitution provides that “The Council of State shall have power to advise the President in the exercise of his powers with respect to (iv) the Independent National Electoral Commission including the appointment of the members of the Commission.

3. Pursuant to section 154 (1) of the Constitution, the appointment of the members of the Independent National Electoral Commission shall be subject to confirmation by the Senate;

4. Paragraph 14 of Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution as amended by Section 30, Act No 1 of 2010, a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission “shall be non-partisan”.

From the foregoing, it is crystal clear that a card-carrying member of a registered political party or a well known supporter of a particular political party is constitutionally disqualified from the membership of the Independent National Electoral Commission. As an unrepentant member of the ruling party Mrs Loretta Onochie has consistently attacked members of other political parties. To that extent, she is partisan and therefore not qualified to be a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

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FG will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students – Buhari

The President has warned hostage-taking bandits that his government will not succumb to blackmail.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the Federal Government will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students in the expectation of huge ransom payments.

The President disclosed this in a social media statement on Friday evening, in reaction to the kidnap of students in Zamfara.

“Our primary objective is to get all the school hostages safe, alive and unharmed,” Buhari said.

He added that the FG had the capacity to deploy massive force against the bandits in the villages where they operated; however, the Army was limited by the possibility of heavy casualties of innocent villagers and hostages who might be used as human shields by the bandits.

A hostage crisis is a complex situation that requires maximum patience in order to protect the victims from physical harm or even brutal death at the hands of their captors,” he said.

The President said bandits and terrorists should not entertain the illusion that they were more powerful than the government.

“They shouldn’t mistake our restraint for the humanitarian goals of protecting innocent lives as a weakness or a sign of fear or resolution.


“We will not succumb to blackmail by bandits and criminals who target innocent school students in the expectation of huge ransom payments,” he added.

What you should know 

  • It was reported that armed bandits kidnapped 317 female students at the Girls Secondary School, Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Friday.
  • The Commissioner of Police in Zamfara, Abutu Yaro, said, “We are doing our best along with all sister security agencies, members of the vigilantè group and the state government to get to the bottom of this matter.”

 

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Kidnapped Kagara schoolboys and staff have been released

The abducted students and staff of Government Science Secondary School Kagara, in Niger State, have been released.

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The kidnapped school students and staff of Government Science Secondary School Kagara, in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, have been released according to sources.

This was disclosed in an exclusive report by Channels TV on Saturday morning.

According to the report, the release of the abductees was confirmed by a government official.

What you should know

  • The students were abducted by the bandits dressed in military uniforms on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.
  • A total of 27 students, three staff members, and 12 members of their family were abducted after the attack on the Kagara school in the early hours of Wednesday.
  • President Muhammadu Buhari said that the Federal Government will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students in the expectation of huge ransom payments.
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Imo State Governor says no life was lost during recent military operations in Orlu

The Imo State Governor has stated that no life was lost in the cause of the recent military operations in Orlu.

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The Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, has said that no life has been lost in the cause of the recent military operations in Orlu.

This is as the governor, justified the recent invasion of Orlu town by the military, saying that the situation had gone beyond the local arrangement with the police being overwhelmed as sporadic shooting and killings persisted.

This disclosure was made by the Governor, while addressing reporters after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday, February 24, 2021.

He said that he had no choice but to alert the President on the need to send the military to help stop the mayhem and avoid a total breakdown of law and order in Orlu.

The Governor while addressing the press said, ‘’It was on my invitation that the military came and I did that because I know that the situation was beyond the local arrangement. We needed help and help were given to us. Those that came, through their intelligence, identified where those people were and I can tell you, all the people arrested, all the rifles recovered are intact. The people are under interrogation. Not even one soldier or one of those militants died in the process.’

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the Imo State Government called for the intervention of the military over the criminal activities being perpetrated by suspected members of the Eastern Security Network.
  • They are accused of using weapons stolen from police stations during the #EndSARS crisis to destroy Orlu, kill policemen and 4 Moslems doing their business in Orlu, all under the pretext that they are looking for herdsmen.

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