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You Can’t Withhold My Certificate of Return, Okorocha Tells INEC

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Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha has said the Independent National Electoral Commission lacks the power to withhold his certificate of return.

Okorocha was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the February 23 Imo West senatorial election.

In  his  petition to INEC on Tuesday,  Okorocha   said he was not happy that  the body decided to  withhold  his  certificate of return after he was announced as the winner of the election.

But INEC claimed  the declaration was made under duress.

The petition titled, ‘Need to Avert Abuse of Office and Political Corruption by my Political Opponents with the Active Collaboration of INEC’s Leadership in Clear Violation of the Law,’ was addressed to the  Chairman of the commission,  Prof Mahmood Yakubu.

The  governor said going by the laws governing elections in the country, INEC had no right not to issue him a certificate of return.

He added that if there were issues with an election after the announcement of a winner,  the  Election Petitions Tribunal would resolve them.

Okorocha said, “Section 285(1) of the 1999 Constitution states that ‘There shall be established for the Federation one or more election tribunals to be known as the National Assembly Elections Tribunal which shall, to the exclusion of any court or tribunal, have original jurisdiction to hear and determine petitions as to whether (a) any person has been validly elected as a member of the National Assembly.’

“Section 133 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) provides that ‘No election and return at an election under this Act shall be questioned in a manner other than by a petition complaining of an undue election or an undue return presented to the competent tribunal or court in accordance with the provisions of the constitution or of this Act, and in which the person elected or returned is joined as a party.’

“Where then did INEC derive the power to withhold a certificate of return after a winner in an election had been announced?”

INEC Director of Publicity and Voter Education,  Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, said since Okorocha had gone to court over the issue, he should allow it to make a pronouncement on his certificate of return.

He said, “The case is in court. He is the one that took us to court. He should, therefore, wait for the court to determine the case.”

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CP Alabi Confirms Lagos on Lockdown over Security Threats

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The Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Abiodun Alabi, on Wednesday said that there was a partial lockdown of the state by security agencies due to the threats of attacks by unknown gunmen.

Alabi disclosed this in Lagos during the Lagos State Stakeholders’ Forum on Police Accountability quarterly meeting and awards.

Alabi gave a keynote address on ‘Police Community Partnership: Panacea for Effective Police Performance’ at the event supported by Open Society Initiative for West Africa.

Alabi said that the partial lockdown was for a purpose, stressing that the police and other security agencies in Lagos were ready for any intruders.

He said that there were stop-and-search points at different places that had become part of the security architectures in the state to combat any likely intruder.

The Lagos police boss who said that though the number of police personnel in the state were inadequate, added that with community/police partnership, the current number could tackle all crimes and criminality.

Alabi said that the force was committed to accountability, where those with excellent performances would always be rewarded amongst the personnel, and sanctions would be meted out to erring and unprofessional ones.

He noted that all the statutory duties of the police were about the protection of lives and properties.

He called on the various community stakeholders: traditional rulers, community leaders, religious leaders, and transporters to always engage the police in their areas for better policing.

The CP urged communities not to be afraid of giving information about crimes and criminality in their areas to the police and other security agencies.

He also implored them to always be interested in the activities of the police and see the police as their family members and not mere friends.

Earlier, the Coordinator of SFPA, Mr Okechukwu Nwanguma, said that the forum was established in 2018 as an outcome of CSOs and other stakeholders’ engagement with police command in Lagos on issues of police accountability.

Nwanguma, who is also the Executive Director of Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre, said the forum had been and would continue to offer formalised and structured engagement with the various complaints and disciplinary units in the society.

He added that it would also stand as the liaison between the police and communities in Lagos state.

“Accountability is not an easily acceptable issue in the NPF. This is why we are happy that the current police leadership under I-GP Usman Baba has embraced and priotised accountability as an essential means of rooting out corruption and abuse in the force,” he said.

Nwanguma commended the Inspector General of Police for punishing those involved in various unprofessional conducts in the past, stressing that this action was an indication that the IGP was ready to combat corrupt practices and unprofessional conducts.

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Navy Personnel Accused of Sodomy Dismissed

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A Nigerian Navy personnel, SLT VN Ukpawanne, has been dismissed for allegedly committing sodomy with a teenager (name withheld).

Ukpawanne was arraigned before a court-martial set up by the Nigerian Navy in Delta state on four counts.

He was said to have been found guilty of disobeying standing order, attempting to commit sodomy; disgraceful conduct and wrong use of drugs.

The offences were said to be punishable under sections 57, 95; 93; 65 (1) of the AFA CAP A20 LFN 2004.

In a memo sighted by our correspondent on Tuesday, the officer was awarded one-year loss of seniority, six months imprisonment, another six months imprisonment and lastly one-year imprisonment for all four offences.

The memo with Reference: NHQ: 08/68/93/A/Vol.XVIII/399 was titled, ‘Confirmation of court martial punishment -SLT VN Ukpawanne NN/4440’.

It read, “Sequel to Reference A regarding NHQ approval and Confirmation of Court Martial Punishment for the officer named above who attempted to commit Sodomy amidst other offences on 27 Oct 21 with one teenager, (name withheld), close to Sapele Stadium, On 15 Aug 22 at about 1035, the officer was officially paraded and his sentences were read accordingly.

The charges against the officer include the following:

2004: Disobedience to Standing Order – punishable under section 57 of the AFA CAP A20 LFN 2004.

2004: Attempt to Commit Sodomy – punishable under section 95 of the AFA CAP A20 LFN 2004.

2004: Disgraceful Conduct – punishable under section 93 of the AFA CAP A20 LFN 2004.

2004: Wrongful use of drug/Controlled Substance – punishable under section 65 (1) of the AFA CAP A20 LFN 2004.

Accordingly, the officer in violation of all sections listed above was awarded one-year loss of seniority, six months imprisonment, another six months imprisonment and lastly one-year imprisonment for all four offences.

Pertinently, all imprisonment sentences are to run concurrently.

“The dismissed officer is currently awaiting medical clearance from the Naval Medical Centre before handing over to Sapele Correctional Center for commencement of imprisonment term.”

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First Set of Winners Emerge in Union Bank’s Save & Win Palli Promo 2 

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Leading financial institution Union Bank of Nigeria has rewarded the first set of winners in the second edition of its Save & Win Palli promo. 

The first live draw of this season, which took place at Union Bank’s Head office in Lagos, saw 50 customers win cash prizes of ₦105,000 each. The winners were selected randomly through a transparent, and electronically generated draw supervised by relevant regulatory bodies.

Save & Win Palli Promo is a nationwide campaign aimed at rewarding customers with cash prices and other exciting gifts worth over N55,000,000. The goal is to encourage and promote a healthy savings culture. The promo is open to new and existing customers who save a minimum amount of N10,000 monthly.

Savers who qualify to participate in the monthly draws stand a chance to win N105,000 each, while 5 winners will go home with N500,000 each in two of the quarterly draws. One lucky customer will snag the star price of N5,000,000 during the grand finale set to hold in December alongside other consolation prices.

Speaking concerning the draw, the Head of Retail Deposits at Union Bank, John Obichie, said: “Union Bank is pleased to reward our customers through initiatives like this that encourage them to save. This promo was introduced to support our customers during these trying times and to reward them for being consistent with their saving habits.

The savings promo which kicked off in July will run until the end of the year and will see more winners emerge during the monthly, quarterly and end-of-year draws so there’s still a chance to participate and win!

If you are an existing Union Bank customer you can continue to top up your savings in multiples of N10,000 monthly to increase your chances of winning.

Prospective customers can download the UnionMobile app on their mobile phones to open an account or they can simply walk into any Union Bank branch. To reactivate existing accounts, returning customers can call the 24-hour Contact Centre on 07007007000 or also visit any of Union Bank’s branches across the country.

For more updates on the Save & Win Palli promo, follow Union Bank on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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