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Buhari’s refusal to sign electoral bill will have serious implications on Ekiti, Osun gov elections -CSOs

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A coalition of civil society organisations on Tuesday, described as a disappointment, the refusal of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law.

They also said the President’s decision would have “serious implications” for the Independent National Electoral Commission in the forthcoming Federal Capital Territory Area Council election, the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections in 2022, and the 2023 general elections.

This was contained in a joint statement titled, ‘Civil Society Statement on President Buhari’s Withholding of Assent to the Electoral Bill 2021’.

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The groups include Yiaga Africa, International Press Centre, Centre for Citizens with Disability, The Albino Foundation, CLEEN Foundation, Institute for Media and Society, Nigerian Women Trust Fund, and the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism.

The statement read, “On Tuesday 21st December 2021, the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives read a letter from President Buhari communicating his decision to withhold assent to the Electoral Bill 2021 transmitted to him more than a month ago on 19th November 2021.

“The undersigned Civil Society Organizations are saddened and wish to express our disappointment at this development. The withholding of assent by the President to a bill that relevant electoral stakeholders have spent enormous time and resources to put together undermines public confidence and trust in the electoral system.

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“More disappointing is the fact that the President delayed his response until the effluxion of time required for assenting to legislation until the date that the National Assembly is proceeding for the Christmas and New Year holiday.

“The President’s decision to withhold assent to the Bill will have serious implication for INEC as it prepares for the FCT Area Council election, the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections, and ultimately the 2023 General Election.

“The non-conclusion of the electoral amendment process will mean that these elections will be conducted using the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) denying INEC the opportunity to test the efficacy of some of the new innovations introduced in the proposed Electoral Bill 2021.

“This is apart from the delay the Commission will have to contend with in the required effort to review its guidelines, regulations and manuals in accordance with certain provisions of the Bill.

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“Furthermore, based on the revised timelines for specific electoral activities in the Bill, INEC and other stakeholders will have to grapple with logistical, financial, and programmatic difficulties in the run-up to the 2023 General Election. We reckon that this may not bode well for Nigeria’s electoral democracy, hence the clamour for the speedy conclusion of the electoral reform process.

“It must be emphasized that the successful conduct of any election is predicated on the certainty and clarity of the election legal framework, amongst other factors. This is to preclude any uncertainties that may occasion manipulation and subversion of the electoral process.

“It is for this reason that the African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Good Governance and the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance requires that any amendment to the electoral legal framework be concluded at least six months to the election date.

“To avert further complications and logjam in the efforts to strengthen the electoral process, we strongly recommend as follows:

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“The National Assembly as a matter of national emergency should either override the President’s decision or remove the contentious clause (s) from the Bill and transmit the Bill back to the President for assent within the next 30 days.

“The National Assembly should ensure that all clerical, editorial, and cross-referencing gaps in the current Bill are resolved before transference back to the President.

“The President should expeditiously assent to the revised Bill upon receipt from the National Assembly.

“Civil society groups, media, and development partners must sustain the effort to protect the will of the people and safeguard the electoral reform process from policy capture and manipulation.”

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Nigeria Newspapers

Thugs assault lady in Maiduguri for ‘insulting’ Borno Rep

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Thugs, alleged to be loyal to the member representing Jere Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, Hon. Satomi Ahmed, have assaulted a lady, Fadila Abdulrahman, for purportedly denigrating their principal on social media.

A trending video, which surfaced on Sunday night, showed youths slapping and hitting the Abdulrahman, raining expletive statements at her for ‘insulting’ Satomi on Facebook.

In the video, the thugs were heard screaming in Hausa, (Fadila, your father!) (With all that Satomi has done for you, you still did this to him?)… (You must go, prostrate before Satomi and seek forgiveness).

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Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police Borno PPolice Command, Abdu Umar, in a briefing on Monday said the incident happened around 2 p.m. on Sunday at Sanda Kyarimi Zoo, in Maiduguri, and that four suspects had been apprehended and are in police custody.

“It happened on Sunday around 2 o’clock, in the afternoon, at the Sanda Kyarimi Zoo in the heart of Maiduguri. Some political thugs, loyal to Satomi Ahmed, a member of the Federal House of Representatives representing Jere Constituency stormed a restaurant known as Zahura Restaurant owned by a member of the Police Community Relations Committee member, 29 years old Fadila Abdulrahman.

“She was beaten up and her restaurant was completely destroyed and her phone missing on the excuse that she posted and circulated a picture with inscription undermining their master, Satomi Ahmed.

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“The suspects under custody are Nasiru Abubakar alias Mana, Ali Dungus Shettima, Bello Mudasa, and Mallam Mohammed. The principal suspect is still at large, known as Saadu Suleiman and one Saleh but we shall arrest them.

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“Meanwhile, one of the suspects arrested and paraded at the police command, Bello Mudasa, 21 years old, said he was engaged by Saadu Suleiman to carry out a job on behalf of the honourable.

“I am a shoe cobbler within Maiduguri metropolis. I was in my shop when Saadu Suleiman came and took me on a tricycle that he has something he wanted me to do for him.

“When we got to the zoo, he confronted the lady and started insulting her. The lady began to insult him back, that was when I rushed and begin to slap her,” Bello stated.

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Hanifa Abubakar: Kano youths raze down school owned by her killer

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A mob has set ablaze the school owned by the kidnapper and killer of Hanifa Abubakar, a five-year-old pupil in Kano.

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The school was razed by irate youths on Monday morning.

Hanifa was killed by Abdulmalik Tanko, the school’s proprietor after he kidnapped her in December and collected N6 million as ransom.

Tanko confessed he killed the girl with rat poison when he realised that she had recognised him.

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The suspect was nabbed by security operatives while trying to get some part of the ransom he demanded.

He later confessed to killing her with rat poison.

Hanifa’s body was dug out of the shallow grave the suspect buried her in the school premises.

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