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You Don’t Have The Power To Hold Back My Certificate Of Return —- Okorocha Tells INEC

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, on Wednesday said the Independent National Electoral Commission lacked power to withhold his certificate of return as the senator-elect for the Imo West.

He described the electoral body’s decision to withhold his certificate as part of efforts aimed at making him irrelevant ahead of the 2023 presidential election.

Okorocha said this at the Government House, Owerri on while addressing some youths who paid him a solidarity visit.

He said only a court had the power to nullify any election after a winner had been declared.

He denied the allegation that INEC’s returning officer declared him winner of the senatorial election under duress, describing the allegation as an insult.

Okorocha said, “My certificate of return has not been issued and I wonder why INEC will withhold my certificate for a frivolous reason, without hearing from me.

“I am not a violent person and those who know me know that. This is why we have peace in Imo State.

“The returning officer could not have done that under duress under the watchful eyes of the police, the DSS (the Department of State Services) and party agents.

“I am not unmindful of the facts that those who are fighting me from Abuja are anxious to see me removed as a senator. I urge INEC to do the right thing immediately by releasing my certificate.”

The governor said he was not fighting anybody and those who were fighting him would fail.

He added, “My INEC certificate cannot be touched or seized. Doing so is belittling democracy in Nigeria.

“It is only the tribunal that has the right to say otherwise once a result is declared.

“INEC cannot seize my certificate because of a mere petition written by somebody in a case I was not given the opportunity to present my own side of the story.”

Okorocha also described the governorship and state house of assembly elections in the state as “a sham and a mockery of democracy.”

He said he had lost confidence in the nation’s democracy.

He accused INEC of complicity in the conduct of the polls.

He insisted that the governorship candidate of the Action Alliance, Uche Nwosu, won the governorship election and had the required spread of 25 per cent in 21 out of the 27 local governments in the state.

The governor said, “It is obvious that INEC in Imo State is not guaranteeing us free, fair and credible elections.

“Uche Nwosu, the governorship candidate of the Action Alliance actually won the election, but INEC criminally disbanded electoral officers of the commission and introduced people from Abia College of Agriculture who arrived the state midnight.

“They brought people they had been training for weeks in Anambra before the elections.”

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‘Evil Shall No Longer Have A Voice In Nigeria; I Am Your Nightmare’ — Buhari’s Aide, Onochie Blasts Atiku

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Angered with the demands and statement released yesterday by the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Social Media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, Lauretta Onochie, Monday, boldly replied Atiku, noting that “evil shall no longer have a voice or say in Nigeria.”

Disclosing this in a statement obtained by Vanguard, Onochie opined that the reason why Atiku’s aides are fighting her was because she ‘is Atiku’s nightmare’.

She accused Atiku’s team of trying to make her lose focus especially now President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory is being challenged by the same person, at the election tribunal.

Recall that the former vice president’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), had in a letter to Onochie on Sunday, demanded five hundred million Naira, (N500m) and a written apology in six national and one international daily, as well as on all social media platforms wherein the said publication was made.

Onochie had in one of her tweets averred that Atiku was on UAE watch-list. She said that security operatives in the United Arab Emirates, (UAE) are keeping a close tab on Atiku who has been in the Middle East nation for several weeks.

She later asked a question which she later answered. What is he (Atiku) doing there? Answer, Me (Onochie): Shopping for Terrorists?

However, miffed with the allegation, Atiku’s lawyer, Ozekhome (SAN), wrote to Onochie and demanded a retraction and apology on or before 48 hours and failure to do so, he would sue Onochie for N2bn.

In the face of this threat, Onochie said; “EVIL SHALL NO LONGER HAVE A VOICE NOR SAY ANYWHERE IN NIGERIA.

(Vanguard)

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Wike Dethrones Top Monarch In Rivers Over Cult Activities

Peter Okunoren

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has approved the immediate withdrawal of Certificate of Recognition and staff of office from His Royal Majesty, Chief Frank Noryaa, Gbenemene Baabe.

This was made known yesterday in a statement by Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant to the Governor on Electronic Media.

According to the statement, the withdrawal of government’s recognition from HRM Noryaa followed his alleged indictment on cult-related activities within his kingdom.

“The traditional ruler was also indicted for harbouring cultists, leading to insecurity in the area,” he said.

The statement quoted Governor Wike as saying his “administration remained committed to the promotion of peace and security across the state.”

Also, the governor warned other traditional rulers and government functionaries against being indicted for promoting insecurity, saying they will face the full weight of the law.

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‘Give Us Security Votes To End Kidnapping, Banditry, Others’ – Iwo Monarch Tells Buhari

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Oluwo of Iwoland in Osun State, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, has called on the Federal Government to make provision for security votes for the traditional institution to help fight insecurity in the country.

Akanbi, who spoke to journalists in Osogbo yesterday, said the traditional rulers were closer to the grassroots and were privy to the intelligence needed to curb crimes in communities.

He said: “Traditional rulers should be empowered to domesticate security at the grassroots which constitutes higher percent of the hideouts for kidnappers. Co-opting monarchs will unavoidably decimate security threat.

“Traditional institution should be given security vote to engage local hunters, vigilante, the Agbekoyas, trusted local Odua Peoples Congress (OPC), among others.

“In my own capacity, I am trying my utmost best in my domain but the institution I represent deserves security funding to act more.

“I have personally arrested a criminal in my domain and handed him over to the police. I know the nooks and crannies of my city. No criminal can survive with illegality here. I have instilled the fear in them and this has decimated atrocities in Iwo. I am ready to do more if empowered by engaging trusted local security details.

“The police saddled with this primary responsibility is underfunded and under staffed. Nigeria of over 200 million population is parading about 300,000 policemen. The police should be equipped with modern tools and should be paid good salaries and as well be assured of job security to motivate them for maximal performance.

“Government should provide surveillance helicopters to aid technical detective assignments by the police, most especially when searching kidnappers’ hideouts.”

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