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We don’t interfere in electoral process, EU replies El-Rufai

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The European Union Election Observation Mission has said its election observers are impartial, did not interfere in the electoral process and operated according to a strict code of conduct.
The Mission stated that it was invited to monitor the 2019 elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission, adding that this was the sixth time it was observing elections in the country.
The EU EOM said this in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday by its Press and Public Outreach Officer, Sarah Fradgley, in response to the threat by Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai against foreign election monitors in the country.
The Governor had threatened that foreigners including election monitors who intervene in Nigerian affairs “will go back in body bags.”
Speaking on an NTA live interview programme on Tuesday, Rufai said, “Those that are calling for anyone to come and intervene in Nigeria, we are waiting for the person that would come and intervene, they would go back in body bags.”
But the EU said while the security of its observers was of paramount importance, and would remain under constant review, “EU observers will continue their work across the country in the run-up to and beyond February 16 elections.”
It stated, “We are aware of the comments by the Governor of Kaduna about non-interference by foreigners during a talk show on the elections Tuesday 5 February.
“EU election observation missions give commentary and analysis, and make recommendations about the electoral process. EU election observation missions are impartial, do not interfere in the electoral process, and operate according to a strict code of conduct.
“While the security of EU observers is of paramount importance, and will remain under constant review, EU observers will continue their work across the country in the run-up to – and beyond – the 16 February elections.”
The Mission said it’s 40 long-term observers have met different categories of candidates and people across the country, including election officials, security agencies, and civil society organisations, and have enjoyed good cooperation at federal and state levels.
“The mission looks at all aspects of the election, including the campaign tone, the transparency of the election administration, the neutrality of security forces, and the independence of the judiciary, the statement added.

Source: Punch Newspaper

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BREAKINGNEWS: Tribunal sacks Dino Melaye, orders fresh election

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The National Assembly/State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Lokoja on Friday sacked Senator Dino Melaye as the Senator for Kogi West.

In its judgement, the tribunal ordered that fresh elections should be held in the senatorial district, reports TheCable.

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BreakingNews:Full list of ministers and their portfolios

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday assigned portfolios to the newly sworn-in ministers.

The full list is below:

1. Dr. Ikechukwu Ogah (Abia State) -Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development

2. Mohammed Musa Bello (Adamawa State) -Minister of the Federal Capital Territory

3. Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom State)- Minister of Niger Delta

4. Chris Ngige  (Anambra State)- Minister of Labour and Employment

5. Sharon Ikeazor (Anambra State)-Minister of State Environment

6.Adamu Adamu (Bauchi State) -Minister of Education

7.Ambassador Maryam Katagun (Bauchi State) State

8. Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa State) Minister of State, Petroleum under the President

9.George Akume (Benue State) Inter

10.Mustapha Baba Shehuri (Borno State) Minister of State, Agric and Rural Development

11. Goddy  Jedy Agba (Cross River State) -Minister of State, Power

12.Festus Keyamo (Delta State) -Minister of State, Niger Delta

13. Ogbonnaya Onu (Ebonyi State) -Minister of Science and Technology

14. Osagie Ehanire (Edo State) -Minister of Health

15.Clement Ike  (Edo State)

16. Richard Adeniyi Adebayo (Ekiti State) -Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment

17. Geoffrey Onyeama (Enugu State) -Minister of Foreign Affairs

18.Ali Isa Pantami (Gombe State) -Minister of Communications

19. Emeka Nwajiuba (Imo State) -Minister of State, Education

20. Suleiman Adamu (Jigawa State) -Minister of Water Resources

21. Zainab Ahmed (Kaduna State) -Minister of Finance

22.Muhammad Mahmood (Kaduna State) -Minister of Environment

23.Sabo Nanono (Kano State) -Minister of Agriculture and Development

24.Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi (Kano State) -Minister of Defence

25.Hadi Sirika (Katsina State) -Minister of Aviation

26.Abubakar Malami (Kebbi State)

27.Ramatu Tijjani (Kogi State)

28. Lai Mohammed (Kwara State)

29.Gbemisola  Saraki (Kwara State) -Minister of State Transportation

30.Babatunde Fashola (Lagos State) -Minister of Works and Housing

31.Adeleke Mamora (Lagos State) -Minister of State, Health

32. Mohammed H. Abdullahi (Nasarawa State) Minister of State, Science and Technology

33. Zubair Dada (Niger State) Minister of State, Foreign Affairs

34. Olamilekan Adegbite (Ogun State) Minsters of Mines and Steel development

35. Tayo Alasoadura  (Ondo State)

36. Rauf Aregbesola (Osun State), Minister of Interior

37. Sunday Dare (Oyo State) Minister of Youths and Sports

38.Paulen Talen (Plateau State) Minister of Women Affairs

39. Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers State) Minister of Transportation

40. Maigarai Dingyadi (Sokoto State) Minister of Police Affairs

41. Sale  Mamman (Taraba State) Minister of Power

42. Abubakar D. Aliyu (Yobe State) Minister of State for Housing

43. Sadiya Umar Faruk (Zamfara State), Minister of Humanitarian Affairs

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THE ATTEMPT OF THE EFCC OFFICIALS LED BY ROTIMI OYEDEPO, ESQ TO INCRIMINATE THE EX GOVERNOR MR AKINWUNMI AMBODE WITH FOREIGN CURRENCY; RESISTED BY YOUNG LAWYERS IN EPE.

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At early hours of today, we were duly briefed that some officers of the EFCC invaded the apartment of the Former Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency Akinwunmi Ambode with the intention to search the premises.

We got to the scene and met with the officials of the EFCC to inquire whether they have a search warrant to search the premises of the Ex Governor.

Having confirmed the Search Warrant, the EFCC officials told us that nobody will follow them in as they will only go in alone. We resisted as young Lawyers and stated expressly that the principle of search is that the owner of the premises of his representatives must be present to observe the search.

They succumbed to our superior argument and allowed us and the people who has the key to the Ex Governor’s house into the apartment with them. Before they entered, we searched all the officials of the EFCC who intended to go in to effect the search.

There was a blue bag which they were holding with them, we requested to see the content of the bag before they could take it in. They got angry and said we cannot see the content. Having said that, we strongly resisted them to take it in since they cant allow us to see it, which they later agreed. We later got to know that the bag contained foreign currency which they brought to plant in the house of the Ex Governor to incriminate him.

It is important to inform the public that before the entered the house, we all submitted our phones to them as they requested that the only person required to go in with phone is one of them who will record the whole process.

All documents, including the State Executive Exco Meetings Vol 1 – 16 in the personal study of the Ex Governor and His Luggage room which they intended to take along with them for further investigation was resisted by us as we told them that failure to take records of all the documents from A-Z, they cannot go out with anything and they agreed with us.

Flowing from the aforesaid, they searched the nooks and crannies of the Ex Governor’s house and they couldn’t find any incriminating documents or materials. We authoritatively assert that, they did find anything in the house and they didn’t leave the house with anything.

We followed them as they entered from one place to the other, when our presence was intimidating them, they said we should sit down while they will do the search. We resisted that we must follow them to observe every of their activities in the premises.

To our greatest consternation, the officials of EFCC led by Rotimi Oyedepo, Esq held on to our phones and told us to follow them to their office in Ikoyi to get our phones. All efforts to get back our phones was abortive as the EFCC officials led by Rotimi Oyedepo, Esq rushed into their white Hiace Bus with our phones and instructed that since we have resisted their efforts to take “the said blue bag” into the main premises of the Ex Governor, they will hold on to the phone. Thus, almost six (6) phones were forcefully taken away, iPhones inclusive.

It is our happiness as Young Lawyers in Epe to be part of the process to legally and successfully resist the EFCC from incriminating the Ex Governor with the blue bag they brought with them from an unknown destination, and we also compelled them to conduct the search within the ambit of the law. Hence, the success.

We are sincerely elated that our presence really helped a long way to legally and successfully expose the intention of the EFCC to incriminate the Ex Governor. To this end, we are ready to challenge the search as they have gone beyond standard and the search warrant in this regard successfully whisking our phones away.

Thank you for listening and God bless you.

Signed.

Fatai A. Adebanjo, Esq.

Busari M. Olanrewaju, Esq.

#GodOfAmbo
Samson K. Okuneye, Esq.

Source: Dan Asabe

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