The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended all action concerning the Rivers re-run polls in all other constituencies pending the receipt of a comprehensive report from its field officials and monitors. In a statement late On Sunday, INEC said the suspension does not affect constituencies where the exercise has been completed and the results declared by the returning officers. INEC’s Director in charge of Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi said there were serious level of threats, violence and intimidation of election officials and voters by well-armed thugs and miscreants allegedly acting on behalf of some politicians, which marred the elections in some areas. There were reports of numerous attacks resulting in fatalities, kidnappings, ballot snatching, diversion of officials and materials, amongst others, which necessitated its suspension in eight Local Government Areas.
INEC had earlier suspended election in eight local government areas of the state. Addressing reporters earlier on Sunday the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Aniedi Ikoiwak, said that the cancelation was due to irregularities at the affected local government areas. Election held in Etche and Asari-Toru Local Government Areas were the latest to be cancelled. In a press statement, the INEC said that further to earlier pronouncement on the suspension of the re-run in the six Local Government Areas of Khana, Bonny, Gokana, Andoni, Tai and Eleme, following disturbances and violence that impeded the electoral process in those parts of the state, it was necessary to suspend elections in Etche and Asari-Toru LGAs for the same reasons.
Troops of 25 Task Force Brigade ambushed and killed a Boko Haram terrorist suicide bomber at Kumala and Musafanari villages’ general area last night effectively saving lives and properties of innocent citizens. The troops who on receipt of information, laid an ambush for the terrorist at suspected Boko Haram terrorists crossing point, engaged the terrorist who was obviously on suicide mission, from Sambisa general area.The bomber paid the price of his wicked activities as he was dealt with decisively. The troops recovered a motorcycle, 12 primed Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and a hand bag containing personal effects which included a hijab obviously meant for disguise and concealment of explosives for the intended nefarious act. The morale of troops remains high as they continue to mop up all surviving terrorists.
Fresh facts are now emerging on why the federal government last week withdrew the charges against Mr. Godsday Orubebe, a former minister in charge of the Ministry of Niger Delta under the Goodluck Jonathan administration who was arraigned before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on allegations of false declaration of assets. Sources confirmed that the decision to withdraw the charges was based on a legal advice from the Federal Ministry of Justice in which it was strongly canvassed that the case against Orubebe as presently constructed and filed was fundamentally defective. The legal advice from the Ministry of Justice was to the effect that since Orubebe was not invited to make a statement on the allegations against him, the process of arraignment was fundamentally flawed.
The former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke has vehemently denied stories that her sister has a kid for former President Goodluck Jonathan. She debunked this story in while responding to questions from the CEO of Ovation Magazine, Mr. Dele Momodu. Mrs. Madueke strongly noted that it is totally untrue as she has no such sister or relative. She wondered how people could fabricate such blatant lies. The former Nigerian petroleum boss is currently undergoing extensive cancer treatment in London.
Elections have taken place in five African countries, while Senegal held a referendum on reducing presidential terms. A presidential run-off went ahead in Niger even though the opposition candidate was in a French hospital. Congo-Brazzaville has cut all telecommunications for two days to prevent “illegal publication of results” of its presidential election. Elections were also held in Benin, Cape Verde and Zanzibar.
Two pieces of debris found in Mozambique which may have come from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 have arrived in Australia for analysis. One item was found on a sandbank by an amateur US investigator in late February and the other in December by a South African tourist. MH370 disappeared in March 2014, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, carrying 239 passengers. Despite a huge search, only one fragment of the plane has been found. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed to the BBC that they had received the debris from Mozambique on Sunday and were “working with the Malaysian investigative team to analyse it”. Malaysia’s transport minister has previously said there is a “high possibility” the debris found in February came from a Boeing 777, the same model as missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Australia is leading the search for the plane as it is suspected to have gone down in waters closest to the country. Specialists from Boeing are assisting in the analysis work.
President Barack Obama has arrived in Cuba for a historic visit to the island and talks with its communist leader. He is the first sitting US president to visit since the 1959 revolution, which heralded decades of hostility. Speaking at the reopened US embassy in Havana, he called the visit “historic”. He also spent time in the old city. Mr Obama will meet President Raul Castro, but not retired revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, and the pair will discuss trade and political reform. The US president emerged smiling from Air Force One with First Lady Michelle and their daughters Sasha and Malia. Holding umbrellas, the party walked in light drizzle along a red carpet to be greeted by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez. Two hours after landing, Mr Obama greeted staff from the US embassy with the words: “It is wonderful to be here”.