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How APC, Military, INEC Rigged Bayelsa Polls – Dickson

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Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson
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Governor of Bayelsa State, Henry Seriake Dickson, has revealed how the All Progressives Congress(APC) allegedly  colluded with security officials and the Indepenent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rig the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) out of  victory in the November 16, governorship election in the state.

Dickson who spoke exclusively to DAILY ASSET in Abuja claimed that elections did not take place in most of the Council Wards in the state, rather what was declared by INEC was the prodcut of a grand plot to rig the polls.

He alleged that results of the elections were predetermined since APC had result sheets even before voting commenced, saying  figures were entered into the result sheets to favour the APC ahead of collation of the votes cast.

“Collation officers were brought in from University of Benin, most of them coming to Bayelsa for the first time during the elections and were assigned to APC points men.

“They were given result sheets and heavily guarded by police and military officers. There was no election,” he said in a review of the polls, which produced APC’s David Lyon as winner.

Dickson described the poll as “a misnomer and an insult on the integrity of the people of Bayelsa.”

He said given the track record of his administration’s performance, his experience as a politician who has won many elections or led the campaign for election of other candidates, coupled with the massive political structures he has built over the years, it was impossible for his party to lose the election  under normal circumstances.

The Governor who anchored the PDP campaign as leader of the party in the state further alleged that as part of the rigging strategy against his party, key Local Government Areas like Yenagoa, Nembe and Southern Ijaw were earmarked for rigging by the APC, while different strategies were applied in each LGA to procure votes for the party.

In Southern Ijaw for instance, the Governor claimed that military officers gave active support to political thugs who seized electoral officials in seven Council Wards and wrote the results without voting taking place in the Polling units.

“What happened in Yenagoa was that they arrested PDP supporters, shot guns and prevented people from voting. Some women even protested because they were stopped from voting. They wrote results in four Council Wards,” he alleged.

Dickson disclosed that in the case of Nembe, violence was used against the people to perpetrate electoral fraud saying the Local Government Area has been under siege before, during and after the election.

He said in Ogbia, the home Local Government of former President, Goodluck Jonathan,” , “soldiers came after voting, drove everybody  away and took all INEC officials away” adding the result sheets were seized and figures entered to give the APC over 50,000 votes, a figure that was not possible even when Jonathan was a presidential candidate in the 2015 elections.

“What took place in Nembe was a massacre. The offence of the people was that they were PDP members attending a PDP rally,” he said.

The Governor alleged that 91 people were injured when the security officials attacked the PDP rally in Nembe, a few days before the election, while 12 were presumed death since the bodies could not be found.

“We have reports that some people were killed, their bodies mutilated and thrown into the sea,” he stressed  explaining that the attackers were determined to leave no trace of their heinous  activities.

The Governor who described himself as a man of peace and principle said he restrained himself from embarking on any counter measures to checkmate the APC rigging machine as that would have led to more bloodshed.

“I restrained myself. I didn’t want to meet tit for tat in the interest of the peace of Bayelsa and welfare of our people,” he stated adding that in the face of provocations, he advised all PDP supporters not to take laws into their hands but to simply ensure they voted for the party’s candidate at their various polling units.

Dickson assured however, that his party(PDP) and the governorship candidate, Senator Duoye Diri would seek redress in court.

“We are democrats and therefore, we must exhaust the constitutional avenues provided to seek redress in court,” the Governor said.


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MMIA Customs Command Posts N45.2b, Beats 2023 Q1 by 111.7%

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From Anthony Nwachukwu, Lagos

Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has announced a total revenue of N45,23 billion for the first quarter of 2024.Making this disclosure in his review of the command’s activities in the period under review, Compt.

Mohammed Yusuf said the figure exceeded the N21,36 billion collected in the corresponding period of 2023 by N23,86 billion, representing 111.
7 percent.He noted that though important sectors of the economy were adversely affected by the unstable exchange rate, among others, the command remains resolute at collecting the much-needed revenue for the government, and to ensure the safety and well-being of the citizenry by curbing smuggling and facilitating legitimate trade.
“Similarly, the command recorded an appreciable increase in its anti-smuggling drive, which led to the interception of 50 pieces of 9mm live ammunition discovered in a joint examination conducted by the service and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA),” he said.He listed the first quarter seizures to include 1,164kg sea cucumbers, 58kg of donkey genitals and 17 cartons of tramadol – all with a cumulative Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the N5.8 billion, adding that the items contravened some of the provisions of NCS Act 2023.He explained that the command has maintained an “open-door policy and resolved a lot of issues of common interest with concerned stakeholders,” while thanking the critical stakeholders, including sister-agencies and the media, for their collaboration and synergy in the discharge of the command’s statutory mandate in the state.Yusuf commended the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashiru Adewale Adeniyi, and his management team for their continued support, just as he thanked the officers and men of the command, urging them to remain focused and steadfast in their assigned responsibilities.

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Bandits Kill 30 Vigilantes in Niger Village

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From Dan Amasingha, Minna

Dogon-Dawa Community in Mariga Local Government Area of Niger State was thrown into anguish over the weekend as no less than  30 members of its voluntary security outfit called Yan Sa Kai were killed by gunmen.

 DAILY ASSET  authoritatively gathered from a source in the hard-to-reach area that the incident occurred on Saturday morning.

The source disclosed that the bandits invaded the community in large numbers engaged the Yan Sa Kai in a clash.

Our correspondent gathered that the Yan Sa Kai had trailed the bandits to their hideout when they were  unexpectedly ambushed leading to casualties from both sides after a serious exchange of gunfire.

The source who pleaded anonymity said that there were casualties on the bandits side but could say the number.

The chairman of Mariga Local Government Area, Abbas Kasuwar Garba confirmed the incident.

He expressed concern that this has happened when residents are prepared for farming work.

Garba appealed for calm saying government would investigate the circumstances leading to the unfortunate incident.

Efforts to get the response of the Niger State government and the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Wasiu Abiodun at the time of filing in the report proved abortive.

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Omobayo Takes Oath as Dep Gov after Shaibu’s Removal

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Edo State House of Assembly yesterday removed Philip Shaibu as the Deputy Governor of state.Shaibu was impeached by a vote by 18 out of 24 members of state Assembly following the consideration of the report of the seven-man panel set up by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Daniel Okungbowa.Immediately after his removal, 38-year-old Marvellous Omobayo was sworn in on Monday as the new Edo Deputy Governor to replace his predecessor, Philip Shaibu, who was impeached from office.

The Chief Judge of Edo, Justice Daniel Okungbowa, administered the Oath of Office on Omobayo at the Government House in Benin.
This is the first impeachment in the history of the state.In attendance at the House sitting were 20 members, including the Speaker, Blessing Agbebaku, but 18 members voted for the impeachment while one member abstained.
The process commenced with the Clerk of the House reading out Order 10-presentation and consideration of the seven-man panel report of allegation of gross misconducts against the deputy governor listed in the Assembly’s items for consideration.The Majority Leader of the House, Charity Aiguobarueghan representing Ovia North East 1 moved that the report be considered. His motion was seconded by the Minority Leader, Eric Okaka, Owan East.The Speaker assumed chairman of the committee of the whole House to consider the report, after the Majority and Minority Leaders moved and seconded a motion to that effect.Donald Okogbe, Akoko-Edo II rose to object to part C of the report but his objection was overruled by the Speaker.The House resolved that the allegation of perjury against the Deputy Governor was not proved but held that the second allegation of disclosure of official secrets was proved.The Majority and Minority Leaders of the Assembly moved and seconded a motion, respectively that the Speaker revert to his position as Speaker of the House.The Majority Leader moved that with regard to section 188 subsection 9 of the Constitution, the report be put to vote.Eighteen members voted in support of the impeachment while one member abstained.The Speaker said more than two-thirds majority of the House voted and endorsed the impeachment.He then declared, “I hereby from my seat announce that the Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu stands impeached.”

Omobayo appointed by Gov. Godwin Obaseki was immediately sworn-in.

He hails from Akoko-Edo Local Government Area in the same Edo North senatorial district with Shaibu.

Omobayo was born on July 19, 1986. He is an engineer with a professional experience in the oil and gas sector.

He had his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Public Administration, both from the University of Benin (UNIBEN).

He is a registered member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) and the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN).

After taking oath of office, Omobayo pledged allegiance to the governor and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He said, “In the few critical months left to tidy up the work of this administration, my job as the Deputy Governor is clear and well cut out. I understand it very clearly.

 “In line with the oath of office to which I have just subscribed, I make a solemn pledge to do all in my power, with God’s guidance, to live up to expectations.

 “I will give all it takes to meet the expectations of my principal, the party, and above all, the good people of Edo State.”

The ousted Deputy Governor lambasted members of the Edo State House of Assembly who impeached him.

Shaibu said the lawmakers gave themselves to an act of betrayal and subversion of justice.

The former Deputy Governor made this statement in a video he posted on his X account shortly after the impeachment.

He said, “To the members of the Edo House of Assembly, who have chosen to forsake their oath of office and participate in this charade, I say this: history will judge you hardly for your betrayal of the people who elected you to represent their interest.

“But know this, you do not have the power to silence the voice of power and truth.”

He described his removal as assault on democracy: “I call upon the judiciary and all relevant authorities to intervene and uphold the principles of justice and fairness.

“It is with heavy heart yet a resolute spirit that I come before you to address the recent events that have unfolded within our dear state.

“I denounce in strongest terms the illegal impeachment by the Edo State House of Assembly over trumped-up charges, this is not just an attack on me as an individual but on the very democratic principles that we hold dear.

“It’s a dangerous descent into dictatorship, a threat to the foundation of our democracy. Let it be clear that this impeachment was hatched because of my ambition to contest the Edo Governorship election 2024 under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“My good people of Edo State, thank you all for standing by me under these troubling circumstances as the Deputy Governor of Edo State.”

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