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Kogi, Imo, Bayelsa polls: Violence, alleged manipulation mar exercise

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Residents in Imo, Kogi, and Bayelsa states turned out to vote in the off-season governorship elections on Saturday, despite reports of violence and alleged electoral manipulation. Approximately 5,169,692 eligible voters collected their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVC) for the election, which took place in 10,470 polling units across the three states. Unfortunately, the process was marred by incidents of thuggery and suspicions of manipulation.

INEC had previously informed the public that the election would not be held in two polling units in Bayelsa and 38 in Imo due to security concerns. Violence erupted in several polling units, and there were reports of attempts to manipulate the election outcome. In Kogi, INEC officials were allegedly caught with pre-recorded result sheets, and Senator Dino Melaye raised concerns about result sheets being tampered with or prefilled in Ogori/Magongo local government areas.

Responding to the irregularities, INEC suspended the election in nine wards of Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area. In Bayelsa, an INEC official was kidnapped before the election, and a clash between APC and PDP supporters resulted in the death of an unidentified person. Armed thugs reportedly disrupted the election in Sagbama Local Government Area, carting away election materials and attacking an INEC ad-hoc staff and a corps member.

In Imo, the election at Amaimo Central School was disrupted due to reported gunshots. Security operatives, particularly the police, were accused of aiding thugs and INEC officials to manipulate the process for the APC. Incidents included the disarming of NSCDC officials by police and the theft of election materials by thugs at Umuchoko Umuohiagu Junction Polling Unit.

Kogi’s election was marked by violence, with reports of incidents aimed at snatching electoral materials. Military operatives intercepted and arrested the council chairman and party supporters for possessing ammunition and cash in Igalamela local government area. Fake policemen armed with AK-47s were also apprehended.

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A public affairs analyst criticized INEC and security agencies for alleged failure, stating that INEC’s performance in this election was worse than previous ones. He condemned electoral violence and claimed that incumbent governors influenced security agencies, resulting in a sham election with deeper levels of manipulation, violence, and rule violations. The analyst also noted higher levels of vote buying compared to previous elections.

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Why I may not hesitate to support Peter Obi in 2027 – Atiku Abubakar

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, has suggested he might support Peter Obi, his Labour Party counterpart from the last election, in 2027.

The former Vice President, currently in merger talks with stakeholders from various opposition political parties, indicated he would back Obi if the Labour Party nominates him for the next election.

According to The Sun, Atiku made this statement during an interview with BBC Hausa Service.

It was recently reported by DAILY POST that Obi and Atiku had a closed-door meeting, sparking rumors about a potential merger of opposition parties ahead of the 2027 general elections.

Atiku confirmed the efforts of opposition parties to align in order to challenge the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2027 election, saying, “We can merge to achieve a common goal. So, it’s possible and nothing can stop it if we so wish to achieve that.”

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Atiku added that if the new party decides it’s the turn of the South-East and chooses Peter Obi, he would not hesitate to support him.

“I have said repeatedly, and even before the 2023 general elections, that if the PDP decides to zone the presidential ticket to the South or South-East specifically, I won’t contest it.

“But I contested the 2023 presidential ticket because it was open to all members of the party,” Atiku explained.

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I once struggled with pornography – Bishop Oyedepo’s son, Isaac

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Isaac Oyedepo, son of Bishop David Oyedepo, founder of Living Faith Church, has admitted to having struggled with pornography at one point in his life.

Isaac revealed that he became involved with pornography during a trip to a European country.

Speaking on the podcast “Confession Box,” Isaac shared that he overcame this challenge with God’s help.

He explained: “My confessions are positive and meant to help others. I struggled with pornography before.

“I remember how it began; we traveled to a country, and I was alone in my room. I turned on the TV, and that’s how it started.

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“But God helped me overcome it quickly. Many people still struggle with it, and I think if someone who had previously struggled with it had approached me and showed me how to break free, I would have overcome it sooner.

“Some topics are often avoided, but today, many pastors and church members still struggle with this issue.

“You might be anointed and performing signs and wonders, but that doesn’t mean you are living right.

“There’s an old saying that if it works, it means you’re standing right, but I found out that’s not always true. There were times I realized I wasn’t right, but grace and mercy found me.

“For the sake of someone genuine in the congregation, God can bypass you to reach that person; this is my confession.”

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Alleged Corruption: Rights lawyer petitions Minister, seeks suspension of NSCDC CG, Audi

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Former Special Prosecutor for the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Properties, Tosin Ojaomo, has petitioned the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, regarding an ongoing investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) into corruption allegations against Ahmed Audi, the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

Ojaomo recommended Audi’s immediate suspension to ensure public safety and protect the integrity of the investigation from possible interference.

The petition, dated May 15 and made available to DAILY POST, was addressed to Tunji-Ojo and copied to President Bola Tinubu, Attorney General Lateef Fagbemi, and EFCC Chairman Olanipekun Olukoyede.

Ojaomo highlighted that the EFCC has been investigating the NSCDC for alleged financial mismanagement, making significant progress. He also mentioned a pending allegation against Audi regarding unexplained property acquisition filed with the Code of Conduct Bureau (CBB).

Ojaomo’s request is based on Section 8 of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps Act, 2003 (as amended), and Section 11 of the Interpretation Act, 2004, which allow the minister to recommend the appointment and removal of the NSCDC Commandant General.

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The petition stated, “We are compelled to make this request as the investigation of the agency cannot be thoroughly and discreetly conducted if the current Commandant General of the NSCDC is allowed to continue in office while the investigation continues because most of the financial activities of the agency which form the subject matter of the investigation are conducted under the current CG’s watch.”

He further emphasized that the suspension would safeguard the investigation process and prevent possible interference. Ojaomo cited allegations linking Audi to a company, Keltes Security and Consultancy Limited, which allegedly received contracts from Tantita Security Limited, a company under the NSCDC’s supervision.

He concluded, “In view of these facts, it will be in the interest of public safety and to protect the integrity of the office to suspend Dr. Abubakar Audi, the current Commandant General of NSCDC, so that the EFCC can conduct a thorough and discreet investigation into the matter.”

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