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I will restore peace, build trust between PSC and NPF, says Arase



The chairman of Police Service Commission,PSC, Dr Solomon Arase has said he is on a mission to stop the acrimony between the commission and Nigeria Police Force and to restore peace and cooperation .

He said that PSC and NPF need to work in synergy to bring about the actualization of Security Sector Reforms (SSR) in Nigeria.

Dr. Arase stated this during a consultative meeting he held with stakeholders in the security sector at PSC Headquarters in Abuja.

He said that his appointment as the Chairman of the Commission came at a critical time in ” our national life, when the Commission and the Nigeria Police Force have engaged in a seemingly intractable disputations over roles and powers, which regrettably compounded and degenerated into series of litigations”.

The embarrassing scenario was informed and fuelled by preconceptions, misconceptions and prejudices against each other, ” founded on mutual distrust and suspicion,” he said.

According to him, ” in the raging disconcertment and belligerency, it is the Nigerian people that suffer as neither PSC nor NPF can function effectively in delivering on its mandate without the support and cooperation of the other, especially, when both institutions that are supposed to be mutually -reinforcing are now at daggers drawn”.

He believes his coming as the Chairman of the Commission was not accidental , “but rather borne out of his conscious effort to bring about the required peace, cordiality and harmony between these two critical institutions of government”.

” I set out with a vision and mission to de-escalate and contain the raging conflict, douse the disquiet and restore peace, understanding and cooperation between the two institutions necessary for my actualization of Security Sector Reforms (SSR) in Nigeria”

He observed the fact that synergy produces greater results and success in the attainment of institutional goals.

The PSC Chairman however observed that although, ” peace is essential for success and growth of any institution towards the attainment of its mandate ; however, the pursuit of peace does not compel us to compromise and undermine our integrity as an oversight Agency over the Nigeria Police”.

Dr. Arase confirmed that peace is being restored and trust being built ” between PSC and NPF, “and I can assure you that in no distant time, all the knotty issues which occasioned the conflict will be amicably resolved in a win- win situation , for both institutions “.

Just as he pledged to bequeath to Nigerians , a Nigeria Police Force ” of our dreams and aspirations; able and willing to provide services to the Nigerian people in the most transparent, responsible and responsive manner”.

He also assured that being a former Police Officer would not impede on his sense of Justice, fairness and equity, adding that he will surely leave his footprints in sands of time and grow a Police Force that is mentally mobile.

He looked at the various problems facing Police and Policing in Nigeria and concluded that the only solution will be the collective intervention, collaboration and participation of all stakeholders in the Security Sector Reform.

Dr. Arase noted that the PSC cannot effectively deliver on its mandate without the corresponding support of the Civil Society Organizations. These supports, and assistance, he said can come in form of training and retraining programmes of both personnel of the PSC and NPF ” as well as helping us with logistics that will aid in carrying out our functions’

He told the CSOs ” the Police Force is ours, it is not impossible to build a Police Force of our aspirations; it only requires involvement , participation, collaboration, assistance and support. Please, get involved”, he pleaded with them.

Kemi Okenyodo, of PWAN, one of the Civil Society Organizations in her remarks, said the appointment of the PSC Chairman was a welcome development especially within the Society and it’s members.

She however called on the new Chairman to build a strong professional external oversight body that is equipped with the required capacity to hold the Police accountable for it’s actions.

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BVAS fails to transmit Presidential election results, INEC’s ad-hoc staff tells Court




The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) deployed for February 25 general election failed to transmit the results of the Presidential election, two INEC’s ad-hoc staff told Presidential Election Petition Court.

Mr. Friday Egwuma and Grace Timothy the two ad-hoc staff who served as Presiding officers in polling units in Abia State and Plateau State told the court on Thursday that presidential election results were not transmitted from polling Units after the results were recorded, snapped, and entered,

Both of them testified under subpoena as Atiku witnesses. They further told the court that the BVAS machine allocated to them developed a system error immediately after the results of the Senate and House of Representatives held same time and venue were transmitted.

In their subpoena evidence, the two workers of the electoral body explained that they had to resort to other means of getting the results through when it became clear that the BVAS machines would not help them.

Egwuma was a Presiding Officer in a polling unit in Abia State while Grace Timothy served INEC in Plateau State.

Apart from the failure of the BVAS machines to transmit the presidential election results, the two witnesses admitted that voting went smoothly in their respective places of work.

They were led in evidence by Atiku’s lead counsel Chief Chris Uche, SAN. However
under cross-examination by Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud SAN who stood for the electoral body, Egwuma explained that he resorted to the offline system in place of the BVAS machines.

In her own, Grace Timothy told the Court that the greatest challenge she experienced during the election was the uploading of the presidential election results into the I- rev portal.

The witnesses were also cross-examined by Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN who stood for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN who represented the All Progressives Congress APC.

Early yesterday, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Bola Tinubu, and APC had vehemently kicked against the bid by Atiku to have the INEC ad-hoc staff testify in the petition challenging the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the 2023 presidential election.

Tinubu’s lead counsel Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN objected to the tendering of statement on oath of the witnesses at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in aid of Atiku’s petition.

The respondent argued that the statements of the ad-hoc staff were not front-loaded at the time of filing their petition

He asked the Court to reject the witnesses and discountenance their statements on the grounds that they violated the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.

Tinubu’s arguments against the subpoenaed witnesses were adopted by Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN who stood for the APC and Abubakar Mahmoud SAN who appeared for INEC.

Atiku’s lead counsel, Chris Uche SAN asked the Court to dismiss the objections on the grounds that they were utterly misplaced and misconceived.

Uche argued that the objections by Tinubu, APC, and INEC were deliberate ploy designed to delay proceedings.

The senior lawyer insisted that the statements of the subpoenaed witnesses could not have been front-loaded along with the petition because they have not been summoned at the time of filing the petition.

He asked the Court to discountenance the objections of the three respondents and hold that they are not regular or additional witnesses envisaged in the law cited by Olanipekun. The council said that it would be a denial of a fair hearing to bar a witness under subpoena from testifying when the respondents have the right to cross-examine the witness.

The presiding Justice Tsammani stood down the matter for a ruling but on resumption, Justice Tsammani announced that ruling in the objections had been reserved till the judgment date.

The court directed the petitioner’s lawyer to proceed with his subpoenaed witness testimony.

Meanwhile, further hearing in the petition has been shifted to June 9

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Two Reasons I’m Supporting Akpabio to be Senate President – Ndume



Ali Ndume has revealed why he’s supporting Senator Godswill Akpabio to become the next Senate President. Ndume who represents Borno South, spoke during an interview on Politics Today, a Channels Television programme, on Wednesday. Ndume said it is because Akpabio is the preferred candidate of President Bola Tinubu. Tinubu has also asked Ndume to lead Akpabio’s campaign and ensure he becomes the number three citizen.“There are so many that contributed to my reason to stand for Akpabio, because one the president had interest and had Akpabio as his preferred candidate and number two, he had the confidence of asking me to lead the campaign.“Most importantly, it is about justice, about equity, about the constitution and doing what is right and standing for what is justful for this country,” Ndume said. Even though the All Progressives Congress (APC) has chosen Akpabio to be senate president, the likes of Abdulaziz Yari, a former governor of Zamfara, and Orji Uzor Kalu, chief whip of the senate, have insisted on contesting the position.

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Democracy Day: FG Declares June 12 Public Holiday



To commemorate Democracy Day, the Federal Government has declared Monday, June 12, 2023, a public holiday.In a statement issued Thursday in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade who made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, congratulated all Nigerians on the occasion.She said; “Nigeria’s democratic journey has, like in many other climes, encountered both stormy and smooth sails, but the ship of State, it’s institutions and most importantly, the Nigerian people have remained steadfast on the tenets of democratic governance.“On this memorable occasion therefore, Nigerians and friends of Nigeria are invited to appreciate the progress that has been made, celebrate the milestones covered and look forward to a better future for the country’s democracy.“The Permanent Secretary wishes all Nigerians a Happy Democracy Day celebration”.

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