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INEC urged to postpone Edo, Ondo polls

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Former Labour Party governorship candidate in Kwara State, Comrade Issa Aremu, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the Edo and Ondo gubernatorial elections following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking in Kaduna, he said considering the huge spike in the number of COVID-19 cases and rising deaths across the country, it would be imperative for INEC to postpone the elections, as only those who are alive can vote and be voted for.

Aremu said: “The death of Oyo State former governor Isiaka Ajimobi, who died of complications arising from COVID-19 pandemic, and the figures of fatalities reeled out daily by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 showed that the disease is real and is killing Nigerians. There are enough reasons for INEC to consider the spike in the number of cases and fatalities across the country and postpone the elections in Edo and Ondo states.”

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NIGERIA

WASSCE: Order partial reopening of schools, Reps tell Buhari

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The House of Representatives has called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to order a partial reopening of schools to allow pupils sit for the 2020 West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination.

The House made the call at the plenary on Tuesday following a unanimous adoption of a motion moved by a member, Nnolim Nnaji.

The Committee on Basic Education and Services had earlier on Friday faulted the decision by the Federal Government to suspend the plan to partially reopen schools for pupils in final classes to take external examinations.

The committee had particularly criticized the decision to disallow Nigerian pupils from sitting for WASSCE to be conducted by the West African Examination Council for the 2019/2020 academic session.

Schools at all levels have been shut since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had earlier in June said the Federal Government, in what it called “safe reopening of schools,” had approved the resumption of pupils in graduating classes, including Primary 6, Junior Secondary School 3 and the Senior Secondary School 3.

In approving the resumption of graduating classes, the government said water must be provided in schools for hand-washing and both pupils and teachers must wear face masks while observing social distancing.

Later, the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, had during the press briefing by the PTF announced that the 2020 WASSCE would hold between August 4 and September 5.

But the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, at the end of a meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by the President last Wednesday said all federal schools would remain closed until it was safe to reopen them.

Adamu also urged state governments that had announced schools’ resumption plans to rescind such.

The minister stated that WAEC could not determine the resumption date of schools for Nigeria. He alleged that the council announced the date of examination while the government was still consulting stakeholders on what to do.

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NIGERIA

Court remands carpenter for allegedly robbing a magistrate

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A carpenter, Alour Hanze, who allegedly robbed a Magistrate in Benue State, was on Tuesday, remanded in a correctional center on the orders of the court, pending legal advice.

The police charged Hanze, who resides in Akaajime area, Gboko Local Government Area,  Benue State with criminal conspiracy and armed robbery.

Magistrate, Ajuma Igama, did not take the plea of Hanze for want of jurisdiction.

She adjourned the case until Aug 26, for further mention.

Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, Sgt. Ato Godwin told the court that the case was reported at Operation Zenda Camp, Gboko by Utile Dennis of Chief Magistrates’ court 1 Katsina-Ala Benue, on June 24.

Ato alleged Hanze, accompanied by two others invaded his residence situated at No. 148 St. Paul street, Gboko East and robbed him and his family.

He alleged that Hanze stole an Infinix cell phone valued at N30,000, one Techno phone valued at N26,000 at gunpoint.

During the police investigation, he said, Hanze voluntarily confessed to committing the crime alongside one Oryina, aka Zendagy and Luper aka Gadafi, now at large.

The prosecution said an investigation into the matter was still ongoing and prayed the court for an adjournment.

He said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 6(b) and 1(1)(2)(a) of the robbery and firearms special prohibition Act 2004.

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NIGERIA

Supreme Court dismisses Timi Alaibe’s suit against Bayelsa gov, Diri

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the appeal filed by a governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party in Bayelsa State, Timi Alaibe, challenging the emergence of Governor Duoye Diri as the party’s candidate in the last year’s election.

A five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour dismissed the appeal.

Alaibe’s lawyer, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe, withdrew the appeal after the panel members pointed his attention to the fact that the issues raised in the appeal were not about the primary election but about an internal affair of the party.

Alaibe, who had lost the suit at both the Federal High Court in Owerri and the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal, had in the suit challenged the participation of two delegates who voted in the primary that produced Diri as the party’s candidate.

In the preliminary inquiry preceding the hearing on Tuesday, the Justice Rhodes-Vivour panel informed Adedipe that his case could not be categorized as a pre-election case that a court could entertain but about an internal affair of the party which the court lacked jurisdiction to hear.

Adedipe then withdrew the suit and was struck out by the court.

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