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INEC Staff in EFCC Custody for Electoral Crime in Akwa Ibom State

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INEC Staff in EFCC Custody for Electoral Crime in Akwa Ibom State

Emem Udosen

Three senior staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly collecting the sum of $250, 000 each, to manipulate the Akwa Ibom guber election in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC’S) candidate, Obong Nsima Ekere.

The staff, Moses Naiya, Deputy Director, Web; Pascal Ukaenwe, Deputy Director, Communications; and Embby O. Mba, Deputy Director, internet; are said to have reported at the state commission a day to the election, alleging to have been sent from the national commission.

Their activities were brought to limelight when a certain Conscience Advocacy Group, petitioned them to the EFCC through its secretary, Barr. Donatus Ekpo on February 13, 2019, in Abuja
The EFCC, acting on the information, launched an investigation into the petition and arrested the accused.

Confirming the development, a staff of the EFCC, who spoke in confidence with our reporter, said that the accused were in EFCC detention, adding that investigations on the issue are ongoing and that “they are likely to be prosecuted soon”.

“They came into the state with card readers which have been recovered….., large amounts of money was discovered in their account which points at the allegation against them”, he said.

Meanwhile, the INEC is yet to give an official statement on the incident. When contacted, one of the staffs who pleaded anonymity noted that the commission was perhaps, quiet because they knew nothing about the movement from the national to the state, where the trio claimed to have come from.

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“the national commission has denied sending them to Akwa Ibom. It therefore is allowing the EFCC enough room to interrogate them.

There are indications that they would be relieved of their duties after the investigations”, our source said.

It would be recalled that the move was one of the APC’s desperate moves to win the just-concluded governorship election, after failing to win the patronage of the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC).

“After realizing that the State REC would not compromise his stance by refusing to meet with them abroad, give them result sheets to write results, and allow them choose their ad-hoc staff – they protested locally and nationally, and called for his removal as the state REC. Having failed in all of these, they went ahead to contact the trio of Naiya, Ukaenwe and Mba, to help them secure result sheets, repackage and manipulate anything that would bring them victory”, our source said.

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Akwa Ibom Speaker says 7th Assembly will be People-centric Legislature

The speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Aniekan Bassey has pledged to run a people-centric 7th Assembly

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Akwa Ibom Speaker says 7th Assembly will be People-centric Legislature

Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey receiving a souvenir from Mr Courage Mbon

Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey receiving a souvenir from Mr Courage Mbon

The speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Aniekan Bassey has pledged to run a people-centric 7th Assembly. Speaker Bassey made the promise when Ascend Communications, publishers of Assembly Watch paid him a courtesy visit.

Bassey said he intends to lead an assembly whose legislative engagements will revolve around the constituents, stating that such engagements will be the only way to ensure that the electorate are carried along in the process of legislation.

Speaker Aniekan Bassey said this will be achieved through town hall meetings to gather information on needs of the constituents, constituency briefings to intimate constituents on progress of legislative representation, as well as regular appraisals and briefings. Bassey said these engagements are imperative if the lacuna between the legislature and the electorate is to be bridged.

Speaking earlier, the MD, Ascend Communications, Mr Courage Mbon said the team was in the Assembly to intimate the speaker about “Assembly Watch”, an initiative of Ascend Communications, which aims at informing the general public about activities of legislators both in the State House Of Assembly and the National Assembly.

Mbon said Assembly Watch existed to bridge the communication gap between legislators and the general public; while also appraising performance of legislative representatives both in the state and Abuja.

High point of the visit was the presentation of a commemorative souvenir portrait to congratulate the speaker on his recent election as speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

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ETINAN LAWMAKER SPONSORS BILL TO CURB RAPE, OTHER VIOLENCE CRIMES IN AKWA IBOM STATE

Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis Akpan, member representing Etinan State Constituency today sponsored a bill to curb rape and other violence crime in Akwa Ibom State.

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ETINAN LAWMAKER SPONSORS BILL TO CURB RAPE, OTHER VIOLENCE CRIMES IN AKWA IBOM STATE

Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis Akpan, member representing Etinan State Constituency

Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis Akpan, member representing Etinan State Constituency

Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis Akpan, member representing Etinan State Constituency today sponsored a bill to curb rape and other violence crime in Akwa Ibom State.

The Bill titled a Law to Eliminate Violence in Private and Public Life, Prohibit all forms of Violence Against Persons and to Provide Maximum Protection and Effective Remedies for Victims and Punishment of Offenders and for Related Matters will ensure stiffer punishment for persons convicted of rape and other violent crimes

Rt Hon. Dennis, in the lead debate,
condemned recent violent crimes in the State and said the Bill when passed into law, will protect women, children and other persons against abandonment, circumcision, domestic and economic abuses.

He said it will also curb forced financial dependence, sexual exploitation, emotional, verbal and psychological abuse and said there must be penalties to discourage offenders from these acts.

The Member representing Ibesikpo Asutan State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko who is a co-sponsor of the Bill, said violent crimes were not only particular to women, maintaining the Bill when passed into law, will also protect the men from all forms of harassment.

Others who spoke in support of the Bill, including the Member representing Ika/Etim Ekpo State Constituency, Hon. Mfon Idung, that of Ini, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong; Abak State Constituency, Hon. Udeme Otong;
Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudu and Member Ukanafun State Constituency, Dr. (Mrs) Charity Ido, lauded the lead sponsor, Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis for bringing up the bill, saying it will further promote peace in the state.

Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, Speaker AKHA

Rt. Hon Aniekan Bassey, Speaker AKHA

In his remarks, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey who lauded Members for their interests in the Bill, referred it to the House Committee on Woman Affairs, Social Welfare and Cooperative and directed the Committee to report back to the House within one month.

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Recall in the sixth assembly, Barr
Dennis facilitated a law which seeks to protect Akwa Ibom people from unlawful arrest and detention, the Law amongst other benefits places a ban on the arrest of persons in lieu of suspects, arrests in terms of civil matter and also seeks to eradicate the gender discrimination in bail issues. This was called CRIMINAL JUSTICE LAW.

Barr. Dennis also sponsored a bill which seeks to ensure prohibition of female circumcision or female genital mutilation which is commonly practised in some communities in the state and has lasting negative impacts in the lives of women called LAW THE VIOLENCE AGAINST PERSONS PROHIBITION BILL.

…….Partial contributions from Press Unit, Office of the Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

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A’Ibom Assembly seeks State Govt’s Intervention on Calabar-Itu Federal Road

Worried by the sufferings encountered by commuters, residents and other road users plying the now deplorable Calabar-Itu federal road, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has directed the state Ministry of Works to i

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A’Ibom Assembly seeks State Govt’s Intervention on Calabar-Itu Federal Road

by Mfonobong Ukpong

Worried by the sufferings encountered by commuters, residents and other road users plying the now deplorable Calabar-Itu federal road, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has directed the state Ministry of Works to intervene on the failed portion of the Enen-Itam axis of the road, with a view of alleviating the plights of the road users and residents of the area.

The House gave the directive, Thursday at plenary sequel to a motion of urgent public importance raised by the Member representing ITU State Constituency, Hon. Kufre-Abasi Edidem who informed the House of the deplorable state of the Calabar-Itu road, particularly Enen-Itam axis of the road. He said members of his constituents and other road users were expressing difficulties plying the road, and pleaded that the state government be urged to undertake urgent intervention measures on the road in the interest of the people.

Reacting to the motion, lawmakers argued that the current situation of the road was affecting economic activities as the road connects Akwa Ibom with neighboring Cross River State. Members for Ibesikpo-Asutan State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko, Nsit-Ubium, Barr. Otobong Bob, Etim-Ekpo/Ika, Hon. Mfon Idung, Uyo, Hon. Anietie Eka, Hon, Abak, Udeme Otong, Ukanafun, Dr. Charity Ido and the Chief Whip, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong in their separate contributions sympathised with residents of the area and other road users who ply the road. They wondered why the federal government was still dragging it’s feet on the said road, years after it publicised that contract had been awarded for the construction of the road. The Assembly Members agreed that it has become expedient for the state government to intervene on the federal road, since majority of those who use the road are Akwa Ibom people.

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Uyo representative, Ekah said “It is disheartening that the federal government seems to be playing politics on the road. It’s high time we separate politics from human lives”.

Reacting, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey said though the Assembly was aware that the said road is a federal road, it was necessary that urgent intervention be undertaken to ameliorate the plights of the people. He ruled that the matter be referred to the State Ministry of Works for urgent intervention, and directed the Clerk to communicate the decision of the House to appropriate quarters for necessary action.

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