Court remands 2 in prison over missing DDC machine

Published 8 years ago by: Aliuniyi lawal
at 01:00 PM, 21/01/2011 (8 years ago)

(1374 | Gistmaniac) (m)


Two suspects have been remanded in prison custody for allegedly diverting the Direct Data Capturing (DDC) machine belonging to the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) in Bauchi.
Arraigning Abubakar Yunusa and Hussaini Ahmed before the Chief Magistrate Court (CMC) Eight yesterday in Bauchi, Police Prosecutor, Corporal M.Garba explained that the accused were charged with criminal conspiracy and breach of trust.

Corporal Garba said the INEC electoral officer attached to Bauchi Local Government Area, Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar reported to the Police that he had entrusted the DDC machine for the ongoing voters’ registration exercise to Abubakar Yunusa to assist him in distribution to registration units. Abubakar allegedly conspired with Hussaini Ahmed and diverted one DDC machine, laptop and its battery to unknown destination and they were yet to be recovered
The suspects told the court that they understood the charges and then the prosecutor asked the court to grant them short adjournment to enable the Police complete their investigation.

Counsel to the accused, Mr S.I. Aliyu asked the court to grant bail to the accused, adding that the offence was a bailable offence and that the accused were ready to provide credible sureties and pledged that they would be in court whenever the court wanted to see them.
The prosecution counsel opposed the bail application on the ground that investigation into the case was on and that they might tamper with the investigation.

Anambra
In Anambra State, INEC is yet to start the registration exercise in 800 polling units in the state, six days after the commencement.
The startling revelation was made yesterday by the Governor, Peter Obi, who expressed displeasure over the exercise which, he said, fell short of the expectations of the people.
Obi, who spoke to newsmen shortly after receiving the Political and Economic Chief at the USA Consulate-General’s office, Lagos, Mr. Phil Drown, who paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Awka, said he was not impressed with the general conduct of the exercise.
The governor, who is yet to register due to his alleged desire to make sure that the exercise works well first said the 800 units were yet to receive the DDC machines.

He disclosed that he had personally monitored many registration units across the state, just as he had received reports about the exercise, stressing that the state was experiencing shortage of machines, malfunctioning of some machines, battery problems and sometimes, low picture quality.
He urged the people not to be dampened by the setbacks but to continue to come out en mass for the registration.

Bayelsa
The Bayelsa State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Edwin Offor Nwatalari disclosed that two DDC machines have been stolen in Oporoma community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area. He assured that those behind the theft acted in ignorance as the stolen machines would not serve them any purpose.
He explained that the serial numbers of the machines have been changed, stressing that immediately he got wind of the incident, security agents were alerted.
Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in Bayelsa, Mr Ndutimi Alaibe registered at Igbanwari ward Seven in Opokuma, Kolokuma/Opokuma yesterday and enjoined Bayelsans to register as that was the only weapon to enthrone good governance in the state.
He expressed confidence in the ability of INEC to pull through the process, noting that though the process of registration was slow, with time it would improve.

Oyo
Following widespread complaints of faulty DDC machines and lapses, the Oyo State House of Assembly yesterday urged the state government to declare next Tuesday and Thursday as public holidays, to enable civil servants, private sector workers and students in the state exercise their civic rights.
The Majority Leader, Waheed Olaniyan, who raised the motion to this effect during the plenary session as a matter of urgent public importance, noted that the exercise had been experiencing hiccups and technical problems, which he said had resulted in long hours being spent by prospective voters.
He, however, explained that this had resulted in low number of registered people daily.
Olaniyan stressed further that time element was not on the side of the country, as the success of the April elections was premised on a successful voters’ registration exercise.

Ondo
The Ondo State chapter of the Labour Party (LP) has raised an alarm over alleged parallel registration being done by the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
A statement issued by the state chairman of the LP, Dr. Olaiya Oni in which he drew the attention of Prof Jega, stated that the exercise was preparatory to plans by the PDP to rig the general elections like it did in 2007 when it falsified the voters’ registers.
Dr. Olaiya Oni, who commended the INEC boss, described him as a man of impeccable records but called on him to arrest the situation in Ondo State and be aware of the latest clandestine moves by PDP to thwart the exercise and also rig at all cost in the state.

Makurdi
Members of the public have been advised to ensure that their 10 fingers are captured so that they can be duly registered.
This is just as voters’ registration have been put on hold in some communities in Ado Local Government Area of Benue State following the inability of the finger scanner to capture the finger prints of registrants.
INEC’s Resident Commissioner in Benue State, Alh. Nasir Ayilara, who gave this advice explained that a situation whereby some fingers were skipped during registration could disqualify them from voting during the general elections.
He enjoined Nigerians to be patient with the commission’s staff, maintaining that the initial hitches encountered have been identified and were gradually being addressed to ensure that eligible voters were registered.

Meanwhile, Commissioner of Information and Culture, Dr. Mrs. Diana Ochoga has questioned the rationale behind the directive insisting that there was provision for manual registration in INEC’s manual in situations where the DDC machines failed to work.
Speaking to Daily Sun during a visit to some communities within Ado Local Government Area, Ochoga revealed that six days into the exercise, only 10,000 people had been able to register in the whole local government.
She disclosed further that of the 10,000 people, less than 50 percent were able to get their fingers captured as a result of the fact that the scanners were either too slow or not working at all, thus making the process of registration frustrating.

Maiduguri
A senator representing Borno Central Senatorial zone, Kaka Mala Yale has said the two weeks scheduled for the registration of voters by the INEC was inadequate. He said many eligible voters would be disallowed from exercising their civic rights if the registration was not extended.
The Senator regretted that the exercise did not take off smoothly as promised by INEC, adding that the development portends great danger to the successful conduct of the 2011 polls. He said the registration suffered various challenges, including technical, logistics and finance on the first few days of it commencement.

Lokoja
T o ensure a hitch free exercise, a paramilitary organisation, the Man O’War has deployed over 10,000 of its personnel in all the registration centres in Kogi State.
Addressing newsmen in Lokoja yesterday, the Deputy Commander-General in charge of operations, Mr Gbenga Oloba said his organisation had decided to complement the efforts of the Federal Government in ensuring the exercise was without any hiccups.

He disclosed that Kogi was one of the few states in the Federation where his men were currently monitoring the voters’ registration exercise, due to what he called volatile nature of those states.
Oloba called on all Nigerians to come out en mass, saying that was the only thing that could qualify them to vote in the general elections.

Anambra
A lawmaker representing Onitsha North Constituency II in Anambra State, Mr Obiorah Chukwuka has complained of shortage of DDC machines in his constituency.
Chukwuka said his constituency consisting of seven wards had only two DDC machines and none for other five wards. He added that of the two machines, one was faulty.
The lawmaker said complaints had been made to the Resident Electoral Commissioner, (REC), who said they had shortage of DDC machines. The lawmaker, however, noted that Onitsha North Constituency I had excess machines.

He alleged that there was a calculated attempt to disenfranchise the people of the area.

Ondo
Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko has urged INEC to brace up and correct all the hitches being experienced in the exercise.
The Governor visited six registration centres including, Lasco, Ijo Mimo Oluwa High School, Coop House, Aule, CAC Adu Memorial High School and Testing Ground in company of top government officials of the state wherein he commended the people for their enthusiasm to perform their civic responsiblity by registering, despite the frustration being encountered.
According to him, the people of the state who were enthusiastic to register were being discouraged by some technical challenges on the part of INEC.

NGO
A non-governmental organization, the Active Nigerians For Positive Change, has also urged INEC to extend the time for voters’ registration exercise.
Coordinator of the organization, Chief Chris Chuka Ezenyimulu said extension of time would allow all eligible voters to get registered, as he enjoined all Nigerians of 18 years and above to avail themselves of the opportunity.

NANS
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has also called on INEC to consider an extension of the ongoing voters’ registration in view of inherent hiccups being encountered by Nigerians in the early days of the exercise.
NANS said this had become necessary in view of the fact that credible elections can only be achieved through a credible voters’ register.

NANS, in a statement by the Vice President, National Affairs, Danjuma Sarki, urged all eligible voters to ensure that they register to avoid being disenfranchised during the April general elections.
The statement also urged all Nigerian voters not to be discouraged by the present challenges experienced at the various registration centres but should continue to come out en masse to register as part of the price for free, fair and transparent elections. He added that it was the only way we could enjoy the liberty to choose the candidate of our choice in all elections and uphold the principle of one man, one vote.

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