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Lagos LG/Council elections witness low Voter turnout



Low turn out of voters on Saturday marked the Local Government election in Lagos, reports the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

NAN reports that there was low turnout of voters in many polling units visited in Badagry, Alimosho, Epe, Mushin and Odi-Olowo Local Government Councils.

At the Awhajigoh Ward C in Badagry, the electoral officers, who arrived at 8. 20 a.m, wearing face masks and gloves, came with two bottles of sanitisers, urging the voters to observe the COVID-19 guidelines.

Mr Monday Avoseh, a voter in Awhajigoh Ward, said the low turnout was due to the voter apathy in the Badagry Area.

According to Avoseh, voters should come out before 3 p.m to cast their votes.

At Ajara-topa Ward C, Mr Babatunde Hunpe, the lawmaker representing Badagry Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, said that it was not too late for voters to cast their votes.

Also, at Polling Unit 038A, Baruwa Road, Ward 07, Ipaja North in Aliomosho Local Government 03, the election commenced at about 9.30 a.m.

The officials of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) arrived at the centre around 8.30 a.m, while election materials were delivered at about 9.05 a.m.

Mr Ahmed Baruwa, APC Party Agent, told NAN that the election commenced at the centre at 9.30 a.m.

Baruwa explained that voters had started casting their votes but the card readers were have been functioning well.

“The card reader has not been working since the election started, so the LASEIC officials have resorted to using the voters list to verify with the information on the voter card, so that voters can vote,” he said.

The APC party representative expressed worry about the poor turnout of voters for the election.

“The turnout is poor and less impressive but since the election has just started, we are hopeful that the situation will improve before the end of the election,” he said.

Mrs Arike Oni, PDP Party Agent at the ward, said although the election had started, she could not give an account of the process because she just came.

A voter, Mrs Folake Bewaji, lauded the process of the election so far, as it had been smooth and peaceful.

Bewaji said since the election had started, one should not conclude that the turnout is low until the end of the election.

“The election has just started, maybe people thought that there will be a crowd, so they are taking their time.

“Likewise, I also thought that there will be a crowd, so I stayed back until I saw people who left to vote, coming back almost immediately, so I decided to come and cast my vote.

“This situation is normal when it comes to elections, she said.

Meanwhile, the LASIEC officials at the polling units refused to speak with NAN but confirmed that they got to the centre at about 8.30 a.m.

Voters were seen in few numbers at the centre and other centres around, while the COVID-19 and social distancing protocols were enforced by the security personnel.

Private car owners and commercial bike riders were also plying the roads and traders , of mostly food items partially opened their stores.

Similarly at Epe, accreditation and voting began at 9.50 a.m., at Polling Unit 02, Ward D, Oke-Balogun Central Mosque, Epe.

NAN reports that at the time of commencement of voting, there was low turnout at the polling booths.

Also, all COVID-19 protocols put in place by LASIEC officials were strictly observed by the electorate before they were allowed to cast their votes.

In Epe, accreditation began at Polling Unit 003, Ward D at 8 a.m. at Dispensary Unit, Opposite High Court, Epe.

The Polling Officer told NAN that 689 voters registered but so far only 20 eligible voters had been accredited.

He added that the turnout of voters was low.

At Mushin and Odi-Olowo, few hours after the commencement of Local Government and Local Council Development Areas elections in Lagos, the exercise was characterised by the late arrival of voting materials and low turnout of voters.

NAN reports that voting materials had arrived late in some of the polling units while only a few voters were seen at some polling units as at 9.45 a.m.

At polling units in Atewolara, Babalosa and Atewolara in Mushin LG, the few voters available complained of the late arrival of voting materials.

Similarly in Odi-Olowo LCDA, many of the polling booths at Ilupeju, Kayode/Fadeyi were virtually a handful with voting materials arriving late.

Several voters who spoke with NAN complained that they were not aware of the election.

“We were only knowing about it this morning,’’ most of them said, as they continued to complain.

Some soccer lovers ceased the opportunity of the empty streets to turn the empty roads into football pitches.

However, there were security operatives such as the Mobile Police, Civil Defence Corps officials, on major roads, to prevent breakdown of law and order and carry out the restriction order of the state government.

In most of the polling units visited, LASIEC officials observed the COVID-19 protocols by insisting that voters wear their facemasks.

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Crypto is a danger to world economy, tool for money laundry- EFCC Boss



Advancement in digital assets such as cryptocurrencies increasingly portends huge risks to the world economy, the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, has said.

This, according to Bawa, is partly because, many criminals now play significant roles in crypto-currency markets. He said the virtual currencies had become their preferred mediums of exchange.

Bawa spoke while delivering his keynote address Monday at the 38th Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime, themed, ‘Economic Crime-Who pays and who should pay?’

The event was organised by the Centre for International Documentation on Organised and Economic Crime (CIDOEC), Jesus College, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

EFCC’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, who captured some highlights of the event in a statement, quoting Bawa as saying, “The developments in new technologies and the growth of cryptocurrencies portrays a far greater danger to the world economy than ever before with many criminals playing significant roles in crypto-currency markets.

“Criminals now elect to transact or receive illegal monies (such as ransom money) for

cyber-attacks in cryptocurrencies with Bitcoins and Ethereum as the most commonly used mediums for these exchanges.”

He lamented that “the sophistication and complexity that defines the dynamics of economic crime in the 21st Century continues to evolve, spurred by technological advancement in the global economy that has become borderless and transnational.”

This he said had “inevitably led to the prioritisation of law enforcement action on crimes that drive Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) across the globe”.

‘No nation is immune’

According to the EFCC Boss, “economic crimes which are largely illegal acts committed for private gain affect the vital structures of global economies, causing significant damage to the Global Financial System and depriving developing nations of the needed resources for sustainable development”.

He noted that developed countries are not immune to the scourge, which, according to him, has “magnified with the proliferation of cyber-crimes which threatens the stability of Global Financial Institutions.”

Bawa said the platform of the event provided an opportunity to interrogate the challenges of economic crimes.

“As the victims of crime continue to suffer globally from the effects of financial crimes, either directly or indirectly as part of a social system, the determination of who pays or who should pay becomes a critical measure of the criminal justice system in place.”

He underlined the imperatives of an impartial judiciary in ensuring that “the perpetrators of acts and not the victims pay for their crimes.”

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had barred commercial banks and other financial institutions from transacting with cryptocurrency in fear of the risks it poses to investments and the economy at large.

Despite these actions, there have been reports over the use of these digital or virtual currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum and others, with criminals turning it to a haven to launder proceeds of corruption, fraud, drug trafficking, and other heinous crimes.

PRecall that last month that the United States Department of Justice training over 50 Nigerian investigators and prosecutors to tackle cryptocurrency-enabled organised crimes.

Efforts to fight crypto-related crimes

While highlighting some of the transparency and accountability achievements of the current administration by President Muhammadu Buhari, Bawa pointed out that the EFCC, as the rallying point in the fight against economic crimes in Nigeria, has recorded important milestones in investigations, prosecutions and assets recovery.

“Since its establishment in 2003, the Commission has recorded no less than 3,500 convictions and recovered assets of significant value including properties in Nigeria, the UK, USA, and the UAE. All these have measurably contributed to the national efforts against economic crimes in Nigeria,” he said.

The EFCC charged participants to come up with practical solutions to curb the international threat of economic crimes.

Meanwhile, the chairperson of the symposium, Saul Froomkin, thanked the EFCC boss for his insightful presentation, and the support received from Nigeria in organising the event.

Participants at the symposium were drawn from law enforcement and security agencies, accountability institutions and partners across the world.

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SuperTV CEO: Lagos DPP to charge Chidinma Ojukwu, two others



A Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos State has adjourned to sept 29, further hearing in the murder of Usifo Ataga, the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV.

A 21-year-old student, Chidinma Ojukwu and one Adedapo Quadri were again presented. before the Chief Magistrate, Adeola Adedayo on Monday after they were ordered to be remanded for thirty days at the Kirikiri Correctional Centre last month.

Police Prosecutor, Cyril Ejiofor, informed the court that the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecution had issued a legal advice on the case, recommending their trial for murder which implies that the case will now be heard at the high court of Lagos state which has jurisdiction to hear matters of this nature

She, however, adjourned the case to await further Information from the DPP as to the status of the case at the high court that will now hear the matter.

The News Beat also gathered that the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, Olayinka Adeyemi, recommended the release of four persons who are also standing trial at the Magistrate court for obstruction of justice and dishonestly receiving stolen belongings of the deceased .

The four persons are Babalola Disu, Olowu Ifeoluwa, Olutayo Abayomi, Nkechi Mogbo, Ojukwu Onoh, who is said to be Chidinma’s adopted father.

One Egbuchu Chioma who was allegedly found in possession of the deceased’s iPhone 7, and who had initially refused to release the phone on demand, is however to continue her trial.

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Omoyele Sowore’s younger brother shot dead



A file combo photo of Omoyele and Olajide Sowore

Sahara Reporters Publisher and ex-presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, has narrated how kidnappers shot dead his brother in the Okada area of Edo State on Saturday.

According to him, Olajide was killed in the early hours of Saturday on his way from the Igbinedion University where he was studying Pharmacy.

Sowore, in a tribute on his Facebook page, described his deceased brother who almost clocked 50 as an “out-of-the-box thinker”

He wrote, “My immediate younger brother, Olajide Sowore was today shot and killed near Okada in Edo state by reportedly herdsmen /kidnappers on his way from Igbinedion University in Edo sate where he is studying Pharmacy.

“They snuffed out the life yet another real human being!

“Rest In Power, “Dr. Mamiye!”

“This act in itself will not delay their day of justice.

“I travelled widely with you and our father as a little kid. You were the most loved robust kid I ever first knew. You, Mr. magnet had no enemy!

“You, Mr. Sunshine Foundation who made everyone happy.

“You, the boy who snuck out his older ones to parties, taking all the blames when our disciplinarian father found out.

“You, the guy who was an out-of-the-box thinker who decided school wasn’t for you and created you own genre of music and then turned around to go to school after you almost turned 50!

“You lived your life so that everyone could be alright but now assassinated by everything that’s not alright!

“Saddest day yet!”

Details later…


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