… 23 INEC staff in court over December poll rerun
Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said his administration is building a culture of commitment and passion in the service of the state.
Speaking after he inspected ongoing projects in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Area yesterday, Wike said he is raising the bar on projects initiation and execution because there is the need to depart from the past.
He noted that in the past, projects were designed without consideration for quality and durability.
“By the time I conclude my sojourn in office, I want to leave a legacy of quality projects across the state.
“We have raised the bar to ensure that all our projects are executed in line with the new high standards that will ensure the projects last a long time.”
On the state Ecumenical Centre, he urged the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to map out a plan to raise funds for the maintenance of the facility, after its completion.
The governor added that, at regular intervals, the state government will always support CAN on the centre’s maintenance.
The governor inspected ongoing construction of the Ecumenical Centre, the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park, Second Nkpogu Bridge and the Landscaping Architecture at Air Force overheard bridge, Port Harcourt.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has presented 23 staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for arraignment, over alleged misconduct during the December 10, 2016 rerun election in Rivers.
Elections for state and federal lawmakers was marred by violence and resulted in the death of, at least, two police officers.
The INEC officials are accused of receiving bribes and taking part in efforts to manipulate the outcome of the polls. INEC National Commissioner, Solomon Soyebi, told journalists in Abuja that the commission had resolved to cooperate with the police.
“In addition and without prejudice to their prosecution, the indicted INEC staff will also face the commission’s internal disciplinary process.
“The commission wishes to reiterate clearly that it will not shield any member of staff that engages in any conduct that will undermine the integrity of the electoral process,” he said.
The defendants, who were all present at the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, were, however, not arraigned because one of their lawyers, Ahmed Raji (SAN), asked the court to consider an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court.
Raji said the defendants reside outside Abuja while the alleged offence was committed in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
Justice John Tsoho adjourned the matter to April 7, 2017for hearing of Raji’s application.