INEC fixes Nov 18 for Anambra gov election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will hold the Anambra governorship election on November 18, 2017.

Solomon Soyebi, a national commissioner INEC, announced this at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday.

He said the 1999 constitution as amended, and the electoral act, had stipulated that the earliest day for the conduct of the election shall be October 18, while latest date for the election shall be February 14, 2018.

According to INEC timetable for the election, campaigns by political parties will start on August 18 and close by November 16, while primaries will be held between July 22 and September 2.

No political party has nominated a candidate for the election yet.

Although, some politicians from the state have tacitly expressed interest in giving a shot.

On Tuesday, Andy Uba, who represents Anambra south in the senate, formally announced his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

There are feelers that he may run for the office on the platform of his new party.

Willie Obiano, governor of the state, may also be seeking a second term.


Abia governorship tussle: S/Court grants Oti leave to appeal Ikpeazu’s victory

The Supreme Court on Friday granted leave to Alex Oti of APGA to be joined as an interested party to challenge the election of Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu as governor of Abia.

Justice Clara Ogunbiyi led four other justices to arrive at the unanimous decision.

“The appellant applicant appeal challenging the Aug.5, 2016 judgment of the lower court has merit.

“The appeal is predicated on grounds of mixed law and facts and therefore, this court is compelled to grant it in the interest of justice.

“In the circumstance, the Aug.5, 2016 decision of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which refused to grant the applicant the permission to be joined in the pending Abia governorship suit is set aside.

“The prayer of the appellant urging this court consider his appeal against Gov. Ikpeazu Okezie is hereby deemed  as filed before this court,’’ she said. Ogubiyi also held that granting this leave for the applicant to appeal the decision of the lower court on the matter did not mean that the appeal could succeed.

“The law has established that once an application is challenging a matter on mixed law and facts, justice demands that he or she must be heard,’’ she said.

Justice Dati Yahaya, who presided over the case at the lower court, held that Oti failed to establish his interest in the internal affairs of the PDP.

?The court held that the subject of litigation between Dr Samson Ogah and Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, who were all members of the PDP, was the primary election of the party conducted on Dec. 8, 2014.

The applicant, the court held, being member of APGA had no locus standi to question the primary election of the PDP.

Yahaya also held that the applicant failed to give circumstantial reasons to sway the court to exercise its judicial discretion in his favour.
Among others, the court held that the applicant failed to transmit the proceedings of the trial court to the Court of Appeal, where his interest was supposed to be established. According to the judge, Oti merely relied on affidavit depositions.

The appellate court further held that allowing the applicant to join the dispute would amount to attempt to change the nature of the suit from an intra-party to an inter party tussle.

Oti had called for his enthronement as governor of Abia, when Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court removed Ikpeazu from office. Abang had in the Oct.29, 2016 judgment made a consequential order returning Ogah as the governor.

However, the Court of Appeal in Abuja  unturned that decision by re-affirming Ikpeazu’s election.

Mr Kanu Agabi (SAN), counsel to the governor, who spoke with newsmen after the session, said Oti had no chance in the ongoing appeals against his client.

He said the decision of the Court of Appeal that re-affirmed Ikpeazu as governor had foreclosed his chances of making anything out of the suit.

“This tussle is strictly an intra-party matter. Oti is not a member of the PDP, only Ogah is in contention. In any case, the apex court is prepared to hear him,’’ he said.



Obama Vows Action Against Russia Over Election Hacks

US President Barack Obama has vowed to take action against Russia for its alleged interference in the US presidential election campaign.

“We need to take action and we will,” he told US radio station NPR.

Russia stands accused by the US of hacking the emails of the Democratic Party and a key Hillary Clinton aide, which the Kremlin strongly denies.

Republican president-elect Donald Trump has also dismissed the claim as “ridiculous” and politically motivated.

The intelligence agencies say they have overwhelming evidence that Russian hackers linked to the Kremlin were behind the hacks.

And on Thursday, a White House spokesman said President Vladimir Putin was involved in the cyber-attacks.

Hours later, Mr Obama said: “I think there’s no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact on the integrity of our elections, that we need to take action and we will, at a time and a place of our own choosing.

“Some of it may be explicit and publicised. Some of it may not be.

“Mr Putin is well aware of my feelings about this, because I spoke to him directly about it.”

Read More: BBC

#RiversRerun: Watch how SARS, NSCDC men move Ballot Boxes out of Polling Unit [Video]

A video posted by a Twitter User has shown how men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in conjunction with men of the NSCDC allegedly moved ballot boxes from a polling unit in Gokana LGA in Rivers State after which they shot sporadically to scare away electorates who gave them a chase.


Remember that 2 deaths have initially been recorded at same LGA earlier this morning. Despite the widespread violence in Rivers State, electoral practices are still ongoing in some areas.


Watch Video Below:




Rivers Rerun: INEC, Security Agencies Meet With Political Parties

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the various security agencies, as well as political party leaders and their candidates have met again in continuous efforts to ensure that Saturday’s rerun polls in Rivers state are hitch-free.


With the poll already generating tension, the Deputy Inspector General Of Police in Charge of Operations, Joshak Habila, said no group would be allowed to cause violence during the exercise.


Meanwhile, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Aniedi Ikoiwak, has equally given the assurance that the commission is ready for the polls.


This is not the first time the commission is making the pledge to ensure that the December 10, Rivers Rerun elections, would be free, fair and violence free.


The emphasis is coming as a result of series of allegations by the Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike, who has said INEC, as well as security agencies have planned to rig the elections.


INEC in an earlier statement, however pointed out that the recent Edo and Ondo governorship elections “eloquently speak of the feat that can be achieved if all stakeholders do the needful”.


The Commission, then condemned the relentless false allegations, provocative and dangerous comments being made by some political actors, especially Mr Wike, against the Commission, which it insisted were capable of inciting people to commit violent acts that could derail the election.

Weakened Merkel Embarks On Tough Election Campaign

Angela Merkel’s conservatives gave her an over 11-minute standing ovation after handing her another term as party chief, but also issued a warning in re-electing her with the worst score since she became German chancellor.

With the mixed verdict Tuesday from her party rank and file on her bid for a fourth term, Merkel embarks on her toughest election campaign weakened by her liberal refugee policy that has polarised Europe’s biggest economy.

While 89.5 percent is hardly a score to be scoffed at, it fell just short of the 90 percent of Christian Democratic Union delegates seen as a crucial threshold.

“It shows that she has lost confidence but has not fully regained it,” said Spiegel Online.

Rheinische Post daily agreed, saying that “it is clear that this chancellor is no longer strong enough to simply use ‘you know me’ to win the 2017 elections,” referring to a previous Merkel slogan.

“That attitude, which helped her in the 2013 (general election) campaign, almost led to her doom in the refugee crisis. For too long, she has trusted her party and voters to simply follow her,” it said.

Read More:

BREAKING: Opposition candidate leads vote count in Gambia

Opposition candidate, Adama Barrow, is in the lead after almost 75 per cent of votes had been counted in Gambian presidential voting, threatening President Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year-rule, the electoral commission said on Friday.

Mr. Barrow, who has the support of seven political parties, has won 22 out of 53 constituencies or 138,148 votes in Thursday’s presidential polls.

According to the commission, incumbent Mr. Jammeh won 14 out of 53 constituencies or 126,587 votes.

Report says the election is won by a simple majority in the poverty-stricken West African nation, which largely relies on peanut exports for trade income.

Gambians on Thursday voted amid a shutdown of all internet and telephone lines, which raised fears of Mr. Jammeh planning to hijack the election.

Meanwhile, the lines were expected to remain disconnected until Sunday.

Mr. Jammeh, a former army colonel who came to power during a 1994 military coup, has been ruling the Islamic Republic with an iron fist.

He is running for a fifth five-year term against two other candidates.

The two candidates are Mr. Barrow, a businessman popular with the country’s largely unemployed youth and Mama Kandeh, the leader of the Gambia Democratic Congress, the only opposition party that did not join forces with Mr. Barrow.

Ironically, all three candidates were born in the same year, 1965.

However, the capital, Banjul, remained calm on Friday, in spite of a heavy security force presence.

Ondo Election: Police IG confirms non-payment of officers, orders probe

In contrast to the earlier position of the Nigeria Police, the Inspector General of the Police, Ibrahim Idris, has accepted that some police personnel who were on duty during the just concluded governorship election in Ondo State, were yet to be paid their allowances several days after the elections.

The Police IG has therefore has set up a panel to investigate why the policemen were not paid their entitlements.

Mr. Idris, in a statement released on Friday by the Force spokesman, Don Awunah, appealed for “a little patience” from the affected policemen.

The issue is being looked into, and no one would be cheated of his due, the police IG assured.

The investigation panel, the statement said, would be headed by a retired assistant inspector general of police, Ali Ahmadu.

As previously reported by PREMIUM TIMES, several policemen took to the street in Ondo on Monday to protest the non-payment of their allowances after the Ondo election.

The statement from the Police IG therefore confirmed a PREMIUM TIMES report that the police lied when they denied that the protest took place.

Read the full statement released by the police:


The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, NPM, mni deeply concerned about the delay, omission and discrepancies in payment of allowances to officers of the Nigeria Police Force who participated in the just concluded gubernatorial election in Ondo state; and also arising from complaints of irregularities from certain quarters and discoveries of possible anomalies and plausible foul play, has set up a special panel to investigate, streamline and enhance payment of entitlements of the force personnel who engage in adhoc duties.

  1. The special panel is empowered to launch an investigation into the entire payment system with a view to:
  2. Investigating thoroughly the recent payment of allowances to personnel of the force to determine if the money released for the payment of the allowances was utilized accordingly, providing bank records as evidence.
  3. Liaising with the Ministry of Finance on the perennial problematic nature of paying allowances.
  4. Setting up standard modalities that will be adopted by the force to address payment of allowances given by the Federal Government for the conduct of subsequent elections in the country.
  5. Recommending where appropriate disciplinary actions against erring officers both within and outside the force.
  6. The SIP at the end of the investigation is to recommend professional modalities for payment of allowances in line with government due process for subsequent payment of allowances to personnel of the force engaged in adhoc duties. This development is pursuant to the policy of the Inspector General of Police for transparency and accountability in all aspects of the Nigeria Police Force and in readiness for the establishment of a standard template that would be used in the conduct of subsequent elections.
  7. The investigation panel will be chaired by Retired AIG Ali Ahmadu with the following as members:
  8. a representative from the office of Police Account and Budget
  9. a representative from the office of Director of Finance

iii. a representative from the office of DIG Operations

  1. a representative from the office of IGP Project Monitoring Unit
  2. a member from the office of the Special Investigation Panel to assist the chairman in conducting the investigation
  3. a representative from the office of Police Legal Section to serve as secretary
  4. The Inspector General of Police enjoins officers who are yet to receive their payment to exercise a little more patience as the issue is already being looked into, assuring them that no one would be cheated of his due. He further urges anyone with useful information that can assist the panel in their investigation not to hesitate in coming forward with such and assures the Nigerian public that the police will always uphold transparency and due process in all her affairs.

DCP Don N. Awunah, fsi

Force Public Relations Officer

All parties must be represented at examination of ballot materials – Tribunal tells PDP/Iyamu

Edo State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin City has ordered the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the September 28 governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to comply with an earlier order that all parties to the case must be represented in the scanning of the ballot materials.


At the hearing on Thursday, no less than 100 lawyers including Senior Advocates of Nigeria stormed the tribunal for the commencement of legal fireworks in the petition filed by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) against the outcome of the September 28 governorship election.


However, the tribunal failed to begin pre-hearing session of the petition filed by the PDP and Pastor Ize-Iyamu. Lead Counsels to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Godwin Obaseki, Adeniyi Akintola and Ken Mozia had informed the tribunal that the PDP and its candidate were carrying out scanning of ballot papers without the representatives of APC and Obaseki.


He said continuous scanning of the ballot papers without respondents representatives was a breach of the tribunal earlier order that all parties must be present. Chief Akintola supported Mozia saying they were not notified but lead Counsel to Ize-Iyamu and the PDP, Adebayo Adeladun told the tribunal that the respondents want to frustrate his clients effort at scanning the ballot papers.


The tribunal chairman said that its earlier orders were in order adding that no party should be excluded. Pastor Ize-Iyamu, who trailed behind Obaseki in the election with 253,173 votes, is asking the tribunal to declare him winner of the election. Adebayo Adeladun, had earlier informed the tribunal that he was prepared for the pre-hearing session but lead Counsels to the APC and Obaseki, Adeniyi Akintola and Ken Mozia said they were not informed about the pre-hearing session.


Both Mozia and Akintola said they have applications that must be heard before the pre-hearing session. Akintola said there was need for the tribunal to hear all applications before the pre-hearing session commenced while Mozia said his application is to summarily terminate the petition. In his applications, Mozia requested for orders of the tribunal to dismiss the entire petition as well as strike out some paragraphs in the main petition.


Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Mr. Onyebuchi Ikpeazu, told the tribunal that INEC was not aware that pre-hearing session was scheduled for Thursday sitting. He said they were not in the court for pre-hearing because the commission did not receive any information to that effect.

Reps want CJN empowered to pick election petition tribunal chairmen

The house of representatives on Wednesday passed for second reading a bill seeking to make the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) responsible for appointing chairman and members of election tribunals of the national and states houses of assembly in the country.


The bill, sponsored by Karimi Sunday and James Faleke, sought to alter Section 1 (3) of the sixth schedule of the 1999 constitution as amended.


Faleke told the house that the amendment was necessary to ensure checks and balances.


“The bill seeks to ensure that we have check and balances,” he said.


“The president of the court of appeal is in charge of setting up the election tribunals and at the same time constitutes appeal panels; this will ensure checks and balances.”


The house adopted the bill for second reading after it was put to a voice vote by Yakubu Dogara, the speaker.


Dogara further referred the bill to the special ad hoc committee reviewing the 1999 constitution.

20 Parties Ask INEC to Shift Ondo Election

Twenty parties have asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to shift Saturday’s election in Ondo State, citing insecurity.

This is coming days after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) urged INEC to postpone the election over the legal crisis rocking the party.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of the Commission, Rotimi Oyekanmi, maintained that there was no going back on the election date. He stressed that the commission in its arrangement for the poll has gone very far.

He stated “Thank you. As I write this, INEC has no plan to and does not intend to postpone the election. Preparations for the Ondo governorship election started since March and 12 of the 14 activities planned for the poll have been carried out. Besides, the grounds for postponing any election are enshrined in the Electoral Law and certainly, such calls for postponement is not one of the grounds.

The 13th activity, the Stakeholders’ Forum, will hold today. The Commission, therefore, will not postpone the election.

Speaking at a joint briefing yesterday in Abuja, the National Chairman of Labour Party, Abdulkadir Abdulsalam, said going ahead with the election without resolving the court cases gives room for caution.

The parties said they are aware that some people who benefit from the crises situation in Ondo will vehemently oppose any consideration for shifting the election date.

“ We only call on them to take notice of the fact that elections are considered free, fair and acceptable only when the rules are followed, as we cannot afford to govern an irate citizenry eager to explode at slightest provocation, stemming from the fact that they see the government as politically fraudulent.”

INEC Won’t Postpone Ondo Governorship Election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has no plan to postpone the Ondo State governorship election scheduled for Nov. 26.

The Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, disclosed this to newsmen while responding to calls by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some other registered political parties that the election should be postponed.

Oyekanmi said that INEC had already gone far with preparations and there was no any occurrence that warranted the commission to shift the Saturday election.

“INEC has no plan and does not intend to postpone the election.

“Preparations for the Ondo Governorship election started since March and 12 out of 14 activities planned for the poll have already been carried out.

“Besides, the grounds for postponing any election are enshrined in the Electoral Law and certainly, such calls for postponement is not one of the grounds.

“The 13th activity which is the Stakeholders’ Forum will hold on Tuesday in Akure, Ondo State. The Commission therefore will not postpone the election.”

Read More:

Ondo guber: Election cannot be postponed on account of PDP’s internal crisis – APC

The All Progressives Congress has described as bizarre a request by a faction of the Peoples Democratic Party on the Independent National Electoral Commission to postpone the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State on account of the PDP’s internal crisis.


The APC said the PDP in continuation of its wild conspiracies on the Ondo State governorship election has also accused the APC of colluding with the judicial system, INEC and security agencies to “manipulate” the outcome of the Ondo State governorship election.


The party, in a statement by its National Secretary, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni, said further: “The PDP crisis and the aftermath governorship candidate tussle within its ranks are self-inflicted and the PDP cannot hold Ondo state and indeed the country hostage on account of its internal crisis. Instead of making the ridiculous election postponement request on INEC, the PDP should focus and redirect its energy towards putting its house in order.


“The APC is not party to any scheme to subvert justice and undermine the very progressive and participatory democracy which the APC fiercely stands for.


“The APC calls on INEC to ignore PDP’s bizarre request and concentrate on delivering a free, fair, credible and transparent ballot on election day.


“The Ondo electorate are wise and will vote for the candidate with a proven track record of performance on election day. A vote for the tested, trusted and credible APC governorship candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, will bring about massive multi-faceted development which has eluded the state.”

Ondo guber: Group accuses Aregbesola of financing Oke’s election.

A youths group, Osun Youths Movement, has accused Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State of bankrolling the election expenses of the candidate of the Alliance for Democracy in Ondo State, Olusola Oke, for the November 26 governorship poll.

In a statement in Osogbo by the Coordinator of the group, Yusuf Olaosebikan, the group accused Aregbesola of diverting the meagre resources of the state “to feather his expansionist political agenda” in other states while the state’s workers suffer from months of unpaid salaries.

The group said physical infrastructure has also collapsed in Osun State “because of lack of focus and reckless ambition” by the governor.

The group warned the Federal Government against granting further bailout to the state until Aregbesola was able to explain how he spent the earlier cash meant for the settlement of several months of unpaid salaries.

It said: “It is heart-warming that the Senate Committee of Local Government is set to investigate Governor Aregbesola on how he spent the last bail-out meant for salary payment, which the governor failed to comply with.

“We alerted Osun people then that we had information that the governor was more concerned about his political fortunes than the welfare of Osun people, particularly the civil servants.

“Aregbesola started his expansionist idea when he started funding Mr Ayodele Fayose’s election with the state’s fund in 2014 to cause the defeat of his own party, APC, in Ekiti State.

“After succeeding in helping Fayose, Nigerians can now see that their friendship has blossomed with Aregbe holding secret meetings with Fayose and at present extending his tentacles to Ondo State, and this time around too, helping another party, AD, to defeat his own party to consolidate on his plans for a new party where he can wield enough influence.”

Warning against starving millions of Osun State residents to advance personal political ambition, the group threatened to make the state ungovernable for the governor if he continued spending the state’s money to fund elections in other states.

It said: “We can no longer continue to watch the governor spending our scarce resources to recklessly finance the elections of his political associates in other states in pursuit of personal ambition.

“Monday hiring of more than 300 buses in Osogbo and environs to ferry hired people to Ondo State for Olusola Oke’s campaign rally will no longer be tolerated because the governor cannot be pursuing his personal political ambition while our people suffer.”

Hillary Clinton admits she wanted to ‘curl up’ after election loss.

Hillary Clinton has opened up about her election defeat to Donald Trump and admitted she wanted to “curl up”.

She told a children’s charity in Washington that the last seven days have not been easy.

“There have been a few times this past week when all I wanted to do was just to curl up with a good book or our dogs and never leave the house again,” the Democrat said.

In a speech at the annual gala of the Children’s Defence Fund, she also addressed the difficulty of the loss for her supporters.

She urged them to persevere and encouraged her backers to “never, ever give up”.

“I know this isn’t easy,” Mrs Clinton told the audience.

“I know that over the past week a lot of people have asked themselves whether America is the country we thought it was.

“But please listen to me when I say this: America is worth it.

“It’s up to each and every one of us to keep working to make America better and stronger and fairer.

“We need you. America needs your energy.”

It was Mrs Clinton’s first public appearance since her emotional concession speech in New York last Wednesday.

She has blamed her defeat on the FBI’s decision to re-examine her use of a private email server during her time as US Secretary of State.

Mrs Clinton led in almost every poll before America voted Donald Trump as president.

Obama’s Village In Kenya ‘Votes’ For Clinton, Declares Her Winner Of Election

A highly unscientific poll by a Kenyan Twitter pollster puts US presidential candidate Hilary Clinton a whopping 69% ahead of Donald Trump.

another Kenyan poll which puts her even further ahead.

People in President Barack Obama’s father’s village held their own mock election, reports Kenya’s Star newspaper.

Mrs Clinton came won with 78% of the vote against Mr Trump’s 22% in the dummy election in Kogelo, Siaya county.

This tweeter monitored the election:

Credit: BBC

Mexicans pray Trump defeat in Tuesday’s US election.

Mexicans have smashed Donald Trump pinatas and torched the Republican White House hopeful’s effigy. Now they hope he will crash and burn in Tuesday’s US presidential election.

The New York billionaire became Mexico’s bogeyman ever since he called migrants “rapists” and drug dealers when he launched his campaign last year.

“The guy is a clown, a blowhard,” said Jafet Granados, an 18-year-old biotechnology student who was standing under Mexico City’s Angel of Independence monument.

“If he wins, he won’t do half of what he has promised.”

The government certainly sees risks in a Trump victory.

Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade said while a Trump victory would undoubtedly cause more “volatility” in the markets, the country was on strong financial footing to deal with it.

And central bank chief Agustin Carstens, who warned in September that Trump could hit Mexico like a powerful “hurricane,” said this week that the government had a contingency plan to weather the storm.

With his vows to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement and make Mexico pay to build a massive border wall, Trump’s rise in opinion polls just before the US vote contributed to the fall of the Mexican peso to 19.50 per dollar.

The peso however soared to 18.5563 per dollar in early Asian trading on Monday after the FBI lifted the threat of charges against Trump’s rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, over her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

– Slim vs Trump –

Not everyone in Mexico is putting a brave face on a possible victory for the 70-year-old Manhattan property mogul.

Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim has warned that a Trump administration would “destroy” the US economy by imposing big tariffs on imports.

“As we say in Mexico, being a drunk is different from being a bartender,” Slim quipped to reporters on Friday.

Trump lashed out at Slim last month after The New York Times published claims from women accusing the real estate baron of sexual misconduct. Slim is the newspaper’s largest shareholder.

Despite Trump’s unpopularity in Mexico, President Enrique Pena Nieto made the shocking decision to invite him to his official residence in August.

The invitation and Pena Nieto’s failure to forcefully criticize Trump during a joint news conference angered Mexicans.

Pena Nieto defended the move, saying it was important to open dialogue with someone who could be the next US president, though he admitted that he may have rushed to hold the meeting and failed to anticipate the anger it caused.

– Republican in Mexico: ‘Disgrace’ –

“The majority of Mexicans don’t want (Trump) to win,” Jose Antonio Crespo, a political expert at the Economic and Teaching Research Center, told AFP.

“The bilateral relation will be more quarrelsome than it normally is,” Crespo said.

Marcos Reyes, 46, who works at an advertising firm, said he feared that Trump would go through with mass deportations while those who remain in the United States would have “few opportunities” to have a better life.

Even the Republican Party’s representative in Mexico, Larry Rubin, is not voting Trump.

“It wouldn’t be good for the United States and much less for relations between the United States and Mexico,” Rubin, a dual US-Mexican citizen, told the Televisa network.

“His rhetoric has been very negative,” he said. “It would be a disgrace.”

Trump Cries Foul As FBI Clears Clinton Two Days To Election

Donald Trump has accused the FBI of impropriety after it once again exonerated his rival Hillary Clinton of criminal conduct on her emails.

The FBI director said a fresh inquiry into the Democratic candidate’s communications found nothing to change the bureau’s conclusion this summer.

The Clinton campaign said it was “glad” the lingering issue had been resolved.

The dramatic twist lifted a cloud from her campaign as the final day of the marathon US election race loomed.

The latest opinion polls on Sunday, before news broke of the FBI announcement, gave Mrs Clinton a four to five-point lead over Mr Trump.

The Republican nominee cried foul after learning about the law enforcement bureau’s decision.

At a rally in the Detroit suburbs, Mr Trump insisted it would have been impossible for the FBI to review what has been reported to be as many as 650,000 emails in such a short time.

“Right now she’s being protected by a rigged system. It’s a totally rigged system. I’ve been saying it for a long time,” he told supporters in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

“Hillary Clinton is guilty, she knows it, the FBI knows it, the people know it and now it’s up to the American people to deliver justice at the ballot box on November 8.”

While Mrs Clinton herself did not address the FBI director’s letter on the trail, her campaign said it was always confident she would be cleared.

In Manchester, New Hampshire, on Sunday, she said the country was facing “a moment of reckoning” and Americans must choose between “division and unity”.

In July, the FBI said she had been “extremely careless” to handle classified material on a private email server as secretary of state from 2009-13, but it had found no evidence she committed a crime.

However, 11 days before the election, FBI director James Comey had pitched the race into turmoil by announcing a newly discovered batch of Clinton emails would be investigated.

The bombshell infuriated the Clinton camp, but threw a lifeline to a Trump campaign that had been receding in the polls.

Read More: BBC

Ondo Election: I Will Defeat Ibrahim, Jegede – Akeredolu Boasts

The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the forthcoming Ondo State governorship election, Rotimi Akeredolu was on Monday confident that he can win the two Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) aspirants, Jimoh Ibrahim and Eyitayo Jegede, put together.

He spoke with State House correspondents after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari along with Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Akeredolu said: “l can always tell you, people who know me, they know that I talk most times with some confidence, let me assure you here that by the grace of God, we will win the election in Ondo state.

“I can assure you I would have been happier facing both of them together, if Eyitayo Jegede was chosen as candidate and Ibrahim as his deputy, I will still win.

“Infact Jegede happens to be a friend, Ibrahim too. Jimoh Ibrahim went to Ife, so we have known ourselves for long. I have no fear about both of them. We know that we are going to win this election and I have no doubt,” he added

When asked to speak on efforts to settle the rift between him and the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, he denied any rift with Tinubu.

He said: “I don’t have any rift with him, since the primaries you would see that as leader of the party, he has not said anything about it. He has accepted the primaries and we are moving on. So, I don’t have any rift with him at all and we are moving on.”

He said that his party in the state has already called on the security agencies in Ondo to be up and doing in order not to allow miscreants take over the state in the name of protests.

He said: “Because for instance as a governor you encourage lawlessness or people in the guise of protest because what the PDP has is a problem within the party, that should not lead to demonstration outside and you know that people are not demonstrating for any reason but because they have been more or less paid to come and do it.

“What we said is don’t allow miscreants to be out. Nobody can control the end of such demonstration. So it’s not that we are afraid, but we fear for the life and property of the people of Ondo state.” He stated

Speaking on the visit to the President, Lalong said: “A few weeks ago I was given the responsibility of leading the campaign on behalf of the National Executive for the Ondo election. And the candidate since election at the primaries have not come to be presented to the leader of our party, that is Mr President.

“So today we came in with the candidate and to confirm to the President that APC has only one candidate unlike other parties that are fighting about who is their candidate.

“We have only one candidate and that candidate is Chief Akeredolu Rotimi (SAN).” He said
He was optimistic that the APC will win the election.

He said: “Well that is not a problem to APC, since inception you knew what happened in Kogi, you knew what happened in Edo, we won the elections. It was as if it was going to be very difficult for us but we won the elections.

“Today again we are going into Ondo, all the mistake we made in other states we have corrected them, we are seeing a very smooth election, not only a smooth election but the credibility of the candidate itself is something worth selling,” he said.

The governor also faulted the visit of the out-going Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko, to President Buhari last Friday.

According to him, Mimiko should have concentrated on resolving the crisis that erupted in his state.

He said: “Let me say it was even wrong for them to start running to Mr. President to help them solve the problem of PDP in their party. Mr. President is the President of Nigeria and he is not a member of PDP. Even when we have problems in APC, we don’t run to Mr. President.

“If he has a problem in his state, he is the governor, let him stay there and resolve the matter. Its a matter between PDP and PDP and those matters are in court. So why should you run to the President. Is the President the chief judge of Nigeria?” He queried

He went on: “He is not the INEC chairman either. Well Mr. President is a loyal party man. So he is answerable to the party although the president of Nigeria.”

On the response of President Buhari to the visit, Lalong said: “He has also confirmed that he has seen the candidate and is also praying for a successful election in Ondo state.”

16,723 Personnel To Conduct Ondo Guber Election– INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said 16,723 of its personnel will be deployed to  conduct the November 2016,governorship election in Ondo State.

This comes as the the commission will publish the list of nominated candidates to represent political parties on October 27.

While the All Progressives Congress (APC) has Akeredolu as its candidate, media owner, Jimoh Ibrahim and former commissioner of Justice in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede, are locked in a tussle over the candidacy of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Ondo State is made up of eighteen (18) Local Government Areas, 203 Registration Areas, and 3,010 Polling Units. It has a total of 1,660,055 registered voters.

A breakdown of the 16,723 personnel to be deployed indicates that INEC would deploy one (1) Returning Officer, eighteen (18) Local Government Collation Officers, 203 Registration Area Collation Officers, 301 Supervisory Presiding Officer (SPOs), 3,010 Presiding Officers (POs), and 11, 103 Assistant Presiding Officers (I,II and III).

Others are 1,321 Assistant Presiding Officers (VP), 621 Reserve Assistant Presiding Officers, 19 Local Government Area Supervisors, and 126 Registration Area Cluster Supervisors.

Similarly, the commission will publish the list of nominated candidates to represent political parties as well as official voters register for the polls, on October 27.

The anticipated publication is in compliance with the relevant sections of the law.

Section 34 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) provides that INEC should publish the list of nominated candidates by political parties at least 30 days before the day of an election.

Similarly, Section 20 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) provides that the Commission should publish the official register of voters for an election, not less than 30 days before the election.

Credit: leadership

Donald Trump Says He’ll Accept The Election Results, But Only If He Wins

After refusing to confirm he’d accept the results of next month’s election during the third presidential debate, Donald Trump has now edited his statement to add the caveat he’d “totally accept the results” if he were to win.

“I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election — if I win,” Trump said to thunderous applause during a rally at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio on Thursday.

“Of course, I would accept a clear election result, but I would also reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result,” he continued. “And always, I will follow and abide by all of the rules and traditions of all of the many candidates who have come before me. Always.”

Trump’s refusal to say he’d concede the election if he were to lose has received criticism from both Democrats and Republicans alike, with both pointing out that the very fabric of American democracy is dependent on a peaceful transition between presidents and faith in the electoral system.

During the debate on Wednesday, Trump would not directly answer how he’d react to the election results, only saying “I will tell you at the time” and “I’ll keep you in suspense, OK?” Clinton responded by calling this “horrifying.”

Credit: cosmopolitan

Edo Govt Exempts Banks, Corporate Organisations From 1st Election Public Holiday

The Edo State Government has exempted banks and corporate organisations from the public holiday declared for Tuesday, September 27.

The State Government had declared a public holiday for Tuesday, September 27 and Wednesday, September 28, 2016 to enable voters in the state travel to their various locations and exercise their voting rights on Wednesday, September 28. However, Banks and corporate community have now been exempted from the public holiday on Tuesday, September 27 in order not to slow down the economy of the state.

Faleke Reacts To Supreme Court Ruling Upholding Gov. Bello’s Election

The deputy governorship candidate in the November 21, 2015 election in Kogi State, James Faleke, has reacted to the judgement of the Supreme Court upholding the election of Yahaya Bello as governor of the state.

Mr. Faleke said he had no regrets challenging Mr. Bello’s election, saying he took the step in “good faith to protect the interest of the over 240,000 electorates that voted for the Audu/Faleke ticket”.

Mr. Faleke was the All Progressives Congress, APC’s running mate in the November election before the ticket holder, Abubakar Audu, died as he led in declared results.

Mr. Faleke challenged the APC’s decision to nominate Mr. Bello as its new candidate for a supplementary election that held in December 2015.

After a prolonged legal tussle at the high court and the appeal court, the Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Mr. Bello’s election.

A seven-man panel headed by Justice Sylvester Ngwata affirmed the election after listening to the closing statements of all the counsel.

The court said it would provide reasons for its decision on September 30.

In his reaction, conveyed in a statement by Duro Meseko, Mr. Faleke said it would have amounted to a “betrayal of the sacred trust of the people who reposed implicit confidence in the Audu/Faleke ticket not to have defended the sanctity of their vote up till the Apex court level”.

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Edo PDP candidate, Ize-Iyamu is still under investigation – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, is still under investigation for his alleged role in the disbursement of N23bn campaign funds, which emanated from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The N23bn was alleged to have been part of stolen crude oil funds and kickbacks from contractors.

Part of the money was allegedly used in bribing officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission during the 2015 general elections.

Ize-Iyamu had told journalists that as the campaign director for the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation in Edo State during the 2015 presidential election, he handled N700m for the party.

He was quizzed by the EFCC in May 2016, whn he was asked to return some money to the commission but was not detained, thereby fuelling speculations that he had been cleared by the anti-graft agency.

The EFCC spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, however, said on Monday that the PDP candidate was still under investigation.

“I can confirm to you that he (Ize-Iyamu) is still under investigation,” Wilson said.

Ize-Iyamu had told reporters that he indeed handled N700m for the PDP during the last presidential election but added that the party still owed him some money.

He had said, “I told them (EFCC) who got what: that we needed money for transportation; mobilisation of our people; some of them that had to leave Benin to their polling units in the rural areas, and that the state chairman of the party worked out a realistic budget.

“And that by the time we looked at what they brought and what we had in mind, it became clear that the N700m would not be enough. Our leader volunteered to make up the difference, which he brought from his house.”

The EFCC has grilled about 16 former governors and ministers over the alleged N23bn Diezani scam.

Some of them included the immediate past Governor of Kebbi State, Saidu Dakin Garin; former Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State; former Governor Ibrahim Shekarau of Kano State; former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff of Borno State; former Governor James Ngilari of Adamawa State; a former Governor of Zamfara State, Mamuda Shinkafi; a former Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke; and a former Minister of State for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda.

During the election, each state was said to have received at least N450m from the fund, which was handled by ministers or governors who were members of the PDP.

Some states, however, received more than N450m.

Edo 2016 And The Way Forward

The gubernatorial election of Edo State is on September 10, 2016. Tempo of campaign has already escalated to feverish level. Worthy of note is that the contest is devoid of ethnicity. The two main contestants come from highly respected families in Benin City. As campaign rhetoric inundates the State which prides itself as the heartbeat of Nigeria, there is the need for the electorate to separate the chaff from the wheat. Outcome of the election shall be materially influenced by past performance of the political parties while in power in the state and the personal qualities of the contestants.


From 1999 to 2007, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with Chief Lucky Igbinedion as governor governed the State. PDP administration continued until 2008 when the court removed the then governor, Prof. Osarhiemen Osunbo. The re-election of Chief Lucky Igbinedion for a second term and election of Prof. Osunbor were made possible by the ‘do or die” politics under former President Olusegun Obasanjo. The 2007 general elections had already gone down in history as the worst, a monumental fraud and national disgrace.


The PDP administration took office with high expectations, considering Chief Lucky Igbinedion’s success as Chairman of Oredo Local Government Council. But regrettably, the party left Edo State in ruins after nine years in power With a battered economy, misery pervaded Edo State in those years of misrule. several indigenes fled to avert the crisis that gripped the State.


Some policies under the PDP were so injurious that till date, the State is still reeling from their harmful effect. For instance, instead of boosting domestic rice production for which Ekpoma, Agbede, Lamkpese and other cities were popular, at a point, the PDP administration imported and dumped large quantities of expired rice on every local government in the State. As a result of the competitive disadvantage provoked by this wicked act, several farmers deserted their rice farms.


While PDP governed the state, roads, educational and public health infrastructure suffered serious deterioration as they were neither maintained nor improved upon. Insecurity escalated to unimaginable proportions.


The maladministration also extended to traditional institutions which were desecrated with impunity. Even the revered Oba of Benin was not spared from embarrassment. At a point, he was subjected to indignity of trekking barefooted to the High Court in a case with the reigning PDP governor. The nine years PDP governed Edo State can only be remembered with sad and unpleasant memories.

Following the Court judgment that declared Comrade Adams Oshiomole as governor, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) took over administration of Edo State in 2008. ACN later metamorphosed into All Progressives Congress (APC). There were initial apprehensions that being a labour activist, viability of Comrade Oshiomole as an administrator was uncertain. It was unclear how this erroneous notion took root that labour activists were only good as critics but bad as leaders. However, eight years of Comrade Oshiomole’s rule as governor of Edo State has demonstrated that labour activists can even be better as political leaders.


APC took over a state that was practically in destitution. In eight years, it has almost restored the glorious days when


Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia was military Governor of old Bendel. In the past eight years of APC administration in Edo State, the economy has been revamped, despite headwinds from an unfriendly PDP led federal administration. Within this period, several dilapidated roads and drainages in the State have been rehabilitated and new ones constructed.


Existing educational and healthcare infrastructure have been upgraded and new ones established. Insecurity has been firmly dealt with. As a result of the new enabling environment, Edo State has once again become a beehive of social and economic activities.


Now, there are no more tales of woe to tell about the State as things have moved from despair to hope for even a brighter future. Whoever wins the upcoming gubernatorial election will inherit an administration with a solid foundation that can be built upon.


The APC candidate, Godwin Obaseki is no stranger to the outgoing administration. He is credited with crafting of the economic plan that propelled the State into a success story. His opponent in PDP, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is also experienced in Edo State politics, having served at various times in the State legislature and executive.


The APC candidate, an Investment Banker, Godwin Obaseki packaged and listed several high profile corporate issues including Dangote Cement Plc, the most capitalized company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. This has enabled several Nigerian investors to share in the wealth created daily by these successful companies.


Due to his distinctive competence in economic policy formulation and capital formation, any promise made by Godwin Obaseki in the area of economic development can be taken seriously and regarded as achievable.

INEC Asks Edo Women Not To Sell Votes

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday organised a sensitisation forum for women in Edo State to educate them on the need to vote wisely on September 10 and not to mortgage their conscience for bags of rice.


Blessing Obidegwu, the Deputy Director, Gender Division, INEC headquarters, stated this in Benin City while delivering lecture to Edo State women, civil society, nongovernmental organisations and women leaders from all markets across the state.


Obidegwu, who put the statistics of prospective voters in Edo State at 1,925,105, stated that women make up a large percentage but regretted that women’s participation is very low.


According to the INEC deputy director, “It is regrettable that only one political party fielded a woman candidate out of the 19 political parties contesting the Edo gubernatorial election and 8 fielded women as deputy governor, even the increase in the deputy was as a result of our several engagement with political parties on the needs for them to involve more women in the political process”.


Obidegwu further advised women in the state to inculcate the message of peace to their children who usually are tools in the hands of desperate politicians.

Mothers bear the brunt of most violence in elections; therefore, you should dissuade your children from being used as political thugs by politicians”.


While decrying the spate of inconclusive elections in Nigeria, she said Edo State could be different if violence, over voting, and impunity by political parties are discouraged.


Also speaking at the forum was Uloma Osuala, the Deputy Country Director, International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES), who said women should not just make the numbers during voting but should actively participate in the electoral process like contesting election while Mufuliat Fijabi, who is the Gender Advisor to IFES spoke intensively on the need for women to vote rightly and not allow themselves to be intimidated by even their spouse.


Meanwhile, Sam Olumekun, the resident electoral commissioner of Edo State, who was represented by Mathew Ogwuocha also spoke extensively on the consequences of selling of vote, violence, and role women can play to make the election free, fair and transparent.

Politics: In Rivers, It’s A Game Of Death.

I’m not used to too much prayer, but I must begin today’s piece with a word of prayer. I pray that God Almighty visits the killers of Barr. Ken Atsuwete (and their sponsors) with slow and painful death. Amen!


I pray that the divine punishment for the dastardly act of Monday constitutes the largest chunk of the inheritance, which the killers (and their sponsors) would pass on to their children and their children’s children in the fullness of time. Amen and Amen and Amen!


But, one question kept coming to my mind on Monday, as I tried to make sense of the senseless abduction and murder of the activist lawyer in Port Harcourt: Aren’t we back to a not-too-unfamiliar narrative? For, it would appear, Rivers State relapses into a feast of blood as soon as a new date for the now-jinxed re-run election is within the horizon.


Everything – including kidnapping, armed robbery and, as is in this case, heinous assassination – suddenly begins to take a political coloration. It is either that ‘blood-thirsty’ Governor Nyesom Wike is trying to intimidate opponents with violence (the APC narrative), or Rotimi Amaechi and his APC gang are unleashing mayhem in order to underscore their claim that Rivers State is not safe for any election to hold there.


And now, the murder of Atsuwete perfectly fits the bill: He is not only the lawyer of a former council chairman, who is facing trial in a murder case, but is also representing the 22 council chairmen elected on the platform of the APC and who were sacked by the Wike administration.


Expectedly, the APC says the lawyer’s assassination is the worst politically motivated killing in recent times, while PDP says the APC is politicising criminality and trivialising a serious matter. But while they’re vomiting all the high-sounding nonsense, somebody’s husband, a father, a breadwinner, a community leader, a voice of the voiceless lies stone cold. Dead!


Incidentally, while members of the NBA were holding their conference in Port Harcourt last week, I had fantasised about some hooded goons kidnapping a few prominent (and some not-so-prominent) lawyers – just to underscore the narrative that Rivers State was still not safe. Luckily, it never happened.


But before Wike and his camp could pop champagne, the goons mowed down Atsuwete, casting ominous pall over the proposed end-of-October date for the legislative re-run elections.


Of course, it’s understandable: The ‘insecurity’ narrative is the thin thread on which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has hung its stubborn refusal to conduct outstanding National and State Assembly elections in Rivers State.


In fact, INEC has so foot-dragged on the matter that it is now very clear that there is more to the Rivers situation than meets the eye – something beyond the control of our ‘independent’ INEC.


At one point, the postponement of the elections was blamed on a mysterious fire that razed an INEC office in the state. Even when Wike said he offered to quickly rebuild the burnt office, INEC reportedly claimed it lost some ‘sensitive materials’ in the inferno and would have to call off the election. But as the governor would cynically observe, “where did we ever hear that INEC released ‘sensitive materials’ more than three weeks to an election?”


This seeming hide-and-seek game has since forced Wike to conclude that a phony game is afoot – so much so that today, he seems to have just one message for whoever cares to listen: “Tell INEC to come and conduct our elections…Tell INEC that Rivers State is safe.”


It was the same message he gave to the Nigerian Guild of Editors conference a couple of weeks ago. He repeated it to visiting Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. And this Monday, he threw the same challenge at his colleagues in the NBA, whom he said had kept quiet in the face of the anomaly.


Similarly, in February, when the old students association of my secondary school, Federal Government College, Ilorin, held a reunion in the Garden City, an aide of the governor’s kept reassuring me of my safety in Port Harcourt. I ended up not making the trip, but everyone who did came back with pleasant memories. So, is this the same Port Harcourt that INEC is mortally afraid of? I just wonder!

Isn’t it unfair that nearly one and a half years into the four-year tenure of the present legislature, Rivers State has been forced to live without its full compliment of representation at the National Assembly? Or isn’t Rivers supposed to be bound by the laws passed by the eighth National Assembly?


Clearly, the excuse of insecurity is no longer tenable, especially, now that the state is relatively safe.


While one would wish the wrath of God on whoever wastes the life of a fellow human being just to score a political point, it is pertinent to note that Rivers state remains safer than several states in the North East (and even North Central), where INEC has since conducted both the main elections and the re-run elections – in spite of Boko Haram and rampaging herdsmen.


Even the PDP settled for Rivers State as venue for its convention a few weeks ago. The only insecurity issue that arose from there came from the seemingly partisan police, which sealed the original venue, under the guise of securing it.


Of course, the happenings in PDP, with relations to the seen and unseen hands, will be topic for another day. Until then, however, one must keep wondering if the APC does not deserve a medal for the confusion tearing PDP apart.


For now, my concern is with Wike’s Rivers State. Clearly, the touted insecurity exists only in the imagination (and machination) of INEC, the police and their paymasters. But, for as long as they keep trying to hide in the open, so long too will Rivers State remain an open sore on the conscience of President Buhari’s government – a living testimony to its curious democracy credentials.


But, of course, rather than wake us up to the need to do the needful, this assassination in Rivers will offers us opportunity to play politics some more. For politics appears to be the only thing going on in the country at the moment – even as the price of a bag of rice hits N18,500, five hundred naira higher than the minimum wage, which (even in the height of our recent past affluence) most of our governors said was too much for them to pay.


Today, our earning power has drastically reduced, people have been kicked out of their jobs. Those still in employment are owed several months’ arrears of salary.


The governors are still playing politics with workers – auditing staff, verifying staff, forever searching for ghost workers, and still refusing to pay those who have been cleared. With their eyes already fixed on 2019, the governors don’t want to sack, even when they know they cannot (or do not want to) pay.


Yes, as we’re all starving to death, the leaders are busy politicking. From APC states to PDP states, the preoccupation is with partisan politics. There is no talk about putting food on the table of the masses, beyond lip service, that is.


It is the same story from Bauchi (where Speaker Yakubu Dogara recently mobilised his supporters to go protest against Gov. Mohammed Abubakar) to Imo (where they are going to the land of the dead and back). Kano (where they’re playing politics with mass wedding), Edo (where they’re campaigning and dancing, as if they’re high on some cheap substances), Ondo (where they have introduced juju into the mix), Kogi (where they’re already stoning themselves), Enugu (where rampaging herdsmen have found a soft target) and Ekiti (where the herdsmen politics has played into a cul-de-sac).


And when all these do not provide the needed distraction, they mouth security, corruption, IPOB, Avengers. Just anything, apart from putting food on the table, returning people to employment and reining down the Dollar that is forever looking skyward. We have been preparing to go into agriculture to diversify the economy for nearly two years now. Two planting seasons have passed us by. Surely, this is a game of death.

#Edo2016: Police Must Be Ready To Provide Tight Security – Isiwele

Concerned about possible volatile situation in Edo State in the run up to September 10, 2016 gubernatorial election, a prominent son of the state, Alhaji Musa Shehu Isiwele, has urged vigilance on the part of security agencies, especially the Nigeria police, so as to forestall a repeat of the mayhem and bloodletting that characterised last year’s governorship election in Rivers State.


He gave the charge in Abuja as political gladiators perfect strategy for the poll that has raised concerns in several quarters.


Alhaji Musa Isiwele, a retired senior police officer, said that he foresees a highly contested gubernatorial poll in Edo, especially between the ruling All Progressives Congress and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, but cautioned that the election in Edo State should not be a do-or-die affair.


Isiwele, who is the Executive President of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), however, urged the people of Edo to vote for candidate of their choice regardless of intimidations and threats from any quarter.


I am advising my people, voters and contestants alike, the election in Edo State is not supposed to be a do or die affair. We want the election to be free and fair, and people should vote for candidate of their choice. I’m also advising the security agencies, let there be tight security on that day. Let there be enough security men on the ground.

Now everybody is anxious, everybody is ready, waiting. Let the police ensure that security is tight so that people can vote candidates of their choice. I have listened to the campaign of both sides, that is why I am giving the advice. It is not supposed to be a do or die affair. In an election, there’s no loser as far as I’m concerned. If you fail people will come to know you and next time when you come out they will vote for you. After all, our president failed three times before winning”, he pointed out.


On why he is not coming out to endorse any of the two leading governorship candidates, APC’s Obaseki or Ize-Iyamu of the PDP, given the prominent role he played in the 2015 election where he sponsored three candidates to electoral success, Alhaji Isiwele declared that he has quit partisan politics because of the untrustworthiness of politicians.


According to him, politicians are like a broken down vehicle whose owner is asking people to assist him to push so that the engine can start.


The moment you push the vehicle and it starts, the much they will do is raise their hand and wave you bye”, he said.


Recalling his involvement in the 2015 election, Alhaji Musa Isiwele disclosed that he personally sponsored three candidates to the House of Assembly, House of Representatives and Senate to success.


He regrets that those beneficiaries today cannot even call him on phone.

Jonathan Leads AU Election Observer Mission To Zambia

Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is to lead the African Union Elections Observation Mission, AUEOM, to the Zambian general elections scheduled take place on October 11, 2016.

Recall that former President Jonathan was named to lead a 33-nation observer mission to the Sunday, October 25, 2015 General Election held in Tanzania.

A statement posted on AU’s website yesterday stated that Jonathan would be leading members of the short term mission to join the continental body’s deployment of long term election experts who are already on ground in Zambia, adding that the chairperson of African Union Commission, AUC, approved it. The statement read: “The Chairperson of the AUC has approved the deployment of African Union Elections Observation Mission, AUEOM, to the General Election scheduled to take place in the Republic of Zambia on October 11, 2016.

“The deployment of the AUEOM will take place in two phases. The first phase comprised the deployment of long term election experts and took place from July 14 to August 22, 2016 and is made up of 10 observers.”

“For the first time, the AU long term experts include election/ legal political/media/campaign analysts.

“The objective is ensure that the AUEOM approaches its work with added professionalism and factual analysis of the legal, political, electoral, media and campaign aspects of the electoral process in Zambia.

“At the second phase of the Mission, the long term experts will to be joined by Short Term observers from the August 1 to 15, 2016.

“The Short Term Mission will be headed by Goodluck Jonathan, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The AUEOM draws its mandate from various African Union instruments, most importantly: (a) the AU Guidelines for Elections Observation and Monitoring Missions, 2002; (b) the OUA/AU Declaration on Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa, 2002; African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, 1981, and (c) African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, 200), among others.

“The objectives of the Mission is (a) to provide an accurate and impartial reporting or assessment of the quality of the 25th October General Elections in the United Republic of Tanzania, including the degree to which the conduct of the elections meets regional, continental and international standards for democratic elections; (b) to offer recommendations for improvement of future elections based on the findings; and, and (c) to demonstrate AU’s interest to support Tanzania’s elections and democratisation process to ensure that the conduct of genuine elections contributes to the consolidation of democratic governance, peace and stability in Tanzania in particular and the East African sub-region in general.”

Credit: Vanguard

Fresh: APC/PDP At War Over Rivers Election Re-Run

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has slammed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for postponing the National and State Assembly rerun elections in Rivers State once more. PDP voiced its anger in a series of tweets on its official Twitter handle on Wednesday and noted that this was second postponement following an initial postponement in March this year.


The party, which also aimed potshots at President Muhammadu Buhari, claimed that the postponements have only allowed for the continuation of ‘unjust and illegal’ deprivation of the people of the state proper representation in the National Assembly.


“The people of Rivers State have continually been deprived of representation at the National Assembly. This deprivation is unjust & illegal.” “Without mincing words, we condemn this action. This is the second postponement after the rerun elections were previously postponed in March,” the party said. “With each postponement INEC & the security agencies are telling Nigerians that the Buhari admin is incapable of protecting Nigerians.”


Apparently, the party sees the postponement as a ploy by the Commission to prevent its state, Rivers from benefiting from proper representation in the National Assembly.

It would be recalled that INEC on Tuesday announced the postponement of the July 30 rerun election because it could not guarantee the safety of its officials and elections nor guarantee a free and fair exercise because of the high level of insecurity in the state.


A statement signed by the Commission’s secretary, Augusta Ogakwu, read: “The reports of these assessments have been almost unanimous in concluding that the prevailing security situation in most parts of the state where elections are to hold are not conducive for peaceful elections.


“In the Commission’s view, the rhetorics of some of the political actors, the incidence of violence in a number of local government areas where these elections are scheduled and the atmosphere of fear and intimidation created present danger in proceeding with elections as earlier scheduled.”


The Commission assured “that it is ready to conclude elections in Rivers State within shortest time possible once security situation is conducive for the conduct of peaceful polls”.

Tribunal Upholds David Mark’s Election

The National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal, sitting in Makurdi, yesterday dismissed the petition by the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate in the Benue South senatorial election, Daniel Onjeh challenging the victory of Senator David Mark, on the grounds that it was filed out of time.

Onjeh had challenged the victory of Senator Mark in the February 20, 2016 rerun election citing electoral malpractices and irregularities in the conduct of the poll.

However, Senator Mark, through his counsel, Mr. Ken Ikonne had through a motion challenged the jurisdiction of the Tribunal to entertain the matter on the grounds that it was incompetent and statute barred.

Mark had contended that, having been declared winner of the election on February 21, 2016 the petitioner had 21 days from the day of the declaration of the result to file his petition which he failed to do.

He argued that the petition was filed on March 13,, 2016 outside the 21 days allowed by law for such matters to be generated before a tribunal and in total variance with the provisions of Section 285(5) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

On his part, Daniel Onjeh through his counsel, Adetunji Oso had asked the Tribunal to hear the suit on its merits insisting that the matter was properly brought before the Tribunal.

Credit: Vanguard

Read How Election Candidate Bribes Elderly Men With Erectile Dysfunction Drugs To Secure Votes

Elderly men in South Korea have allegedly been given erectile dysfunction drugs to buy their votes in legislative elections, prosecutors said Tuesday, announcing an investigation into the suspected breach. South Koreans go to the polls on Wednesday in an election already overshadowed by North Korean nuclear threats and economic difficulties.

The alleged vote-buying took place in Suwon, 30 kilometres (around 20 miles) south of the capital Seoul. “We have yet to verify the allegations. If confirmed, this could constitute a breach of election law,” the spokesman for Suwon Prosecutors’ Office told AFP.

Vote-buying in South Korea carries a sentence of up to five years in prison or a fine of 10 million won ($8,750). Erectile dysfunction drugs are a prescription medication in South Korea and prosecutors will investigate how the unnamed candidate was allegedly in possession of so many, the Dong-A Ilbo daily said.

Anyone found guilty of vote-buying risks being stripped of their election victory, while voters face fines of up to 50 times the value of the cash or gift they received in return for supporting the candidate.

Credit: Vangaurd


APC Can’t Win Any Election In Rivers, Wike Insists

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has declared that the All Progressives Congress, APC, is not in a position to win an election in the state, accusing the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi of sponsoring violence to remain politically relevant.

Wike informed that with the proofs of corruption against Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation resorted to blackmailing the leadership of the APC that he would reveal to the public how much he invested in the party’s campaign if he was not confirmed as a minister.

This is even as the Senate Caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, led by Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio insisted that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, must release the collated results of the March 19, 2016 rerun elections. Speaking during a solidarity visit by the PDP Senate Caucus, Governor Wike said the Minister of Transportation lost his local government area and Federal Constituency, hence his desperation to influence the release of the results. He said: “Any person who loves Mr President won’t be causing unnecessary crisis for him. We have problem in the North East, problem in the South-East, so there is no need for another problem in the South-South .

“It is good that the elections were held so that Nigerians will know the truth about the polity. If elections are held 20 times, PDP will win”.

The governor decried the role played by soldiers during the rerun elections. He said the military were directly involved in the elections at polling units and at the collation centres in direct violation of the Electoral Act. He regretted the killing of the corps member, Samuel Okonta during the rerun elections, but stressed that investigation into the type of bullet that killed him must be made public. He confirmed that the state government will immortalise the late corps member.

Credit: Vanguard

Rivers Re- Run: INEC Cancels Election In 8 LGAs

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cancelled re-run election in eight local government areas of Rivers State.

Addressing reporters on Sunday, a day after the re-run election, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Aniedi Ikoiwak, said that the cancelation was due to irregularities at the affected local government areas.

Election held in Etche and Asari-Toru Local Government Areas were the latest to be cancelled.

In a press statement, the INEC official said: “Further to our earlier pronouncement on the suspension of the re-run in the six Local Government Areas of Khana, Bonny, Gokana, Andoni, Tai and Eleme, following disturbances and violence that impeded the electoral process in those parts of the state, it has become necessary to suspend elections in Etche and Asari-Toru LGAs for the same reasons.

“Please note that the suspension of the re-run elections by INEC is necessitated by the need to forestall breakdown of law and order in the event of further aggravation of crisis.

“INEC needs to put all stakeholders on notice that we are still studying the situation in the other fifteen LGAs, where collations are currently going on”.

So far, re-run election has been canceled in Khana, Bonny, Gokana, Andoni, Tai and Eleme, Etche and Asari-Toru Local Government Areas.

The electoral umpire further cited violence, snatching of ballot boxes, noncompliance to electoral law as part of the reasons for cancellation.

INEC said it is reviewing the rest of the process in the re-run polls while collation of results are ongoing.

Credit: ChannelsTv

APC Candidate Withdraws From Akwa Ibom Rerun Election

Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the March 12 Akwa Ibom rerun election, Mr Victor Okon, has withdrawn his candidacy.


Okon, vying for the Oron/Udung Uko constituency, made his decision known at a news conference held in Uyo on Friday, less than 24 hours to the rerun election.


He said that his withdrawal from the Saturday Akwa Ibom House of Assembly rerun election was personal.


He added that “after due consultation with my family and immediate constituency, I have decided to withdraw from the rerun election fixed for March 12, 2016 for very personal reasons.


“I have also already resigned from the All Progressives Congress (APC). This is my will and final decision on this matter.” He thanked the people of Oron/Udung Uko state constituency for their unflinching support and assistance throughout his sojourn and during the contest and his political career.


Okon contested the Oron Udung Uko state constituency election on the platform of APC in the April 11, 2015 election and lost to Mr Effiong Bassey of the PDP.




Caitlyn Jenner Attacks Hillary Clinton, Says Former First Lady Doesn’t Care About Women

Reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner has attacked Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton during the opening episode of her latest reality TV show.

Jenner, 66, described the possibility of a Clinton presidency as ‘unfortunate’ dismissing claims that she should be more liberal because she has transitioned from a man to a woman.

The self-confessed conservative was discussing politics and the presidential election during the premiere of ‘I Am Cait’.

Caitlyn said: ‘If we are unfortunate enough to get Hillary as our next president, we need her on our side. But she won’t be it would be the last place I want to be. ‘She couldn’t care less about women, she only cares about herself.’

When asked about which Republican candidate would be most supportive of transgender people, Jenner replied ‘all of them’.

Last week, Jenner offered her services to Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign to become his advisor on trans issues.

Ugandan Authorities Detain Opposition Presidential Candidate Over Security Threats

Ugandan authorities on Monday said that opposition candidate, Kizza Besigye, was detained by police as a “preventative” security measure.


Kizza was detained on Saturday -two days after he failed to beat long-serving President Yoweri Museveni in an election that observers say was flawed.


“Today, Besigye had mobilised a group of youth to storm the electoral commission.

“ We had information that they had planned to cause violence in the city,” Police Spokesman, Patrick Onyango, told newsmen.


Meanwhile, the EU, U.S. and Commonwealth observers to the Feb.18 elections all said that the polls were undermined by lack of transparency and fell short of key democratic benchmarks.


They also expressed concern over the harassment of opposition figures and the shutdown of social media in Uganda, where Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp have faced outages since election day.



Obasanjo Calls For Peaceful And Transparent Election In Uganda

As Commonwealth observers began deploying across Uganda, former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has called for a peace and transparency in Thursday’s election in the country


This is contained in a statement by Will Henley, Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat, London, released in Abuja on Tuesday.


The statement said that Obasanjo, the Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group, joined the team in Kampala on Monday ahead of the presidential and parliamentary polls.


“As observers, we hope to see a transparent and credible election process. Our eyes are open, and we will report what we see without fear or favour. All stakeholders, including party candidates and supporters, election officials, police and security forces, should play their part in ensuring voters are free to express their preference at the ballot box.


“They should ensure that the election is conducted peacefully, without resort to intimidation or violence,” it quoted Obasanjo as saying.


He expressed the group’s determination to be utterly impartial and objective in conducting its observation duties, acting in the group’s individual capacities as independent commonwealth citizens.


“Our assessment will be our own, and we will aim to be as constructive as possible.

“I wish the people of Uganda well and pledge the unwavering solidarity of the Commonwealth family to the strengthening of the country’s democracy,” Obasanjo said.


The statement said that on Tuesday, Obasanjo and heads of other international observer missions in Uganda cautioned Ugandan stakeholders over the elections.
It stated that the group called on them to “refrain from any act, statement or dissemination of information that may cause tension, ill-will, disturbance, intimidation and adversely affect the peaceful and orderly conduct of elections.”
It stated that the Commonwealth Observer Group had been in Uganda since Thursday, adding that the 13-member team had Senator Amos Wako, a former Attorney-General of Kenya, as vice chairman.
It explained that since its arrival, the group had met the Electoral Commission to discuss preparations for polling day.
The statement added that the group had also heard from political parties, citizen observer groups, human rights, gender and youth groups, as well as resident High Commissioners from Commonwealth countries.




Supreme Court Upholds Akwa Ibom, Abia Governors’ Election

The Supreme Court has affirmed the election of Udom Emmanuel, as the Governor of Akwa Ibom and that of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu.

In judgments on Wednesday that lasted less than 30 minutes, the court said Governor Emmanuel and his Abia counterpart, Ikpeazu, having won the lawfully cast votes, are duly elected as governors of their states.

The Supreme Court by the judgment, set aside the judgments of the two lower courts, saying that its reasons for the verdicts would be given on February 15 and 26.


Party supporters, who came to witness the decisions in the appeals filed by the Governors and the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress in Taraba State, waited with anxiety as counsels to their candidates battled it out inside the court. Presenting their evidences, they tried to persuade the court to either uphold their appeals or cross appeals.

The Supreme Court, however, reached verdicts only in the appeals and cross appeals filed in the petition challenging the elections of Governors Emmanuel and Ikpeazu.

Hearing in the various appeals lasted over 12 hours, with intermittent breaks.

After hearing all the appeals the panel of justices led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria retired to their chambers, returning with a verdict after about an hour.

In less than 15 minutes they upheld the appeals filed by Governor Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State and Governor Ikpeazu of Abia State, declaring them duly elected.

The panel of justices also upheld the appeals filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission in Akwa Ibom State, asking for reversal of the lower court’s cancellation of elections in all 31 local government areas in Akwa Ibom State.

All the parties in the suits praised the apex court for doing justice to the case and improving on the country’s jurisprudence.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Sylva To Challenge Result Of Bayelsa Governorship Election

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the just concluded governorship election in Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, on Monday said he would challenge the result of the election in court.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had on Sunday declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, and incumbent governor of the state, Seriake Dickson, winner of the election.

Addressing journalists on Monday, Mr. Sylva alleged that INEC and the PDP worked in concert to rig the election in favour of the PDP.

He said he had officially complained, prior to the election, that the present structure of INEC in the state would not conduct a credible election.

According to him, the INEC officials were assembled by the immediate-past administration to deliver the state to PDP in last general elections.

“I said in the beginning that I do not have confidence in the REC and the Administrative Secretary, that I do not expect a fair treatment if these people were to preside over the election.

“I said so over and over and over again. I even reduced it to writing, and we sent the petition. Usually before elections of this nature, INEC officials are switched.

“But this time, they chose to keep this team that was already in place set up by the PDP as rigging machine.

“This was the same team that returned almost 100 percent of all votes in Bayelsa to the former president.

“And we felt that these people could not have given us a free and fair treatment. But unfortunately, our cries fell on deaf ears. Yesterday, they proved themselves true to type,” he noted.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Bayelsa State Governorship Re-run Election: Early Results Emerge

Results from the Supplementary poll in Bayelsa are emerging.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is the only body recognised by law to declare result and announce winner.

The underlisted results are not verified or authenticated by INEC but a product of field report and Citizens report.


PU 012
PDP 81
APC 31

UNIT 08:

APC 26,
PDP 68.

Angiama Community- Ward 2 SILGA, PU 003 (Isianlubo Open space)

APC- 15.

PDP- 210

Silga constituency 2
UNIT 11:

PDM 1,
APA 1,
APC 27,
PDP 110

Ward 9 unit 21
Constituency 1 Ammasomma
Pdp – 151
Apc – 25

Unit 12
Pdp – 92
Apc -26

Unit 11
Pdp – 67
Apc – 23

Unit – 1
Pdp – 94
Apc – 12

Ofoniawor Community Square PU 011

APC 35
PDP 35

Sagbama LGA, Otuasamoh PU 014
APC 43
PDP 39

Ward 10
Oyeke Open Space Yenagoa PU 009
APC 78
PDP 61

Nembe( Ogbolomabiri)
Ward 2:
PDP: 412
APC: 06

Ward: 8
PDP: 245
APC: 8

Ward: 9
PDP: 505
APC: 6




WARD 1 Constituency 2


PU 29
PDP 149
APC 71

PU 30
PDP 105
APC 55

Polling Unit 31
PDP 217
APC 90

Unit 8 ward one in constituency 2 Silga

Pdp 62
Apc 26
Dpm 1
Dpc 1

Otuegwe ward 2 unit 09

PDP 124


Ward 2 unit 015

Onuebum Ogbia

APC – 27
PDP – 55
DPC- 2

Credit: Vanguard

Situation Report: Bayelsa State Governorship Re-run Election

Voting has ended in all polling units in Bayelsa State, where a governorship re-run election took place on Saturday.

Reports from Bayelsa State said collation of results have started at the ward level in most parts of the state – Nembe, Ogbia, Brass and Southern Ijaw Local Government Areas.

Results are expected from Southern Ijaw and some other polling units in six other local government areas, to conclude the election that was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after the initial poll on December 5.

The Southern Ijaw Local Government Election was cancelled on the December 7, 2015, due to violence, ballot box snatching and stuffing, harassment and abduction of electoral officials.

Southern Ijaw Local Government has a total of 120, 827 registered voters, 425 Polling Units and five Voting Points.

Thirty-eight thousand registered voters in 102 Polling Units across six Local Governments – Brass, Ekeremor, Nembe, Sagbama, Yenagoa and Ogbia – also participate in the election to conclude the Bayelsa State governorship election earlier scheduled for Saturday, December 5, 2015.

Reports provides that election materials arrived early at some polling units in Yenagoa, but other areas such as Southern Ijaw got election materials late. INEC had promised early delivery of materials to polling units where voting took place.

To fast-track the process, INEC revised its election guideline on Friday, making it possible for accreditation and voting to go on simultaneously.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Pastor In Anambra Slumps After Losing Community Election

Tradegy was averted on Tuesday after a popular pastor slumped and became unconscious after he lost an election in his community.

Pastor Pius Chigbo had allegedly spent huge sums of money during the campaign for his community election in Umuchu town, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, southeast Nigeria.

Chigbo, who presides over Covenant Church of Yaweh in Umuchu, suffered the fate after the people voted massively against him, to the extent that he did not get a single vote because of the allegation that he shared money to the people to win the election.

In reaction, the youths in the area mobilized and threatened to cause trouble if Chigbo was elected.

During the election, he discovered that no single person including those who allegedly collected money from him voted for him.

Shocked by the development, he walked out of the hall and on his way back home, slumped and became unconscious.

It took the intervention of some people who rushed him to a nearby hospital where he was revived.

Chigbo had presented himself as one of the contestants for the position of the president general of the community.

Trouble started when the youths threatened to disrupt both election and activities in the community if the people voted for him.

Chigbo contested against two other opponents identified as Raph Njirika and Osita Elemuo.

It was alleged that Chigbo campaigned vigorously and shared money to people to voted for him.

The youths of the community under the leadership of Nzube Ogbuefi protested the alleged huge sums of money he was spending on the election and said he may get the money back by imposing levies on the people if he won the election.

The youths were later persuaded to wait for the outcome of the election and when the result was announced, Chigbo totally lost.

When a PM News correspondent went to his church in Umuchu, some of his members confirmed that Chigbo was not all right and could not be seen.

Rebuilding PDP Not Easy, Says Metuh

The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has said it is not easy to rebuild the party.

It also said that since the party lost power for the first time since 1999, it was meeting a stiff opposition within the party on how to rebuild it.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, stated this in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja on Saturday.

Metuh, nevertheless, said he was confident that the forces working against the rebuilding of the party within its fold and outside would fail.

He said, “We have been rebuilding, but it is not easy. We are rebuilding, but there are different forces, and contending interests (working against it). It is not easy.

“On one hand, we are dealing with a ruthless ruling party, and we also have some divisive elements in our party who are genuinely accepting some influence in the administration of the party.

“Knowingly or unknowingly, they are embarking on distractions and distractions that would rather be in the interest of the ruling party than our growth.”

He said that since the party lost the general elections, it had tried to remain focus and play the role of an opposition to the ruling All Progressives Congress.

As the spokesperson for the opposition party, Metuh regretted that some members of his party wanted him to be abusing the President (Muhammadu Buhari) with the hope that that action would boost the image of the PDP.

He said the APC did not win the elections by merely abusing former President Goodluck Jonathan, adding that some actions of the members of the PDP then helped in adding to the fortune of the APC.

He said, “But since we lost the election, we have tried to remain focus and retain the support of a very large number of our members to remain focus in opposing this government.

“Some of our members misconstrue an opposition party to be a party that insults people because that was what the APC was doing.

“People want us to insult the President and the ruling party to remain in opposition. Because we are not doing that, our people are not comfortable with that.

“They believe that we are too soft and they believe that we are too academic. They want us to be insulting the people. It was not by insulting the former President that gave the APC victory.

“We fuelled partisan support for the APC in some part of the country. ”

On the rumour that members of the outgoing National Working Committee of the party had shared offices ahead of the March 19 national conventions, Metuh said the allegation was unfounded.

Why INEC Nullified Election Of Akwa Ibom Gov., Emmanuel Udom

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has nullified the Akwa Ibom State governorship election of April 11, removing the declared winner, Udom Emmanuel, from office.

The appeal court said the tribunal was wrong in its refusal to comply with section 179 (2) of the Constitution.

The court said having agreed with the evidence of principal witnesses, video evidence, and evidence from state collation agents, the tribunal should have concluded that there was no collation and that votes were merely allotted.

“The question is, if there was no collation, can there be said to be an election,” the court asked. “Indeed where there was no collation of election, there cannot be said to be an election.”

The tribunal was wrong in failing to nullify the entire election, the court ruled, setting aside the judgement of the tribunal in the 13 LGAs.

“The entire election is hereby nullified. The election that brought Mr. Udom is hereby nullified,” it ruled.

The appeal court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct fresh election within 90 days.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Appeal Court Upholds Saraki’s Election

The Court of Appeal has upheld the election of the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki as the lawmaker representing Kwara Central Senatorial District.

Saraki celebrated the victory via his social media platform while pledging that the 8th Senate will be people oriented.

“Delighted to hear Court of Appeal upheld my election as Senator representing Kwara Central Senatorial District.Thank you for all your support & prayers. Rest assured that I’m committed to making sure the 8th Senate is people oriented,”

he posted on his Facebook account.

Credit: Vanguard

Kogi: Wada Sets Up Transition C’ttee To Challenge Election Results

Kogi State governor Idris Wada has set up a Transition Committee to drive the process of handing over to a new government in the state.

According to the governor, the committee which is headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Olugbemiro Jegede, is expected to manage the process leading to the handover of power to a new administration by January 27, 2016.

The transition committee, the governor noted, is to work with a similar committee by the All Progressives Congress, APC to ensure a smooth transition of power and to avoid any vacuum in government.

The governor also set up a Steering Committee to be headed by the deputy governor, Mr. Yomi Awoniyi.

The two committees which are expected to put the performance of the administration in clear perspectives before the handover date are to be inaugurated today.

Meanwhile, Governor Wada has said that he will challenge the result of the November 21 governorship election in the state in court.

The governor made this known while addressing stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP at a meeting in Lokoja.

Wada said the decision to challenge the result of the election in which the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared Alhaji Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the election is to seek proper interpretation of the law and relevant sections of the constitution and the Electoral Act in connection with the election.


Appeal Court Nullifies Senator’s Election

The Court of Appeal in Enugu has nullified the election of Uche Ekwunife, as the Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District.

The court has consequently ordered a fresh election within 90 days.

Anambra Central Senatorial district is regarded as one of the most keenly contested in the country having a former Governor Chris Ngige, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh and of course Mrs Ekwunife.

The appeal was filed by Mr Umeh of APGA. Delivering the judgment, Justice Datijo Yahaya said that the election of Mrs Ekwunife on March 28, 2015, did not meet the prescription of the Electoral Act.

Reacting to the judgment, Mrs Ekwunife said  she had accepted the court’s decision and was ready for the fresh election.

Mrs Ekwunife before the nullification of her election was the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Oil and Gas Downstream.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Election: Police Restrict Movements On Bayelsa Waterways

The Police in Bayelsa said on Friday that movement of some water transportation facilities and river craft activities would be restricted during the governorship election in the state on Saturday.

It also announced that movement of persons, motor vehicles and tricycles would be restricted from the hours of 6am to 6pm on the election date.

This is contained in a statement by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Asinim Butswat, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, in Yenagoa.

It said that the restriction was from 7 p.m. on Friday to 7 a.m. on Sunday, adding that boats fitted with 200 horsepower engine and above was not permitted to move during the period.

“Any person or group of persons who violates this order will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.

“Likewise, movement of persons, motor vehicles and tricycles will be restricted d on the election date, from the hours of 6am to 6pm.

“Only those on essential services will be allowed to move,” it said.

It urged the electorate to go out and exercise their franchise “by casting their votes for candidates of their choice.”

Credit: Nation

See INEC’s Declaration On Kogi Governorship Election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the Kogi State governorship election inconclusive.

Declaring the results of the election, the Returning Officer, Professor Emmanuel Kucha, said the electoral body’s decision was reached after collation of results showed a number of cancelled votes that was higher than the margin between the leading candidate and the runner-up.

After election results from the 21 local government areas were collated on Sunday, the All Progressives Congress’ candidate, Abubakar Audu, was leading while the incumbent Governor, Captain Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) trailed by a margin less than the number of cancelled votes.

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress had 240,867 votes while that of the PDP got 199,514 votes.


No date was fixed by INEC for a supplementary election in Kogi State.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Kogi: Police Uncover Plan To Dress Thugs In Police Uniform

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, said police were aware of plans by some politicians in Kogi to clothe thugs in police uniform during the governorship election in Kogi on Saturday.

Arase, who made the disclosure on Tuesday in Lokoja, at a stakeholders’ forum, said that the intention of the perpetrators was to disrupt the election and cause mayhem.
He described the action of those behind the act as “wrong and wasteful investment “.

According to him, measures have been taken to properly identify 12, 000 policemen that will be on duty during the election.
“We intend to dominate security space that day; if you want to test our strength, have a rethink,’’ he said. Arase said that 6,000 out of the 12, 000 policemen who would be on election duty would be drawn from police formations close to Kogi.

He said that one unit of mobile policemen would be deployed to each of the 21 local government areas in the state ‘’for effective policing’’. He said that the men and officers will be backed up by armour personnel carriers, vehicles and other security apparatuses, adding that restriction of movement would be strictly enforced.

The police boss also said that police would be supported by the military, Civil Defence Corps, Immigration, Customs and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to provide effective security during the poll. He urged people in the state to feel free to come out and vote for candidate of their choice, saying a level playing-ground would be provided for all stakeholders.

On the safety of electoral officials, Arase said that nobody would be allowed to threaten or intimidate them. He said that Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 8, Mr Lawal Tanko, and three commissioners of police would be deployed to coordinate police activities before, during and after the election.


Credit : Vanguard

Fielding Jonathan For Election Was An Error- PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday admitted that presenting former President Goodluck Jonathan as its sole candidate for the May 29 presidential election was an error.

Addressing journalists at a media parley in Abuja, the Chairman of the party’s National Conference Organising Committee, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, said the PDP ought to have stuck to its zoning arrangement, adding that the fundamental mistake the party made was the breach of its power shift pact in 2011.

He said when President Umaru Musa Ya’Adua died in office, the party should have allowed somebody from the North to complete his tenure, instead of settling for Jonathan from the South as its presidential candidate in 2011.

Dokpesi also argued that when it was expected that the party would field a northern candidate for the March 2015 election, but party leaders unanimously adopted Jonathan as the sole presidential candidate, a decision he said led to the party’s defeat at the elections.

He also explained that the party, in the build up to the last general election, failed to uphold internal democracy, adding that there was impunity, imposition of candidates, breach of the zoning arrangement, and the absence of a level playing field for members.

Credit: ThisDay

INEC Faults Tribunal’s Judgment On Rivers Guber Election, Asks Appeal Court To Set It Aside

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has filed an appeal  against the judgment of the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal nullifying  the election of Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
The electoral body filed her appeal dated November 4, 2015 at the Court of  Appeal, Abuja Judicial Division on  November 5, 2015.

In a 12-grounds appeal filed on behalf of INEC  by her counsel, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, the  electoral  body challenged the  entirety of  the tribunal’s judgment.

The  reliefs sought by INEC  in her appeal include: “an order allowing  the  appeal, an order setting aside the decision of the tribunal and an order dismissing the petition as lacking in merit.”

According to INEC, the learned justices of the tribunal erred in law when it failed to evaluate the evidence of each of the witness called by the petitioners before reaching  its decision.

INEC stated: “The tribunal was obligated to making findings as to where elections were said to have held on the one part and where they were alleged not to have held on the other part.”

The electoral body further stated that the tribunal  erred when it resorted to generic declaration like “many instances,” when the justices were obligated to specify where the  evidence  elicited under cross examination enhanced the case of the first and  second  respondents.

The INEC further stated that the tribunal erred  when it used the testimonies of witnesses  who were not at polling  stations  to nullify  the Rivers  governorship election.

Credit: ThisDay

Wike Asks Appeal Court To Set Aside Tribunal’s Judgment Nullifying His Election

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike,  has filed an appeal at the Abuja   Division of the Court of Appeal,  asking the court to set aside the  judgment  of  the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal  which nullified  his election  on October 24, 2015.

In a notice of appeal dated November  3, 2015 and filed same day by his lawyer,  Mr. Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), the governor raised 26 grounds of appeal upon which he sought to set aside the tribunal judgment.

The governor is challenging the entire judgment.

He joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate in Rivers State, Dr. Dakuku Peterside and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as respondents.

He asked the court to allow the appeal and to make an order setting aside the judgment/decision of the  Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal.

He further urged the Court of Appeal to make an “order striking  out or dismissing the petition filed on May 3, 2015 by Peterside and the APC.”

Credit: ThisDay

Plateau Election Tribunal Upholds Gov. Lalong’s Election

The Plateau State governorship election petitions tribunal has affirmed the victory of Governor Simon Lalong in the April 11 governorship poll.

Gyang Pwajok of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his party had dragged Lalong of the All Progressives Congress (APC) before the tribunal.

The PDP claimed that there were cases of irregularities during the polls, asking the panel to nullify the election and declare Pwajok as winner.

The tribunal, which ruled on the petition in Jos, the Plateau State capital, dismissed the petitioners’ petition for lack of merit.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Oritsejafor Deceived Jonathan With False Election Prophecy- Okotie

The General Overseer of Household of God Church, Rev. Chris Okotie, on Sunday said that were it not Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s “false” prophecy to former President Goodluck Jonathan, the latter (Jonathan) would not have contested the 2015 presidential election.

He said that the former President had initially made up his mind not to vie for the election, but stated that Oritsejafor “deceived” him with tales of victory as prophesied unto him by God.

Oritsejafor is the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria.

Okotie, who said this while delivering a sermon in his church on Sunday in Lagos, said, “Pastor Oritsejafor deceived Jonathan with a false prophecy from God that he (Jonathan) would win the election convincingly.”

He said, “The man (Jonathan) became convinced to contest after Oritsejafor had told him, using CAN’s name, that God had ordained him the winner of the 2015 presidential election.”

Credit: Punch

Abia Tribunal Annuls Election, Bars APGA From Re-run

The National and State Assemblies Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia has barred the opposition All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, from participating in a fresh election it ordered in Aba North State Constituency.

The tribunal has nullified the election of Mr. Emeka Nnamani of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, representing Aba North State Constituency on the ground that he was abinitio, not qualified to contest the election held on April 11, 2015.

Delivering judgment in the petition filed by Dr. Blessing Nwagba of PDP challenging the election of Nnamani, the tribunal nullified his election and ordered a fresh election in the constituency but said that APGA would not participate in the fresh election.

According to the chairman of the tribunal, Justice Sabiu Yahuza, “the petitioner, Dr. Nwagba proved the allegation of non-qualification leveled against the respondent as his name was not in the register of his Eziama Ward of his party, APGA, and ought not to have participated in the said election.”

The panel however exempted APGA from participating in the re-run of the election, saying that it would be between the petitioner’s party, PDP, and the other candidates from the other parties that participated in the April election.

On the allegation that Nnamani forged the certificate of University of Port Harcourt, the tribunal directed the police to investigate the matter and prosecute the respondent if found culpable.

Credit: Vanguard

Amir Abdulazeez: Before Everybody Becomes an Election Rigger

It takes one of the most morally bankrupt consciences to rig an election, but it takes even a more morally bankrupt one to legitimize and affirm it. One wonders where the aggrieved person in an election can find justice if he can’t find it in the tribunals. Before and after elections, multiple alarms of foul play are being raised in different quarters and during the course of the elections, many candidates usually complain of rigging, violence, manipulation and oppression, but all INEC could do was to tell them to head to court if they were not satisfied. Does this means INEC itself is satisfied with all elections it presides, no matter how dirty and those dissatisfied should go to court? Is it even a matter of satisfaction or dissatisfaction? With this development, it is therefore the duty of the election tribunals to rescue the people from being governed through illegal mandates in various capacities-a duty which they have so far failed to adequately perform. The Electoral Act itself has badly incapacitated the electoral process to checkmate rigging and punish riggers.any Nigerians were not angry with the reportedly massive irregularities that characterized and dominated the 2003 and 2007 General Elections as much as they were with the verdicts from the various election petition tribunals across the country, notably those judgements from the Supreme Court which affirmed the ‘elections’ of Obasanjo in 2003 and that of ‘Yaradua in 2007. Some researchers I recently discussed with have expressed the fears and reluctance of conducting studies using alleged ‘inflated’ figures from various Nigerian General Elections which unfortunately have already made their way into our National Archives. If you think their fears are unfounded, how on earth can you explain election figures showing almost 100% or more voters’ turnout in certain places or one giving the impression that even dead people voted? How can you swallow the (il)logic of a people continuously and overwhelmingly ‘voting’ for a particular party in certain states in 5 straight elections despite the clear visibility of bad governance everywhere in such states? These are some of the things that many of our courts are directly and indirectly endorsing as correct.

The elections petitions tribunals in 2011 did not fare any significantly better than those of 2003 and 2007. Over the past few weeks, outcomes of various 2015 election tribunals have left many people baffled and dejected. Some of the outcomes are simply bizarre to say the least, even though not all were completely unexpected.

It has gradually become very clear that once you were not declared winner after the polls, you stand virtually no chance of reclaiming your mandate in the courts. First, the tribunals give much emphasis on flimsy technicalities and often dismiss several petitions on such grounds. Secondly, they often summarize all arguments and evidences brought before them as having failed to prove the case ‘beyond reasonable doubt’- an ambiguous phrase now so popularly and notoriously used to dismiss many competent cases.

There are so many problems bedevilling the quest for electoral justice in Nigeria. The first starts with the constitution of the tribunals themselves. Quite often judges and tribunal members are hurriedly constituted from entirely different areas from where the elections took place, leaving them with virtually zero knowledge on what happened in the area or how the area is. Although, every tribunal is expected to only rely on arguments presented before it and not otherwise, we cannot say that knowledge of an area will not help a judge to make better informed decisions on so many things. The time frame for settling electoral cases and the unnecessary delays and adjournments of proceedings within such time frames is also another critical problem. The ‘winners’ are allowed to be sworn in and properly settle in power while petitioners are left to wander and wallow in search of justice. Winners, after being sworn in may use state resources to not only diligently prosecute their defence in the tribunals through competent and experienced lawyers, but also to scuttle any efforts for justice to be done against them. This is apart from the likelihood of using same resources to adequately prepare and gain upper hands in case of a re-run. These are luxuries which the petitioner does not only lack, but also struggles to maintain his tempo after the elections and sustain his zeal enough to prosecute his case. He finds things very difficult and in some cases he has to even pay his witnesses in addition to other things.

Secondly, the tribunals are themselves inadequate. Two tribunals are set up per state; one for the governorship and the other for the national and state assembly elections with very few-often an average of one per geo-political zone- Appeal Courts serving the entire country. The national and state assembly elections are packed with several cases which are expected to be settled within limited time. As such, the tribunals hardly give enough attention to each case. Elections are not perfect, that is why we have election tribunals and their duty is to ensure speedy justice. Justice must not be delayed because it is totally unfair and unacceptable for someone to continue sitting on an illegal or stolen mandate for long just because the tribunals are dragging the case for whatever reason.

Thirdly, INEC is not playing the role of a truly unbiased electoral umpire in the hearings of election petitions. In the cases, INEC’s objectives should not be about defending its actions no matter how wrong during the elections, it should be about defending the truth; it doesn’t matter whether the truth was discovered after the polls. INEC Staff are humans; the commission can’t defend their indefensible actions during the elections just because they are joined as respondents in a petition. They should admit their mistakes, take responsibility for their actions, give explanations for them, expose and punish their officers involved and provide the true facts with which the work of the tribunals would be simplified rather than complicating proceedings.

The fourth is the cost of justice in Nigeria. Prosecuting an average case in a Nigerian court needs huge financial resources and time. Many a time, you can’t get justice when you don’t have good lawyers who are hired at exorbitant costs. In election petitions, one may also need the services of forensic experts, data analysts, huge logistic arrangements and other expenses. This often costs a petitioner with a good case but without money his victory in courts.

The fifth but also the most crucial is corruption. The entire Nigerian justice system comprising the police, judiciary and other bodies are perceived by many to be corrupt. Indeed the elections tribunals are seen as some of the worst. There were reports of allegations in 2003, 2007 and even 2011 that judges jostle and lobby to be appointed to preside over election tribunals because of the lucrative prospects involved. Power-monger politicians would stop at nothing to influence and manipulate the election tribunals and to comprise their officials in order to stay in power.

Currently, most of the rulings coming out of the 2015 elections petitions tribunal are not showing a significantly different pattern from the dismal ones of the past, even though there are some signs of little improvement. Many of the judgments are seemingly unjust and hard to comprehend with. The level of success of the Appeal Courts in correcting these anomalies would determine the future confidence level of people in the judicial-electoral process. All eyes would now be on the Appeal Courts who are expected to thoroughly review most of these cases.

If the Appeal Courts fail to salvage the situation and things continue like this, it will reach a level where everyone would think of rigging his way into power since there is every chance that his victory would not be overturned by the tribunal and even if it does, he has every advantage of winning the re-run, except of course if the tribunal chose the rare case of declaring the petitioner as the outright winner. After the 2007 and 2011 elections, the tribunal nullified the governorship elections of Kogi, Bayelsa, Cross-Rivers, Kebbi, Adamawa, and Sokoto states, but the governors all won their re-run elections against their battered and power-less opponents whose energies have been sapped after several months of pursuing their cases at the tribunals. Candidates who could adequately prove that they won elections should be declared winners instead of wasting government funds by ordering for re-runs.

One of the most popular opinions among Nigerian politicians is that it is better to rig elections and be taken to court than get rigged out and go to court. One of the problems with election rigging is that no matter how hard you try, you cannot completely hide it, although you may get away with it and even get the chance to repeat it. The law says everyone is innocent until proven guilty but in reality some people are guilty until proven innocent.

Mallam Amir is on Twitter: @AmirAbdulazeez

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Tribunal Nullifies Senator’s Election

Supporters of former governor of Enugu State, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, yesterday took to the streets of Enugu, the state capital after the National Assembly tribunal nullified the election of Senator Gilbert Nnaji, representing Enugu East Senatorial District.

Nnamani’s supporters, who thronged the major streets of Enugu chanted songs of jubilation in praise of the erstwhile governor also displayed various posters of Nnamani even as they disrupted vehicular movement in the state capital

The result of the March 28 result which was in favour of Senator Nnaji had sparked off series of protests across the state based on speculations that the former governor was the actual winner of the election.

Nnamani, who contested on the platform of  People for Democratic Change (PDC). subsequently called his supporters to order and approached the election tribunal for redress.

In the judgment, the panel held that the conduct of the election did not comply with the 2010 Electoral Act.
Meanwhile, Senator Nnaji has said he would appeal the tribunal’s ruling.


Tribunal Upholds Dino Melaye’s Election

The National Assembly and Legislative Houses Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lokoja, Kogi State has upheld the election of Senator Dino Melaye as the winner of the 2015 Kogi West Senatorial Election against the petition by his rival, Senator Smart Adeyemi.

Melaye had been declared winner of the election conducted March 28 pulling an upset that shocked many who had come to know Senator Adeyemi for his populist views in the Senate and even his populist exposure at home.

The legal exchange between the two contending parties reached a dramatic point last Tuesday after the lawyers of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC were compelled to tender a certified true copy of the APC report on the Kogi West Senatorial primaries in which it was adduced that Melaye did not partake in that primary.

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Akwa Ibom Election Tribunal Resumes Sitting Thursday

After two weeks of adjournment, the Akwa Ibom governorship tribunal sitting in Abuja resumes Thursday to adopt written addresses by parties in the matter.

Candidate for the All Progressives Congress in the election, Umana Umana, had approached the tribunal challenging the conduct of the poll and the declaration of Udom Emmanuel as winner.

At the last sitting, the Justice Sadiq Umar-led panel directed that the respondents should file and serve their final written addresses on the petitioners within seven days beginning from Monday, September 21, 2015, while the petitioners should file and serve their final written addresses on the respondents within four days.

In the sitting which lasted for about three months, the prosecution called over 60 witnesses.

Read More: thisdaylive

MKO’s Brother Knew Why We Annulled June 12 Election- IBB

Former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida (retd) has revealed that MKO Abiola’s younger brother, Mubashiru Abiola, knew why the June 12, 1993 election was annulled.

Mubashiru, 74, died at his home in Gaa Sabo area, Abeokuta, the Ogun State chapter, last week Friday, during a protracted illness.

In a condolence message personally signed and sent to Mubashiru’s family, the former military president described MKO’s younger brother as a “down-to-earth, unassuming, and devout Muslim.”

IBB stated that “despite the annulment of June 12, 1993 elections, presumed to have been won by his elder brother and irrespective of the backlash, our relationship still blossomed, largely because he understood the circumstances that necessitated our action. He was a very frank family man who abhorred malice to a great extent.

“As a member of the Abiola family, I had a very robust and close relationship with him, a relationship that spanned over three decades.

“Even though his death came to me as a shock, I am consoled by the fact that he lived a very honest life without giving room to sentiments. His sense of purpose was not in doubt.”

The former president, who said he felt a personal loss at the news of Mubashiru’s death, prayed that God grant his family “the fortitude to bear the loss.”

Read More: tribuneonlineng

Tribunal Nullifies Reps’ Election, Orders Fresh Polls

The Elections Petitions Tribunal siting in Akure, Ondo State, has nullified the election of Victor Akinjo as member representing Ilaje/Ese-Odo Federal Constituency of Ondo State.

The tribunal nullified the election and ordered fresh polls on the grounds that Mr. Akinjo was not a bona fide member of the Peoples Democratic Party at the time the election was held.

Credit: premiumtimesng

APC Cancels Sylva’s Victory In Bayelsa Primary Election, To Reschedule Another Election

The All Progressives Congress has cancelled the Bayelsa State governorship primary election held on Tuesday.

The National Chairman of the party, John Oyegun, who disclosed this to journalists on Wednesday, said a new date for the election would be announced soon.

The election held in Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa, the state capital, was purportedly won by a former governor of the state, Timipre Sylva, in a controversial manner.

Mr. Sylva polled 726 votes to emerge victorious. His closest rival, Timi Alaibe, a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, got four votes.

Read More: premiumtimesng

A’Ibom Tribunal: PDP Agent Admits Signing Multiple Results

Some members of the Peoples Democratic Party who served as the party’s agents during the April 11, 2015 governorship election in Akwa Ibom State admitted signing multiple result sheets while testifying before the state Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Monday.

One of the agents, Nicholas Andy, who served as the PDP agent in Ibiono-Ibom Local Government Area, admitted that no agent of any political party, including that of the PDP signed the result sheets in three of the 11 wards of the local government.

The agents were testifying for Governor Udom Emmanuel of the PDP whose election as governor is being challenged before the tribunal by the All Progressives Congress and its candidate in the poll, Mr. Umana Umana.

Andy, while testifying on Monday denied the petitioners’ allegation that election only took place in two out of the 161 polling units in Ibiono-Ibom Local Government Area.

He admitted serving as the PDP agent for the local government and for Ikot Ikpo Ward 6 during the election.

When the petitioners’ lawyer, Mr. Dayo Akinlaja (SAN), asked him what the distance between the local government and ward collation agents was, he said he could not tell the distance in kilometres “but it is not far.”

He said the PDP had agents in all the wards in the local government.

But when the petitioners’ lawyer confronted him with the list of the agents for the wards in the local government, he admitted them as being the list of approved agents but his name was not on the list.

He also confirmed, when confronted with the result sheets, that no political agent including that of the PDP signed the result sheets of three out of the 11 wards in the local government.

Also, one of the PDP’s agents, Emmanuel Mbong, admitted signing the result sheet on behalf of the PDP at Eket Urban Ward 1 and Eket Urban Ward 3 as well for Eket Local Government Area.

Mbong said though he was the agent approved by the Independent National Electoral Commission for the PDP in Eket Local Government Area and Eket Urban Ward 1, he had to sign for the PDP in Eket Urban Ward 3, because the agent approved for that ward needed to rush his wife to the hospital.

“The agent for Ward 3, Chief Ekpe Ubong Udoh, called me on the phone when I was at the local government collation centre that he was indisposed because his wife was stooling and vomiting, so he had to rush her to the hospital,” Mbong said.

Also testifying, Obong Titus, who said the collation of results took place in all the polling units and wards of Etinan Local Government, confirmed that the PDP had agents in all the 11 wards in the local government.

But he confirmed that the result sheets of wards 1, 5 and 8 of Etinan LGA marked as Exhibit DDD 1, 5 and 8 were signed by, Mr. Ibanga Udofia, when the petitioners’ counsel, Mr. Dayo Akinlaja (SAN) confronted him with documents.

Governor Emmanuel, represented by Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN), has so far called 19 witnesses.

The proceedings continue Tuesday.

A/Ibom Governorship Election Was Free And Fair, PDP Witnesses Tell Tribunal

More witnesses presented by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the disputed Akwa Ibom governorship election have testified that the election in the state was free, fair and complied with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010.

At the resumed hearing of the Akwa Ibom Election Tribunal on Thursday, a defence witness, Samuel Iyang, told the Justice Sadiq Umar-led panel that it was false that elections did not take place, as alleged by the petitioner.

The witness told the tribunal that not only was the election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), but that it was peaceful and recorded a large turnout of voters.

Read More: channelstv

Stephanie Linus Named Ambassador On Campaign Against Women Violence In Election

The heavily pregnant gorgeous beauty and ace actress, Stephanie Linus, shares photos of herself and acting INEC Boss, Hajiya Amina Zakari, among others as she was named the ambassador of Stop-VAWIE (Stop Violence Against Women In Election).

She has fast began her responsibility by urging women to participate in the forth coming elections in Kogi and Bayelsa. See Instagram photos below:

Three of David Mark’s witnesses quit at tribunal

Three of eight witnesses called by David Mark in defence of the petition against him by Daniel Onjeh of the All Progressives Congress at the National Assembly Elections Tribunal, did not testify as they were not seen when called.

The Counsel to David Mark, Kenneth Ikonne, on Monday told the tribunal that he had eight witnesses to call for the day to strengthen his defence against the petition.

The five witnesses that testified- all Ward Collation Agents for the Peoples Democratic Party, said the conduct of the Benue South Senatorial election was free and fair.

However, under cross-examination by petitioner’s counsel, Tunji Oso, one of the witnesses, who claimed that all accredited voters had their names ticked on the voters register, admitted that no name was ticked on the register.

Another witness also admitted under cross examination that there were mutilation and alteration of exhibits, especially form EC 8A which was the result sheet.

Following the disappearance of the remaining witnesses for the day, Mr. Ikonne, prayed the court to grant him more time to persuade the witnesses to appear.

He said one of the absentee witnesses actually told him that he had defected to the APC.

Daniel Onjeh of the APC had filed a petition seeking declaration that the former President of Senate was wrongly declared winner of the Benue South Senatorial election.

Mr. Onjeh alleged electoral malpractices and substantial infringement on the Electoral Act, praying the tribunal to nullify the election and order for fresh poll.

The Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Mosumola Dipeolu, adjourned the matter to August 13 for continuation of defence.

Source: (NAN)

Tribunal Throws Out Four Petitions Against Wike’s Election

The Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has struck out four out of the five petitions filed to challenge the election of Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the governor of the state.

The only surviving petition challenging the declaration of Wike as the winner of the April 11 election is the one filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Dakuku Peterside.

Three of the petitions, which were filed by the Social Democratic Party, Labour Party and the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) were dismissed on technical grounds.

The fourth petition was voluntarily withdrawn by the petitioner, Kemka Elenwo, who was KOWA Party’s governorship candidate in the election.

Read MorePunch

President Of Burundi Storms Polling Booth On A Bicycle

President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, was spotted today at a polling unit in his hometown of Ngozi on a bicycle to cast his vote at the nation’s parliamentary election. The highly controversial President who refused to halt his third term bid, stood in the queue with his supporters who came out in large numbers to show their support.

Opponents say the president’s bid to contest again breaks the constitution. But the government has pressed on with plans for both votes, amid the worst political crisis since an ethnically charged civil war ended in 2005.

Mr Nkurunziza will contest presidential elections next month, rejecting calls to step down.

BUR_PIX-e1435585959796CIqsuCiWIAAGGRU 83921392_027938748-1 CIqsua-UEAAuEDR

APC In Fresh Crisis Over Election Of NASS Principal Officers

Fresh crisis is brewing within the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) as the party is now pitched against the leadership of the National Assembly(NASS) in its bid to impose principal officers on the latter. LEADERHIP yesterday reliably gathered that the party is on the path of imposing candidates on NASS for the remaining leadership positions in the two chambers, a move majority of APC lawmakers have vowed to resist.

It can be recalled that barely two weeks ago, some members of the party in the two chambers of the National Assembly defied the order of their party to vote for Senator Ahmad Lawan as senate president and Hon Femi Gbajabiamila as speaker of the House of Representatives.

Read More: leadership

Tribunal Recieves Five Petitions Challenging Wike’s Election In Rivers

The Election Petitions Tribunal in Rivers sitting in Abuja on Friday said it received five additional petitions challenging the emergence of Mr Nyesom Wike as governor-elect of the state.

The tribunal Secretary, Mrs Deborah Musa, said that the petitioners challenged the April 11 governorship election in Rivers.

The petitioners were Mr Kemka Elenwo, KOWA party; Mr Dakuku Peterside, All Progressives Congress; Mr Charles Harry, All Progressive Grand Alliance; Minaibim Harry, Social Democratic Party; and Labour Party.

Musa said the tribunal received another 27 petitions for the House of Assembly, in addition to the earlier 17 petitions for the March 28 National Assembly polls.

It is reported that the tribunal had so far received 49 petitions in the March 28 and April 11 general elections in the country.

It is also reported that the tribunal Chairman, Justice V. U. Okorie, had on Tuesday, May 5, granted an order of substituted service on all the 16 motion ex-parte brought before the tribunal.

Okorie granted the motion after listening to arguments by the counsel to the applicants, Mr Henry Bello and Mr Emenike Ebete.

He explained that the motions were granted to facilitate speedy hearing of all the petitions before the tribunal.

All the motions ex-parte were seeking for an order of substituted services of the petitions on the 16 respondents in the National Assembly polls.

Credit: NAN

PDP Claims Violations Have Increased Since Buhari’s Election

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged intimidation, harassment and undue persecution of the party members since the conclusion of the Presidential election. All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, won the election held on March 28/29.

The allegations of abuse were made in a communiqué issued at the end of the inaugural meeting of the party National Working Committee (NWC), Governors and Senators-Elect on the platform of the party at National Secretariat, Abuja.

The communiqué, which was read on behalf of the meeting by Senator George Thompson Sekibo, also frowned at the “shameless undemocratic ways” and means being displayed by the outgoing APC lawmakers in Ekiti State towards effecting an unconstitutional change in government.

It warned that APC was planning to use the tribunals and Salamic arrangements to truncate and subvert the freely given mandate by the people in the states and constituencies.

The party expressed deep concerns at the plans by the APC to make the country a one-party state using crude and underhand, undemocratic practice and thus reverse the gains of the PDP led administration.

It congratulated all the winners on the platform of the PDP in the elections and urged them to discharge their duties and form a formidable opposition that could redirect the fortunes of the country and sustain the gains of the present democratic era led by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The party also stressed the importance of unity, peace and harmony in the party for effectiveness in its new role and warned that it will not condone agents of APC working as “fifth columnists” to destabilize the leadership of the party.

It commended President Goodluck Jonathan for his statesmanlike disposition in the sustenance of democracy and peace in the country and also commended all members of the party for their unflinching support and belief in the party even in the face of intimidation, pernicious violence and untold harassment.

The party assures all members of the party across the country of adequate protection in the exercise of their democratic franchise always.

Credit: CAJ News

I Didn’t Spend Up To N2tn On Elections – Jonathan Cries Out

President Goodluck Jonathan has denied that he expended as much as N2trillion for campaigns ahead of the just-concluded general elections in which he was defeated by Muhammadu Buhari of the APC.

He also denied setting up a committee to conduct an audit of how the elections funds were disbursed by party members and state officials.

“The President has not set up any committee as alleged in that story. It is also not true that the Presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party used state funds, or spent N2tn on the campaigns. The innuendoes are wrong-headed; the motives behind the story are suspicious.”

Jonathan made the clarification in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Reuben Abati.

Abati was reacting to a story by Punch titled, “Jonathan demands N2tn election funds refund, audit.”

He described the report as “false and embarrassing.” The presidential spokesman said with the country’s budget being a little above N4tn, the story suggested that half of the budget was spent on elections.

This insinuation, he argued, was meant to incite the public.

Abati said the Presidency was worried that since the March 28 and April 11 elections, some persons had continued to work very hard to diminish the Jonathan Presidency.

Pastor Adeboye Prays For David Cameron Ahead Of UK’s General Election (SEE PHOTOS)

General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, (RCCG) Pastor E.A Adeboye, prayed for UK Prime Minister, David Cameron and the congregation at the ‘Festival of Life’ programme holding in London.

Cameron will lead the Conservative Party to participate in the UK general election holding on 7th May 2015, to elect the 56th Parliament of the United Kingdom. Pastor Adeboye shared some of the pictures on his verified Facebook page, Pastor E. A. Adeboye.

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Why PDP Lost General Elections- Tukur

Immediate past National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur has attributed the defeat his party suffered in the general election to lack of adherence to internal democracy.

But, he was quick to add that the party will stabilise and pull surprises soon. Tukur, spoke to news men in Yola yesterday while reviewing the outcome of the recently concluded elections.

He said due to the imminent repercussions inherent in disrespecting internal democracy, he has been advocating for its entrenchment in the party for a long time regretting that the failure to heed his advice led to the unsavoury defeat the party suffered in the last elections.

‘’We have been preaching election not selection, internal democracy not imposition. Anywhere it was done, it will leave a bitter pill in the mouth,” Tukur noted.

While congratulating the President- elect, governors and the legislators, Tukur asked them to ensure that peace and unity prevailed in the country as they were the prerequisites for an enduring democracy.

‘’We like to congratulate elected leaders and legislators who were successful and for those who participated but could not make it. There is another contest. I salute all of them,” Tukur said, and implored all PDP members to remain steadfast and not allow the defeat to affect their morale.

He said that elections were like football competitions in which one team could emerge winner today but become the loser tomorrow.


Why Nuhu Ribadu Lost Adamawa Governorship Election, By Zayyad Muhammad

All the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party who lost in the just-concluded 2015 general elections, especially in the northern part of the country, lost because of same factors regardless of their states. These factors include President Goodluck Jonathan’s extreme unpopularity in the north, Muhammadu Buhari’s cult-like followers in the region, and the fact that most Nigerians were angry with the PDP because of certain reasons, especially its failure to combat insurgency that has devastated the North-eastern part of the country with the attendant socio-economic effects being felt throughout the North. In fact, in some parts of Nigeria, including Adamawa State, the PDP was overwhelmingly rejected that anybody the All Progressives Congress presented was voted for.

Apart from the above generic factors that affected Nuhu Ribadu’s fortunes in the Adamawa governorship race, there are other factors which were peculiar to his ambition. Ethnicity, religion and money politics are deeply rooted in Adamawa politics and often shape the voting pattern in the state.

The Adamawa 2015 governorship election was characterised by deep religious sentiment. For instance, the Social Democratic Party governorship candidate, Markus Gundiri ran his campaign largely on the platform of faith – banking on only Christian votes. Mr. Gundiri’s envisaged that since there were three Muslim-Hausa-Fulani candidates running on the platforms of the APC, PDP and PDM, he would carry the day. Mr. Gundiri’s adventure affected Ribadu’s chances: most of the PDP strongholds gave their votes to him. In fact, Mr. Gundiri’s candidacy was a product of anger with the PDP for failing to allow the candidacy of a Christian. There were speculations that Governor Bala Ngilari supported the SDP instead of his party, the PDP.

The second issue that affected Mr. Ribadu’s chances was the SDP campaign style which forced the Muslim Hausa-Fulani to follow the path and direction of their cousins in the northwest- the famous APC SAK. Thirdly, Mr. Buhari has a special relationship with Adamawa people- his wife is from Adamawa state. In fact, Mr. Buhari’s voice was aired on some radio stations in most states in the north asking people not to disgrace him and his party, the APC. That singular statement was very instrumental in denying Mr. Ribadu huge number of votes especially from the Hausa-Fulani dominated areas.

The internal crisis within the PDP was also a disaster to the former EFCC chairman’s ambition. The crisis in the PDP was not settled up to the time of elections, the aggrieved were not fully integrated into the party.

The Atiku Abubakar factor in Adamawa politics was also an another albatross for Mr. Ribadu. At the tail end of the governorship campaign, Atiku became very determined to deliver his state to the APC. That affected Mr. Ribadu in the southern part of Adamawa, especially in the Chamba chiefdom.

The Adamawa governorship election results have some far reaching political implications on the state’s polity. There are losers and winners. Former governor Murtala Nyako is a winner- most of his political associates won elective posts, while all of his political foes suffered defeat. Atiku Abubakar is another winner- he has rekindled his hitherto strong political structure and kingmaker position in Adamawa. The Governor-elect, Mohammed Jibril Bindawa is also a winner – he has assumed a post of prime political relevance, though his political future will be determined by the way he approaches the much needed development in the state and his ability to free himself from the shackles of Nyako’s men who were associated with Adamawa’s underdevelopment. The APC as a political party is a winner; it has completely displaced the PDP. There are also quite a number of losers- the PDP, Governor Bala Ngilari, Marcus Gundiri and Ahmed Modibbo. In fact, Mr. Gundiri will have a long and difficult political journey if he is to re-establish himself into all-inclusive and ‘secular’ politicking.

Mr. Ribadu was the best governor Adamawa couldn’t have. He fought a good battle, but PDP’s extreme unpopularity already made his platform very weak. President Jonathan extreme disapproval in the north made it hard for people to approve anything associated with him, while the Buhari tsunami swept away anything and everything PDP — good, bad, or ugly.

Mr. Ribadu was a good candidate but at the wrong time.

Credit: premiumtimesng


I will Concede Defeat if I Lose Election, says Ribadu

The Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate in Adamawa, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, said on Saturday that he would concede defeat if the election was against him.

Ribadu, who expressed satisfaction with the process of the elections, made the statement shortly after casting his vote at the Aliyu Mustafa polling unit in Yola.

“I will accept the outcome even if it is against me.”

Voting has begun in Yola and its environs. Low turnout of voters was, however, observed in some polling units In Yola North and South local government areas

OPC Says Jonathan Remains A Friend, Denies Plan To Rig Lagos Election

OPC has denied the allegation that it intends to rig the April 11 gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections in Lagos state.

OPC described the statement credited to the All Progressives Congress’ National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, as “blatant falsehood”. “There is no iota of truth in the statement. The OPC is neither a political party nor partisan organization,” the OPC’s Director of Media and Publicity, Yinka Oguntimehin, said in a statement Friday.

Mr. Oguntimehin said Mr. Mohammed has a penchant for peddling falsehood against the organisation. “He had earlier lied that the OPC led by Otunba (Dr.) Gani Adams would cause chaos and disrupt the presidential elections held on 28th day of March, 2015 by distributing Military Uniforms to OPC members.

“However, there was no single incident of the involvement of OPC in any disruptive tendency before, during and after the elections. Alhaji Lai Mohammed?’s? false propaganda will only succeed in propagating Otunba (Dr.) Gani Adams soaring popularity,” Mr. Oguntimehin said.

Read Morepremiumtimesng

Security Lapses In Presidential Polls Corrected- Police

The Nigerian police have said the they made effort to correct the security lapses and mistakes of the March 28 Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Femi Adenaike said who is supervising the governorship and state legislators’ elections in Kwara State told newsmen in Ilorin on Friday that adequate security arrangements have been put in place for the successful conduct of elections in the state.

There were complaints of inadequate police presence in some polling booths during the last elections leading to rowdiness at some centres.

However, the AIG who is in charge of Training and Development at the Force Headquarters explained that the police authorities were aware of the complaints and assured that they would be addressed in Saturday’s elections. He disclosed that the police had deployed personnel from states where governorship elections would not be holding to assist officers in some states of the federation.

Read More: dailytrust

NYSC DG Tasks Rivers Politicians & Supporters On Peace, Assures Safety Of Corps Members

Politicians in Rivers and their supporters have been advised to ensure that peace prevailed in the state during the governorship and House of Assembly elections on Saturday. Director- General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Johnson Olawumi, gave the advice on Thursday in Port Harcourt while addressing NYSC members in the state. “I want to use this opportunity to call on politicians in Rivers state that they should please plead with their supporters not to perpetrate violence during the elections,” he said.

Olawumi, however, assured no fewer than 4,631 corps members in the state, including those that would participate in the elections, of their safety. He urged them to go about their electoral duties without fear, saying that it was part of their national assignment. He advised the corps members against arguments with people on any issue whenever their lives were threatened. “When you are under threat; if anybody threatens you at gun point, don’t just argue, let him snatch whatever he wants to snatch way.

“Your security is paramount; go back and do your report and we make the report available to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and result of such place will be cancelled,” he said.

The director-general also advised the NYSC members to alert security agencies whenever they sensed danger to enable security personnel rescue them. “I want you to help us as far as your security is concerned. When you notice that something is going wrong, just quickly make a call and we will get people to come and rescue you,” he advised. He told the corps members to remain neutral while performing the electoral duties, saying, “we want you as much as possible to be very neutral, maintain your neutrality, do not be biased, perform your duty professionally”.

In his contribution, Koko Essien, Commander of 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, said dedicated security telephone numbers of military personnel on patrol duty would be passed to NYSC members on election duty. According to him, once a call comes from any of three dedicated lines, the patrol team will know it is from an NYSC member in distress and will go for rescue operation. Essien advised the corps members not to wait until they were in danger before making calls to the numbers, saying “you should call the moment you sense danger”.

Credit: NAN

Banky W Abandons Music For Blogging? Read His Reflections On The Election

Now before you get all worked up, We don’t think Banky W will abandon music. But yes, he has started blogging. Read his reflections on the election below:

The morning after..

It has been quite an interesting time in our Nation’s History. Exhilarating for some, disappointing for others… but interesting nonetheless. The announcement of the 2015 Election results has dominated every news medium, traditional and social media platform in the last few days. Alongside most Nigerians worldwide, I was glued to my television throughout the process as INEC members slowly read out each result from each state, and then as the Chairman Mr Jega gave the final results and declared the winner.

Now that the dust has settled a little, it’s time to share some of my random thoughts on what has just happened, and celebrate/highlight some of the key factors.

Here’s to the President-elect, General Muhammudu Buhari. Congratulations Sir on your victory. Yours is a lesson of perseverance. After contesting and failing in 2003, 2007 and 2011, some would have understandably thrown in the towel on this particular goal. But it’s never failure until you give up, give in and quit trying. There’s a lesson for all of us in this. When you get knocked down, you get back up, dust yourself off, re-strategize, and try again. That’s precisely what he did, and now he’s the President-Elect. He’s got a tough job ahead of him…the economy is coming upon harsh times; oil prices have crashed and foreign reserves have been depleted. The Unemployment rate and poverty index in Nigeria is at an all time high. General Buhari’s administration have their work cut-out for them, and here’s hoping they hit the ground running. It’s time to cut the excesses of times past… time to focus on what’s truly important to the Nigerian people, and make significant strides in the right direction. Everything needs improvement. Security, Employment, Power, Education… you name it. Change is what we voted for, and change they must deliver.

Here’s to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Many of us have been vocal critics of the present administration over the past couple of years… but you’ve left a legacy of conducting/overseeing/allowing two free & fair elections to hold in Nigeria. That’s more than any other President can say in our Nation’s history. You’ve also been gracious in defeat, and your move to quickly congratulate the opposition has probably helped ease the atmosphere in these tense times. That these elections have been MOSTLY violence-free, is no small feat. Your position, that neither you nor any politician’s ambition, is worth the blood of any Nigerian, is noble, applaudable, and appreciated. If you’re going to go out, this is the way to do it.. with your head held high and your dignity intact.

Here’s to Chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Muhammudu Jega. You’ve overseen such an intricate, tense, political process and come out mostly spotless. In recent times your job has probably been the most powerful and the most stressful in Nigeria, and yet you handled your affairs as cool as the other side of the pillow. Never once losing your temper, never once succumbing to pressure or drama, never once letting people see you sweat. Your attitude, manner, and competence in dealing with highly sensitive tasks and times, is one that is exemplary to all Nigerians. This is how to become a living legend. Our hope, however, is that INEC will improve upon this exercise and learn some very necessary lessons. The process to collate, calculate and announce results took entirely too long. It’s 2015… we can’t at this point, be that adverse to the use of excel sheets and calculators. Too much time passed between when votes were cast and when the results were announced that could be interpreted as an avenue for rigging to occur. The situation and allegations in States such as Rivers, and some areas in the North and East, should also be looked into for the purpose of eliminating any areas of malpractice in the future.

Here’s to the young people that were actively involved in the political process this time around. It was encouraging to see more of us participate. For instance, one of the parties used peers of mine like Adebola Williams and Chude Jideonwo (and their media platforms) to handle their PR and campaign activities with great success; while other parties used spokespeople who some say may have done more harm than good. Sites like LindaIkeji’s blog, Bella Naija, and YNaija, were just as, if not more important to candidates and voters, than traditional newspapers and media. This shows the innate tremendous power and influence that young people and our platforms have. Don’t be surprised when you see some of these young people being appointed in strategic powerful positions in the near future.

Here’s to the Nigerian People. This 2015 Election marks the first time in our history, that an incumbent President has been voted out of power. That in and of itself is a mark of a true democracy, and a sign that power still belongs to the people. My hope is that this will serve notice to the incoming administration at the Federal, State and Local levels. Gone are the days when our leaders can do whatever they like, and expect to remain in power with little to no backlash. Gone are the days when no matter how bad your actions are, or how bad a state we find ourselves in, we just say “it’s Naija” and “God dey”. The time has come where we must now hold our leaders accountable for the offices we have elected them into, and this election was the first step in that direction. We must pay attention… we must care. Not just about the office of the President, but the Governors, Senators, House of Reps, and Local Government positions. This is the only way we will see Nigeria truly change for the better. If we the people, just… care, again. Now is the time to keep track of campaign promises that were made, and see if they’re delivered on. The reason Nigeria keeps recycling the same problems and issues with no end insight, decade after decade, is because of failed leadership and citizen apathy. Our leaders were corrupt and we just didn’t care. Let’s hope that change, indeed, has come.

To those of us that voted, whether your candidate won or lost, thank you for playing a very significant and important role in our Nation’s Democracy and History. Thank you for letting your voice be heard. Thank you for braving the inconvenient, tense, and sometimes harsh, conditions to make sure you voted and that those votes were counted. We laughed together and we fought; we stood in line together under the burning sun, then the rain, then the sun again; we discussed and we argued… but we voted.

Nigeria has a current population of about 182+ Million people; only 29+ million of which voted in the recent elections. The winner of the elections had 15+ million votes. That means, only 8% of our population chose the direction of our country for the next 4 years. That’s not good enough. I was watching the elections coverage, and it was sad to see that state by state, the eligible, registered voter turnout was less than 50%. That’s not good enough. Some people will say that we voted along tribal lines; I say that most young people, who do not have the tribal prejudices that older generations have, simply didn’t show up. Time and again, I’d be among groups of young people and ask who has picked up their PVC. 9 times out of 10, I’d be the only one. We have to do better. We seem to be content with tweeting, and instagram-ing, and arguing and pointing fingers… but when it comes to the most basic of our civic responsibilities… when it comes to actually playing a part in bringing about a better Nigeria that we all seek, we’re nowhere to be found. Social Media activism is simply not enough.

Some young people tried, but were frustrated by the inefficiencies in the PVC collection process. My heart goes out to you if you truly tried, but for some reason couldn’t get your card. Others were just “too busy” to go through what was required. To these ones, I say this: We saw pictures of Billionaires such as Aliko Dangote and Wale Tinubu voting. You are not busier than Dangote. If these ones could put their affairs on hold to register and vote, then clearly, we all need to get our priorities straight.

Some may say that elections here are rigged… well, you make it incredibly easy for someone to rig elections by not showing up. All the unused ballot papers can very easily be stamped for whoever they feel like. It becomes increasingly hard to rig when we show up en-masse. I pray, and work towards the day, when all the young people who are eligible, actually care enough to get up, go out and register to vote… and in that day, when we all actually do vote, we will truly be in charge of our Nation’s destiny. We’ll see a Nigeria that has a chance to cast away the burdens, problems and prejudices of times past, and finally live up to our potential.

– Banky Wellington

PS: Here’s to General Buhari’s daughter, Zahra… in the immortal words of FahlzTheBadGuy…  ‘Ello Bae 🙂


APC Government Will Open New Page For Nigeria – Saraki

The chairman Senate committee on Environment and Ecology, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has assured Nigerians that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government will open a new page for the country where all governments affairs will follow due process.

Saraki who was reacting to the total victory recorded by APC in the presidential and National Assembly elections in Kwara state, expressed optimism that going by the reports reaching him from across the country, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari would emerge victorious in the presidential election.

The APC leaders said that the landslide victory recorded in the state by the party has vindicated his often repeated phrase that “the peoples might is more than federal might”.

The former governor of Kwara state expressed delight that the presidential election results so far declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) signaled victory not only for the APC, but Nigerians as well.

He said the said landslide victory recorded by the APC in the state during last Saturday’s presidential/NASS election was not a fluke but a reflection of the commitment of the party’s leadership to good governance and connection with the people.

“The wind of change has come; we will open a new page for Nigerians where things will be done properly. I think for Nigerians, the victory is to be able to vote out a seating government. Nigerians have spoken rightly that they have the power to vote you in and power to vote you out and I think current people in government including people like me will seat up”.

“I hope it will be a great lesson for politicians who believe in Abuja and federal might, they have learnt their first lesson of politics that the peoples might is more than federal might and until they come to terms with this, they will continue to learn more lessons,” he stated.

Saraki advised those who are yet to join the mainstream politics of the state to do so, stressing that the era of impunity in Nigeria had gone.

He particularly asked the people of Ekiti local government area of the state where the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate hailed from not to vote based on sentiments in the coming governorship elections because according to him, their son cannot be governor by winning only one local government.

On the controversy trailing the issue of election in Rivers state where Governor Rotimi Amaechi boycotted elections, the APC leader called on INEC to review the situation, saying a situation where elections was being conducted without a result sheet available was not right.

Rivers Elections: INEC Sets Up 3-Members Investigation Committee

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday set up a three-member investigation committee to ascertain allegations of discrepancies in the conduct of  the Presidential and National Assembly elections in Rivers.

The information is contained in a statement issued by the Secretary to the Commission, Augusta Ogakwu, in Abuja on Monday. “This committee is in furtherance to the allegation made by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the call for the cancellation of the March 28 elections,” the statement said.

The statement said the panel comprised three National Commissioners –  Thelma Iremirem, Colonel M. K Hammanga and Professor Lai Olurode, Supervisory National Commissioner for Rivers.

It stated that the committee would advise the commission and the Chief of Commissioner/Returning Officer for the Presidential Elections. “They have departed for Rivers State and it is expected they will submit their report before the end of the collation of results of the states.

“Following consideration of their report, the commission will make its decision known,” it said.

Credit: NAN

Pregnant APC Supporter Stabs Husband During Election Argument

A woman has been arrested in Lagos State for murdering her husband during a dispute over the presidential candidates in the election. According to reports, the pregnant woman, 26, supported the APC while her husband supported the PDP which resulted in an argument over who would win the presidential election and ended in her fatally stabbing her husband.

A neighbour told the media that the woman ran out of the house calling for help as they found the husband on the floor of the home. The neighbour said it was obvious that she attempted to save her husband on her own. The police have arrested the wife and are still investigating what caused the incident.

Read More360nobs

Buhari Takes Jigawa With Landslide Win, State Election Returning Officer Says APC Wins All Senatorial Seats

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari has won the presidential election in Jigawa State.

Buhari defeated President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with a wide margin. Buhari scored 885 988 while President Jonathan scored 143.

Professor James Ayatsa, the returning officer of the election in the state, who announced the result on Monday, also declared that the APC won all the three senatorial seats in the state.

Read More: TheNation

INEC Insists Election Held In Rivers

Dame Gesilia Khan, Resident Electoral Commissioner in Rivers State, confirmed last night that elections were held in the 23 LGAs of the State.

According to a statement released by Khan, she said Steve Worgu, APC agent in Ikwerre LGA, signed for all documents in the Ikwerre council and confirmed that Governor Rotimi Amaechi had demanded results sheets in his ward before voting had even begun. The statement follows a complaint made by Governor Amaechi saying that voting did not take place in the state.

Read More: Vanguard

Buhari Will Emerge Victorious – Saraki, Baraje

Two chieftains of the All Progressives Congress(APC) in Kwara State, Dr Bukola Saraki and Alh Abubakar Kawu Baraje have expressed optimism that the party’s presidential candidte, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari wil emerge victorious in yesterday’s election.
Saraki and Baraje spoke in separate interviews with newsmen after their accreditation at their Ajikobi and Mogaji Baboko polling units respectively.
They declared that with the large turn out of voters, the APC was heading for a landslide victory in both the presidential and national assembly elections in the state.
Saraki, the APC leader in the state commended the peaceful conduct of the exercise.
He said the peaceful conduct of the exercise is a clear indication that the electorate are yearning for change.
He noted that the little hitches encountered in the use of card reader will be over come by INEC .
He assured that the peaceful conduct of the electorate as witnessed today was an indication that the process will be better than the previous elections.
On his part, Baraje expressed optimism that the exercise will be successful.
He assured that the ACP presidential candidate ,General Muhammadu Buhari will win the elections.
Baraje confirmed plans by the opposition to eliminate some APC chieftains before the election.
He added that a host of other APC chieftains were also marked for arrest on trump-up charges.
There was massive turn-out of voters across the state..
The acreditation in most polling units was without hitch save in some few areas where the machine did not function properly.
The voters also conducted themselves peacefully and orderly during accreditation and voting proper.
The Speaker of Kwara state house of assembly, Barr. Razak Atunwa who spoke with newsmen after being through with his accreditation at Efue in Asa LG commended the massive turn-out and peaceful conduct of the voters.
The APC candidate for the Ilorin West/Asa federal constituency urged his constituents to maintain their peaceful and orderly conduct in the subsequent elections.
He also commended the security arrangement on ground and expressed hope that it would be sustained.

No INEC Official, Voting Materials In Uduaghan’s Polling Unit

THERE is no trace of INEC officials and voting materials at Abigborodo community, the country home of Delta state governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, in Warri North Local Government Area of the state as at 10.30 am.


The governor, who spoke to Vanguard on phone, said he had been waiting with other citizens at the polling station for hours.

Barrister Edison Esemitoje, also fumed that at 10.20 am, “There is nothing like INEC presence at Enerehen and environs at this moment,”

Mr Okafor Ogbo complained at Olie Primary School II polling station, Akwukwu Igbo, that the card reader could not read his PVC and an electoral ?official asked him to leave the unit for another unit.

However, some of the voters have been successfully accredited as at 10. 55 am and told to come back for voting at 1.30 pm

INEC Postpones Elections in 11 Federal Constituencies in Jigawa

The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has announced the postponement of election into the House of representatives in eleven federal constituencies in Jigawa State.

The  State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Alhaji Halliru Aliyu Tambawel announced the development while briefing news men Friday night at INEC headquarters in Dutse, said the postponement was due to the short-fall of sensitive materials including ballot papers and results sheets from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He listed  constituencies as Dutse/Kiyawa, Ringim/ Taura, HadeJia/Kafin Hausa/Auyo,  and Jahun Miga federal Constituencies of Jigawa state, others include Gumel/Maigatari/Sule tankarkar/ Gagarawa, Kaugama/Malam-madori and Gwaram Federal constituencies. Babura/Garki, Birnin Kudu /Buji, Birniwa/ Guri/Kirikasamma and Kazaure/Roni/Gwiwa/’Yankwashi federal constituencies in the state.

Read More: Vanguard

British Prime Minister Writes Letter To Jonathan Concerning Elections

David Cameron  has written to President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure that Nigerian elections go ahead this weekend, warning that failure to do so ‘would risk national security and stability, and adversely affect Nigeria’s international reputation’.

In a letter to President Jonathan, the Prime Minister underlines the importance of the elections for the African continent and points out the pivotal role for the President.

In a statement made available to Vanguard saying, “As Africa’s biggest democracy, successful elections in Nigeria are important not only for Nigeria’s future, but as a signal to the rest of Africa.  Delivering a credible process will be a lasting credit to you as President and to Nigeria as a nation.

The Prime Minister emphasises the vital role of the Independent National Electoral Commission and its head Professor Jega, writing:

“I am encouraged by INEC’s advances in recent weeks.  The collection of over 80 per cent of Permanent Voter Cards and the broadly successful field tests of the card readers have improved their technical preparation for the election. Your support for Professor Jega’s continuing tenure and guidance of the process remains an important part of delivering successful elections.”

He also calls for a transparent process without violence, saying ‘With hundreds of lives lost after the last election, the eyes of the international community will be focused on Nigeria.’

The Prime Minister also said he was encouraged that Nigeria, alongside its neighbours, was tackling threat posed by Boko Haram – congratulating President Jonathan on the recent advances made by Nigerian troops. And he confirmed the UK’s commitment to support Nigeria in this effort with £5 million of UK support to the Multinational Joint Task Force to tackle Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin area. The UK is also working towards the swift adoption of a Security Council resolution in New York to welcome the force and send an important message of international political support for the force.

Read More: vanguardngr

Political Thugs Go On Rampage In Lagos

Political thugs on Thursday morning in Lagos went on rampage shooting sporadically. The incident happened in the Oshodi area of the state.

The thugs, who wore masks and carried dangerous weapons, destroyed all billboards and posters belonging to the All Progressives Congress (APC). The thugs also attacked people wearing t-shirts or caps belonging to APC. The APC is expected to hold a rally in the area on Thursday. Motorists and passerby ran for safety.

Soldiers and fully armed policemen have been drafted  to the scene of the incident.

Read More: news24

All Borders Shut Ahead Of Elections- FG

Nigeria has announced the closure of all land and sea borders ahead of Saturday’s presidential elections, the Interior Ministry announced Wednesday. All borders will effectively be closed from midnight March 25, to midnight Saturday, March 28, the ministry said in a statement.

The release, signed by the permanent secretary, Abubakar Magaji, said the borders would be closed “to allow for the peaceful conduct of the forthcoming national elections”.

It also said the Nigeria Immigration Service has been directed to ensure that non-Nigerians do not participate in any part of the election process.


Safety And Security Tips For You And Your Family On Eletion Day

* Avoid argument with people and kindly keep your political views to yourself. It is vital you refrain from discussions with regards to the party and contestant.

* Movement may be restricted, avoid moving around with vehicle and if you must do so park your vehicle away from polling station.

* It is advisable not to enter the polling unit with all your family member or spouse together, If possible split in group.

* Ensure you go to polling unit early with your voter’s card and avoid taking your under age children along.

* Identify viable escape route and safety in case of any violence or emergency.

* Telecommunication Networks may be poor, kindly recharge your phone and ensure good planning for that day by creating an avenue to communicate with friends and family via social media (BBM, facebook, twitter, e.t.c).

* Wear Simple and Smart dress.

* Examine the situation of your polling unit in terms of sensitivity or normalcy.

* There will be adequate deployment of security agents, therefore expect minor delays and cooperate with security agents.

* It is vital to make adequate provision for water, food and medical kit as delay before casting your vote may call for need of such items.

* The best ground for pick pockets is crowded place. It is important you keep and secure your belongings. Debit card and other valuable items should not be taking to polling units.

* Finally, monitor media and security reports.

Wishing you and your Family a violence Free-Election as you cast your vote to candidate of your choice.



I’ll Collapse If I See N5bn – Says REC Accused Of Taking Bribe

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Akwa Ibom, Mr Austin Okojie, on Tuesday said he would collapse if N5billion was brought before him in cash.

Okojie said this while briefing accredited media professionals for the general elections in Uyo.

“I was welcomed to the state with a false report that I was given five billion naira to come and rig the election.”

He expressed displeasure over the report and urged journalists in the state to desist from reports capable of misrepresenting officials of the commission.

“Five days of my being posted to Akwa Ibom state, a newspaper published a report that I was given five billion naira to come and rig the election in favour of some candidates in the forthcoming elections.

“I was shocked to see such a report as I have worked in other states and I did not experience such a thing.

“I also worked as a journalist before proceeding to read law and I know the rules of the profession do not permit one to report falsehood.

“If I come across five billion naira now, I will collapse and perhaps I will not be here talking to you.

He said media professionals must uphold the ethics of the noble profession by reporting accurately without any form of bias.

“This is in view of the fact that the media plays immeasurable roles in the administration/management of elections.

He urged journalists to investigate stories before reporting.

He said INEC was ready to conduct free, fair and transparent elections in accordance with the electoral laws.

He said that over 95 percent of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) had been distributed in the state.

Don’t Go Home After Voting – Patience Jonathan Tells Nigerians

Contrary to the directive of the police to the electorate to go home after casting their votes, First Lady of Nigeria, Mrs Patience Goodluck Jonathan yesterday  urged all the eligible voters not to go home after casting their votes during the March 28 and April 11 general elections.
She advised all eligible voters to stay at the polling units after voting in order to protect their votes, urging them to resist any attempt to intimidate them after voting.
Mrs Jonathan, who spoke at a PDP Presidential Women campaign rally in Enugu yesterday, insisted  that members of APC were more corrupt than the people they were accusing of corruption.
She pointed out that  the main opposition party, APC, does not the meaning the corruption and change that they have been clamouring for, insisting that the PDP remained the best.
“APC does not know the meaning of corruption.  They don’t know the meaning of corruption. They say they want change they don’t know the meaning of change. Shall we change from good to bad?
“They are more corrupt than any other person. If we open cans of warms, they will run.  Let us open our cans of warm and see if they will not run,” the First Lady said.
She called on all and sundry to support Jonathan and reject Buhari and his party ,APC,  wondering what Buhari forgot in government that he wants to come back to collect .
She maintained that APc was a dead party that has started running helter skelter and urged women to vote for her husband en masse.
Dame Jonathan further stated  there was future in PDP led administration, adding that the party has done so much in the area of women empowerment, agriculture,etc.

Court Bars Use Of Soldiers During Election

A Federal High Court in Lagos has ruled that the Nigerian Armed Forces have no role in the conduct of elections in the country.

The court relied on a recent Court of Appeal ruling that barred the use of soldiers in the conduct of elections, stating that it was a violation of Section 217(2)(c) of the Constitution and Section 1 of the Armed Forces Act.

The appellate court had also relied on a judgment by a Federal High Court in Sokoto last January also barring the use of armed forces in the conduct of elections.

The latest ruling says the Nigerian government should not deploy soldiers at polling units, a plan that had generated controversy between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC.

Details On: premiumtimesng

Why Jonathan Will Win the 2015 Presidential Elections, By Nnaemeka Oruh

Two things are certain about this article; it will not be published by Sahara Reporters( they have proven to be a completely anti-Jonathan media outlet who are now so far from objectivity that one wonders if they sit back and realise that the media is supposed to be unbiased).Secondly, all the people who are opposed to Jonathan being re-elected will say that I have been paid. One sometimes wonders why they attack all the people who support Jonathan as being sycophants while only the supporters of the opposition are deemed to be the only patriotic people in the country. You see what you see and believe it, and I see what I see and believe it. What you believe probably informed your choice, and my own belief informed my choice too. It is the height of conceit for one to believe that his own choice is informed by patriotism while another’s is informed by something else.
It would have been easier to just go to sleep under the fear of the antagonism of the opposition thus drowning my own voice. But I have not collected money from anybody, and so, I can speak from my heart and accept the repercussions.
There is a belief that the incumbent president of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will lose the presidential election. People who say this gauge the pulse of the social media, and the general belief of people from certain parts of the country and use those as the reason for making the assertion. Also, they look at the information from people who occupy a certain social status, who are domiciled in a certain part of the country. So based on all the information derived from these group, Jonathan stands no chance of winning the election. But this is inherently wrong.
The truth then is that Jonathan’s unpopularity rests mainly on social media; or rather the media. And the media is by far not representative of 20% of Nigerian voters. The real voters are of course not swayed by the media and the truth is, they seem to be for Jonathan. Go back a bit and ask the supporters of Atiku and they will tell you that owing to the type of noise and support he generated on social media especially twitter, Atiku would have been the winner of the APC presidential primaries. But the reality was that he did not win and that is simply because elections are not won on social media.
Majority of the people leading the campaign against Jonathan on social media will not vote that day. In fact, most of them do not have their PVCs! I have had the chance to talk to a few of them and almost all of them have no PVCs. So how then will they vote in their preferred candidate? To win the election, online oratory does not count. Online polls will not count. What will count will be the number of qualified electorates who in actuality cast their votes. And it is on this aspect that Jonathan has been working–appealing to serious Nigerian electorates, and getting their vote of confidence.
It is important that I point out that the loudest voices in the campaign against a Jonathan re-election have been those of Yorubas. Most of them in typical Yoruba impeccable culture are only crying for change because some of their elders have dictated that they do so. So in deference to the elders, they clamour for change( for the sake of change) and deride Jonathan as vociferously as they can. If you ask most of them why Buhari will be better, they simply say(as cracked CDs are wont to) “we want change o”. It does not matter if the change is retrogressive. The slightly brighter ones will take you up on security(and by this they refer to the Boko Haram menace which is essentially an issue of terrorism perpetrated by religious fundamentalists. Beating such religious fundamentalists is something no government in the world can boast of having gained victory on),corruption, and the often over flogged assertion” he is clueless”. Sometimes, they say he is weak. Of course he is weak, because he allows people talk about him as they please in the spirit of freedom of speech and democracy. That is weakness my people.
Let us not argue that a clueless person would have since cluelessly found himself out of government by now, or somehow led us to irredeemable ruin in the course of six years. No need also to argue that Jonathan did not birth corruption in Nigeria. We should rather focus on why every Dick, Tom and Harry can confidently come out openly and insult the president. And why we are even aware of what government officials earn, and indeed the nature of our finances. Both were possible because for the first time we have a president that truly believes in the tenets of democracy. A president who believes in respecting everyone’s human rights. A president that signed into law the Freedom of Information bill thus giving us access to information which hitherto was privileged.
The problem is not that Goodluck Jonathan has been the worst president in our history(on the contrary, he seems to be the best so far).The problem is that unlike the others before him, nobody wants to talk about his achievements. Instead, attention is repeatedly drawn to only his failures top of which was his rather poor reaction to the kidnap of the Chibok girls. The problem is also that for Olusegun Obasanjo, whom with his fellow Yorubas are championing Jonathan’s exit, the man has refused to be a puppet. So now he is the worst president ever even though recent history even shows that Obasanjo cannot stand and talk where Jonathan stands in terms of good governance. I will not talk about Obasanjo here because frankly, talking about him is not worth my time.
I am also not here to talk about the achievements of Jonathan. I only mentioned the ones in the last paragraph because they form part of the reason why Goodluck Jonathan will win the presidential election. He will win because to a large section of Nigerians, he represents what real democratic leadership should be. He is not perfect, but he respects the rights of people. Nigerians do not want to risk this freedom for another quasi-military democracy.
Goodluck Jonathan will win because the All Progressives Congress chose the wrong candidate to be their flag bearer. A Fashola ticket for instance would have given Jonathan the kayoo punch(I for one would have voted for a Fashola presidency).So in choosing a former dictator, they quenched our thirsts for change. Better to stick with someone who will at least respect our rights than risk descending to the abyss we just managed to climb out of(Buhari’s case was not helped by the fact that Obasanjo when he was given a chance still showed he was military at heart).
He will win because Nigeria is not made up of a certain ethnic group alone. It is a country of diverse ethnic groups whose views and beliefs will come into play in deciding who rules the country from May 29th.
Let us now run some predictions and calculations on why Jonathan will win. First of all, there is no argument that Jonathan will win all the Eastern and South South states. Some may argue that in Rivers state, Buhari stands a chance. That is completely untrue. I live in Rivers state and even though a lot of Rivers people will vote for APC for the governorship election, almost all of them will vote Jonathan for the presidency. It is not a question of ethnicism, it is a case of voting a democrat.
My calculations which are based on discussions with people from the South West also show that Buhari is not going to win all the states there. Where it is believed that he will win comfortably are Lagos and Ogun state. I however found out from all those I communicated with that Lagos is not a given. Projections also show that the middle belt would be claimed mainly by Jonathan while he will also have some votes from the core North. The votes he will get from the core North will come mainly from PDP fundamentalists. Now given all these, I do not see Buhari winning up to 24 states.
One cannot argue that this election will be very close. But the projections on social media and in fact the electronic and print media are by far inaccurate representations of what is the true situation. The true situation is that Jonathan holds the edge and that is mainly because of whom the APC chose as their presidential candidate. People always believe that Nigerians forget easily, but the truth is, we just do not forget.
I read through Yahoo News(a link from Associated Press or Reuters. Cannot remember which one exactly) an interview where General Buhari was asked what he will do if he loses the election and he said he will not answer the question because he knows he will not lose*. I hope that he has not been confused by the projections from the mainly Yoruba dominated media. If he has, I fear what will happen if he loses and suddenly had to face reality.
*There has since been another interview where he said he will accept the loss if it happens.I am worried though that the second interview was more of a political statement than an assertion straight from the heart.

Jega Raises Fresh Concerns Over Elections

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega on Wednesday raised fresh concerns over the conduct of the rescheduled general elections. Jega noted that there are still some challenges that needed to be addressed with security agencies before the elections.

Jega, who spoke at a situation room dialogue session at Transcorp Hilton hotel in Abuja, said there are still a few security concerns hovering over the 2015 general elections. He stated that there are still concerns over the protection of ad-hoc officials for the elections.

The INEC Chairman had on Tuesday met with the President Goodluck Jonathan and service chiefs to brief them on the commission’s preparedness for the elections.

Read More:  The Cable

President Goodluck Jonathan : A Real Life Version Of The Fictional President Logan By Ismail Lawal

President Goodluck Jonathan, his handlers and cabinet as well as the PDP are desperate to hold on to power. The empirical evidence to support this claim is not farfetched. He has doled out billions of naira in cash and contracts to all sorts of interest groups (read threat to National security) in order to secure a second term in office which he is legitimately entitled to. My grievance is not with the fact that he is trying hard to win a second term in office but in the process of trying hard, POTFRON is creating a short and long term threat to National security.

PIPELINE CONTRACTS TO EKPUMOPOLO, ASARI and the likes – I do not understand why the constitutional duty of the Nigerian Navy should be outsourced to this touts in the name of placating them from carrying out a second  round of guerrilla warfare against the Nigeria state. This is a short and long term threat to National unity and Security and no one in the Jonathan’s Presidency sees the danger ahead. The last I checked, these ex-militants do not have a track record in pipeline security by training or professional experience. The only track record they have is the title ex-Militants and the contracts being doled out to them will only enable them to have a considerable war chest to acquire more ammunition. The irony is that this ammunition will be used to fight the Nigerian Army when the contracts stop. Oh trust me it will stop at some point and it will be a sorry case of funded by the Nigerian state, against the Nigerian Army.

This is a dangerous trend.  These ex – militants are buoyed by this sort of arrangement sanctioned by the Leader of the most populous black nation on earth. Governors are even scared of them, or how else would you describe the sudden withdrawal of Emmanuel Uduaghan’s from the senatorial race on the eve of the PDP’s primary because one ekpumopolo does not support his senate ambition. In order not to be seen as a scared of the almighty tompolo created and funded by the Nigerian government, the governor claimed his decision to withdraw was in the interest of peace and security in the state. Imagine, the CSO of the state claiming he withdrew from a race in the interest of peace and security which he is the de ju-re custodian.

President Olusegun Obasanjo is his recent Memoir – The Watch – alluded to the fact that the disarmament exercise of the Yaradua administration had a 50% success rate. The implication of this is that the ex-militants still have 50% of the arms they used during the ‘Emancipation war’ in the Niger Delta in their possession hiding away somewhere. Obviously, POTFRON and the NSA do not see the danger ahead by giving contract out to criminal elements which will enable them acquire even more ammunition; this trend portends a greater threat to our National Security.

The president would not be dealing with the unpopular and damaging perception of being an Ijaw President rather than the President of the Federal Republic if during his five years as substantive President he made a concerted effort to mop up the remaining arms and ammunition in the Niger-Delta or at the very minimal if he at least tied the contract he has given to these ex-militants to a comprehensive and absolute disarmament. Prosperity would have remembered him as an advocate of a peaceful and united Nigeria. He did neither rather he has given them money funded by the Nigerian state to potentially rearm. If this is not a greater threat to National security, I don’t know what is.

The Jonathan administration has been a reactionary presidency and this has crept into all other institutions of state. If not, you will expect that a portion of the Nigerian state’s intelligence and security apparatus is dedicated to monitoring the threats coming out of the Niger Delta should the president lose.  The top echelon of the Nigerian security apparatus which should be neutral and professional but has covertly (even though it is visible to every discerning eye) taken sides in the first ‘too-close-to-call’ presidential election in the history of Nigeria leaving the rank and file of their respective security agency vulnerable should another round of conflict break out.

THE OPC SHOW OF SHAME – Tears rolled down my eyes when I saw the picture of an OPC member with a pump action in broad day light during the show of shame in Lagos on Monday, March 16th. The OPC led by Gani Adams went on rampage in Lagos and that show of shame shows that our dear country is on the brink and needs to be rescued. Institutions of the state such as the Nigerian Police and Nigerian Army witnessed a pump action wielding OPC member and did nothing about it. I am all for peaceful demonstration,  we are in a democracy after all, but what happened in Lagos in the presence of security apparatus of the Nigerian state is a gory tale waiting to be told. The irony of this is when violence breaks out, that same pump action will be used against the very security personnel that turned a blind eye during that show of shame.

I am not against President Jonathan doing all he can to win reelection it is in the very nature of politics and electioneering. However, I am against his actions especially in the past couple of weeks because they portend a great threat to the homeland’s national security.

I am a student of history and I have not seen any President, most of whom are generally regarded as the custodian of their respective country’s sovereignty also double as the greatest threat to National Security. The only one that comes to mind is the fictional President Logan (also a former vice president that became substantive president when his boss became incapacitated) in the 24 series whose character was coined around a President that was underestimated but became very dangerous because it gave him a sort of cover.


Ismail Lawal is a senior consultant with his CSC @ismaillawal

Views expressed are sole that of author and has nothing to do with nor its associates

Oba of Benin Assures Jonathan of Election Victory

The Oba of Benin, Omon’oba Erediauwa, has assured President Goodluck Jonathan of victory in the forthcoming election slated for March 28.

The Oba gave the assurance Thursday in Abuja through his son and a chief in the Benin Kingdom, Ada Erediuwa, who led a delegation of princes and chiefs of the Benin Kingdom on a visit to a former Minister of Information and elder statesman, Edwin Clark.

Prince Erediuwa recalled that his father had met with Mr. Jonathan three times adding that while the first meeting was a private affair between the two leaders, the second meeting was a public function when the president went to Edo to commission the refurbished Benin-Lagos expressway.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Tinubu Raises Alarm on Fresh Plots to Assasinate Him

In a statement issued by his Media Aide, Sunday Dare, Bola Tinubu said barely two weeks before the March 28 presidential election, fresh plots by the Presidency and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hardliners to stop the momentum of the APC presidential candidate, Gen Muhammadu Buhari, have been uncovered.  This novel strategy, according to him, is believed to be the outcome of a desperate calculation, which is to attack on multiple fronts, one of them is a plan to kill Tinubu.

Dare said the PDP and the Presidency had allegedly tried to fracture the APC by offering Tinubu the position of vice president in an interim government if he would agree to part ways with Buhari. It was gathered that as soon as Tinubu rebuffed the offer to participate in the interim scheme, the Presidency decided that silencing and if necessary neutralizing him would do the magic. This allegation, the PDP said, is a lie.

Read More: SunNewsOnline

Postpone Elections or Include Us on New Ballot Papers, New Party Tells INEC

Young Democratic Party,? a new party which a court compelled the Independent National Electoral Commission to recognise, has said the electoral body should either reprint the ballot papers to include it for the coming general elections or postpone the polls.

The stance of the party may have boosted ongoing efforts to scuttle the forthcoming elections. A Federal High Court in Abuja, Wednesday, ordered INEC to recognise YDP and accommodate it in the forthcoming elections that are about four weeks away.

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Thursday, the party’s Publicity Secretary, Ugo Nwofor, said INEC “has just two options,” adding that the party was ready for the elections. The conditions, according to Mr. Nwofor, include reprinting the ballot papers to accommodate the party and its candidates.? But if INEC does not have “appropriation for logistics?” for reprinting the ballot papers, Mr. Nwofor issued the second option which was that, “lNEC should postpone the elections to accommodate our party.”

Read More: Premium Times

This Election is Not About Brother, It’s About Stomach- Amaechi

Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State has again assured that the All Progressives Congress, APC, under Gen. Muhammadu Buhari will turn the country’s misfortunes around if elected.

He noted that the current challenges plaguing the country would adequately be addressed with the needed political will to positively turn around the country’s wheel of development.

He criticised President Goodluck Jonathan for not taking decisive action on the recent tragic shooting that disrupted the APC rally in Okirika, Rivers State.

He said: “This election is not about brother, it is about your stomach. If dollar likes, it can get to N300 or N400 to a dollar, the President can afford it but you can’t afford it. Now they tried everything possible to stop the dollar from losing control. They couldn’t because the economy will determine whether the dollar will lose control or not and the economy has done that already…”

Read MoreVanguard

#StillOnTheMatter: We Need to Change the Way we Conduct Elections in Nigeria

In 2011, a total of =N= 130 billion was spent by the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct the elections. On the December 20, 2014, sums in excess of 21 billion Naira, was raised for the president’s re-election bid. But to what end? We ask ourselves.

On the 27th July 2006, Funsho Williams, was murdered in his Ikoyi home. Williams was the likely candidate to pick up the PDP gubernatorial ticket for Lagos state as the 2007 election loomed. Dr Ayo Daramola, a former World Bank consultant and aspirant for the Ekiti State governorship was also murdered in that same year. Otunba Dipo Dina was murdered in January, 2010 in Ota. He was to partake in the 2011 election.

After the 2011 elections, over 11 members of the national youth service scheme where brutally murdered in Bauchi state. The election violence that swept the country caused over 1000 lives and left thousands displaced. To some people this was surprising because the 2011 elections was said to be generally free and fair, unlike the preceding elections, but still that did not stop a violent uprising.

During every election the Nigerian Money Markets suffers dearly. With the kind of political instability Nigerian elections bring with it, there is always a drought on investment in the Nigerian economy during these period. As a result of the political instability created by the 2014/2015 electioneering, and the anxiety of what the outcome would eventually be, foreign investors pulled over 846 billion Naira from the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2014.

Yet, after all these, the Nigerian people still emerge with the most mediocre leaders, who conduct affairs of state in the most grotesque manner, even Mugabe would be embarrassed.

It has become clear that the present way of conducting elections is dangerously divisive, expensive and utterly ludicrous. And for the sake of the continued existence of the Nigerian State this must be changed. We do not doubt that most of our problems in this country can be traced to elections. In a Nation-State comprised of 250 ethnic groups an election process left to the discretion of certain individuals, like the INEC chairman, is highly dangerous. To mitigate this problem, a market based balloting system must be adopted.

Instead of all the platitudes written and re-written in the form of electoral reforms, here are practical machinations for the implementation of a market based electoral balloting system that the Nigerian state should adopt.

First the federal and state parliamentary, local government, and ward councillors would be done. Anybody who desires to fill any of these positions, once they meet certain requirements could put them names in the ballot systems for selection. No matter the party you belong to, if you want to become a member of the senate, the House of Representatives, a local government chairman or a ward councillor, you are required to put your name in the election ballot system – once you meet the requirements. These requirements could include an age range, minimum education qualification, etc. Then on Election Day, the balloting is done, electronically, for every position, in all the constituencies, local governments’ areas and wards involved. The first name that emerges, for every balloting round, for the position in question, irrespective 0f the political party becomes the winner of  that position. This way the election is determined to be free and fair. And when people feel there was no foul play, they would generally accept the result.

Now, it is the winners of the parliamentary elections, through the balloting system, at the federal and state levels, that elect the president and governor respectively. In this way the extremely expensive and ludicrously divisive electioneering process can be done away with. Through this process those aspiring to be governor or president would not need to marshal billions of naira for their campaigns, or siphoned state funds for electioneering and election violence in Nigeria would be eliminated or mitigated to negligible levels.

By Tam Alex

Views Expressed Are Solely Author’s…

Boko Haram: Nigerian Army Vows To Protect Nigeria During Polls

Following the recent threats by Boko Haram self acclaimed leader, Abu Shekau to disrupt the forth coming elections, the Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade insisted that they would not be intimidated.

Speaking with Channels TV,he said, counter-terrorism operations will continue, “no matter the threats”.

Olukolade recalled the success in reclaiming Monguno and other town from Boko Haram adding that it demonstrates the military’s commitment to flushing the sect.


VIDEO: Soyinka Lambastes Both Jonathan & Buhari

Nigeria’s Nobel Prize winning author Wole Soyinka has strongly criticized the two main contenders in Nigeria’s presidential election.

In a BBC interview, he insisted that the country should have come up with far better options and described President Goodluck Jonathan, who is running for a second full-term, and opposition leader Muhammadu Buhari as “problematic candidates”.


Read More:

Goodluck Jonathan is Terrified of Losing- Chimamanda Adichie

Award wining author Chimamanda Adichie has said that president Goodluck Jonathan is terrified of losing the election. The writer said this in a recent article  where she criticized the recent postponement of Nigeria’s general elections.

In an article titled “Democracy, Deferred”,  she wrote that the poll shift is a flailing act of desperation from an incumbent terrified of losing.


10 Registered Political Parties That Kicked Against Election Postponement

A group of ten registered political parties has kicked against the postponement of the general elections. The parties alleged that characters that scuttled the June 12, 1993 general election have coalesced again and are about to do the same thing for their selfish ends.
The political parties are the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), KOWA Party, the HDP, Accord Party, Mega Progressive Peoples Party, Social Democratic Party, United Peoples Party and the Democratic Peoples Party.

Speaking on behalf of the other parties, National Chairman of PDM,  Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, said the call for the postponement of the general elections has nothing to do with the challenge of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct the election or the pace of distribution and collection of Permanent Voters Card (PVCs).

He accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of orchestrating the call for the postponement out of fear of losing power for the first time since 1999.

Read More: New Telegraph

Schools to Remain Open During Election

The federal government has directed that all schools from the primary to the tertiary level should remain open during the general elections. The decision was reached at a meeting between the federal government and the 36 states Commissioners for Education, including the F.C.T. Education Secretary.

The meeting presided over by the Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau, agreed that no holiday should be declared for the elections considering the fact that schools have lost much ground following their closure to prevent the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

Shekarau promised the state governments to ensure that adequate security are provided for boarding institutions marked as polling units for the elections.

Read More: Punch

How to Stop Political Violence, by Femi Falana

In the 1990s, the results of credible elections were annulled in Nigeria, Algeria and some other African countries by dictatorial regimes. The political violence generated by such criminal annulment led to the disruption of the democratic process in the continent. In 2008, the refusal of the electoral body in Kenya to announce the results of the presidential election led to the brutal killing of over a thousand people .

Owing to the weak criminal justice system in that country, Mr. Kofi Anan, a former Secretary-General of the United Nations was invited to conduct an inquiry into the political violence. The investigation report formed the basis of the trial of Messrs Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto before the International Criminal Court (ICC). Notwithstanding the election of both suspects as President and Vice President of Kenya while the case was pending the charges were not discontinued.

Instead of strengthening the democratic institutions in their respective countries African leaders have threatened to withdraw the ratification of the Statute of Rome by their countries if the trial of their Kenyan colleague was not terminated by the Special Prosecutor of the ICC. Although the case has been struck out for want of diligent prosecution the African Union has decided to empower the African Court on Human Rights sitting in Arusha, Tanzania to deal with allegations of genocide and crimes against humanity involving African leaders. As no political leader wanted to be charged before the ICC the 2013 General Election in Kenya did not witness the orgy of violence that marred the previous election.

A fortnight ago, Mr. Kofi Anan and Chief Emeka Anyaoku, a former secretary-general of the Commonwealth, jointly presided over the signing of a Non-Violence Accord by the presidential candidates of the political parties that are taking part in the 2015 General Election scheduled to hold in Nigeria next month. At the well celebrated ceremony which held in Abuja the candidates of the two leading political parties embraced each other.

While the media and several people were excited with the development I expressed the view that the so called peace accord would not stem the tide of political violence in the country due to the violent nature of the electoral system coupled with official impunity.

In a number of decided cases, the courts have held that candidates sponsored by political parties cannot be held vicariously liable for politically motivated violence and electoral malpractice carried out on their behalf unless they can be directly linked with instigating or directing their supporters to engage in such criminality.

Condemnation of perpetrators

Indeed, political leaders usually dissociate themselves from acts of violence by condemning the perpetrators. However, if the suspects are charged to court the leaders turn round to engage the services of lawyers to defend them. In many cases, attorneys-general are directed to file nolle prosequi to stop the prosecution of suspects who belong to the ruling parties. Hence, the cases of the hundreds of suspects charged to court by the Police for electoral offences committed during the 2003, 2007 and 2011 general elections were abruptly terminated in all the states of the federation.

In the last few months, Nigerians have witnessed a reign of terror by armed thugs who have engaged in the bombing or burning of party secretariats, the destruction of vehicles belonging to political parties, the harassment of political opponents , the wearing of masks by “security personnel” at campaign rallies, the extrajudicial killing and brutal attacks of innocent people at party congresses and primary elections, the unprovoked assault on judges, the throwing of stones at leaders etc.

In spite of the warning by the electoral officials the illegal use of official vehicles by public officers for political campaigns has continued. Top political leaders have continued to make inciting statements. A governor published a death wish advert which could have provoked ethno-religious riots. Another governor attended a meeting where ex-militants threatened to declare a war on the Republic if the President is “dethroned” in the forthcoming general election.

It is hoped that those who are beating the drum of war will be called to order by President Jonathan. After all, they never took part in the streets protests held in Lagos and Abuja which compelled the National Assembly to recognise Dr. Jonathan as the Acting President in May 2010. Neither did they blackmail Nigerians from all parts of the country to vote for the President in 2011. With respect to the stoning of President Jonathan during a political rally in Bauchi, last week, Governor Isa Yaguda has pointed accusing fingers at some unnamed members of the ruling party.

This is a serious allegation which should be investigated by the Police with a view to bringing the culprits to book..
It is common knowledge that the bulk of the infractions of the Law highlighted above took place after the signing of the peace accord. The National Human Rights Commission has said that “signing a peace pact is easy, the more difficult part is to ensure that the political office seekers and their supporters work within the rules of engagement.” But office seekers and their supporters cannot operate within ‘the rules of engagement” if they are treated like sacred cows. It ought to be pointed out that executive immunity does not cover election petitions and electoral offences! In Turaki v. Dalhaltu(2003) 38 WRN 54 at 168 Oguntade JCA (as he then was) held that “If a Governor were to be considered immuned from court proceedings, that would create the position where a sitting Governor would be able to flout election laws and regulations to the detriment of other persons contesting with him. This will make a nonsense of the election process and be against the spirit of our national Constitution which in its tenor provides for a free and fair election.”

Crisis of impunity

Since ours is a country which claims to operate under the Rule of Law it is inexplicable that the suspects involved in sabotaging the electoral process have not been charged to any criminal court. The crisis of impunity in the land has been compounded by the partisan involvement of the authorities of the police, the armed forces and other security agencies in the political process. Although there are adequate and elaborate provisions in the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended and the penal statutes to deal with political violence and electoral malfeasance the managers of the neo-colonial state lack the political will to bring electoral offenders to book.

In 2007, President Umoru Yaradua admitted that the election which brought him to power was flawed. In a bid to sanitize the electoral system he set up the Mohammadu Uwais Electoral Committee . Among other recommendations the Committee called for the establishment of an Electoral Offences Tribunal.The Yaradua Administration rejected the recommendation without any justification. However, following the political violence which greeted the announcement of the results of the presidential election in some states in the North and Akwa Ibom in April 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan set up the Ahmed Lemu Panel to investigate the crisis. From the detailed report of the Panel, 943 people were killed while 838 others were injured. While the Federal Government has paid over N10 billion as reparation to the victims of the riots, the 626 suspects who were arrested in connection with arson, culpable homicide and other grave offences perpetrated during the civil disturbances have been left off the hook on account of official impunity that has become the order of the day under the current political dispensation.
Convinced that electoral offenders ought to be prosecuted in order to stop electoral violence the Panel equally made a strong case for the setting up of “an autonomous and constitutionally recognized electoral Offences Tribunal, but which may be an ad hoc body as it may not have much to do in between election periods.” In accepting the recommendation of the Federal Government undertook to take all necessary actions to establish the Tribunal.

Non violence accord

Although the recommendation was adopted in August 2012, the Tribunal is yet to be set up. Having signed the non-violence accord President Goodluck Jonathan should now proceed to institute the Electoral Offences Tribunal. It is time an end was put to the official endorsement of politically motivated violence in the country.

However, if the Federal Government is desirous to maintain the status quo it is pertinent to note that section 150 of the Electoral Act has empowered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deal with prosecute electoral offenders. But since the INEC lacks the capacity to discharge the onerous statutory duty the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) should take up the task of prosecuting electoral offenders throughout the country. To ensure the success of the proposal the NBA should be prepared to collaborate with the Body of Attorneys-General and the Nigeria Police Force. Unless electoral offenders are punished as envisaged by the Electoral Act and the Constitution the subversion of the democratic process will continue unabated.


2015 Election: Opinions of Naija Celebrities

Some artistes in Nigeria on Thursday appealed to politicians and Nigerians to guard their utterances and not heat up the polity ahead of the Feb. 14 general elections.

They made the appeal in separate interviews with Newsmen on Thursday in Lagos. They are of the view that heating up the polity would put tension on the populace which might not augur well for the electorate.

Joseph Okougbo, the leader, Infinity Musical Group, popularly known “Olori Oko’’, said that politics should be about telling and selling ideas through their manifestos. “They are to enlighten the masses on what they want to do and bring up personalities that can deliver on those ideals to the populace.

“It is disheartening that politics today does not reflect these paradigms. Politicians and their campaign teams should focus on promotion of how they would better the lot of the people.’’

Okougbo said that political parties should stay focused in scrutinising candidates based on their eligibility, ability and track record. He said such candidates must be sincerie, have sense of purpose and true commitment to serving the people. “That way, after elections, such individuals will be committed to doing the right thing for the nation. We need to be conscious, the big picture is not just food in our tummies; it is Nigeria becoming better,’’Okougbo said.

A professional photographer, Jesse Akerele-Omoghene, told pressmen that people no longer believe in any politicians because of their failures to fulfill old promises. “If politicians fulfill the promises in their manifestoes, things will work out well,’’ he said. He added that Nigerians were wiser and their desire was to see things run smoothly. “The masses should vote for who they want. We can only do our part by voting and leave the rest to God,” Akerele-Omoghene said.

Emmanuel Afemikhe, popularly known as Emizon, said the politicians should do things right, they should think outside the box and make good their promises to the common man. He advised the masses to vote because “we have the right to vote for whoever we feel can deliver.