INEC To Investigate Alleged Distribution Of Fake Result Sheets In Rivers Rerun

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will investigate alleged distribution of fake result sheets in some polling units in Saturday’s legislative re-run elections in Rivers.

 

The commission’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, made this known in an interview on Monday in Abuja.

 

Osaze-Uzzi also said that the commission would also investigate other allegations raised during the conduct of the election.

He, however, insisted that there was no way fake election materials could have been distributed by INEC’s election officers.

 

“Was there really distribution of fake result sheets? How did the people know that they are fake?

“The allegation will be investigated, anyway.

“We are having a meeting on Wednesday with the Rivers Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Monitors and Supervisors who went to the state for the election.

“This issue will be raised there; thereafter, we will issue a public statement on our findings.

“We will also investigate any allegation that has been raised and backed with fact,” Osaze-Uzzi said.

 

On when the commission would release the remaining results of the election, he said that decision on it would be taken at the Wednesday meeting.

 

“We are not going back to the state until the atmosphere is conducive to have a violent-free election.

“But I don’t want to pre-empt anything ahead of the Wednesday meeting.”

 

On update about electoral officers abducted during the Saturday election, Osaze-Uzzi said that he was yet to be briefed on the matter.

 

“I cannot speak categorically on that, but I was told that some of the people we are much concerned about have been released.

 

“But regrettably, I think we lost a youth corps member but I can’t state categorically,” he added.

 

(NAN)

Rivers Re-Run: INEC Releases Statement On Election Results

STATEMENT BY THE INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION(INEC) ON THE NATIONAL AND STATE ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS IN RIVERS STATE

Pursuant to the Orders of the Court of Appeal, the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) conducted elections into various seats in both the National and the Rivers State House of Assembly yesterday, the 19th of March, 2016.
Rather unfortunately, some of these elections witnessed the disruption of the process, including the barricading of some of the INEC Local Government offices and Registration Area Centres(RACs) used for the distribution of Electoral materials which led to the late commencement of the exercise in some places and consequently, its smooth take off.
Of more serious concern was the level of threats, violence and intimidation of election officials and voters by well armed thugs and miscreants allegedly acting on behalf of some politicians, which marred the elections in some areas. There were reports of numerous attacks resulting in fatalities, kidnappings, ballot snatching, diversion of officials and materials, amongst others, which necessitated its suspension in 8 Local Government Areas.
Regrettably, such deviant behaviour has continued today. Several permanent and ad hoc staff engaged have been attacked, again resulting in fatalities, while some have been forcibly abducted and taken to presently unknown destinations.
Under such difficult circumstance, the Returning Officers were only able to collate and declare results in 1 Federal and 9 State constituencies where the disruption and malpractices were not so widespread.
Having reviewed the situation, the Commission is compelled to suspend all further action concerning the exercise in all the other constituencies in the State pending the receipt of a comprehensive report from its Field Officials and Monitors. For the avoidance of doubt, it should be noted that the suspension does not affect the constituencies where the exercise has been completed and the results declared by the Returning Officers.
Oluwole Osaze- Uzzi,
Director, Voter Education and Publicity, INEC

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.

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INEC Releases Timetable For Edo, Ondo Governorship Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the timetable for the conduct of Edo and Ondo states governorship elections on Sept. 10 and Nov. 26, respectively.

 

This is contained in the commission’s daily bulletin issued on Thursday in Abuja.

 

The commission also released the Time Table and Schedule of Activities for both governorship elections in concert with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

 

According to the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for Edo governorship election, campaigns by political parties should begin by June 12, 2016.

 

” The conduct of party primaries in Edo, including resolution of disputes arising from the primaries, will take place from June 2 to Monday July 4, 2016.”

 

It added that the Commission would publish the official Register of Voters for the Edo governorship election on Augt. 11.

 

” On the same day, INEC will publish the list of nominated candidates by ppolitical parties.”

 

According to the timetable, Sept.8 will be the last day for campaigns in Edo.

For Ondo State poll, the commission scheduled Aug. 28, for commencement of campaigns by political parties in the state.

 

“The conduct of party primaries, including resolution of disputes arising from the primaries, will take place between Aug. 18 and Sept. 19.

“Publication of the Official Register of Voters for the election will be done on Oct. 27, while publication of list of nominated candidates will be done on the same day.”

 

It also stated that Nov. 24 had been fixed by the Commission as the last day of campaigns by all political parties.

 

“Run-off election to the Office of the Governor in the state (if any) will be held within 7 days after the announcement of the result of the election in accordance with the Constitution.”

 

Similarly the commission has scheduled the Ife Central State Constituency, Osun re-run election for April 9.

 

“Ife Central State Constituency is made up of one local government, 11 Registration Areas, 168 Polling Units and 197 Voting Points.

“The State Constituency has a total of 95,239 registered voters.”

 

(NAN)

INEC: Election Reruns To Hold In Eight States On Saturday

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will on Saturday conduct 22 court-ordered rerun elections across eight states of the federation.

These will be among the first set of the 80 court-ordered elections that the commission is scheduled to conduct from January to March.
In a statement by the commission wednesday, it gave a breakdown of these elections to include four senatorial elections, three federal constituency elections, and 15 state constituency elections.

“With preparations in top gear to ensure a hitch-free mini general election, INEC will conduct senatorial, federal constituency and state constituency elections across eight states, namely:  Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Niger, Nasarawa, Kogi, Taraba and Imo,” INEC said.
According to the statement, senatorial elections would be conducted in Benue South, Imo North, Kogi Central, and Kogi East Senatorial Districts.

Federal constituency elections will also hold in Okene/Ogori Magongo constituency of Kogi State; Lafia/Obi constituency of Nasarawa State; and Kurmi/Sardauna constituency of Taraba State.

The 15 state constituency elections will be conducted across Imo, Kaduna, Kogi, Plateau, Niger and Taraba States. The constituencies are Imo – Isiala Mbano, Oru East, and Owerri West; Kaduna – Lere West; Kogi – Ofu Sc, Ankpa 1, Idah, Dekina 1 and Dekina II (Okura); Niger – Suleja; and Plateau – Langtang South, Pankshin South and Pankshin NorthTaraba-Ardo Kola and Mbamga.

Credit: ThisDay

INEC Adopts Simultaneous Accreditation, Voting In Plateau Rerun Polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has approved the use of simultaneous accreditation and voting for Feb. 20 supplementary and rerun elections for three state constituencies in Plateau.

 

The Head, Voter Education of INEC in Plateau, Mr Osaretin Imahiyereobo, said in a statement in Jos on Friday that the elections would hold in Langtang South, Pankshin North and Pankshin South.

 

In the statement, Imahiyereobo said the procedure would commence by 8a.m. and end at 2p.m.

 

“Only voters with valid Pemanent Voter Cards, who voted at their polling units in the 2015 elections, will be allowed to vote. Card readers will be used’’, he added.

 

(NAN)

INEC To Prosecute Under-age Voters

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said on Wednesday that it would prosecute under-age voters in Plateau.

 

Dr Godwin Kwanga, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of INEC in the state made this known in a Stakeholders’ Forum in Jos ahead of re-run elections in the state fixed for Feb. 20.

 

Kwanga said that the state was replete with underage voters in possession of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

 

The stakeholders at the forum included representatives of security agencies, politicians, media and election monitoring and observer groups. He announced that the polls would hold in Langtang South, Pankshin North and Pankshin South state constituencies.

 

The REC said that the menace of underage voters almost marred the last general elections in the state. According to him, the menace produced a lot of mutilated and voided votes during the April 11, 2015 polls in Quan’Pan Local Government Area.

 

“Our experience in Quan’Pan showed that a lot of underage voters were having the PVCs and this led to a lot of cancellations. “One of the underage voters, who had PVC bearing his image and the age of 36 years, confessed to INEC officials that he was only 16 years old.

 

“We looked the other way even when in the same elections, our tags were photocopied and massively reproduced by agents of political parties,’’ he said.

 

He, however, said that unlike what happened in the April 11 polls, INEC was set to prosecute any case of underage voters in the coming rerun and supplementary polls. Kwanga said that card reader machines would be solely used for the Feb. 20 polls and that newly registered voters were excluded from participation.

 

He assured that INEC would provide all political parties a level playing ground and appealed to party agents not to compromise ad hoc staff into tampering with materials to stall the polls. “I beg agents of political parties not to lure ad hoc staff to tamper with materials as it will disrupt the process.

 

“Once you remove the battery from the machine, it malfunctions when you replace it, and ad hoc personnel are not trained on such duties,’’ he said.

 

He explained that accreditations and voting would hold simultaneously between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. as against past practices. Akwanga announced that election in Langtang North would hold in 68 polling units and would be contested by only All Progressives Congress (APC) and Mega Progressive Peoples Party (MPPP).

 

He gave the names of their candidates as Jackson Ninmwang and Rinsmicit Emmanuel, respectively. He said that Vincent Bulus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was excluded.

 

 

“Pankshin South state constituency election will hold only in Nyelleng polling unit in Fier Area while that of Pankshin North will hold in Pyabor polling unit. “The four political parties and candidates to contest in Pankshin North state constituency are Alice Dimlong, APC; Yakubu Zetgang, LP; Tamnakat David, MPPP and Diket Plang, PDP. “Supplementary election in Pankshin South will feature Gideon Dashe, APC; Dagak Michael, APGA; Theresa Bartuk, MPPP and Mwamsat Istifanus, PDP,“ he said.

 

 

Credit : Vanguard

INEC Announces Dates For Rerun Elections Into National, State Assemblies

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday announced dates for the conduct of rerun elections into federal and state constituencies and senatorial districts across the country.

 

 

This followed the nullification of about 80 elections in 16 states of the federation by the Court of Appeal.

 

 

All the affected elections, according to the commission, are to hold between February 13 and March 19, 2016.

 

 

Notice of the rerun election was contained in a statement issued and signed by the Secretary of the Commission, Mrs. Augusta Ogakwu.

 

 

The states where the rerun polls will hold include Taraba, Adamawa, Kaduna, Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Abia, Imo, Anambra, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Rivers.

 

 

The commission said that elections in Gombe state had been conducted.

 

 

The statement read in part, “stakeholders in the electoral process and public interests in the subject, INEC at its meeting held on Monday, February 1, 2016 considered and approved dates for the conduct of elections as ordered by the Court of Appeal.”

 

 

The commission however, said there would be no fresh primaries in constituencies where the court disqualified a candid?ate based on improper conduct of the party primary.

 

 

The commission added that while elections in 69 constituencies of the affected states would be with the same political parties and their respective candidates who participated in the annulled elections, some political parties in 11 constituencies, cut across seven states, would not be participating in the rerun polls.

 

 

Credit : Punch

INEC To Probe 82 Nullified 2015 Elections

Disturbed by the high rate of elections cancelled during the 2015 general elections, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof.

Mahmoud Yakubu yesterday said that an investigation would be launched into why 82 elections were nullified.

Yakubu, who disclosed when he met the media and some Civil Society Organizations, expressed worry over the development, stressing that the commission will study the circumstances that led to the nullification of the elections and evolve measures to tackle related issues.

As at Tuesday a total of 82 elections had been nullified pending the outcome of two cases each in Osun and Bayelsa States.

Yakubu said, “Now we have 82 elections nullified by the court of appeal, two of  which will still proceed to the Supreme Court.

“But in addition, to the nullified elections, we have 15 other elections where petitioners were declared winners by the court.  The court did not decide that we should conduct re-runs there. They said that we should issue certificates of return to those declared winners by the court”, he explained.

He expressed confidence that INEC will understudy the circumstances that led to the nullification of the elections and develop measures to tackle issue.

Credit: Leadership

FCT Minister Commends INEC Over Continuous Voter Registration

The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the adequate arrangement put in place for the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).

 

 

Bello made the commendation when he visited some CVR centres in Garki and Wuse wards, a statement signed by Mr Hamzat Sule, Deputy Director/Chief Press Secretary to the FCT Minister, and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Monday said.

 

 

It said that the exercise was in preparation for the forthcoming FCT Area Councils election scheduled to hold in March.

 

 

“Bello lauded the effective way INEC has conducted the exercise but appealed for extension of the registration period due to the high turnout of prospective voters seen in all the centres visited.

 

 

He also appealed to INEC to deploy more data capture machines to fast track the entire process because the people waiting for the exercise seem overwhelming.’’

 

 

It said that Bello visited the FCT INEC office to pass on some of the complaints made by the residents to the FCT Resident Electoral Commissioner.

 

 

According to the statement, the Electoral Officer of the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Mr Shittu Tata assured the minister that all the complaints highlighted would be passed to the management.

 

 

It said that the minister also witnessed the deployment of several new data capture machines as well as printers.

 

 

(NAN)

Observers Laud INEC’s Conduct Of Bayelsa poll

A coalition of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, accredited observer groups for the Bayelsa State governorship election, yesterday, declared the just concluded poll as transparent, free, fair and credible, saying it complied with the relevant electoral laws and global best practice.

 
The coalition, in a communiqué in Yenagoa and read by Dr. Gabriel Nwabu, President, Centre For Credible Leadership and Citizens, recommended the Bayelsa poll as a model for other elections in the country.

 
He said, “There was a remarkable improvement in the performance of the Card Readers in terms of authenticating Permanent Voters’ Cards and resolving issues associated with over voting, snatching of ballot boxes, and manipulation of election.

 
“We, as a coalition of INEC accredited observer groups hereby adjudge that although the process was characterized by massive violence, thuggery, ballot box snatching, it must be noted that INEC is an electoral management body and not a security/law enforcement agency.

 

Consequently, the entire process as demonstrated by INEC was transparent, free fair and credible.”

 

Credit : Vanguard

Bayelsa Supplementary Poll: INEC Begins Distribution Of Sensitive Materials

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Bayelsa on Thursday said it had commenced distribution of sensitive election materials for Saturday’s supplementary poll in the state.

 
The Commission’s Public Affairs Officer in Bayelsa, Mr Timidi Wariowei, made this known in Yenagoa.
Wariowei said the Commission received the sensitive materials on Wednesday and distribution had commenced in Ekeremor Local Government Area on Thursday.

 
He added that “all the materials are now in our custody; the materials include ballot papers and result sheets.

 
“On the distribution process, we intend to dispatch that of Southern-Ijaw Local Government Area early morning of Saturday.
“You know that the real focus is the Southern-Ijaw and we do not want what happened on Dec. 5, 2015 to repeat itself in that area.
“INEC is prepared to conduct free, fair and credible election for the betterment of the people.
“We have over 100 polling units in the state to conduct the election and Southern-Ijaw; so, we are ready to conduct credible and acceptable election.’’

 

 

On the use of ad hoc staff, Wariowei said the Commission resolved to use some of them that participated in the Dec. 5 gubernatorial election in the state.

 
He, however, added that some of the ad hoc staff had been changed, specially for the Southern-Ijaw, stressing that efforts were made to ensure that the election was conducted freely.

 
He said “INEC is on top of the game. On security, we have been working with security agencies because without them, we cannot conduct the election.

 
“We have been collaborating with the Police and Army to ensure peaceful election in Bayelsa.’’

 

 

Credit : Vanguard

Group Urges INEC To Declare Faleke’s House Of Reps Seat Vacant

A group, Ikeja Stakeholders’ Forum, ISF, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission,INEC, to declare the House of Representatives seat of the running mate to the late Prince Abubakar Audu in Kogi State, Mr. Abiodun Faleke vacant.

 

A statement by its coordinator, Mr. Olanrewaju Osundairo warned that should the commission fail to do so, the group would resort to legal action.

 
The statement partly reads: ‘’By virtue of the fact that Faleke had transferred his franchise away from Lagos to Kogi State, he ceases to be a member of the constituency. He lacks the moral and legal rights to speak for us in Ikeja at the lower legislative chambers.”

 
It further stated that the decision of the lawmaker to contest the governorship has impacted negatively on the representation of the area in the lower chambers, saying the trend must be reversed in the interest of the people of the area.

 
“You don’t need anyone to tell you that Hon. Faleke has been distracted from representing us at the House of Representatives, all that concerns him now is how to become the governor of Kogi State and not to represent us.”

 
INEC fails to act, we will compel them to do the needful using the judiciary.”

 

 

Credit : Vanguard

We Won’t Compromise On Standards Just To Achieve Conclusive Polls – INEC Boss

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has explained that the commission is not ready to compromise the quality of elections simply because it wants to make them conclusive.

 
This was as he assured stakeholders in the electoral process that the national electoral body was committed to making sure that elections meet international standards.

 
The latest edition of INEC bulletin quotes Yakubu as disclosing this during a consultative forum with Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, and the media to address issues around the recently conducted elections by the commission with special focus on the Bayelsa State governorship election, held at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

 
The INEC chairman, who insisted that the commission would not hesitate to cancel elections wherever there are threats to the lives of its officials, said: “No electoral body will like to go through a repeat of one election or the other. We will like to conclude all the elections on first ballot. Our principal responsibility is to conduct credible elections, not just elections by any means. We have to conclude elections according to the laws.”

 
Regarding the cancelled Southern Ijaw Local Government election, he said: “Where there are threats to the lives of our officials, we wouldn’t mind applying the law that states that where that is feasible and it has made it impossible for elections to hold, we should cancel the election and re-run same another day. And that was the decision we took. We believe that our principal responsibility as a Commission is to protect the lives of our staff, ad hoc or permanent and also the election material.”

 
“We agreed that having realized the difficulty with the Southern Ijaw terrain, materials should be delivered directly to the Registration Areas instead of the Local government headquarters,” Yakubu said.

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

Bayelsa: PDP Agrees With INEC Over Election Cancellation, APC Kicks

Rep. Fred Agbedi, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), agent at the collation centre in Yenagoa has said the cancellation of election in Southern Ijaw Local Government of Bayelsa was in order.
He said the election in the area was marred by violence, intimidation and snatching of election materials.
Agbedi (PDP-Ekeremor/Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency 1), said election should not be conducted in an insecure atmosphere, where voters could not exercise their civic rights.
The All Progressives Congress (APC), however has rejected the cancellation of election in Southern Ijaw Local Government.
Mr Denis Otiotio, the party’s agent at the collation centre, said it objected to the cancellation because they were on course for victory.
He said “the cancellation of the election in Southern Ijaw is an attempt to manipulate the result in favour of a particular party,” he said.
Meanwhile, President of Ijaw Youths Council, Mr Udengs Eradiri said the decision to cancel the rescheduled governorship election in Southern Ijaw may have averted crises.
He told NAN in Yenagoa that the tension generated by the rescheduled poll could have turned to an ugly situation.
“We expect honourable conduct of a new election on a date to be fixed.
“We are also happy that the Independent National Electoral Commission lived up to expectation and should continue to be an unbiased umpire,” he said.
Eradiri commended international and local observers for insisting that the right thing should be done to ensure free and fair election.

 

(NAN)

INEC Declares It’s Decision On Bayelsa Election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cancelled the elections which held in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

INEC says the polls were marred by several electoral malpractices especially ballot box snatching and thuggery.

The situation in Southern Ijaw, according to INEC, renders the election inconclusive.

The commission says a new date for fresh elections in the local government will be announced soon.

The collation of results in the Bayelsa governorship election resumed on Monday at the Collation Centre of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Yenagoa, the capital of the state.

The results from seven local government areas have been collated. On Sunday, results from five local government areas – Brass, Ekeremor, Kolokuma/Opokuma, Sagbama and Yenagoa were announced by INEC’s returning officers, while Nembe and Ogbia were added on Monday.

Election in the Southern Ijaw Local Government was rescheduled to Sunday owing to major disturbances and challenges experienced by the electoral body.

The Sunday election, however, started late because of the peculiarity of the riverine area and the challenge of securing electoral officials and materials which eventually arrived late.

Earlier in the evening, there were also reports that ex-militants had disrupted the election in Amassoma ward of Ijaw South Local Government Area.

The militants carrying firearms were said to have chased away the voters and INEC officials conducting the exercise in the area.

INEC’s decision to cancel the Southern Ijaw election, which renders the entire election inconclusive, had been predicted by an election observer, Abiodun Ajijola, who warned that owing to the violence in the region it could be impossible to declare a winner without results from Southern Ijaw LGA which has 425 polling units.

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INEC Declares Bayelsa Election Inconclusive, Cancels Southern Ijaw Polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared the Bayelsa State governorship election as inconclusive.
The electoral body also cancelled the election held in Southern Ijaw local government area on Sunday, December 6.
INEC officials led by the REC, Prof Zana, had earlier announced results from seven of the eight local government area in the state with Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate and incumbent, Seriake Dickson in the lead.
Dickson claimed victory in six of the LGAs while his main challenger, Timipre Sylva managed to win one LGA.
It would be recalled that earlier today, PDP supporters besieged INEC office protesting the heavy presence of security operatives as well as delay in announcement of results from Southern Ijaw.
The protesters who carried placards and sang war songs, attempted to storm election result collation centre.
Messages on some of the placards read: “we need peace; we say no to evil; military, stay away from politics; leadership is about building, not destroying.”
Security agents stationed in front of the State High Court, had a difficult time putting them under check as the angry protesters insisted on going into the collation centre, dead or alive, to see INEC officials.
Not even reinforcement from operatives of the Nigerian Army deter the determined protesters who alleged that military operatives hijacked electoral process in the Southern Ijaw and Nembe local government areas.
The Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of security in the ongoing gubernatorial election in Bayelsa state, Hashimu Argungu, has declared that the police will use minimum force as provided in the law, to disperse protesters, if necessary.
Argungu who was responding to questions from journalists on Monday afternoon at the premises of governorship election result collation centre in Yenagoa, noted that the life and peace of the people are more important than anything else.
He disclosed that the police had hint of the planned protest before they staged, hence the reason why he issued and signed the statement banning protests and rallies in the state.
He enjoined the people of Bayelsa state to allow due process to prevail in the course of the election, adding that whoever feel aggrieved could always go to court.
Below are the results as announced by INEC: 
Ogbia LGA
APC: 9,106
PDP: 13,051
Nembe LGA 
?A?PC: 6,974
PDP: 10,768

 

Ekeremo LGA

APC – 7,918
PDP – 14,602

Brass LGA
APC – 21,755
PDP – 6,516

Sagbama LGA

APC – 5,382
PDP – 28,934

Yenagoa LGA

APC – 14,563
PDP – 24,258

Kolokuma/Opolokuma LGA

APC – 6,896
PDP – 7,619

 

 

Credit : PM News

Kogi: INEC Confirms Bello As APC’s Candidate

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday said Alhaji Yahaya Bello is the APC governorship candidate for Saturday’s supplementary election.

He replaces the late Abubakar Audu, who died before the conclusion of the election process.

The INEC’s Deputy Director, Publicity, Mr Nick Dazang said: “They have sent the name of their replacement candidate, the runner-up in their primaries, that is Yahaya Bello, to the commission”.

The INEC spokesman assured the people of Kogi State that the commission is fully prepared to conduct both the Kogi Supplementary and Bayelsa governorship elections. Both polls are slated for Saturday,

According to him: “Commission is committed to conduct the two elections, that is why in respect of Kogi, in spite of what happened, we came out with public notice which invites the APC to submit its replacement candidate for the election”.

Credit: Nation

Audu’s Votes Died With Him, Wada Tells INEC

Governor Idris Wada of Kogi state has categorically told the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that the votes garnered by late Prince Abubakar Audu of the All Progressives Congress have died with him.

 

Wada, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party said in a statement issued in Lokoja on Sunday by his Wada’s Chief Communications Manager, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, said having had more time to study the INEC’s decision, he was left with no choice but to conclude that INEC embarked on a hatchet job.

 

Wada said in view of the death of the All Progressives Congress’ candidate, Abubakar Audu, he should be declared the winner of the botched election being the only surviving candidate with the majority of lawful votes cast in the election held on November 21.

 

“Whatever votes Audu scored in the election died with him,” he said, noting that INEC simply overreached itself, and wondered why a body established to be the custodian of the rule of law would ignore the fundamentals of the rule of law in arriving at the decision not to issue him a certificate of return.

 

“To us as a party (PDP), the most egregious of the faux pas committed by INEC is asking the APC to lawfully nominate a candidate for the supplementary governorship election without a valid and legally cognizable primary election of the party conducted within the mandatory timeliness specified by the Electoral Act.

 

“It is our considered opinion that, INEC, more than any other body, ought to know that havingregards to the provisions of Section 141 of the Electoral Act, 2010, votes scored by a candidate who died during an election cannot be inherited by or transferred to a person who was not a candidate at the said election and who did not participate in all stages of such election, for the purpose of concluding such election,” he said.

 

 

Credit : PM News

Kogi: PDP Drags APC, INEC To Court

Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday dragged the Federal Government, All Progressives Congress, APC, and Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to court over plan to substitute the candidacy of late Abubakar Audu in the inconclusive gubernatorial election in Kogi State.

Rising from an emergency National Caucus meeting in Abuja, the party also demanded that INEC returns the incumbent governor, Capt. Idris Wada as winner of the November 21st gubernatorial election, as the APC candidate, who was leading in the inconclusive election died during the process.

The party also said the proposed supplementary election would no longer be necessary as APC is not backed by either the constitution or electoral laws to substitute its candidate within the election period.

The resolutions of the caucus are that it: “Completely rejects the decision of INEC in yielding to the unlawful prompting of a clearly partisan Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Mallam Abubakar Malami, to allow APC to substitute a candidate in the middle of an election, even when such has no place in the Constitution and the Electoral Act.

“Insists that with the death of its candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu, the APC has legally crashed out of the governorship race as no known law or constitutional provision allows the substituting of candidates, once the ballot process has commenced.

“Insists that with the unfortunate death of Prince Abubakar Audu, APC has no valid candidate in the election, leaving INEC with no other lawful option than to declare the PDP candidate, Capt. Idris Wada as the winner of the election.

“Notes that the combine reading of the provisions of the constitution and Electoral Act does not in any war whatsoever support the substitution of candidates for election in the middle of the ballot process.”

Credit: NationalMirror

I Am Kogi’s Governor Elect, James Faleke Writes INEC

The running mate to late Abubakar Audu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi State, has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to declare him governor elect.

James Faleke, in a November 26 letter to INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, insisted that under Section 187 of the 1999 Constitution, he was duly elected as deputy governor of Kogi State.

While expressing sadness over the demise of his principal, Abubakar Audu, the deputy governorship candidate said INEC had no right under the law to declare the election inconclusive.

He accused INEC of deliberately creating what he called “legal conundrum” and urged the APC not to be a party to the action.

“In law and logic, no new candidate can inherit or be a beneficiary of the votes already cast, counted and declared by INEC before that candidate was nominated and purportedly sponsored,” Mr. Faleke wrote through his counsel, Wole Olanipekun.

“Assuming without conceding that INEC is even right to order a supplementary election, the votes already cast, counted and declared on Saturday, 25th November 2015, were votes for the joint constitutional ticket of Prince Abubakar Audu and our client.

“Therefore, no new or ‘supplementary’ candidate can hijack, aggregate, appropriate or inherit the said votes.”

In another letter to APC Chairman, John Oyegun, Mr. Faleke urged his party to distance itself from the “Greek Gift” being offered to it to nominate a new candidate for a planned supplementary election in 91 polling units.

He said the election had already been won and lost, and that the party should rather support him in actualizing the mandate already given to APC and its candidates.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Declare Wada As Winner Of Kogi Election, PDP Tells INEC

The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare its candidate, Governor Idris Wada, as the winner of the November 21 governorship election in Kogi State.

The party is also seeking the exclusion of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the supplementary election slated for December 5. The INEC had declared the election inconclusive following the cancellation of the poll in 91 units across 18 local government areas in the state.

The party’s position was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of its national caucus meeting held in Abuja Wednesday night.

The communiqué, signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, insisted that with the death of the APC’s candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu , during the election, the APC has legally “crashed out” of the race.

Credit: Nation

Kogi: INEC’s Decision In Order – Lawyer

A lawyer, Mr. Pat Anyadubalu, has endorsed the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to continue with its plan of conducting supplementary elections in 59 polling units instead of a state wide governorship election to resolve the constitutional logjam in Kogi.

Averring that supplementary polls is the surest legal way out of the crisis created by the death of Prince Abubakar Audu, the All Progressives Congress, APC governorship candidate, who was leading in the inconclusive polls held last Saturday,

Anyadubalu picked holes in suggestion that the Attorney General of the Federation should approach the Supreme Court for interpretation or the Alhaji Atiku Abubakar/Boni Haruna (Adamawa) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) instances should be applied.

His words: ”The Attorney –General of the Federation or the State has no locus standi to seek for the interpretation of this  issue at the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, being an appellate court, except in matters between States or between States and Federal Government, where it enjoys original jurisdiction.

”Again, Section 133(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended (referred herein after as “the Act”) says that no election or return at an election under this Act shall be questioned in any matter except by petition presented to the competent tribunal.

”Also section 181 of the 1999 constitution as amended is also not applicable because no person has been duly elected. Those who refer to Boni Haruna’s case are missing the point because Boni Haruna’s case is not on all fours with the present Kogi case.

In Boni Haruna’s case, the election had been concluded and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Boni Haruna were announced winners as Governor and Deputy Governor respectively unlike in the present case where nobody has been Rotimi Amaechi’s case is also inapplicable because, the Supreme Court’s decision in Amaechi’s case has been overruled through legislative enactment of section 141 of the Act, which provides that an election tribunal or court shall not under any circumstance declare any person a winner at an election in which such a person has not fully participated in all the stages of the said elections.

Another prominent view expressed by some legal practitioners is that the entire process should be cancelled and the election commenced a fresh.

” This is also laced with another bottleneck because section 68(1)( c) of the Act provides that a declaration of scores of candidates shall be final subject to review by a tribunal or court in an election petition proceedings under this Act, therefore INEC has no power to annual or cancel any result already announced.

#KogiDecides: APC Required To Produce New Candidate As Supplementary Election Holds December 5- INEC

The Independent Electoral Commission has released a public notice for the rescheduling of the inconclusive Kogi election, after the demise of Abubakar Audu, APC Gubernatorial Candidate.

INEC noted that APC is expected to bring in a new candidate to replace the deceased candidate, while the supplementary election is slated for December 5th, 2015.

INEC reveals the news update on Twitter, see post below:

We Are Not Aware Of Audu’s Death- INEC

With the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) claiming ignorance of the death of Prince Abubakar Audu, the controversy over the Kogi State governorship election deepened yesterday. Audu was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in last Saturday’s gubernatorial election in the state.

According to the INEC, though it had heard the news of Audu’s death, it was yet to be officially notified of the development. It is the responsibility of the party to immediately notify the commission about the death of its candidate. While the APC has announced Audu’s passing, it has not formally informed INEC.

The party has also not made any request as to whether to be granted some days to conduct fresh primaries to pick a new candidate, or to now adopt its running mate in the poll, James Faleke, as its substantive candidate or even to demand an outright cancellation of the election.

Nick Dazang, the Deputy Director of Publicity of the commission in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja said: “APC has to do proper notification and accompany it with the certificate of death issued by a medical doctor.

“Once the commission is notified, it will look at relevant clauses of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the Electoral Act 2010 as amended and also the constitution of APC itself,” he said.

Credit: Guardian

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.

Kogi-State-2015-Governorship-Election-results

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

Credit: ChannelsTV

Buhari’s Meeting With INEC, Police Not To Rig Elections – Presidency

The Presidency says President Muhammadu Buhari’s meeting with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Police was geared towards ensuring credible governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa.

 

A statement issued on Sunday by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, dismissed PDP’s insinuation regarding the meeting.

 

NAN reports that PDP had earlier said the meeting was part of plans by the APC to rig the forthcoming governorship elections in the two states.

 

“The President called the meeting cited by the PDP to warn in particular INEC and the Police, to prepare to give the nation a credible election.

 

“He said he expected nothing short of a free, fair and credible election.

“He said he had suffered election manipulation in 2003, 2007 and 2011 and would not like to have any Nigerian go through that again.

“He also warned against the intimidation of voters in any way and vowed that he was prepared to move with all the forces available to him against anyone who undermines the rights of any citizen.

“The meeting was short and straight to the point. It ended after five minutes.

“Furthermore, he asked the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, if he had anything to say and Osinbajo had added nothing to what the President said,” the statement had quoted Shehu as saying.

 

The presidential spokesman advised Nigerians to be wary of PDP’s fruitless attempts to destroy the national institutions President Buhari was determined to rebuild.

 

“They started with the courts, then the EFCC, then on to the Police and now they are on the one-week old INEC.

“When will PDP allow our national institutions to do their job?” he said.

Acting INEC Chairman Officially Hands Over To Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

Acting INEC Chairman Hajia Amina Bala Zakari, today, officially handed over the leadership of INEC to Prof. Mahmood Yakubu following the swearing-in by President Buhari.

President Buhari Swears In New INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu

President Buhari has pledged to respect the independence of the electoral body – INEC, promising that he would not interfere with its functions.

The President made the pledge while swearing in the new Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, in the council chamber.

He observed that all Nigerians have a responsibility to safeguard the sanctity of democracy including transparent electoral process, free and fair elections.

The President said that a situation where people hide under technicalities to deny the citizens their rights is unacceptable. He called on state governments to make their electoral bodies to work for the benefit of all.

The President also decried a situation where elections are cancelled without investigations into what led to such cancellations so as to prosecute offenders. He stated that perpetrators of electoral violence should be made to face the full weight of the law.

 

 

 

Source – Channels Tv

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

INEC To Distribute PVCs In Kogi, Bayelsa From Nov. 6

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it would commence the distribution of Permanent Voter Card (PVC) to eligible voters in Kogi and Bayelsa on Friday.

Deputy Director of Publicity in the commission, Mr Nick Dazang, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.

Dazang said that the exercise would commence Kogi on Friday and end on November 11, and run from November 13 to November 19 in Bayelsa.

He said that the distribution would take place at ward level and would be for only registered voters, running from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily.

“The distribution of PVCs is for voters whose biometric was captured during the just-concluded Continues Voter Registration (CVR) by INEC in the two states.

“It is also opened to those who registered before but are yet to collect their PVCs,” Dazang said.

He therefore urged registered voters in both states, who were yet to collect their PVCs, to use the opportunity to do so before the election date.

He stressed that nobody would be allowed to vote without PVCs.

“We also call on our stakeholders, including the political parties, media and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to sensitise people to the exercise in the two states.

“There is the need for eligible voters to collect their cards as well as participate fully in the elections.

“On the part of INEC, we are putting in place all the machinery to educate the people on the collection date, and every other thing expected of them before, during and after the election,” Dazang said.

He restated that collection of PVC was free, warning that it was criminal for anybody to ask for money before given out PVC.

“Members of the public should take note of any of our staff that asks for money and report such to the commission for appropriate punishment,” he advised.

Dazang assured that the commission would conduct free and credible election in both states as well as provide a level playing ground to all political parties participating in the elections.

APC Wins Borno Central Senatorial Bye-election

The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday declared Alhaji Babakaka Garbai, All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate winner of the bye-election for Borno Central Senatorial district.

The election was conducted on Saturday.

INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Mohammed Fannami, who announced the results in Maiduguri, said that Garbai scored 120, 639 votes against 32,347 votes scored by Alhaji Kaka Bolori of the PDP who came second.

The returning officer added that Alhaji Bukar Muhammed of APGA had 324 votes, while Mallam Babakura Modu of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) had 660 votes.

He said that the total number of registered voters was 908, 114, while the total number of accredited voters was 174, 329.

“The total number of votes cast was 159, 998, the number of valid votes was 155, 443 while the total number of rejected votes was 4, 555,” Fannami said.

In his reaction, Garbai described his victory as an “act of God”.

“The people have spoken; the victory is a clear testimony of the fact that the people have confidence in my ability to deliver,” he said.

“It is also an indication that the people have confidence in the government of Borno, because the government has been working for them.

“So any candidate presented by the APC in the state will always have the peoples support.

“By God grace we are going to work for the people.

“I intend to pursue an agenda to rehabilitate my people who are badly affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.

“Borno Central is the major population area in the state.

“Aside from Maiduguri, all the other population centres in the zone have been displaced by Boko Haram and my major task is to work towards rehabilitating them.”

Senate confirms Prof. Mahmood Yakubu as INEC chairman

The senate has confirmed the appointment of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu as Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman and successor of Prof Attahiru Jega after he was screened in the upper chambers.

Yakubu who answered all questions posed at him, stated that, he would not be intimidated in the discharge of his activities as INEC chairman.

Asked if he can withstand any pressure, intimidation to announce the winner of the election even if it does not favour of the Federal Government who appointed him, he said, he would serve Nigeria and will do so without fear.

Others who were confirmed by the senate as members of Independent National Electoral Commission are Adedeji Solomon Shoyobi (Commissioner), Dr Muhammed Mustapha Lekki (Commissioner), Hajia Amina Zakari (Commissioner), Dr Anthonia Taiye Okoosi (Commissioner) and Alhaji Baba Shettima Arfo (Commissioner).

 

 

Credit : PM News

News Alert !! President Buhari Appoints Professor Mahmud Yakubu As New INEC Chairman

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Professor Mahmud Yakubu as new chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The appointment was confirmed at the emergency Council of State meeting held today by the president.

Sokoko State Governor Aminu Tambuwal, who briefed State House correspondents after the meeting, said the appointment of the new INEC boss was in line with relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution and in consultation with the Council of State.

He said the Acting chairman of the Commission, Amina zakari, is now the INEC Commissioner representing the North-West.

Details later…

INEC Structurally Flawed- EU

European Union’s Election observation  team in Nigeria said yesterday that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has some structural flaws which can adversely affect its activities.

EU’s Chief Observer, Santiago Fisas, made the observation during the team’s final report on the March 28 and April 11 general elections presented in Abuja to mark the end of its 10 months observance period of the 2015 elections.

Mr. Fisas told newsmen  that INEC showed some level of impartiality during the elections, but said there were institutional procedures that needed to be addressed.

“The law overly restricts INEC’s powers, rendering it insufficiently effective in challenging inappropriate actions,” he said.

 

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FG Freezes INEC’s Accounts Over Non-Compliance To TSA

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN,  has frozen all bank accounts operated by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, following the commission’s failure to comply with Federal Government’s directive that all ministries, agencies and departments must operate Treasury Single Account, TSA.

The commission is now cash strapped and is unable to discharge most of its responsibilities.

Informed sources at the commission had revealed that INEC had failed to comply with the government’s directives on the TSA, due largely to the peculiar activities of the body as the nation’s electoral umpire which should qualify it for exemption from the new directive.

It was further gathered that the decision of the governments to freeze all accounts operated by INEC has thrown the body in a serious dilemma because even the staff salary for September is yet to be paid just as many contractors whose outstanding fees were yet to be paid on a daily basis throng the commission for their payments.

Read More: vanguardngr

INEC Approves 50 Observer Groups For Kogi, Bayelsa Polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission said it has approved 50 groups to observe the forthcoming Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections scheduled for November 21 and December 5 respectively.

This is contained in the commission’s daily bulletin issued on Monday in Abuja.

The bulletin quoted the Director of Elections and Party Monitoring Department, Bala Shittu, giving the breaking down of the figures as 43 local and seven foreign organizations respectively.

It directed that the approved groups should obtain, complete and return Form EPMC 002 for the two elections from the Elections and Party Monitoring Department, INEC national Headquarters, Abuja.

It stated that the office would be opened, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday, October 2 to October 23.

“The photographs of members of staff to be deployed by approved groups in the two states along with their names should be submitted in hard and soft copies to the said department latest October. 23.

“Late submission will not be entertained.”

Read More: premiumtimesng

INEC Closes Defence In Akwa Ibom Election Petition Tribunal

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has on Thursday closed its defence in the Akwa-Ibom State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.

Lawyer to the INEC, Alex Ojiekeme, who announced the closing of the defense said INEC is satisfied with the testimonies of the witnesses filed which he says are sufficient to prove there was election in Akwa Ibom State.

The tribunal has adjourned till October 8 giving the lawyer’s three weeks to prepare their final addresses, which will be taken alongside all pending applications.

Credit: channelstv

Akwa Ibom: As PDP Closes Case, Tribunal Orders INEC To Open Defence

As the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor Emmanuel Udom closed their case yesterday, the Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to open its defence against the allegations of aiding election malpractices in the April 11 polls.

The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Sadiq Umar, gave the order after counsel to the PDP, Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), announced that the party would not present additional witnesses originally listed to testify at the tribunal.

As a result, Justice Umar ordered INEC as the third respondent in the petition, to present its defence today (Tuesday) when the proceedings will commence.

Read Morethisdaylive

Police To Strengthen Security Around INEC Offices

Nigeria Police Force, NPF, has disclosed its resolve to tighten security in and around offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, across the country.

Consequently, Command Commissioners of Police have been directed to ensure adequate security at such offices and also at election tribunal sittings.

Inspector General of Police, IGP, Solomon Arase, stated this yesterday when he visited headquarters of INEC in Abuja, where he met Acting Chairperson, Mrs. Amina Bala Zakari.

Force Public Relations Officer, Bisi Kolawole, in a statement said the visit was aimed at cementing existing relationship between the force and INEC in ensuring actualization of the commission’s mandate.

Read More: nationalmirroronline

INEC To Conduct Voter Registration In Kogi, Bayelsa On September 2 & 7

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will commence Continuous Voter Registration in Kogi and Bayelsa States on September 2 through September 7, ahead of the governorship elections in both states.

According to the commission’s daily bulletin issued and obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) monday in Abuja, the exercise will take place at the local government areas in the states from 8a.m. to 4p.m. daily.

It stated that the five-day exercise would afford opportunity for three groups of eligible persons to be registered.

The groups, the commission said, were those who were eligible but did not register before the 2015 general election and who were registered but their names were not in the voters’ register.

“The other is those who have attained the age of 18 since the last registration exercise,’’ it added.

Read Morethisdaylive

INEC Strategises For Better Elections

Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said it is working with various stakeholders to improve on the country’s electoral process.

Acting Chairperson of the commission, Mrs Amina Zakari stated this at a one-day workshop for selected journalists and INEC Public Affairs Officers held in Kaduna.

The event was designed to examine lessons learnt from the just-concluded general elections in the country.

Mrs Zakari who was represented at the occasion by INEC’s Director, Human Resources Management, Alhaji Musa Adamu said the event which was to brainstorm on what went well or wrong in the last general elections as well as chart the way forward for better elections in the future.

“Our major concern is to work together, criticize and praise ourselves too in our various contributions for us to get it right”, she said.

Read More: nationalmirroronline

“I Am Still The INEC REC Of Rivers State” – Mrs. Gesila Khan

THE Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mrs. Gesila Khan, has said she is still in charge as the state REC and has not been transferred.
Khan was reacting to claims in some quarters that she had been transferred by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The state REC, who was alleged to have been arrested and detained by operatives of the Department of State Services spoke with journalists on Monday at the state INEC office, Port Harcourt during the ongoing inspection and certification of materials used for the 2015 polls.
Khan maintained that she would not have been part of the ongoing exercise at the state INEC office if she had been transferred as speculated.
I am here and I am still here. I have not been transferred. If I have been transferred, I should not be sitting here; I should be picking my things. Even if I am transferred, there is nothing wrong with that because it is government work and anytime you are called to move, you move. But for now, I have not been called to move,” she stressed.
On whether she has any regret as a result of her experience so far in Rivers State, the REC said, “I have no regret whatsoever. I am an Human Resources practitioner,  so, anything you see in life, you move along with it. You cannot predict man. They are free to think and say what they want.”
She, however, pointed out that the photocopying of election materials and certification of documents were going on without any hitch.

Explaining that INEC headquarters crafted three administrative secretaries to assist in the exercise, Khan noted that this was necessary in order not to delay the submission of required materials to the election tribunal.
“During the presidential election, three national commissioners came; during the governorship election, three national commissioners came and now again, we have three administrative secretaries. That is just to make the job fast and you know the tribunals are time-bound and the work (sorting our election materials) is voluminous.
“We have been working since. Today, it is either this document or another. Some they want in long hand while some they want it in short hand. So, the law says when they request, you give them and since the time is very short, we have to,” she said.
Meanwhile, the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress, has disagreed with the State Electoral Commissioner that she was detained by the DSS for two weeks.
The state APC said the DSS invited Khan for questioning, alleging that her actions and inactions constituted a security threat to the state and the country at large.
Describing Khan as a victim of her own devices, the state APC in a statement signed by its Secretary, Media and Publicity Committee, Mr. Godstime Orlukwu, said her alleged earlier refusal to release materials used during the last election was capable of affecting the peace of the state.

I am not Buhari’s in-law –Zakari

 The Acting Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Mrs. Aminat Zakari, denying claims that she is President Muhammadu Buhari’s in-law, has said that she has the capacity to be the substantive INEC Chairman despite being a woman.

Zakari disclosed this in an interview with Saturday PUNCH in Abuja on Friday.

Zakari, who dismissed an insinuation that she could not effectively perform as INEC Chairman because of her gender, said she was not desperate to retain the job in a substantive capacity.

She stated, “I am a human being first. I have the capacity. If I have the ability to do something and there are ways and means of achieving your targets. You don’t rely on your brain alone. You have other people to rely on. I have done administration. I have worked in organisations that demand accountability.”

The INEC acting chairman explained that she was not appointed commissioner in INEC by Buhari, adding that former President Goodluck Jonathan had appointed her.

“I can’t say the General (Buhari) is my in-law. I am not married to his son. My daughter is not married to him. That is what I understand about being an in-law, but obviously, in life, you have acquaintances, people you have known,” she said.

Adding that Buhari was not known for nepotism, she said, “God decides who becomes (a) leader; if God decides I would be the one to continue, I will have to do my best.”

She stated, “I did not lobby for it (acting chairmanship). I had packed all my things out of INEC; I wanted to leave on the 30th (of June).

“I was just called on my way home as the chairman (Jega) handed over to Ambassador Wali. When I was called that the Head of Service was looking for me and I said, ‘what for?’ and I just continued driving. I was by Bullet House by the time I got the call and I just continued driving.

She also disclosed that the commission had sent some staff from its headquarters to Rivers State to assist in sorting out documents demanded by the state electoral tribunal.

INEC Staff Indicted By Election Tribunals Will Be Punished – Amina Zakari

The Independent National Electoral Commission acting chairperson, Mrs. Amina Zakari stated on Tuesday any staff of the commission indicted by elections petitions tribunals for wrong practices in the conduct of the 2015 general elections would be punished in accordance with the law.

Speaking at the public presentation of the final report on the 2015 elections by the Civil Society Situation Room in Abuja, she said:

“I would like to make it clear that electoral malpractices will not be tolerated as the commission will continue to drive transparency and effectiveness,”  speaking further she stated that “Any INEC official found wanting in the tribunals will be punished to the full extent of the law.?”

According to her, there has been a decrease in the number of petitions challenging elections conducted by the commission.

“In 2007, a total of 1,290 petitions were filed in the tr?ibunals, in 2011, it was 732 while 663 petition were filed in 2015. The reduction is driven by improvements in our electoral process but we would like to see a continued downward trend.”

?According to her, the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states would serve as an opportunity to continue to display its improved process and rigor.

PDP Says It Will Reject Results Of Any Elections Conducted By New INEC boss

PDP National Publicity secretary, Oliseh Metuh, says the party will reject results of elections conducted by INEC’s acting Chairman, Amina Zakari whom they claim is like a “daughter” to President Buhari. Mr Metuh said this while speaking during a courtesy visit he made to the National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute in Abuja yesterday July 16th.

“We have INEC and the idea is that people heading it should be above board, but the present ruling party has appointed the ‘daughter’ of the President to head the position. There is no where in the world where such has happened, a person who has a relationship with the President. I am drawing the attention of the IRI that Buhari has appointed his ‘daughter’ as INEC Chairman, we believe there will not be fairness. It will be very difficult to accept any result of the election conducted by Amina Zakari. It will be difficult for PDP to accept result of election if we lose under Zakari.” he said

Mr Metuh also claimed that since he assumed office President Buhari has formed the habit of taking only Governors from his party for his foreign engagements. Mr Metuh said this was never the case during the time of former President Jonathan who ensured that he took Governors from the opposition along with him during any of his foreign trips.

Buhari Appointed His ‘Daughter’ As INEC Chairman – PDP

The PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, has said his party would reject any election conducted by the Acting Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, Mrs. Amina Zakari, because she is a ‘daughter’ to the president head of state and her elections cannot be credible. Metuh said it is surprising to him and indeed the world that the president can appoint someone who is his daughter to such a position.

Metuh said these today when he paid a courtesy visit to kari,the National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute in Abuja. Hear him;

“We have INEC and the idea is that people heading it should be above board, but the present ruling
party has appointed the ‘daughter’ of the President to head the position.

“There is no where in the world where such has happened, a person who has a relationship with the President.

“I am drawing the attention of the IRI to this. Buhari has appointed his ‘daughter’ as INEC Chairman, we believe there will not be fairness.

“It will be very difficult to accept any result of the election conducted by Amina Zakari. It will be difficult for PDP to accept result of election if we loose under Zakari.”

2015 General Election Was Massively Rigged – Prof. Azinge

FORMER Director General of the of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and Member of Commonwealth Arbitral  Tribunal, Prof.
Epiphany Azinge, SAN, has declared that the 2015 general elections in Nigeria was massively rigged by politicians.

Azinge made the declaration in his keynote address delivered at the opening ceremony of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA Warri Law Week held in Warri, Delta State yesterday.

In his words, “Let the truth be told, the last election was rigged as any other we have witnessed. The difference was that political parties rigged massively in their comfort zones.”

While noting that the immediate past President of Nigeria was globally applauded and commended for conceding defeat, he noted that, “politicians and political parties spent outlandishly to win elections. The law was honored more in the breach than observance with high cost of election, comes all sorts of electoral offences, bribery, undue influence, thuggery, violence and disorderly behaviour. We have now graduated to kidnapping, abduction and political assassination during election.”

Azinge who spoke on “Nigeria Enduring Democracy: The Challenge of Effective Electioneering and Independence of the Judiciary” noted that the 2015 electioneering campaigns was characterized by the desperation on the sides of the political parties who indulged in hate campaigns to succeed.

He blamed the Nigerian Media for playing ignoble role  in promotion of hate campaign,  indicating that all is fair in warfare, pointing out that derogatory statements were freely used during the electioneering campaigns.

Azinge posited that the police and the civil defence be used in election monitoring while the military be discarded.

According to him, “if need be, then we should train and equip our police to handle such delicate issue.”

He blamed the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC for failing to ensure compliance with constitutional limits for campaign expenditure.

He suggested better welfare conditions for Judges and
Judicial Staff in the country by evaluating the salary structure of judges and how safeguard they are and
examination of the process of appointment, discipline and removal of judges and to know if the other arms of government are capable of compromising the judiciary because of financial control or lack of autonomy.

Meanwhile,  the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA Warri Branch led by the Chairman, Mr. John Aikpokpo-Martins (Esq.) has demanded a probe of the administration of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan for allegedly mortgaging the state into a debt profile of N637.22 billion.

Aikpokpo-Martins said, “It will not be acceptable to pretend that our common patrimony had not been rapaciously devoured by the past gatekeepers; doing things differently will not be enough. We
demand a probe because Deltans deserve to know.”

He also called on the Okowa led government to cancel the Bus Rapid Transit, BRT at Warri/Sapele road which was embarked upon by Uduaghan and restore same to its former state, noting that it poses great hazard to the lives, property and vehicular movement as well
as cause loss of man hours among others.

He also appealed to the governor to prevail on the
contractor handling the Warri High Court Complex Project to return to site and resume work with a view to completing the project.

Delta State Governor, Sen. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa who was represented by the Commissioner for Housing, Arch. Joseph Ajiri Ogeh promised to tackle the menace the BRT is causing Deltans.

Culled from www.vanguardngr.com

INEC: Zakari Reconstitutes 14 Standing Committees

The acting chairperson of the Independent National Commission (INEC), Amina Bala Zakari, has approved the re-constitution of 14 Standing Committees of the electoral commission.

She however will serve as chairman of three committees namely Information Technology and Voter Registry, Finance and General Purpose Committee, and Security Committee.

According to a bulletin by INEC, the reconstitution was contained in a memo issued and signed by the secretary to the commission, Mrs Augusta C. Ogakwu. The committees are expected to commence operation from July 1, 2015.

The committees are; Appointment, Promotion and Disciplinary Committees (APDC); Amb. Lawrence Nwuruku, chairman; Amb M.A. Wali, member; Dr. Chris O. Iyimoga, member.

Planning, Monitoring and Strategy Committee (PM&SC); Dr. Chris O. Iyimoga, chairman; Prof. M.A. Salau, member; Amb. M.A. Wali, member.

Information and Voter Education/Outreach and Partnership Committee; Dr. Chris O. Iyimoga, chairman; Amb. M.A. Wali, member; Amb. Lawrence Nwuruku, member.

Health and Welfare Committee; Dr. S. Abdulkadir Oniyangi, chairman; Amb. M.A. Wali; Prof. M.A. Salau, members.

Operations and Logistics Committee; Dr. Chris O. Iyimoga, chairman; Amb. Lawrence Nwuruku, member; Amb. M.A. Wali.

President Buhari Appoints New Official

Prof. Attahiru Jega on Tuesday bowed out of office as the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission. Consequently, President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Mrs. Amina Bala Zakari, as the acting chairman of INEC.

Zakari, the first female to occupy the position albeit in an acting capacity, was until Tuesday, a National Electoral Commissioner at INEC.

A statement issued by the Director Communications in the Office of Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Haruna Imrana, on behalf of the HoS, Mr. Danladi Kifasi, confirmed the appointment.

Kifasi said Zakari’s appointment was with immediate effect and would subsist from June 30, 2015 until the appointment of a substantive chairman.

Read More: punchng

INEC To Hold Three-Day Post Elections Review Meeting

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it had concluded arrangement to hold a three-day post election review meeting for Electoral Officers, Administrative Secretaries and Resident Electoral Commissioners.

This is contained in the commission’s Daily Bulletin issued in Abuja on Wednesday which quoted a statement signed by the Director of Secretariat of INEC, Ishiaku Gali.

It added that it would be the turn of the Administrative Secretaries and Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on June 17 and 18 respectively, at the Le Meridien Hotel in Uyo, Akwa Ibom.

The statement said that INEC would also validate the 2015 Election Report on June 15, adding that “the validation will be a prelude to the printing and presentation of the Election Report on June 29.”

The statement recalled that the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, had on April 22, inaugurated a Committee, headed by Dr Chris Iyimoga, INEC National Commissioner, to author the 2015 Election Report.

Credit: NAN

Group Urges FG To Strengthen INEC

Dr Uloma Osuala, Deputy Country Director, International Foundation for Electoral System ( IFES), on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to strengthen the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to Improve on the nation’s electoral system.

She made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, adding that the electoral body should be made to ensure that registration of voters is continuous.

Osuala said that continuous improvement on the mandate and activities of INEC would deepen the democratic system of the country.

According to her, many Nigerians were not able to participate in the last electoral process because there was not enough time for voters’ registration and INEC could not capture many eligible Nigerians.

”IFES in collaboration with the European Union organised a project called `Mitigation of Violence in Election’ to evaluate the last general election.

”The project has an objective to strengthen capacity of stakeholders in Nigeria to prevent and remedy electoral violence and also provide constructive engagement.

”Even when it was said that the last general election was to some extent successful, we still noted some issues that could be improved upon, like the technical issues with the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

“Many people did not get and could not vote.

”There is the need for a continuous voters’ registration, so that it becomes a continual process. We do not have to wait until it is a year to another election before you validate your PVC.

”On the card reader machine, there are few problems that must be fixed to strengthen the efficiency of the machine as well create awareness on the use.

”There should also be continuous training and retraining of INEC officials on the use of the card reader machines and results collation.

”Voter and civic education are part of the global improvement of the education of the people.

” Nigerians must be educated in this field of citizenship and the important role elections play in the democratic process, ” she said.

Osuala also urged the Federal Government to adequately fund INEC to enable it efficiently deliver on its mandate and prepare for future elections. (NAN)

INEC Upturns APGA’s Victory In Bayelsa

Forty-eight hours after the presiding officer of the rescheduled House of Assembly poll in Bayelsa State gave victory to the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the Brass Constituency II election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has upturned the verdict.

The commission on Tuesday declared the election as inconclusive.

Timidi Wariowe, the Public Relations Officer of INEC in the state, said the suspension of the result was due to the conflicting declarations by the Returning Officer and the circumstances surrounding the declaration.

In the declared result, the All Progressives Congress (APC) came second and the Labour Party third. The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state was declared a distance fourth.

Read More: DailyTrust

Group Urges Nigeria To Learn From UK Election

A pressure group, the Informed Youth Political Forum (IYPF) has called on Nigeria to learn some lessons from the last general elections in the United Kingdom.

National Coordinator of IYPF, Mr. Tokunbo Olateru Olagbegi, who made the call yesterday while speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt, stated that one good lesson from the election was the power of the people to choose their leaders.

Olagbegi, who was an international observer during the UK elections, said another lesson to be learnt was to conduct credible elections.

He said, ‘’Credible election, from what i observed in the UK, is not necessarily gotten from the electoral commission, but rather from the people. As a people, we should conduct ourselves in orderly manner to ensure credible, free and fair elections.’’

Olagbegi stated that on election day in the UK, he observed that there were no security at the polling stations as people came and cast their ballots and went home.

The IYPF coordinator said, ‘’What i observed was very simple and basic. The power of a credible election is in the people. In the UK , they trust that the people will do the right thing. Go to your polling station, identify yourself and go about your normal business.’’

He stated that the UK process can be done in Nigeria through civic education for the people and politicians to do the right thing, adding that in the UK polls, politicians did not use do or die approach in the conduct of the elections and that the will of the people prevailed throughout the election.

The coordinator said that Nigeria should use civic education approach to prepare for the 2019 election and ensure that the will of the people prevailed at all times.

Olagbegi, who disclosed that in the UK, they used the biro and paper to choose their candidates and still produced credible elections, said sincere and painstaking civic education could be applied in Nigeria to ensure that the people’s votes counted on election day.

He said, ‘’Nigerians hold the key to a successful election and it is possible to achieve this. As a people, Nigerians can learn some lessons from the UK elections. I think that slowly and surely, we will get there and Nigerians have the key to this success through civic education.’’

INEC Card Reader Detects 18, 424 Ghost Voters In Benue South

Report gathers that the national and state Assembly tribunal in Benue State had authorized the senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Benue South senatorial zone, Comrade Daniel Onjeh and his party to inspect and take the electoral materials of last senatorial election in the area.

Onjeh contested the senate seat of the Benue South senatorial district against the senate President, David Mark of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Mark was however pronounced winner of the poll, which was allegedly marred by irregularities. Onjeh had prayed the tribunal to grant him leave to inspect the electoral materials.

Disclosing the alleged shameful and shocking development, youthful Onjeh who once led the National Association of Nigerian Students and West African Students Union, affirmed that he won’t relent until his stolen mandate is restored. Hear him, “whereas INEC declared 166,633 accredited voters for the April 28th General Elections, ??Card Reader recorded 148, 208.

“Aside a host of other irregularities, and non compliance with the Electoral Act, on the surface, 18,424 ??Ghost Voters have been detected . The stolen mandate must be restored” Onjeh insisted he defeated the incumbent Senate President, David Mark who has been occupying the seat for sixteen years.

However, many Idoma natives are of the opinion that the acclaimed Okpokpowulu has overstayed his welcome as the Senator representing the zone and should exit for a fresh blood to enter after his sixteen years did not impact anything meaningful on the Idoma Community.

Creditdailypost

APC Accuses INEC For Colluding With PDP In Plateau

The Independent National Electoral Commission has been accused for colluding wit the People’s Democratic Party in Plateau by the All Progressive Congress.

The APC states that INEC was involved with the tampering of election materials that are supposed to be used in the ongoing elections petitions tribunal.

The Director of Media, Publicity and Protocol Affairs of the Plateau State, Festus Fuanter has stated that the party received information that INEC is trying to connive with the PDP to tamper sensitive materials.

Investigations are continuing on the matter.

Read MorePunch

INEC Issues Certificate Of Return To Wrong Candidate In Abia

The winner of Umuahia South State Constituency in the Abia House of Assembly, Eastern Nigeria, Chijioke Nwachukwu, a candidate of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), has called on the Independent National Electoral Commissioner, INEC, in the state to issue him his certificate of return without delay as it has issued his other 22 colleagues who also won the election.  P.M.NEWS reports:

Speaking to P.M.NEWS correspondent, shortly after the issuance ceremony, on Thursday evening in Umuahia, Nwachukwu wondered why INEC will make such a mistake of issuing his certificate of return to a wrong candidate, Mr. Jerry Uzosike, Peoples Democratic Party candidate who lost to him at the polls. Nwachukwu, noted that when the news got to him, he did not believe it, thinking that it was a joke but it regrettably turned to be an embarrassment and a shock to him.

Irked by this development, he further explained that he confronted the State Residential Electoral Commissioner but she showed him a list of those who won the election which she sent to their Abuja office. The worried member-elect pointed out that the REC says she has communicated to the Abuja office on the mistake and assured him that the error will be corrected.

Henoted that when he requested a letter to the effect that his certificate was issued to another candidate in error, she declined, advising him to write to the commission through his lawyer. To this end, the winner of the said election told our correspondent that he has written a complaint to that effect through his lawyer while copying the commissioner of Police, Umuahia, the Director of SSS, INEC Chairman, Abuja, his party Chairmen both at Umuahia and Abuja respectively.

Buhari’s Victory Should Be Questioned- Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday picked holes in the results of the March 28 presidential election, saying “the Peoples Democratic Party couldn’t have got those kinds of scores” it had in some places.

Jonathan, who spoke shortly after receiving the report of the Senator Ahmadu Ali-led PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, however advised that since the general elections were over, the country must be allowed to move forward.

He added that apart from himself that quickly conceded defeat to the All Progressives Congress candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, many PDP members also made sacrifices because they were persecuted in the course of electioneering.

The President said, “The problem is not whether we lost the elections, that is history, but how do we consolidate our party and move forward? If we are committed and we work hard, definitely the PDP will bounce back.

“The PDP is still the dominant party. If you look at the results, the difference is just 2.5 million votes and if you look at the areas where it is perceived that the PDP scored so low, the PDP couldn’t have got those kinds of scores but the elections are over, so the country first.

“It is not as if Jonathan alone made the sacrifice, it is all of us. I made the pronouncement but some of us are paying the price.

“Some people pay more price than I do, I know how some of you are already being persecuted and the kind of situation facing you.

“The key thing is that we must continue to unite, as a party; we must continue to work hard so that as we go into subsequent elections in 2019, 2023 and so on and so forth, the PDP will continue to come up strong. Even in the interest of the nation, we need the PDP.

“I still believe, though we have lost presidential election, some National Assembly elections, governorship elections especially in the North, the PDP is still the dominant party.

“Let us not judge the PDP by the results of the elections for the presidential election.

“Our duty is to go back and identify areas of challenges so that the party will come up strong and play the role as a very strong party. The PDP is still the most organised party, is still the party that is not owned by anybody, is still the party that whatever you are, you can get to any level with your competencies and so on.”

The President also said that all members of the PDP who defected to the APC would return with empty stomachs.

He said that it was not unlikely that the APC leaders would first settle their members before thinking of those who joined them midway.

Jonathan added that “food” might have finished before it gets to the turn of the PDP defectors .

He urged party faithful to remain committed to the PDP, adding that even if it was difficult in the beginning; their aim would be achieved at last.

The President said, “I encourage members of our party to remain loyal to the party; not to be so disillusioned because we lost presidential election and decide to go where they think they will fill their stomachs or something.

“It is not easy. I have been here for five years plus, you hardly satisfy even 15 per cent of those who work for you.

“So, those people running and those already cross-carpeting, they will come back on an empty stomach because they will touch the primary members of their party before they get to them.

“They know you are coming because you are hungry; and before it will get to you, the food will be gone.

“So, let us be committed to the party, yes we will have challenges at the beginning but surely we will get to where we want to be.”

The President said although he did not consult before calling Buhari on the telephone to concede defeat, he took that step on behalf of the PDP.

“Yes, I did not consult anybody before I made that phone call (to Buhari) but I made that phone call on behalf of all of you and on behalf of the PDP, “ he said.

Jonathan likened the 2015 elections to the nation’s civil war, saying people would give different accounts of the event depending on the angle from where they were reporting.

He however said because of his privileged position, he knew about the elections more than any other person.

He said the issue was not about his electoral loss, but the need to consolidate the party and move forward.

He said, “The issues of this 2015 elections will be similar to the civil war because different people gave different accounts of the civil war.

“The first book on civil war that I read was ‘My Command’ by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, which is his perspectives on what he saw and observed. I recall (Chukwuemeka) Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s own was ‘Because I’m Involved.’

“I know that the issues of the 2015 general elections, may be after few years when political scientists will write, we will get different perspectives.

“If you ask the various observer groups, each will give you a different perspective. Even among ourselves whenever we talk sometimes I laugh when people draw some of their analysis but by my privileged position, I know a little more about the elections than others.

“But the key thing is not whether we lost or won but that Nigeria as a nation must move forward. Political parties can only thrive when there is peace and stability in the country. If there is military intervention all the parties will disappear.”

The President also argued that despite the loss that the PDP suffered in all the elections, it remained the dominant party in the country.

Jonathan expressed delight that countries that brought ships to Nigeria and were waiting to evacuate their citizens in case post-election crisis broke out did not have any reason to do so.

The Chairman, Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, attributed PDP’s loss to what he called conspiracies and betrayals by people trusted by the party chiefs.

Anenih however said they needed to put that behind them and look at how they could build a party that would serve as a vibrant opposition to the APC.

“There is a lot to be done. We need a very vibrant and strong party that can stand in as a strong opposition party; a party that can stand well in the next election. That party has to be put in place now. I believe that we are on the right path,” he said.

Ali said the lessons learnt from the elections would be used to wrest power from the APC in 2019.

He said it was saddening that the PDP lost despite all the energy it put into the electioneering.

Ali also said the report would provide a road map for the PDP to move forward.

He described the campaigns in the 36 states of the federation as largely successful except for a few incidents in some states.

INEC To Issue Certificates Of Return To Elected Lagos State Lawmakers

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos on Tuesday said it would issue certificates of return to elected members of the Lagos State House of Assembly on Wednesday.

Femi Akinbiyi, the Head ,Public Affairs, INEC Lagos, said the event would hold at the commission’s office in Yaba. “We will issue certificates of return to all the 40 elected members of the House of Assembly in Lagos.We have put everything in place to ensure that the event is successful.

We want to urge supporters of elected officers to stay away from the venue as the exercise is not meant for them,’’ he said. The commission had on April 16 presented certificates of return to the governor-elect and the deputy-governor-elect alongside elected senators and house of representatives members of the incoming 8th National Assembly from Lagos State.

Credit: NAN

16 Imo INEC Officials Arrested For Electoral Fraud

16 members of staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Imo State have been arrested for altering the result sheets of the governorship election to suit the figures that were dubiously allotted to political parties.

They were arrested by men of the Department of State Security (DSS) on Tuesday. The INEC officials were caught while thumb printing ballot papers in favour of a political party.

The head of operations and other electoral officers, who presided over the governorship and House of Assembly elections were among those arrested. The officials are currently being detained at the DSS State headquarters in Owerri.

Read More: The Nation.

Wike Receives Certificate Of Return From INEC

Rivers State governor-elect, Nyesom Wike has received his Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The certificate was presented to Wike on Monday by INEC’s Supervisory National Commissioner in Charge of Rivers, Cross River and Akwa Ibom States, Mrs Thelma Iremiren at the Independent National Electoral Commission headquarters, Aba Road, Port Harcourt.

Iremiren also presented Certificates of Return to all the newly elected members of the Senate and House of Representatives from the state.

Read MoreVanguard

APC Taraba Accuses TY Danjuma Of Bribing INEC With N2b

The Youth mobilisation leader of Aisha campaign, comrade Bala Abubakar Maina who spoke to our correspondent in the private house of Senator Aisha Alhassan in Jalingo said that INEC was alleged to collect whopping sum up to two Billion naira in the interest of People Democracy party, PDP, which is having a candidate many believe is the political anointed son of TY Danjuma.

Comrade Bala said no matter the evil arrangement of PDP to rig this election, it cannot work because they already have permutations that they are the winner of April 11th Polls.

The rerun election is still going to Show as all hands are on desk to see that the APC mandate in the state is not truncated by PDP as they are told that people like T Y Danjuma are the ones behind all the political problems in the state.

“I am assuring you that with their TY Danjuma and the bribe money, Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan, Maman Taraba insha Allah will certainly be the next governor of the state,” Bala said.

Reacting in a similar vein, the secretary of Arch.Darius Yakubu campaign organisation who are in a  mission to rescue Taraba, Mr Nelson Lens accused APC of been indifferent to accept a fact that Taraba is a PDP state, and undoubtedly is going to remain a PDP state should the rerun elections take place in the affected areas that made the election in the state to be declared inconclusive by INEC.

Nelson exonerated T Y Danjuma from having any affairs with the PDP in the state so much so that he can bribe INEC with 2 billion naira, describing him to be a father to everybody in Taraba and Nigeria as a country; his duty is to see that Nigeria is intact not only Taraba.

“TY is too big for this allegation, with our candidate who is already a marketable and sellable candidate, chief Darius did his homework very well; he has been nice to the people of Taraba even before his venturing into politics,” Nelson said.

Read Moreelombah,com

Fires Razes INEC Area Office

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Area Office in  Katsina-Ala, Benue was gutted by fire in the early hours of Sunday, April 19.

The office serves as the commission’s collation centre for the Benue North-East Senatorial District.

Louis Ochai, INEC Public Relations Officer in Benue, who confirmed the incident on Sunday in Makurdi, said the commission was yet to ascertain the cause of the incident.

He explained that no sensitive materials were destroyed, as all sensitive materials as well as card readers were removed immediately after the elections.

The April 19 incident brings to three, INEC office gutted by fire in the senatorial zone in the past three weeks.

Credit: NAN

Jega Should Remain INEC Chairman – Senator-Elect

Alhaji Suleiman Nazif, the Senator-elect for Bauchi Northern Senatorial District, has appealed to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, to remain in office beyond June in order to enable him perfect the use of the Card Reader in the country’s electoral process.

Nazif made the call in an interview with NAN on Thursday in Gamawa, headquarters of Gamawa Local Governmnet Area of the state.

Jega’s tenure is expected to expire in June this year.

“Jega has proven to Nigerians that he is a hero, he has done the right thing, and Jega means very well and Jega should be given an opportunity to improve upon the electoral process.

“The process needs to be improved upon, Jega must be commended, loudest ovation should be given to Jega for merely bringing this card readers which was partly responsible for giving the opposition victory because it checked the ruling party’s exccess.

“Jega has done well and we believe he should be given more time to improve upon the electoral process.”

In a separate interview with NAN, the incumbent senator representing the area, Sen. Garba Gamawa (PDP Bauchi Northern Senatorial District), also corroborated Nazif’s opinion.

“Nobody in the country will have thought that there could be a way out of our dirty electoral process,” he said.

Gamawa described Jega as “hero, he has shown that he is equal to the task of turning the electoral process into viable one that could be emulated by all the countries of the world earlier bedeviled by electoral fraud”.

Also, in another interview with NAN, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu, a retired Comptroller-General of Customs, advised Jega to recind his decision to quit after the expiration of tenure in June, adding that he (Jega) should remain to perfect the new technology introduced into
the electoral process.

“I wish Jega will overlook other things and continue in office so that he will perfect the electoral process he had introduced, especially the card reader machine.

“He should perfect it in way that the machines could be use in courts and tribunals.

“INEC should insist on the use of the machines in trouble states like Rivers, Taraba, Imo, Delta and other states that have refused to use the machines during the last election to bring peace.”

Elections Re-Run: Atiku Demands Removal Of Implicated INEC, Security Officials

Former Vice President and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Atiku Abubakar, has callled on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to replace those found wanting during the governorship election in Taraba and other States.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Turaki Adamawa expressed agreement with the widespread reports of irregularities in some local governments of the state.

“These irregularities, including the use of armed personnel to intimidate voters, were perpetrated in Southern Taraba, specifically in Wukari, Takum, Kurmi and Donga local councils.” Abubakar said.

Read More: dailypost

?Maku Calls For Cancellation Of Nasarawa Election

The ?g?ubernatorial ?c?andidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance in Nasara?wa? State, Labaran Maku, has called for the cancellation of elections in the state.

Mr. Maku made the call on Sunday through Nghargbu K’tso, the media director of his campaign organisation. Mr. K’tso, at a press conference in Lafia on Friday, alleged that there was massive rigging in the election, therefore, it should be cancelled.

He said the Independent National Electoral Commission and security agencies connived to rig the elections. “Massive rigging through ballot box snatching, compromised INEC and Security Agencies, informed our call for cancellation of results in Lafia, Nasarawa, Doma, Karu and Toto,” Mr. K’tso said.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Wike Wins Rivers, INEC Declares

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, as the winner of last Saturday’s governorship election in the state.

Wike polled total  of 1 029 102 votes amounting to 87.77 percent to beat Dakuku Peterside of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who had 124 896 votes.

The result was announced on Monday morning by the returning officer, Prof. Faraday Orhunmwense. Tonye Princewill of the Labour Party (LP) got 10 142 to come third.

Read More: Vanguard

Saturday Polls: 66 Violent Incidents Recorded Nationwide- INEC

Sixty-six reports of violent incidents targeted at polling units, election officials, materials and voters were recorded nationwide in the state governorship and legislative elections on Saturday, INEC said in a statement.

The statement was issued by Kayode Idowu, the Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of Independent National Election Commission (INEC), in Abuja on Sunday. It said a general assessment of the elections showed that the exercise went well across the country.

It stated that a preliminary reports on the polls showed that 88.9 per cent of polling units opened for accreditation between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. across the country. “Only 5.2 per cent were yet to open as of 1p.m. Also, 73 per cent of the polling units had commenced voting by 2.30 p.m. The process of accreditation with Smart Card Readers was also successful in a majority of the polling units,” it stated.

It, however, said that initial challenges were recorded in Edo and Abia states but the technical teams deployed to support the states were able to resolve the issues in a timely manner. Overall, many parts of the country remained relatively peaceful during the elections. Some states, however, recorded a significant number of violent incidents, the most affected being Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi and Ondo states.

“INEC’s records show that there were 66 reports of violent incidents targeted at polling units, the commission’s officials, voters and election materials,” it said.

A breakdown of the incidents showed that 16 incidents were recorded in Rivers, eight in Ondo, six each from Cross River and Ebonyi as well as one each in Katsina, Plateau, Kogi, Abia, Imo, Kano and Ogun.

It also stated that five violent incidents were recorded in Akwa Ibom, four in Bayelsa, three each in Lagos and Kaduna, as well as two each in Jigawa, Enugu, Ekiti and Osun states. “The commission is investigating these incidents and will do everything within its powers to bring culprits to justice.”

INEC, however, commended Nigerians for demonstrating their resolve and commitment to participate in the electoral process and by doing so, contributing to deepening democracy of Nigeria. The commission urged Nigerians to maintain the peace as the results of the Governorship and State Assembly elections were being processed, and to accept the official outcomes.

It emphasised that winners could only emerge after collation of the official results and on the basis of the requirements prescribed by the law.  “Any aggrieved persons or groups are encouraged to seek redress at the tribunals.  INEC would also like to remind all stakeholders that the process is not yet completed and urges restraint in their comments as we strive to bring this process to an orderly, peaceful and credible conclusion.”

Credit: NAN

INEC To Fix New Date For Inconclusive Election In Gombe

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will fix a new date to conclude the Gombe State House of Assembly election in some polling units in Kwami West. Alhaji Kasim Gaidam, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, stated this in Gombe on Sunday.

He said that the number of votes affected were higher than the difference between the two leading candidates. “A new date to hold elections in the conduct of these elections in the cancelled polling units will be given by the commission shortly,” he said.

Gaidam also commended the Chairman of the commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, stakeholders and partner agencies for their support toward the success of the polls in the state. “We can safely generalise that the election have been peaceful and orderly; the few exceptions of minor incidents were handled by the security agents with the cooperation of stakeholders,” he said.

He commended the efforts of political parties, royal fathers and the religious leaders for their contribution and compliance with the rules of the exercise.

Gaidam further called on the elected officials to justify the confidence responsed in them by the electorate. “They should, therefore, pursue policies as well as embank on the programmes and projects that will deliver dividends of democracy to the people.”

Credit: NAN

History Repeats As INEC Says Imo Guber Election Inconclusive

The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared the governorship election in Imo state inconclusive.

Due to the number of cancelled votes (144,715) in relation to the margin of win (79,529) by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Rochas Okorocha, the Returning Officer, Professor Ibidapo Obe, declared the election inconclusive.

He said a new date would be announced for a supplementary election in the cancelled wards spread across several local government areas.

Mr. Okorocha was initially thought to have won the election after he garnered 385,671 votes compared to the 306,142 votes scored by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Emeka Ihedioha. The APC candidate is ahead of Mr. Ihedioha by 79,529 votes, which is by far lower than the 144,715 votes cancelled by INEC as a result of irregularities in some wards.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Guber/State Assembly Polls: INEC Investigates Electoral Violence In Rivers, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Others

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday commenced  investigation into incidents of violence that trailed last Saturday’s governorship and state assembly elections, vowing to do everything within in its powers to bring culprits to justice.  ?

?The electoral commission also said according to its records there were 66 reports of violent incidents targeted at polling units, the commission’s officials, voters and election materials.

?INEC also said the process of accreditation with Smart Card Readers was successful in a majority of the polling units.

Governorship elections were held in 29 States of the Federation, while State Assembly elections were held in 36 states. No election took place in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

However a statement by the commission delivered by the chief press secretary to INEC chairman, Kayode Idowu, said “a general assessment shows that the elections went very well across the country. According to preliminary reports, 88.9 % of polling units opened for accreditation between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. across the country. Only 5.2 % were yet to open as of 1 pm. Also, 73 % of the polling units had commenced voting by 2.30 p.m.

“The process of accreditation with Smart Card Readers was also successful in a majority of the polling units. Initial challenges were recorded in Edo and Abia states, but the technical teams deployed to support the states were able to resolve the issues in a timely manner.

“Overall, many parts of the country remained relatively peaceful during the elections. Some states, however, recorded a significant number of violent incidents, the most affected being Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi and Ondo States. 

“INEC’s records show that there were 66 reports of violent incidents targeted at polling units, the Commission’s officials, voters and election materials. 

“These were in Rivers State (16 incidents), Ondo (8), Cross River and Ebonyi (6 each), Akwa Ibom (5) Bayelsa (4), Lagos and Kaduna (3 each), Jigawa, Enugu, Ekiti and Osun (2 each), Katsina, Plateau, Kogi, Abia, Imo, Kano and Ogun (1 each).  

“The Commission is investigating these incidents and will do everything within in its powers to bring culprits to justice.”  

INEC however commended electorates for once again demonstrating their resolve and commitment to participate in the electoral process and by doing so, contributing to deepening democracy in our country.

“The Commission calls on every citizen to maintain the peace as the results of the Governorship and State Assembly elections are being processed, and to accept the official outcomes. It would like to emphasize that winners can only emerge after collation of the official results and on the basis of the requirements prescribed by the legal framework. Any aggrieved persons or groups are encouraged to seek redress at the Tribunals.  

“INEC would also like to remind all stakeholders that the process is not yet completed and urges restraint in their comments, as we strive to bring this process to an orderly, peaceful and credible conclusion.”

Obasanjo Hails State Elections, Says Nigeria’s Democracy Improving

Nigeria’s former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has said that the nation’s electoral process has improved remarkably.

Chief Obasanjo explained that the success recorded so far in the 2015 general elections, despite initial reservations and challenges over the process, is an indication that Nigeria’s democracy has matured.

The former president made the observation shortly after his accreditation at Ward 11, Unit 21 of Olusomi Compound polling centre at Sokori area of Abeokuta South Council Area in South West Nigeria, where he eventually cast his vote at exactly 2.25pm.

Heavy Shooting Scares Voters Away In Ebonyi

The governorship and State House of Assembly election in Ebonyi State has witnessed a low turnout of voters as hundreds of eligible voters did not come out to vote following heavy shooting witnessed in some parts of the state early this morning.

The heavy shooting which was witnessed within the Abakaliki metropolis, parts of Izzi, Ikwo, Ezza North, Ohaozara, Onicha caused panic in the state.

Some of the residents who spoke to LEADERSHIP  in Abakaliki said that in the early hours of today, there was heavy shooting within the town and most of the electorate are afraid to come out to vote for fear of being attacked by political thugs of the major political parties in the state.

At about 8. 30am when our correspondent visited station Urban Secondary School Abakaliki, Ebonyi local government area of the state, out of 989 registered voters, only 15 persons were on the queue for accreditation.

At Community Primary School Echi-Alike, polling booth 007 in Ikwo local government area, at about 09. 10am, out of 894 registered voters, only 90 persons came out for accreditation.

Meanwhile, there is heavy presence of security personnel deployed to the suspected trouble areas in the state.

INEC Postpones State Assembly Polls In 8 Bayelsa Constituencies

INEC has postponed the State House of Assembly election in eight of the 24 constituencies in Bayelsa state. The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Baritor Kpagih, said in a statement on Friday that the elections for the affected constituencies would hold on April 18.

The REC said the election in those constituencies had to be postponed  by one week due to inadequate ballot papers. “The election was shifted because of the position of stakeholders that election should not hold without full complements of the ballot papers. They maintained that unless there was 100 percent supply of ballot papers, there  should be no election,” Mr. Kpagih said.

“And unfortunately from what we received from INEC headquarters in Abuja, there were some shortfalls. That was why we had to shift the elections.”

According to the REC, the councils were elections have been postponed are Ekeremor Constituencies 1, 2, and 3, Kolokuma/Opokuma Constituencies 1 and 2, Sagbama Constituencies 1 and 2 and Southern Ijaw Constituency 1.

Mr. Kpagih also blamed pirates for disrupting the distribution of election materials to coastal areas in the state  and said the development might adversely affect the conduct of the elections in the remaining constituencies on Saturday. He however said elections would hold on Saturday, as scheduled, in the remaining 16 constituencies in the state.

New Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Posted To Kano

A new Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been posted to Kano State to replace the late REC, Munkaila Abdullahi, who died in a fire incident. Alhaji Hussain Halilu Pai, an indigene of Niger State was redeployed from Kogi State and is expected to supervise tomorrow’s gubernatorial and state Assembly elections.

The late REC, Munkaila Abdul-lahi, who supervised the presidential and National Assembly elections that took place on March 28, died last week in an early morning fire incident that engulfed his residence. His wife and  two children also died in the incident. Spokesperson of INEC in Kano, Garba Lawal Muhammad, confirmed the development to newsmen.

Creditdailytrust

Only PVC Holders Would Be Allowed To Vote Tomorrow -INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released a statement ahead of the Governorship and State Assembly elections taking place on Saturday, 11th April, 2015 in Nigeria through the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Kayode Robert Idowu on the false promises to the electorate by politicians that they can use their Temporary Voter Cards to vote.

Here is the statement,
“The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has received reports that some political leaders are asking members of the public to disregard its stated resolve to use Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and Smart Card Readers (SCRs) for the April 11, 2015 Governorship and State Assembly elections.
A particular state governor in the North Central geo-political zone is reported to have assured voters in the state that they could come out to vote on Election day with Temporary Voter Cards (TVCs) if they do not have the PVC, and that INEC will not be allowed to insist on the use of SCRs for voter accreditation.
Members of the public are strongly advised to disregard false assurances that contradict the regulations INEC has outlined for the Governorship and State Assembly elections. The Commission reaffirms that only voters with genuine PVCs should come out to the polling units on Election Day and that guidelines issued on the use of SCRs for the April 11 elections will be strictly applied. Any action infringing these guidelines will be an electoral offence, and security agents will be on hand to apprehend offenders.
The Commission commends Nigerian voters for their peaceful conduct and examplary resilience, even in the face of minor challenges, during the Presidential and National Assembly elections on March, 28, 2015. It, however, considers it unfortunate that some leaders would misguide the public and thereby prepare grounds for needless disruptions to the polling process on April 11. INEC hereby warns that any obstruction to the processes it has put in place for the elections by any person, no matter how highly placed, will constitute an electoral offence punishable in law.
Meanwhile, the Commission has assigned the Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC) of Kogi State, Alhaji Hussaini Halilu Pai, to supervise the conduct of the Governorship and State Assembly elections in Kano State following the tragic demise of Alhaji Minkala Abdullahi lastweekend. Before his posting as FCT REC, Alhaji Pai was Ekiti State REC, who conducted the Governorship Election of June 21, 2014″

Kalu Petitions Jega Over Abia Election

Former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has urged the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega to investigate the case of alleged impersonation of INEC officials during the National Assembly elections in Abia State.
In a petition addressed to Jega and signed on Kalu’s behalf by K.C Nwufo, SAN and Associates, he said the election was inconclusive and invalid by reason of corrupt practices and non compliance with the provision of the electoral act.

Kalu who contested for the Abia North Senatorial district on the platform of the Progressives Peoples Alliance (PPA) said that the elections were flawed with irregularities and impersonation and urged Jega to investigate the issues raised.

The petition reads in part: “The said Abia North senatorial district comprises five local governments with the Ohafia local government headquarters designated as the headquarters of the district, while one Dr. Ihekweaba Chigoziem, an associate professor was appointed the returning officer by INEC…”

Read Moresunnewsonline

Only Card Readers Will Be Used for Guber Elections – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured Nigerians that the hitches experienced with the use of the card readers in the just concluded presidential elections will not re-occur when Nigerians troop out for gubernatorial elections on Saturday, April 11, 2015.

The spokesperson to INEC Chairman, Mr Kayode Idowu, enthused that the factors responsible for the said hitches have been discovered with adequate measures taken to avert a repeat.

Idowu said: “Some of the networks that the cards were fixed in had challenges. That was the complaint on that day but you will discover that in the course of time, these card readers that they said were malfunctioning started to function. It was when they got the word across to them that remove those sim cards to heat it with the phone before you insert again but when you do that you have to reconfigure, so those things have been identified and have been taken care of.

“The device itself, in terms of the product quality, is of very high integrity; that we have demonstrated and proven. So we know what accounted for those challenges and we are working on them.

“We had challenges with the card readers in less than one percent of the 155, 000 polling units across the country.

“It was only unfortunate that we had issues in high-profile places like Otuoke [hometown of the president in Bayelsa] and when you have such a thing it overwhelms other areas. But like I said, we have identified those areas and we are working on them.”

INEC has a situation room that you can reach on 0700callINEC.

Fayose,Mimiko Will Be Impeached Before December – Akure-Based Prohet

The General Over­seer of Faith and Victory Church, Akure, has predicted that Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State and his counterpart in Ekiti, Ayodele Fayose, will be impeached from office before the end of this year.

Prophet Oladipo, who predicted the victory of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen Mohammadu Buhari, said both Mimiko and Fayose have limited days left to spend in office as gover­nors of their respective states.

In an exclusive inter­view with Sunday Sun, Prophet Oladipo insisted that Fayose would be im­peached in six month’s time and his Ondo State counterpart in December this year.

According to him, Gov­ernor Mimiko had disap­pointed God who put him in the office and as such no amount of prayer could forestall his removal be­fore the end of this year. His words:

 “God has re­vealed to me that Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayo­dele Fayose, will be im­peached before the end of this year. Fayose will be sent packing from the gov­ernment house before the end of this year.”

“I predicted that Fay­ose would win the gover­norship election in Ekiti State and he won. But this time around, God has said that he would be im­peached from office and there is nothing he can do to prevent the fulfillment of that prediction. Either he agrees with me or not, Fayose is going to be im­peached because God has said it,” he stressed.

He, however, advised Mimiko to be prayerful to avert the looming im­peachment. He said: “If Mimiko can pray very well, God can still have mercy on him because he is a beloved child of the Almighty God. But if he fails to pray, he will be im­peached before December this year.”

Jega Gets ‘Certificate Of Commendation’ From President Barack Obama

The manner Prof Attahiru Jega white-washed Elder Godsday Orubebe at the collation centre for presidential poll in Abuja after he put up a rascally conducted has attracted international recognition.

President Barack Obama of the United States of America has commended the INEC chairman over the way the Presidential and National Assembly elections were credibly conducted on March 28.

Obama, who awarded the INEC boss with a “Certificate of Commendation” for his outstanding and sterling performance, said what the Professor of Political Science had done deserves replication by all.

President Obama was represented by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle.

Jega speaks: I Wont Accept To Be INEC Chairman Again

The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, has declared that he would not serve another term as chairman of the electoral body when his first tenure expires in June, even if he is asked to do so by the new government.

Speaking in an interview with the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC Hausa) which was monitored in Abuja, Jega said having played his role in the political space for five years, it was time for another person to be given the chance to contribute his own quota.

In the words of Jega: “I am grateful to God. I was asked to come and contribute my own quota to the national development and I have done my bit to the best of my ability.

“Whatever assignment one will do for five years – just like this difficult one, to me if one is able to successfully accomplish the task, someone else should be given the opportunity, because for me I am not interested and if I am requested to serve again, I will not do it, by God’s grace.”

He noted that the introduction of the card reader device in the 2015 general elections had significantly helped to make the presidential election transparent, adding that there were few challenges that would be looked into in the forthcoming governorship/state assembly elections, including late coming attitude of electoral officials to polling centres.

Commenting on the allegations of bias against him by PDP chieftain, Mr Godsday Orubebe, at the National Collation Centre in Abuja on Tuesday, Jega said he was unperturbed because he knew he had nothing to hide.

“I maintained my calmness because I knew all the allegations were false. There is nothing that frightens me or disturbs me because, of all our actions, we have explanations for them,” he added.

Jega’s five-year tenure elapses in June 2015 year.

APC Trashes PDP; Wins 64 Seats In The Senate

The emergence of General Muhammadu Buhari as the President-elect is throwing up a lot of firsts in the history of Nigerian politics. Again, this will be the first time a two-term Senate President will be returning to the Senate as an ordinary member and in the minority party.

The result of the National Assembly election declared by INEC on Tuesday has pushed the leading party, the All Progressives Congress, to the majority status in the 109 membership Senate.

Before the election, the Peoples Democratic Party enjoyed the majority status in the red chamber with 64 members while APC has 41. Other parties, like Labour, Accord and SDP shared the remaining 5.

But from May 29, APC will have 64 senators; the PDP 45; and the Labour Party, one.

This development will obviously alter the configuration of the Senate leadership in the 8th Senate which would be inaugurated in June this year, as the APC would constitute the principal officers.

For instance, the current Senate President, David Mark who is returning to the Senate for the fifth time, will lose his seat to an APC member while the change in gear will also affect other principal officers like the Deputy Senate President, Senate Leader, Deputy Senate Leader, Chief Whip; and Deputy Chief Whip.

Apart from Mark and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu who won the election to return to the Senate, other principal officers like the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma -Egba; his deputy, Abdul Ningi; Chief Whip, Bello Gwarzo; and his deputy, Hosea Agboola, all lost their bid to return.

The current configuration is set to automatically transform the status of the APC members, especially the principal officers from minority to the majority.

For instance, the Minority Leader, Senator George Akume, according to sources, may likely emerge the new senate president, although some of his colleagues believed that another ranking senator should be elected since Mark, his kinsman from Benue, would be relinquishing the seat after eight years.

Professor Attahiru Jega: An Altruistic Democrat! By Muheez Busari

It is about 01.23 Wednesday 1st of April 2015, and I can barely find sleep as the events of the day keep reverberating in my head so much that I had to pen this piece in admiration and honour of the new hero of Nigeria’s democracy; Professor Attahiru Jega- INEC Chairman. Following the surprising interruption of result collation proceedings on Day 2 by an agent of the ruling PDP, a dismal show of shame on a national and international platform, Professor Jega’s composure and conduct in managing the intimidation and disruptive outburst from the supposed former Minister of the Federal Republic exudes professionalism and bespoke grooming. Such decorum and wisdom are character traits that define a leader, as well as well-meaning statesmen in the corridors of power. Had Professor Jega taken the bait and reacted, albeit irresponsibly, to the outburst of the PDP agent, I believe that chaos and public unrest would have ensued. An inevitable violence will be unleashed on a fragile polity that is threading on soft grounds at this critical time in her history. INEC under the stewardship of Professor Jega has had the unenviable responsibility of conducting a free and fair election in a volatile country like Nigeria where the leaders are mostly lawless, whip up tribal sentiments for political gain, uncouth and corrupt, and usually adopt the “do you know who I am” clout at every instance when called to order or reason. As tough as the last 72 hours or more has been for all Nigerians, and most especially INEC officials, the shameful hijack of a peaceful collation proceeding was highly unpatriotic and reeks of political grandstanding for personal aggrandisement (typical of political sycophants).

Given that the electioneering process is usually tedious, candidates and supporters are bound to be edgy (and rightly so) but this public display of aggression with intent to cause national chaos was appalling. The PDP agent’s ill-mannered behaviour and arrogant by-pass of structured protocols for election complaint and petition procedure(s) brings to fore the “do you know who I am” syndrome of those in positions of influence in the Nigerian society. To whom much is given, much is expected, as a former Minister and stalwart of the current ruling party, the PDP agent as encapsulated in Professor Jega’s reproach, does know better than to have acted like an inebriated political thug. An action which at best would have been perpetrated by a minnow and not someone of his supposed esteemed status. In a civil society, there are ways and procedures of seeking redress if one is wronged or perceived to have been wronged. The state security apparatus and law courts mostly serve this purpose in general, while with election complaints, INEC has laid down procedure(s) for political parties and civil society to report complaints and file petitions in an orderly and official manner for election tribunal proceedings to commence. This begs the question, why didn’t the PDP leaders advise its agent to follow due process of lodging complaints or grievance? And if the agent acted alone, did he not process the implications of his actions and possible outcome? This brings to mind the incident of the poorly designed butterfly ballots in the state of Florida during the 2000 U.S. presidential elections that cost the incumbent Vice President Al Gore (Democrat) vital votes which in turn saw George Bush Jnr. (Republican) become president. Despite the discrepancies and allegations of voter fraud, disenfranchisement and unclear ballots, both candidates and party supporters did not “throw tantrums” tantamount to causing anarchy in public. The integrity of the United States of America was upheld. The nation is bigger than any man, mission or entity. This unruly and thuggish attitude towards unfavourable election results cuts across political parties in Nigeria and should be eschewed for political sanity and national unity.
No doubt, INEC has experienced some glitches and challenges with logistics in the build up to the elections and on the day of election. Without cutting INEC any slack, I think the electoral commission has made tremendous improvement from the last national elections. The introduction of the card readers, among other great strategies, is revolutionary towards the organisation of credible, transparent, free and fair elections in the country. In addition, the issuance and distribution of about 75% permanent voters card (PVC) to registered voters is indeed laudable, more so if you are familiar with the apathy in logistics movement within and around Nigeria. Despite reports that some card readers malfunctioned in some places, the potential of the card reader for future elections is made manifest in this current election. In every process, there are always human and machine errors and ample room is given to accommodate and improve on minor setbacks. Thus, there is massive room for improvement on the malfunctioning card readers and inadequate logistics organisation before another major election. Overall, this is not a bad election debut for the card reading machines in Nigeria.
All INEC needs at this point in time is the overwhelming support of all political parties and Nigerians. The electoral commission has thrown all its expertise and dedication at this watershed election 2015. In the 2011 elections, the ruling party (PDP) retained power and said: “Jega conducted free, fair and credible elections”. So in 20015 (with an advanced technology- card reader), it is rather hypocritical for an agent of the ruling party, with imminent loss of political power in sight, to say: “Jega is Tribalistic”! Lest we forget, power is transient. Being powerful is often an illusion of grandeur. Reality check will definitely come knocking when you least expect. Politicians irrespective of party affiliation should endeavour to serve and legislate on the mandate of the people judiciously, at all times.
Meanwhile, to the man of the moment, in whom we should all be well pleased; Professor Attahiru Jega has shown a remarkable strength of character, resilience and poise in the face of superior intimidation and tasking national service. Professor Jega is experienced and capable in delivering public service as evidenced in achievements during his tenure as ASUU president under the stifling Ibrahim Babangida military regime, where he was able to negotiate good working conditions for academic staff and secure more funding for Nigerian universities. In 2005, he was appointed VC of Bayero University, kano (his alma mater). A position he held until his appointment to the electoral reforms committee in 2007. Assuming the mantle of leadership at INEC in 2010, he expedited the implementation of the proposed reform to the electoral process and 4 years of this painstaking task culminated in the transparent, free, fair and technologically-driven general elections of 2015. Hence, the ingenuity, endurance and sacrifice to enshrine true and fair democratic process in Nigeria should not be underscored by divisive political intimidation, shenanigans of sore losers and war mongers. It is the people, community leaders and politicians who should tow the patriotic line of Professor Jega, and dig deep to identify with the qualities that unite us, and make efforts towards forging a greater nation for all and sundry. The credibility and success of election 2015 is a badge of honour which Professor Attahiru Jega and the INEC team have earned the right to wear with pride.
Congratulations Nigerians! May this dawn bring TRUE change to nooks and crannies of the nation!

Muheez Busari (follow me on @m_careca5)

INEC Substitutes Borno PDP Candidate

INEC) has substituted the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate in Borno State, Alhaji Mohammed Imam, with Alhaji Gambo Lawan.

This was disclosed in a letter by the National Secretariat of commission in a letter with reference number INEC/LEG/DR/356/VOL.1/79.

Secretary to the commission, Ibrahim Bawa, signed the letter addressed to the Resident Electoral Commission of the Borno State ordering that the substitution should be effected. “In compliance to the order of the Federal High Court judgment in suit No.

FHC/ABJ/CS/1123/14 between Alhaji Gambo Lawan Vs. Alhaji Mohammed Imam & 2 others wherein the court ordered INEC to take all necessary steps and actions including the listing of the name of Alhaji Gambo Lawan as governorship candidate of the PDP for Borno state and to allow him contest,” the letter read.

The letter also directed that the name of Alhaji Gambo Lawan be included in the list of Governorship candidates for Borno State as candidate of the PDP.

 Credit: CAJ News

Jonathan Claims Landslide Victory In Rivers

The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) has declared President Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the winner of the Presidential elections in Rivers State.

Returning Officer and Vice-Chancellor of Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Prof. John Etu-Efeotor,  who announced the result at INEC office in Port Harcourt, said the  PDP won in  the 23 local government areas of the state.

He said the PDP polled 1 487 075 votes while the All Progressives Congress (APC), polled a total of 60 238. The total number of registered voters in the state is 2 324 300, while only 1 643 409 were accredited for the general elections, he said.

Read MoreVanguard

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

Update On Presidential Election Results From Ondo State As Declared By INEC

Akoko North-West Local Government
APC-     17,997
PDP-     12,048

Ose Local Government
APC-    11,300
PDP-    13,466

Ifedore Local Government
APC-    13,459
PDP-    8, 031

Ondo west Local Government
APC –   18,923
PDP-    20,243

Akure North Local Government
APC-  13,092
PDP-  7, 817

Owo Local Government
APC-   27,290
PDP-  7,817

Akoko South-East
APC-     7,245
PDP-     6,769

Idanre Local Government
APC-       12,654
PDP-       12,290

Akoko South-West Local Government
APC-        25,336
PDP-        15,490

Odigbo Local Government
APC-        18,655
PDP-        19,315

Ile-Oluji Local Government
APC-       12,338
PDP-        13,652

Ese-Odo Local Government
APC-        4,002
PDP-        24,943

Ondo- East Local Government
APC-         5,922
PDP-          8,708

Irele Local Government
APC-         9,969
PDP –        11,639

Akure South Local Government
APC-        50,411
PDP-        18,125

Okitipupa Local Government
APC-       17,495
PDP-       19,035

It remains 2 Local Government

Total

APC-         266,084
PDP-         225,328

Nigeria’s PVC Better Than US Voter Card – US Ambassador

The Ambassador of the United States to Nigeria, Mr. James Entwistle, has applauded the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission to use the Permanent Voter Card in the general elections which commenced on Saturday.
The ambassador, who spoke with journalists at the International Conference Centre, venue of the National Collation Centre of the election results, on Sunday said Nigeria’s PVC involved superior technology which his state of Virginia in the US needed to copy.
He said, “I am very impressed by the decision of INEC to use technology in this election. The Permanent Voter Cards are very high-tech.
“They are more high tech than my voter card from the state of Virginia in the US. My voter card does not have biometric. It does not have my fingerprint. The high-tech gives the process more integrity.

“I congratulate INEC on taking the part of High-tech. I think we need to come and study it so that we can use it in my country.”
The ambassador expressed hope that INEC would address the challenges experienced in the use of card readers and move forward.
Entwistle, who said he monitored the elections in Abuja, expressed satisfaction over the patience and dedication of Nigerians to the smooth conduct of the exercise.
He said, “I was extremely impressed. On Saturday, I went to number of places in the FCT. Every place I went, I was impressed by the patience and dedication of the Nigerian voter. I found that inspirational.”
Entwistle further said Nigerians had reminded the world of how beautiful democracy was.
He said the expectation of the American government “is that the Nigerian people will win”.
He added that his country’s government would be willing to work with anybody who emerged as winner of the presidential election.
He said, “I mean they (the people) will get what they want which of course is a transparent, credible and non-violent election. We look forward to working with whatever government emerges from the election.”
Source: The Punch

Governors Of Abia And Akwa Ibom States Win Senatorial Elections

Governor Godswill Akpabio of AkwaIbom state and his Abia state counterpart, Theodore Orji won their senatorial contests in Saturday’s election.

Gov Akpabio polled a total of 422,009 to defeat APC’s Inibehe Okorie who had 15, 152 votes. Gov Orji pulled a total of 46,070 votes to win Ahamdi Nweke of APGA who pulled 10,204 votes. While Governor Akpabio would represent Akwa Ibom north east senatorial district in the next Senate Assembly, Governor Orji would be representing Abia central Senatorial zone.

 

Source – Kokomansion.com

I Can’t Be Pressured To Declare Election Inconclusive – Jega

Urging all Nigerians to calm down and wait for the announcement of the genuine results, Prof Attahiru Jega has stated that the commission is not under pressure to declare the elections inconclusive.

Jega, who gave a situation report on the presidential and National Assembly elections at a press conference in Abuja, stressed that, “We are not under any pressure to declare inconclusive elections.”

He added that he would hope that politicians “want to be declared winner” of the election.

Jega also revealed that the commission had commenced investigation into the incidence of electoral violence, especially burning of its office in Rivers and the killing of INEC ad hoc workers in Gombe.The INEC chairman noted that the commissioned had received allegations of election rigging by its employees, stating that the commission had also started an enquiry into the matter.

Jega revealed that he had received a petition from the APC calling for the rescheduling of the elections in the state, and pledged that the commission would also do its best to investigate its merit.

He also announced that collation of results would commence by noon on Monday.

Buhari Wins Ondo, INEC Declares

All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari has secured a victory in Ondo State, according to results provided by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday morning.

According to results announced at the INEC office in Alagbaka, Akure, both Muhammadu Buhari and Goodluck Jonathan won in 9 of the 18 LGAs in the state. While Buhari scored 299,889 votes, Jonathan polled 251,368 votes.

The total number of valid votes cast in the state stood at 561,056.

Read MoreNaij

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

APC Massively Wins Bauchi Constituencies

The APC candidate for Bauchi Central Senatorial District, Malam Isa Hamma, has been declared winner of the just concluded senatorial election in the zone.

Declaring the result in Darazo on Monday, the District Collation Officer, Dr Mohammed Salisu, said Hamma scored 208,741 votes to defeat Senator Abdul Ningi of the PDP, who scored 57,172 votes and Inuwa Nasaru of MPPP, who polled 1010 votes. Salisu said 272,964 votes were cast, out of which 266,923 were valid and 6041 invalid.

The APC candidate for Darazo/Ganjuwa Federal Constituency, Malam Haliru Jika, also emerged winner for the constituency, garnering 78,243 votes, to defeat four other candidates. Almustapha Hamma of PDP emerged the runner-up with 13,413 votes, Kashim Mohammed of SDP polled 328 votes, Umar Abubakar of PDM secured 42 votes, while Mrs Hadiza Haruna scored 16 votes.

Credit: NAN

Jonathan Urges Nigerians To Be Patient With INEC Concerning Results

President Goodluck Jonathan has made an impassioned plea to all Nigerians to wait patiently for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to collate and announce the results of this weekend’s polls.

Jonathan made the call in a post on his Facebook page and ensured all citizens that the ruling party was not involved in any manipulation of election results.

We waited patiently to vote in these elections, now I want to urge all Nigerians to also wait patiently for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to collate and announce results. We must ensure that we do not get involved in acts that breach our peaceful co-existence that we patriotically demonstrated during the elections. May God bless Nigeria. GEJ.

Read More: PUNCH

APC Wins Constituency In Niger

INEC has declared Alhaji Salihu Shadafi of the APC winner of the Bosso/Paikoro Federal constituency election in Niger. Professor Godwin Nsofor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna announced the result in Minna on Monday.

He said Shadafi scored 59,256 votes to beat Alhaji Abdullahi Kwato of the PDP and Alhaji Abdulazeez Alfa of the SDP, who polled 16,938 and 15 votes respectively. “Having fully satisfied the provisions of the Electoral Act and having the highest votes cast, Shadafi won the election.” He said the result should be taken with all sense of responsibility by both the winner and losers.

Credit: NAN

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.

APC Seeks More Time For Accreditation, Voting

The All Progressives Congress on Saturday asked the Independent National Electoral Commission to extend the time for accreditation and voting to make up for the delay caused by the use of card readers.

The party in a statement issued in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said extending the time for accreditation and voting will ensure that Nigerians who have queued up patiently at their polling units as early as 8:00am will not be disenfranchised.

It also urged INEC to recognize the letters from the various political party agents, since the commission was not able to fulfill its promise to accredit party agents, which used to be done by the parties themselves.

APC commended Nigerians for their patience in getting accredited, saying by waiting patiently to get accredited, they have shown an unprecedented commitment to the growth of democracy in the country.

The party said from the reports it has received from its field agents, it is clear that the card reader, as a tool to enhance the credibility of elections in the country, has so far proved effective, despite the delays.

”The card reader is a novel tool in our elections and naturally there will be some initial hiccups. We understand that the delays were due to the failure to remove the protective films on the lenses of many card readers, the poor network of some of the sim cards in the machines and the effect of jamming devices on the card readers, “it stated.

APC warned against the resort to manual accreditation in some parts of the country, where the card readers are being bypassed, saying it is against the electoral guidelines.

Tinubu Denies Sending SMS Canvassing Votes For Jonathan

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has debunked any knowledge of text message from him asking electorate to vote for the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Goodluck Jonathan, insisting that its fraudulent.

Tinubu, who disclosed this while speaking with newsmen, shortly after getting accredited by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), at Ward 047 in Alausa, said the issue will be adequately addressed at the court.The APC chieftain who affirmed that he did not send any kind of message, said “I didn’t send any message. That’s part of the gimmicks and desperation of the ruling party when they pack a lot of fraudulent people in office trying to sabotage the right of people from exercising their civic duty.

“I didn’t authorise any network to send any message. That one we will discuss when we get to court. I cannot campaign today; I know what I’ve told my supporters, you all know the party I belong to and you know the candidate of that party. Do not believe in any text message from me asking you to do otherwise,” he said.

Speaking further, the former governor of Lagos State noted that he is committed to his party and nothing can make him compromise. “I stay firmed; I stay credible; I stay resolved; I am determined and committed, if anybody sends you any fraudulent message, it is because they are coward, they know they are going to be defeated and that is why they want to resort to fraud.

“That is why they should not even be in government, the more reason they should be out, we have had enough of this. I have received several calls from people to verify the so-called text message but I have consistently denied that. It is disturbing, annoying and terrible that people will resort to fraud.

“What kind of leadership? What kind of legacy? What kind of ethics are we teaching our people? If I ask you to compromise the system, how can I do that to the platform I lead? The platform that I helped built and by the grace of God the best platform that is available.

No INEC Official Is Leaving This Place- Asari Dokubo Rants As He Fails To Get Accredited

Former militant, Mujahid Asari-Dokubo has aired his displeasure after his PVC was rejected by the card reader at his polling unit  at Bakana in the Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The ex militant said no body would leave the polling unit till everyone is accredited as the card reader was also unable to accredit other voters .
He said it was a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise his people..

Oshiomhole Expresses Shock As Soldiers Block INEC Officials #NigeriaDecides2015

Following reports that accredited INEC officials were restricted and stopped by some soldiers from conducting their lawful duties in parts of Edo North, Governor Adams Oshiomhole said the report is shocking as electoral officials should not be restricted on their own day.

The Governor who noted that the soldiers must have got an illegal order from their Commander said, “yesterday (Friday) I addressed the Press and I did say that Brigadier Odidi has chosen to frustrate this exercise in Edo North. Ironically, Brigadier Odidi is from Agenebode and he is the one who is giving this unlawful order.”

INEC officials who were taking election materials to Ward 10, Unit 1 in Iyamho, Etsako West Local Government Area were stopped by soldiers who had laid siege to the home town of Governor Adams Oshiomhole. The INEC officials told reporters that were forced to sit on the ground, alongside their police escort for several hours.

They were later allowed to leave after they got calls from their superiors. The soldiers said they were acting on strict orders from above.

Even journalists were not spared the soldiers’ ordeal as the INEC accreditation cards and reflective jackets were ignored while each reporter was asked to produce their company ID cards. The soldiers said the reporters were not permitted to monitor the exercise from one unit to another as they were only allowed to monitor a particular unit.

 Miffed by the restriction of INEC officials, Oshiomhole continued, “Why the Nigerian Army will be used in this manner, only God knows. So I am surprised that they are restricting INEC Officers from distributing materials.

I have told the Brigade Commander and I am waiting to see what he is going to do but when you bear in mind that time is if the essence, if we finally go and beg the General to please allow democracy, time is gone.

First there is no light across the country so we are going to have everywhere in the dark. Under such situation, nobody knows what happens but I refuse to be frustrated and I appeal to our people not to be frustrated, we will sort things out. 

“It is clear they have serious problem taking off. As you can see I am here and they say the card reader is not well programmed, it is not functioning and I got report from my Ward Headquarters that there are materials that are there and apparently the returning officers are trapped there because the soldiers  wouldn’t let them cross their barricade. From Apana the Ward Headquarters to this place, my voting centre takes about 10 minutes because of the good roads we have done.” 

The Governor maintained, “I have complained to the soldiers here. I have also called the Brigade Commander to draw his attention to it. This one is completely incomprehensible because I do not know what the briefing of the Army is but what Professor Jega said is that in the event of a machine not working, they have spare to use and they have officers who would put them to work.

“Now if the Army is blocking INEC officials from moving, this is a new dimension that we have not heard of before and I thought the business of the Army is basically to check people who are carrying offensive weapons, I do not know if card reader is now an offensive weapon. I have complained to the Brigade Commander, Major General Olaleye and you have also heard me mentioning it to the Electoral Officer (E.O). 

“My appeal; our people have a proverb that when you know that enemies are surrounding you, you do not go and rub yourself with an inflammable chemical such that when they just push you a little bit and you sit near fire, you get roasted.

INEC Gets Commendation Over Card Reader Machine #NigeriaDecides2015

A Septuagenarian, Mr Gabriel Oyebade, on Saturday expressed satisfaction with the large turnout of voters for election, expressing the hope that it would usher in a new lease of life for the country.

Oyebade, 77, who retired from the central bank of Nigeria (CBN), said the winners and losers should embrace themselves and accept the outcome of the polls.

“They should not take us back, rather, our politicians should cooperate to move the country forward.

“They should accept the outcome of the polls, winners and losers should embrace themselves and eschew violence.

“Losers should learn to approach the courts instead of mobilising their supporters to take to the streets to protest the results,” he  in Gowon Estate, Egbeda in Lagos.

“I want to see development, mass youth employement and social security for the elderly with monthly upkeep allowance as key programmes to be implemented.

“The country is bigger than individuals and as politicians, they must be ready to serve and not to be served.”

A sexagenarian and retired Naval officer who preferred anonymity, lauded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the orderly conduct of the election and the introduction of Card Reader.

He said that all the measures introduced by INEC conformed with international standards.

“Card Readers are being used in all parts of the world and modern democracies. It will give credibility to the polls.

“It is a good legacy being left behaind by the INEC boss, Prof. Atahiru Jega.

For 30-year-old Mr Samuel Ologure, the election was orderly, peaceful and hitch-free.

Ologure sais that the introduction of Card Reader machines would help to eliminate multiple and underage voting.

Two Killed In Boko Haram Attack In Gombe

At least two people were killed in a suspected Boko Haram attack on polling stations in northeast Nigeria on Saturday, residents and an election official told AFP.

The attacks happened in the villages of Birin Bolawa and Birin Fulani in the Nafada district of Gombe state, which has been repeatedly targeted by the Islamists.

An election official, who requested anonymity, said: “We could hear the gunmen shouting, ‘Didn’t we warn you about staying away from (the) election?’,” the election official said, requesting anonymity.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said in a video message last month that the militants would disrupt the election, which they see as “un-Islamic”.

“This election will not be held even if we are dead. Even if we are not alive, Allah will not allow you to do it,” he said.

The threat and a spate of suicide attacks and bombings against “soft” targets in restive northern Nigeria have prompted the authorities to impose tight security across the country.

The election official said the masked gunmen arrived in Birin Bolawa in a pickup truck at about 8:30 am (0730 GMT), just after accreditation for Saturday’s presidential election had begun.

One voter was shot dead and others fled in panic.

“They set fire to all the election materials we abandoned as we escaped,” he added.

Karim Jauro, a resident of Birin Fulani said the second attack happened at about 9:15 am, adding that had they known about the earlier shooting they would have abandoned the polling station.

“As soon as people saw them they began to run away but the gunmen opened fire on the polling station, killing one man,” he said.

“They burnt the election materials. We strongly believe they are Boko Haram who have been warning people not to participate in the elections.”

High Turnout Of Voters For Accreditation In Maiduguri, Gombe, Others #NigeriaDecides2015

Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly election recorded large turnout of voters for accreditation in different parts of the country.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that as at 8 a.m. electorate thronged various polling units ahead of accreditations.

The NAN correspondents monitoring the exercise in Maiduguri reported that the exercise was peaceful.

NAN also reports that a large number of voters turned out to be accredited ahead of voting, amidst heavy security.

NAN reports that accreditation started in as at 8.30 a.m. as potential voters conducted themselves in an orderly and peaceful manner.

In Gwange New GRA unit in Maiduguri, no fewer than 400 registered voters were available for accreditation.

Similarly, reports from Yola showed that there was also a large turnout of voters for accreditation even the exercise started at 8:00 a.m. as scheduled.

The same was the case in neighbouring Damaturu which where accreditation also started at 8 a.m. in most parts of the city.

The NAN reports that so far, the exercise has remained peaceful and orderly as potential voters queue to be accredited ahead of casting their votes.

NAN observed that many of them arrived at their polling units as early as 6 a.m. for accreditation.

As at filing this report, it was observed that electoral materials had reached various polling units.

Hoodlums Shoot At Police, Soldiers Escorting Corps Members #NigeriaDecides2015

Sporadic shootings was witnessed around 10:30am Saturday in Ozuaha community in Ikwerre Local Government Area. Thugs who had barricaded the road into the town, opened fire on a team of policemen and military police escorting Corps members to their polling unit.

The gun duel which lasted for about 25 minutes, has since left the town looking like a ghostyard. According to a police officer who helped brought the situation under control, the armed thugs advanced towards Ubima, hometown of governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi.

As a result of the development, the corpers and electoral materials were kept in several buses, preparing to leave the community. Our correspondent who arrived the area 5 minutes after the gun duel, saw pieces of shattered ballot boxes on the major road leading into the town. Tension was still very high when our correspondent left the area 30 minutes later.

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

INEC PVCs- DSS arrests Sani Musa ,Owner Of ACT technologies

The officials of the Department of State Security (DSS) have arrested Sani Musa, the owner of the company, ACT Technologies Ltd…Though no reason was given for his arrest,Thisday reports that,it may not be unconnected with the controversy trailing the production and supply of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) for the 2015 general elections.

Sani was arrested at a private location in Abuja and Thisday was told his arrest may not be connected with the allegation that he is a member of the APC and only him has the code to the smart card reader.

According to a source, his arrest by the DSS was to try to solve some of the controversies over the Card Reader and make him incommunicado throughout the Presidential Election.

Only on Wednesday, the spokesman of the PDP Presidential Campaigns, Femi Fani Kayode, called for his arrest, accusing him of being part of the plot to rig the election in favour of APC.

According to Fani Kayode, “Our concerns stem from the fact that the moving spirit and a major shareholder and board member of the company that supplied the card reader system and machines to INEC is not only a friend of but also an ardent and keen supporter of General Mohammadu Buhari and the APC. That man’s name is Sani Musa and he is indeed the main force behind the company. The company’s name is Act Technologies Ltd. and the Chairman of the company is one Engineer SK Danladi.

“How and why INEC would give the contract to supply the card readers to a fanatical APC supporter and to a man whose other company was officially blacklisted by INEC a couple of years ago for sharp practices, needs to be explained. Sani Musa has expressed his undying support for the APC and General Buhari and his hatred and virulent opposition to the PDP and President Goodluck Jonathan openly and publicly on his Facebook wall.”

APC Raises Alarm Over Lagos PDP Meeting With INEC

The Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress has issued an alert that some senior officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, posted to Lagos for the conduct of Saturday’s election are allegedly meeting  with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate for Lagos, Jimi Agbaje, Chief Olabode George and Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, for the purpose of perfecting the plan by the PDP to rig the presidential election in Lagos.

The party says that the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega is by this release put on notice that some of his officials are being induced by the PDP to manipulate the coming Saturday’s election in Lagos.

In a release in Lagos signed by the Lagos State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Joe Igbokwe, the party alleged that the meeting which is scheduled to hold at a location in Lagos is meant to compromise the INEC officials with monetary and other inducements so as to compromise the integrity of the election to favour PDP. The party calls on all Lagosians to be at alert so as to frustrate the evil plots of the PDP to steal their votes in Saturday’s election.

“As it becomes obvious to the PDP that its desperate measures to force Lagosians to vote for it have failed, the party has resorted to the last ditch tactics of buying and compromising electoral officers to rig for them. We challenge PDP to deny this insidious plot to meet with senior INEC officials so as to induce them with the free money the PDP has been desperately using to buy and procure all manners of pseudo support to its crumbling dreams for re election.

“As its efforts to bribe traditional rulers, traders associations, Igbo groups, Afenifere, OPC to support it have failed to move the determined resolve of the good people of Lagos to end the woe-laden regime that has pauperized and despoiled them, the PDP has resorted to indecent and clandestine meetings with electoral officers with a view to compromise them to tilt the outcome of the coming elections in their favour. We want to let them know that we have details of their clandestine movements and that Lagosians will frustrate them as they have done all the strings of desperate moves by the PDP to con their support.”

The party further said: “We task Prof. Jega to closely monitor the activities of the men he sent to Lagos, in view of this release as we will furnish him with details of the officials involved in this plot against the will of the people of Lagos. It is just too natural to see why PDP desperately wants to manipulate Lagos as the grand failure of the gargantuan bribery, vote buying, PVC mop up, inciting gun totting hoodlums to protest, embarking on a mad, primitive Zander foolish war with APC posters all over Lagos, with tacit support of the police and other security agencies have rather worsened the bad case of the PDP in Lagos.

Why I’m Being Attacked Over Card Readers — Jega

Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, Wednesday, said he has no regrets for insisting on deploying Smart Card Reader machines for the conduct of the general election, saying he knew that the decision would attract unwarranted attacks on his integrity as a person.

Would-be riggers the ones crying foul, says INEC boss
Jega, who stated this while unveiling the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room in Abuja yesterday,, maintained that it is only those that hitherto nurtured plans to fraudulently manipulate the outcome of the elections, that have been crying foul over the introduction of the technology which he said would only add credibility to the electoral process in the country.

He said that INEC had perfected all its strategies and put every apparatus in place with a view to
ensuring a hitch free poll that will reflect the summative choice of Nigerians.

“Let me use this opportunity to reassure Nigerians that we believe that we have done everything possible to ensure that the 2015 general election is successful. We are adequately prepared in terms of both logistics and manpower. Likewise, all the security agencies, especially the police which have a lead role to play in terms of providing security during elections, have assured us that they are ready.

“Beginning from today, we are commencing the rolling out of non-sensitive materials. Likewise, from Friday, all the sensitive materials will be retrieved from the vault of the Central Bank Nigeria by our officers, accompanied by security operatives and representatives of the political parties”.

He said that the materials would be distributed to states from where it would be taken to local government areas and subsequently to the ward level.

Jega further highlighted the fact that the commission has provided and reasonably equipped Registration Area Centers, RACs, “to ensure that both our staff in various states and security agents spend few hours of the night on Friday there to enable them to be ready to deploy the sensitive materials on the election morning”.

He assured that there will be remarkable reduction in the delays that were previously experienced in the commencement of elections, as well as retrieval of materials at the end of election.

However, the INEC boss said it was regrettable that the results of the election will not be electronically transmitted to the collation points. He said though INEC initially piloted the procedure at two previous elections in Cross River and Niger States, “we decided that we will not put the electronic transmission of results to use in 2015 in view of the controversies the procedure might likely generate from those who don’t see anything good in what we are doing as a commission.

“We can see the dust that the introduction of card readers raised. So we decided to keep piloting and improving on the system beyond 2015, hopefully, by 2019, the commission will introduce it for the general election”.

‘They know card readers ‘ll stop alteration of figures’
On the issue of the card readers, Jega, who stressed that the process will help address concerns about the alteration of election figures to fraudulently confer advantage on some candidates to the detriment of others, said no such thing would happen this time around.

“This is indeed why they have been attacking me because they know that the card reader machines will help us to address all those irregularities, starting from the accreditation of voters at all the polling units. How can they manipulate the election when all the information with regards to the number of voters that turned out at every polling unit is automatically captured and transmitted by the card reader machines?

‘We have made rigging impossible for them’
He continued; “We have made rigging impossible for them as there is no how the total number of votes cast at the polling unit could exceed the number of accredited persons. Such discrepancy in figures will be immediately spotted. This technology will further make it impossible for any corrupt electoral officer to connive with any politician to pad-up results”, he added.

Besides, Jega noted that in the past, dubious INEC officials usually delayed the entry of number of accredited voters until the end of voting so as to have the leeway to tamper with results, a problem he said would be obviated by the smart card readers.

He said that both the card readers and the result sheets would be taken to the ward levels, “once there is evidence of tampering, the information saved in the card reader will be retrieved.

Why Jonathan Will Win The Election Convincingly – Bode George

Chief Olabode George speaks on why the PDP is set to reclaim the South-West, analyses the APC, politics of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the governorship race in Lagos, INEC, etc. Excerpts:

Is there anything you still think we need to do, if we are to get things right, as the election for the office of president comes up on Saturday?You know that the chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, has been telling everybody that he is ready for the elections and he is saying, if you don’t have a Permanent Voter Card (PVC) you cannot vote. I am worried. Lagos State has about 5.9 million registered voters. Only about 3.89 eligible people have collected their PVCs. So, the remaining two million, where are their PVCs? And he says, if you are registered and you don’t have a PVC, you cannot vote. Is he trying to disenfranchise Nigerians? I am also in the bracket of whom you will call the old men. So, what is going on with him? He is assuring us that all is well. Like what and how? Now, if you see all the data, all the percentages of the collections of PVCs, isn’t it worrisome?

How do you mean?
If you are the same professor teaching various classes and you taught some 100 per cent syllabus, you taught some 60 per cent, some 40 per cent, some 30 per cent and they are all going to write the same examination, because he is a professor, let him think in that line, if he is not mathematically minded. Is it fair? Is it right? So, what happens to those people who are registered and interested in coming to vote and their names will be on the register but they have no PVCs. He should have done these things four or five years before now so that everybody would have been keyed in. You educate the people; there would be a lot of information in local languages so that people are used to the system. You don’t bring experimentation on the day, on something you haven’t done before, on a very crucial election like the one we are running now.

Then, what is the way forward?
I don’t know, as we have been shouting it and he doesn’t listen. He is the Emperor of INEC. The other day he was having a Town Hall Meeting and a female journalist asked him a very pertinent question. He just brushed it aside. Jega doesn’t own Nigeria. We must know that the fallout the election will determine the future of the country. We are all praying and working to make sure that the election is trouble-free. But, if he does not provide a level-playing field, then he is the one going to conflagrate Nigeria and the country will never leave him, because the future generations will read him. I knew when Nigeria had one Dr Esua as the chairman of the electoral chief. I remember we had a retired Justice Ovie Whiskey; we‘ve had Professor Humphrey Nwosu, and late Justice Ephraim Akpata, and so on. What would Jega be remembered for? He is a young man and the younger generations are looking forward to a nation that is equitably stabilised, and not a wobbling platform.

I have asked severally if at the polling unit that if Smart Card Reader does not work, what do we do? He said those affected should come back the following day. What a joke! Come back the following day for what? I saw an old politician who must be in his 80s, making the same observations that I am making. I am not saying drive away Jega. Let him come out and answer all the questions. Let the government of the people and the parties call him to come and talk to us. We know the percentage we have collected. What happened to the remaining?

Some pundits have tipped the APC winning the election; that it is no longer a 50:50 chance for the PDP?
I see, you know they are spin doctors. They are liars. You have forgotten whom they are! They can tell you that no, your name is not actually what you know it to be; that your name is Tunji. The Pirate Radio Station they are monitoring, what is their intention? I have it on authority that they are trying to fight if the PDP wins. That reminds of when we won the election in Ondo State years back, they told the people, ‘What are you waiting for? You should go out on the street and fight.’ They slapped a commissioner.’ But the people asked them, ‘did you do anything for the people?’ The South-West is among the most sophisticated zone in terms of politics. You can see that their leader does not wear Baba Awolowo’s cap any more. They don’t use the round glasses again because they are not sincere. The real Bola has been unmasked. When he came, he deceived the old men that he was the real fighter, that he is NADECO. Truth will always prevail. You can’t deceive the people all the time.

What advantage do you think the president still has beyond the factor of incumbency, in view of the integrity of the APC candidate which is the opposition flaunts as part of its selling points before prospective voters?Show me your friend and I will tell you who you are. He sits down in their private jets and campaigns around. When he comes to Lagos, he is always in a bullet proof car. Each time I see Bola beside Buhari, I develop a goose pimple. This is an arrant nonsense. Buhari should be in the PDP not in the APC. Yes, because our party is not owned by an individual. At his age, he should be one of the older members in the Board of Trustees of our party because that is the only political party from inception that has the emblem, of the country. Yes, we have disagreements, which is normal in a growing organisation and those who jump ship and went down there, where are they today? Look at Audu Ogheh, the national chairman of the PDP, the largest political party in Africa, since he jumped to the other side, he has disappeared like a submarine. You hardly hear of him. I was shell shocked when I heard that Engineer Barnabas Gemade heading to the APC. A rolling stone gathers no moss. They just went into oblivion. It was like a flash in the pan. PDP foundation members; you left the house you have built and went into the APC to be a tenant! How can you have a voice there? There will always be disagreement, but let it be robust. Let it be genuine and you stay within and solve it.

I Will Surely Win Saturday’s Election – Buhari

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, in the late hours of Wednesday said he would overrun the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan, in Saturday’s election.

Buhari said this while speaking at the 7th Annual Bola Tinubu Colloquium with the theme “Change: How it will Work” held in Lagos, noting that though there is desperation in the PDP, he will not end up at the Supreme Court like the previous elections he participated in.

Buhari urged the electorate to reflect carefully on the present situation of things compared to when the ruling party took over in 1999 as they go to the polls on Saturday.

He said, “We have been trying since 2005 and this time, a look at the PDP government at the centre shows us that our merger would be worthwhile to save the country. Now we have the APC and the fear of the APC is the beginning of wisdom in Nigeria.”

On the leadership of the party, he lauded Bola Tinubu for creating a formidable opposition movement in the country.

He said Tinubu and others had shown exemplary leadership which is responsible for the success now credited to the party, noting that Nigerians never thought the merger was possible and rightly so, given the political history of the country.

Buhari said , “But this merger, if there are two people responsible for it, they are Tinubu and Akande. They did it because their constituencies believed in them”.

“I know that a lot of money has changed hands ahead of Saturday’s elections, but if we continue to motivate ourselves and mobilise our constituencies, victory is ours.”

In his response, the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said he already perceives the party’s victory at the polls.

“We approach the eve of a moment where, if allowed the freedom to express their sovereign will, the people will cast off the yoke of bad governance. They will vote for a change that will usher in a new day for a new Nigeria – right before our very eyes. I already see it. If you have compassion for this nation that gave birth to you, you will surely see it too,” Tinubu said.

He stated that it is time for Nigerians to take a decision, or it will never be taken.

“History is upon us to make the needed change, otherwise history will make an unfavourable verdict on us,” Tinubu said.

“We must decide if compassion should speak more than corruption. This is the time to believe in something more profound and in a government that is coming and that government is APC. Let us all have faith. I’m filled with expectations of a more just society.

Breaking News ! Justice Ademola Adeniyi of The Federal High Court Abuja Adjourns Case To Disqualify Buhari

Reports reaching us says that the case against Gen Buhari pertaining his eligibility for Contesting the March 28th Elections has been dismissed . In a suit filed at the High court abuja with Justice Adeniyi Ademola in Abuja. The judge said the case against General Buhari is one not enough to disqualify him from the march 28th elections therefore he is eligible to contest for the presidency. He said it was impossible for the court to conclude the case before the elections and that there was no need for the court to be in haste to determine the case, because it could always do so after the elections. He adjourned all the suits challenging the eligibility of presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari,till April 22 and 23, 2015.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola fixed the date after he dismissed applications by two intended parties to join the suit as defendants.

?The judge said the adjournment would affect all the pending suits against Buhari in his court

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.

Journey to Change Re: Our sword of Damocles By Onyemaechi Osanakpo

It’s exactly 5 days to the general elections, yes the same one the umpire wanted us to celebrate with love in our hearts, but the usual forces of nature, manipulated by the insatiable principalities succeeded in postponing by 6 weeks. A 6 weeks that’s brought about strange miracles, and am almost forced to say that within the 6 weeks, the senile leadership of our great country has almost made ‘rain to fall in the desert’. Are you laughing?, well you have every right to, after all you’re within your rights of expression; remember the erudite Fela’s words “I dey looku and dey laufu”. Fela simply concluded that this ‘great’ nation is a BBC (Big Blind Country). We all know that “in the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is King” and before you stone me, how else do you describe a situation when the King himself is blind? That’s unfortunate the story of modern day Nigeria.

Fellow Nigerians, rather than invoke the spirit of Fela, lest I inspire you to anger and expose our foolishness and stupidity as a people tainted by religious and ethnic sentiments, I prefer to prick the minds of the literatis and take us back to the era of the great Cicero.: The story of Damocles ( an ingratiator and court sycophant).

“Damocles used to make comments to the king about his wealth and luxurious life. One day when Damocles complimented the tyrant on his abundance and power, Dionysius turned to Damocles and said, “If you think I’m so lucky, how would you like to try out my life?”Damocles readily agreed, and so Dionysius ordered everything to be prepared for Damocles to experience what life as Dionysius was like. Damocles was enjoying himself immensely… until he noticed a sharp sword (famous sword of Damocles) hovering over his head, that was suspended from the ceiling by a horse hair. This, the tyrant explained to Damocles, was what life as ruler was really like.Damocles, alarmed, quickly revised his idea of what made up a good life, and asked to be excused. He then eagerly returned to his poorer, but safer life.

So, what’s my point exactly?,Perhaps, hovering  over us as we approach the historic 28th March, 2015 is another sword of Damocles, yes, most probably over the heads of the sycophants who ironically are related to us directly or indirectly.

We have a date with history, an opportunity to destroy the proboscis of our selfish and corrupt politicians, an opportunity to institute our rights as a people to ‘Hire and Fire’. Would we as Damocles realise fast the real task ahead?, or we prefer to play out the manipulative mind of Napoleon the pig (Animal Farm)?, which ever way my people, posterity will be the final judge. Baba Meche says, vote right. Happy monday tweeps

 Onyemaechi Osanakpo
 @baba_meche
Views expressed are solely authors and has no association with www.omojuwa.com nor its associates