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INEC Distributes 1.2m PVCs in Ondo State

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ondo State said it had distributed a total of 1,201,073 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to registered voters. The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Olusegun Agbaje, made this announcement at a stakeholders’ meeting in Akure Wednesday.
He added that 344,006 PVCs haven’t been collected yet and encouraged those yet to collect theirs to do so as distribution continues. He said:

 

“It is important to stress at this juncture that only the PVCs would be used to vote during the governorship poll, while the smart card readers would be used for accreditation of voters,’’

He also said that selling of PVCs or any form of manipulation of the card is a serious offence punishable under the law with fines and/or prison term.

He assured electorates in the state that INEC will remain fair and unbiased to everyone during elections.

Source: Vanguard

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.

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.

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″

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.

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

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..

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.

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

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

Uduaghan

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

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

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

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

#NigeriaDecides2015 Failed Accreditation; President Goodluck Jonathan Speaks To The Press – Watch Video

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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.”

Now It Begins: OPC Factions Clash After Anti-Jega Protest

Following Monday’s protest by the Oodua Peoples’ Congress, OPC, factions within the group have risen up to dissociate themselves from the call for removal of Attahiru Jega, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

OPC/PDP/Nollywood anti-Jega protests in Lagos

The Gani Adams’ faction of the OPC, accompanied by members of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organization, took to the streets in Lagos to demand the removal of the INEC boss ahead of the March 28 general elections.

Mr. Adams said the rally was not partisan, but a call for Mr. Jega to be removed from office.

“What we protested for was the removal of Jega over the poor distribution of PVCs in the south, registration of underage in the north and creation of additional 30,000 polling units in the north,” Mr. Adams told PREMIUM TIMES after the protest.

The OPC members, armed with guns, pocket-knives, machetes, and charms marched from the Lagos-Ibadan expressway through Ikorodu road chanting anti-Jega songs.

Some of protesters harassed motorists and passers-by while others vandalized campaign posters of political parties, particularly those of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Last Friday, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, held similar protests across the South Eastern states of Anambra, Enugu, and Ebonyi where they accused Mr. Jega of incompetence.

On Sunday, the APC claimed it had uncovered a plot by the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, to use ethnic militias to protest for the removal of Mr. Jega.

But Mr. Adams accused the APC and Lai Mohammed, its National Publicity Secretary, of peddling falsehood, adding that Monday’s protest was peaceful.

“Nobody was attacked. Lai Muhammed should stop peddling lies against our members,” Mr. Adams said.

“Nobody touched their bill boards. It’s the most peaceful rally I have seen. Even they, APC, cannot hold a peaceful as successful rally ?as that. As a matter of fact, over 30 Nollywood stars took part in the rally including myself.”

“Against Yoruba interest”

Another faction of the OPC responded swiftly and angrily on Monday, accusing Mr. Adams of betraying the group and the Yoruba people.

“We, the members of the National Coordinating Council of the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, the highest ruling body of the organization, wish to disassociate ourselves from the shameful, destructive, violent and reactionary activities of the Gani Adam-led team which occurred in Lagos today,” the group said in a statement.

“What was witnessed today in Lagos was the highest level of political violence sponsored and funded by certain elements in the Jonathan government.

“Gani Adams is on his own and does not enjoy the support of a large size of our membership spread across the country. He is working for the sponsors of violence against our people who want the March 28 elections not to hold. Unleashing terror on innocent citizens and killing them is not the way of democracy. It is not our idea of a people-oriented advocacy.”

In 2013, the Mr. Adams-led faction of the OPC secured a lucrative contract from the federal government to secure crude oil pipelines in the South West.

At the time, Mr. Adams justified the contract by claiming that President Jonathan had also awarded similar contracts to Niger Delta militants and that the OPC deserved its share.

“For a group that has been doing a lot of things for the society free of charge, it is not too much to apply for a security job,” Mr. Adams had said.

Monday’s meeting of the OPC faction was attended by Shina Akinpelu, Monsuru Akande, Sunday Adebayo, Kilanko Oladipupo, Kehinde Ogunyale, and Gbenga Eegunlusi.

In its statement, the faction accused Mr. Adams of being on “dubious project” and using the pipeline contract from the government as an excuse to recruit people to work for Mr. Jonathan and PDP in the South West.

“Gani Adams is acting against Yoruba interest. The compromises he has made amounts to selling the Yoruba to the present government for a piece of Pipeline contract to line his pockets,” the group said.

“OPC is not about pipeline contracts or any other contracts for that matter. The Yoruba interest is beyond contracts. We seek justice and fairness from the current government.”

The group called on Yoruba sons and daughters to join them in condemning Mr. Adams and his “anti-democratic tendencies.”

“We must renounce him and remind him he cannot sell the Yoruba race to Jonathan and PDP on the cheap. He also has no authority to speak on behalf of the Yoruba people,” they said.

“We pity those who rely on him to win votes. They will be sorely disappointed. Their investment is a bad one already. We reject today and always any attempt to use our organization and its members for narrow and selfish partisan purposes.

“We must remind them that the Yoruba people cannot be hoodwinked by sweeteners. No one should expect them to kow tow to an individual who is a Lilliputian in the political development and history of the Yoruba nation.”

While renouncing Mr. Adams and his activities, the group also renounced other Yoruba sons and daughters who are playing roles inimical to the welfare and interest of the South West.

“We call on our people to be vigilant politically at this time. Nigeria needs a new leadership, a new direction and a country that works.”

Source – sahara reporters

PDP Orders $15m Card Reader Jammers To Sabotage Elections – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of planning to render card readers ineffective on election days through the use of jammers.

The party in a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made available to journalists, said the sinister move is geared towards justifying their fears about the use of the card readers and ultimately to scuttle the polls.

It said the PDP has placed an order for 75,000 pieces of the jammers at a cost of $200 per piece, bringing the total cost to $15 million, adding that the jammers will be air freighted to Nigeria next week.

APC said, “We can authoritatively inform Nigerians that the morbid fear of card readers by the Jonathan administration and the PDP has now been translated into concrete action: They have hired an Israeli, Gyora Berger, to do the dirty job of jamming the card readers.

“To those who might accuse us of crying wolf, they should realise that every alarm we have raised in the past has been true, including that the Jonathan administration was pushing for the postponement of the elections and that they are mortally afraid of the use of PVCs and card readers.”

The party added that the Israeli was hired specifically to develop three prototype card reader jammers, and he has now developed three of such jammers (25 metres, 50 metres and 100 metres range) to be carried in the pockets of trusted PDP stalwarts on election days with a view to disabling the card readers within the states.

The party said that apart from disabling the card readers, the jammers will also disable all telephones, iPads, etc within the states of those carrying them on their persons.

“The plan is to deploy the card jammers to the areas deemed to be the strongholds of the APC, such as the North-west, North-east, North-central and the South-west.

“It is the planned procurement of the jammers that has given the confidence to the administration and party officials to continuously boast that Buhari will never rule Nigeria, and also the reason why a chieftain of the PDP boasted last week that the card readers won’t work, thus advising INEC to make alternative arrangements,’’ APC said.

The party said the Israeli, who has agreed to do the dirty job for a desperate Jonathan Administration and the PDP, is an enemy of Nigeria and Nigerians, who does not mind if the nation burns, as long as he has collected his pay for the dirty job for which he has been hired.

It said because the opposition party has become a movement which is being propelled by the people themselves, it is difficult, if not impossible, for the Jonathan Administration and the PDP to succeed in their devilish intentions of rigging, sabotaging or scuttling the forthcoming polls.

‘’We have consistently said power resides in the people, irrespective of what the government of the day might think. When the people are determined to vote out any government, no amount of money, evil plots and shenanigans can save that government, as the Jonathan Administration will find out in two weeks,’’ APC said.

Give Nigerian Youths PVCs Not Guns – Anti-Cult Group

The National Coordinator of Peace in Campus Initiatives for Child Education against Cultism (PCI/ICEAC) in Nigeria, Comrade Oliver Cromwell, has blamed politicians for being the brain behind violence during elections.

Cromwell urged politicians to see youths as their children and to encourage them to get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) and not guns. He made this statement on Sunday at the Akwa Ibom state Polytechnic, Ikot Osura.

He explained that PCI/ICEAC is committed to maintaining peace in the Nigerian post-primary and tertiary institutions and to check cult activities and examination malpractices.

“Before our organization entered Akwa Poly in 2003, the institution was closed down because of incessant cult wars which resulted in numerous deaths of students but today there is relatively peace. We have also replicated this in other higher institutions in the state with positive results’’, he stated.

The Peace in Campus co-coordinator warned students against allowing themselves to be used as thugs before, during and after elections as no politician would allow his or her wards to do so.

Cornwell commended the former Governor of the state, Obong Victor Atta, for  adopting the initiative as a state government policy, Governor Akapabio for his support and the Rector of Akwapoly, Barr Israel Affia, for providing  the enabling environment for teaching and learning, making the polytechnic  currently one of the best in the country.

Pro-Jonathan Groups In Ondo Protest Against Card Readers

The G-18 Initiative, a pro-Goodluck Jonathan campaign movement has cautioned the Independent National Electoral Commission against the use of the smart card readers for the coming elections.

Also, the Ondo State Peoples Democratic Party Stakeholders Group, urged the INEC not to use the card readers in the presidential election slated for March 28, but could use it for future governorship elections or bye elections as test for the machines.

Addressing journalists in Akure, the National Coordinator of the G-18,  Mr. Poroye Bill, said although the introduction of the card readers was well intentioned, indications from the test carried out showed that there could be serious problems during the election proper.

He noted that there could be severe flaws with the use of the gadget that could result in the compromise of the electoral process.

“The timing is wrong and voters are not well educated about it. The recent field test of the device showed that it will take about one hour to attend to six voters, this certainly  will disenfranchise so many voters,” he said.

On his part, the Coordinator of the PDP Stakeholder Group and former Ondo State Commissioner for Information, John Mafo, said the card readers had not been effectively tested in an election.

According to Mafo, who also doubles as a Patron of the G-18 Initiative, the card readers should have been tested in a governorship or legislative elections before deploying them in a presidential election.

He added that the use of incidence form completely negated the essence of the card readers.

The G-18 however noted that the electoral process had improved with successive elections, praising Goodluck Jonathan for appointing Prof. Attahiru Jega as Chairman of INEC.

The group also called for clean campaigns devoid of insults and denigration as currently being experienced in the build up to the elections.

“We appeal to the parties involved to think of the tortuous road that the nation went through to berth this democracy.

“The group desires  peaceful, clean and fair elections. We therefore call on INEC to work with the security agencies to ensure adequate security in the forthcoming elections,” he said.

‘Policemen’ Seize PVCs From Owners

A swoop on the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) has begun in Lagos, investigations revealed at the weekend.

This has created another dimension to the battle over the PVC use for the elections slated for March 28 and April 11.

While the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) insists on its use, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is opposed to it.

This is in spite of the test run at the weekend, of the card reader that will enhance the PVC use.

A group of people usually dressed in police uniform or sometimes in vests with police inscription, have been found to be collecting PVCs from some people ostensibly with the intention to disenfranchise them.

The people mostly at the receiving end are commercial motorcyclists aka okada riders, mostly of northern extraction, in the commercial capital.

What these PVCs collectors do is to pose as policemen enforcing the ban on okada on some major streets. After collecting the motorcycle from the rider by force, they then ask him to bail himself by submitting his PVC, failing which his motorcycle, which is his means of livelihood, would not be released.

As soon as he releases his PVC, his motorcycle is released to him and his PVC taken away.

Yesterday, Mohammed Suleiman, one of the few victims who agreed to speak on record – Others are afraid to be quoted for fear of reprisal – said he was arrested at Aguda, Surulere.

According to him, the men posed as plain clothes policemen and that those arrested were mostly Hausa riders.

He said: “I’m a victim. I was arrested in Aguda area. They told me to bring my PVC before they would release my ‘machine’ to me. When I gave them my PVC, they collected it and refused to return it but they gave me back my motorcycle.

“They did not take me to the station but some of our people were taken to the station before the bikes were released to them on collection of their PVCs.” He however did not mention the police station.

He added: “I think they are aware that many of us carry our PVCs on us and where one cannot produce it on the spot, they ask the person to go and bring it to enable him get back his motorcycle. They arrest us for flimsy reasons – like over speeding or that we ply roads where motorcycles are not permitted.”

An Arewa youth leader in Lagos, Kabiru Ahmed,told our reporter on telephone last night: “We have received such complaints from some of our members and we are investigating. Anybody found culpable in this will not be spared. We will defend the Hausa community in Lagos. We will stand for our people. No policeman can intimidate us.

“Collection of PVCs to release okada is a violation of their fundamental human right. We will not allow our people to be intimidated. They will perform their civic responsibility.”

Lagos Police Spokesman Kenneth Nwosu, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), denied the involvement of his men in the nefarious act.

“There is no iota of truth in such claim of our men’s involvement in that kind of act. What is our business with PVC? What will the police do with the PVC?” he queried.

The post ‘Policemen’ seize PVCs from owners appeared first on The Nation.

INEC’s Card Reader Passes Litmus Test

The Smart Card Readers (SCRs)were used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the weekend for biometric  verifications of potential voters and a mock poll. It was without any major hitch. Stakeholders and observers say it has come to stay as an antidote to rigging. RAYMOND MORDI, LEKE SALAUDEEN and MUSA ODOSHIMOKHE take a look at the results from the states and the way forward as enumerated by experts.  

After the field testing of Smart Card Readers (SCRs) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the weekend, the verdict was that it was largely successful. Going by reports from the 12 states where it was tested, the machines performed excellently. According to INEC, there are two steps to be followed in the usage of the SCRs. One is authentication; to ascertain that the card was issued by INEC. The implication is that if anybody brings a fake Permanent Voter Card (PVC), the machine will not authenticate or recognise it as INEC’s card. So, the issue of fake cards or clowned PVCs will not arise.

Impressive turnout in Lagos

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Lagos, Mr. Akin Orebiyi said: “The next step, after the authentication, is the verification stage, where the bearer of the card will be asked to put his thumb on a particular point on the SCR, to verify whether he or she is the rightful owner of the card. The implication of this is that no person can use another person’s PVC. Impliedly, nobody can be accredited and possibly vote in more than one polling centre.”

The reports were the same from the 12 states chosen across the six geo-political zones by the electoral umpire to test run biometric confirmation of potential voters.

The states are; Lagos, Ekiti, Rivers, Delta, Ebonyi, Anambra, Taraba, Kano, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Niger and Bauchi.

Orebiyi said the mock poll was successful. According to him, there were hitches with few of the machines because the PVCs’ owners’ fingers were wet. The Lagos REC, in a telephone interview, told The Nation  that the aim of the test-run was to demonstrate the effectiveness of the SCRs to the public; to demonstrate that PVCs can only be used at the designated polling units. He said that many intending voters, who were not registered in Onigbongbo Ward where the mock poll took place, were rejected by the machines.

Orebiyi said the exercise has proved the efficacy of the new device.

His words: “There was nowhere the battery failed during the exercise. In few instances, where the cards could not be identified by the machines, we used the back-up register to identify the card owner. Those in this category were about five per cent.  May be their hands were wet but with the back-up register, we were able to identify them.

“The test-run has given us the opportunity to demonstrate the process for accreditation on election days. We will continue to educate the voters as we have planned to hold town hall meetings in all the 774 local government areas in the state, Orebiyi said.

Court Fixes March 16 To Hear Lawyers’ Suit Against INEC Over PVCs

Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos will on March 16 hear a suit filed by three lawyers against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over their inability to obtain their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

The lawyers are asking the judge to declare that their civil and legal rights would be breached if INEC does not issue them their PVCs or provide them an alternative means of exercising their franchise.

The lawyers, Chijioke Emeka, Kalu Uduma and Emeka Odikpo, are also seeking an order directing INEC to issue them their PVCs or make other alternative arrangements to enable them vote.

The plaintiffs want the court to hold that should they be excluded from the March 28 and April 11 elections due to no fault of theirs, they are entitled to legal damages.

PDP Politicians Are Afraid Of The Use Of PVC’s – Oshiomole

Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, yesterday, alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was afraid of the use of Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs, in the forthcoming election because the PVC would expose their alleged rigging methods and stop electoral fraud.

Speaking while receiving over 2,000 PDP members, led by Chief Sunny Omokaro, Chairman, Edo State Butchers Association and Chief Peter Osagie, Afesoba of Benin Kingdom, who defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, at Government House, Oshiomhole said the use of PVCs will ensure free and credible polls.

He said: “You can see they are running away from card readers like armed robbers running away from police detectives. They hate the card reader. The elections must hold and the card readers must be used. Electoral fraud must come to an end.

“The Nigerian people must be the masters of their own game, using the one man one vote mantra. Those who have lived on electoral fraud are now being retrenched by the new technology. But let me ask you to watch out because right now, they take advantage of the very people they have impoverished to buy their cards. They can do everything but they cannot stop their defeat.

 

AGF Adoke Files Affidavits To Stop INEC From Using PVC For The Elections?

According to Sahara Reporters, Affidavits filed by Nigeria’s Attorney General, Mohammed Bello Adoke that just leaked, has revealed a stealth and controversial attempt by President Goodluck Jonathan’s government to undermine the use of permanent voter cards (PVCs) in the forthcoming elections.

Judicial sources, who leaked the affidavits to SaharaReporters, said the documents show that Mr. Adoke is opposed to efforts by INEC to conduct free and fair elections using an updated electronic voters register and permanent voter cards.

At campaign stumps and interviews, President Jonathan has touted the adoption of PVCs as part of his legacy to ensure the empowerment of Nigerian voters, stating that the initiative would eliminate lapses in past elections. But affidavits filed by Mr. Adoke, a longtime confidante of Jonathan, reveal a surreptitious scheme to undermine the use of PVCs.

In one of the SECRET affidavits, Adoke, who is also Nigeria’s Minister of Justice, argued, “if the election is conducted majorly with the use of Permanent Voters’ Card, the constitutional right of the many eligible voters would be taken away from them.”

The affidavit also argued that the election “is likely to be unsuccessful if rigid use of the Permanent Voters’ Card is carried out.”

A second affidavit, also leaked to SaharaReporters, stated, “the use of card readers and/ or any other machine at the general elections must encourage eligible voters to vote without being deprived in any way.”

INEC chairman Attahiru Jega recently stated that the use of PVCs would not be to cast votes but to validate and authenticate the votes cast. The distinction, he said, was that the PVCs and card readers would prevent electoral manipulation by acting as a checking mechanism.

An INEC source told SaharaReporters that, without these electronic verification mechanisms, the presidential and other elections could be severely compromised.

Mr. Adoke’s affidavits, which are dated February 23, 2015, expose yet another attempt by President Jonathan’s associates to use incessant lawsuits to disrupt electoral processes decided on and announced by INEC several years ago.

SaharaReporters had revealed that cronies of Mr. Jonathan had filed some 15 lawsuits aimed at once again scuttling the presidential election now scheduled for March 28, 2015.

The affidavits by Mr. Adoke represent a new twist in the familiar plot, one legal source in Abuja told SaharaReporters. “The office of the Attorney General of the Federation has aligned itself with many litigants who are determined to use the courts to either scuttle the elections or stop INEC from using the best tools to prevent or drastically reduce rigging in this year’s elections. The use of rigging-proof electronic voter cards, which the AGF is now challenging, is an ominous sign,” said the source, a senior advocate of Nigeria, SAN

76.15% of PVCs Now Collected –INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission has said that the number of people that have collected their Permanent Voter Cards has risen to 52,419,495.

The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, who stated this in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday, said the figure represented 76.15 per cent of 68,833,476 registered voters.

INEC had on Tuesday said that 52,275,367 people had collected their PVCs out of 68,833,476 registered voters.

Responding to questions from our correspondent, Idowu said, “The update I have with me now is for February 18 and it is 52,419,495 (76.15 percent).”

Idowu also stated that card readers would be deployed in 152,031 polling units across the country during the March 28 and April 11 elections, adding that INEC had procured 26,000 extra card readers.

“Card readers will be deployed at 152,031 voting points. But the Commission also has more than 26,000 spares,” he said.

According to him, ad hoc workers for the elections (excluding INEC members of staff and returning officers) are about 684,000.

He explained that the scheduled training for the ad hoc members of staff ended February 12 in readiness for February 14, the initial date for the presidential elections.

Idowu said because the elections had been rescheduled, there would be more extensive trainings, especially on the card readers.

According to the figures released by INEC on Tuesday,   Nasarawa State led other states in terms of the PVCs collection with 96.29 per cent of the 1,196,583 registered voters having their cards.

Coming second is Gombe State where 95.05 per cent of the 1,120, 023 voters had collected theirs.

Jigawa State came third with 93.20 per cent of the 1,831,276 voters receiving their PVCs as of Monday.

Jigawa and Katsina came fourth and fifth respectively.

While the percentage of the registered voters who have collected their PVCs in Jigawa stood at 93.20 per cent from 1,831,276 registered voters, that of Kastina was put at 92.68 per cent.

Gunmen Break Into INEC Office, Cart Away PVCs In Delta State

GUNMEN have broken into the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, office at Oghara, Ethiope West Local Government Area, Delta State, and made away with 6,000 permanent voters cards (PVCs) and registers.

Police Public Relations Officer,PPRO, Delta Police Command, DSP Celestina Kalu, who confirmed the incident, said the police swung into action and arrested three of the security guards, Aherebe Godday, Omajemite Justice and Oyubu Ejiro for interrogation.

Residents of Sebiotimo street, Agege, checking for their Permanent Voters Cards at  ward 5, Agage Local Government in, Lagos state,  yesterday [08-11-14]. Photo: Bunmi Azeez

She disclosed that the stolen PVCs had been recovered, but did not give details.

Her words, “The stolen PVCs have been recovered and a total of seven thousand three hundred and sixty five (7,365) were seen.”

“Similarly, detectives in a follow-up investigation arrested one Lucky Aputu ’m’, aged 46yrs of Oji Aputu compound, Onyobulu inland market Road, Oghara and recovered one of the stolen INEC registers from him.”

She said, “Investigation is in progress; while efforts are on to ensure that all those involved in the crime are rounded up. The PVCs have since been handed over to INEC.

INEC Dismisses 3 Workers Over Theft Of PVCs

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday announced the dismissal of two of its officials for alleged theft of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs). In its daily Bulletin issued in Abuja, the commission said that the officers allegedly committed the offences in its Patani Local Government Area office of Delta. It gave the names of the affected staff members as Mr Collins Omofoma and Mr Onome Avbunudiogba.

The bulletin added that the commission also terminated the appointment of Mrs Obi Chinwoke Ugochi, an Administrative Officer in its office in Anambra. The commission explained that Ugochi was relieved of her duty for alleged absence from duty without leave. According to the bulletin, the dismissal and termination were part of the outcome of the commission’s meeting on Jan. 8.

Hoodlums Snatch 4,503 PVCs In Akwa Ibom

The Independent National Electoral Commission has lost 4,503 Permanent Voter Cards to hoodlums in five local government areas of Akwa Ibom State, Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Austin Okojie, has said.

Of the 4,503 PVCs snatched, Abak LGA lost 664; Ikono, 96; Mkpat Enin, 208; Oruk Anam, 2333; and Ukanafun, 1202 to hoodlums.

Okojie, who addressed traditional rulers during a state summit on peaceful conduct of 2015 elections in Uyo on Tuesday, revealed that 1,468,780 permanent voter cards were sent to the state.

“We had a security issue where a total of 4,503 of the permanent voter cards were snatched during the exercise in five local government areas of Akwa Ibom State,” he said.

Presenting status of the PVC distribution, he stated that 1,177,910, representing 80% of PVCs have been distributed, leaving a balance of 284,915 to be claimed.

Okojie urged the traditional rulers in the state to ensure free, fair, peaceful and credible elections by using their positions to appeal to members of their communities to go for their cards between now and the next four weeks to enable them exercise their voting rights during the forthcoming elections.