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Daily Archives: March 11, 2019

BREAKING: INEC declares Kano guber poll inconclusive

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the Kano state governorship election inconclusive.

As results streamed in rhe opposition Peoples Democratic Party seemed positioned for  a major upset in Kano, the stronghold of the ruling All Progressives Congress when its candidate, Abba Yusuf polled 1,014,474 to Governor Umar Ganduje’s APC which polled 987,819 in a keenly contested election.

Although the APC won in 28 out of the 44 local government areas, the number of votes scored was not enough to counter that of the PDP which won in the remaining 16 decisive local government areas.

The returning officer for the Kano State governorship election, Prof. B.B Shehu while giving a breakdown of the figures said, “The total number of registered voters is 5,426, 989, accredited voters, 2,211,528, out of this number, the ruling APC scored 987,819, while the main opposition PDP scored 1,014,474.

“The margin of victory is 26,655, this makes it impossible to make a return and declare a winner.”

He referred to provisions of section 22 of the Electoral Act, which he said was clear on what should be done.

Corroborating what the returning officer said, the Kano State INEC REC, Prof. Riskuwa Shehu said, “Section 26 of the Electoral Act stipulates that if the margin of cancelled votes is higher than the margin of victory, you cannot make a return. We will hold re-run elections in areas where votes were cancelled and add it to what we have and a winner will be declared.”

A mild drama played out when the result of the crucial Nasarawa Local Government Area was to be presented. A member of the House of Representatives, Ali Madaki was granted permission to speak and was given.

He said he had information that there was a plan to cancel the result of Gama ward to pave way for the declaration of the governorship election in the state as inconclusive.

However, the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Riskuwa Shehu said such information was not at his disposal.

At this point, the agent of the All Progressives Congress, Gen. Idris Bello Danbazzau was recognized to speak, when he stood up, he said, “Those who are making these claims are the criminals”, no sooner had he said that than PDP agents in the hall shouted him down with some of them asking if the deputy governor was a member of the PDP.

When calm was restored, the INEC local government collation officer in charge of Nasarawa, Prof. Ibrahim Abdulsalam explained what led to the almost day-long delay in the presentation of results from the local government.

He explained that collation officers and observers were attacked by suspected thugs during the collation exercise in the area.

According to him, the attackers stormed the Local Government Collation Centre, in Nasarawa and destroyed electoral materials at the point of collation.

The INEC collation officer in charge of the local government, Prof. Ibrahim Abdulsalam from the Bayero University Kano narrated his ordeal before presenting his collated results at the State Collation Centre at INEC Headquarters.

Nigerian passenger dies on Delta Airlines Atlanta-Lagos flight

Nigerian passenger on Delta Air Lines Flight DL54 travelling from Atlanta, United States to Lagos was on Monday afternoon found unresponsive before landing at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

The 54-year-old passenger (name withheld), who was ill before boarding the flight, died three minutes before the aircraft touched down at the airport.
Spokesperson for the MMIA Police Command, Lagos, DSP Joseph Alabi, confirmed the development in Lagos.

Alabi said the command was notified of the development after the aircraft landed at the airport by the airline officials.
Also, Delta Air Lines in a statement issued by its media consultant, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, confirmed the development.

“A passenger on Delta Flight DL54 travelling from Atlanta to Lagos today (March 11), was found unresponsive before landing.

“Local medical professionals met the plane upon arrival and confirmed the passenger had sadly passed away.
“Delta extends its deepest condolences to the family at this sad time. As a matter of passenger privacy, Delta will not release additional information,” the airline said.

Why Okorocha won’t be given Certificate of Return – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission has disclosed that it would on Thursday issue certificate of return to all candidates elected in the last general election.

The electoral umpire, however, said it would not issue certificate to Rochas Okorocha Okorocha of the All Progressives Congress in Imo West.

According to a statement posted on INEC website on Monday, the declaration of Okorocha as winner was made under duress, hence, the reason he won’t be among those billed to be issued certificate on Thursday, March 14.

The event would take place at the Africa Hall of the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

BREAKING: Zinedine Zidane returns to Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane has made a sensational return as coach of Real Madrid after Santiago Solari’s sacking was finally confirmed on Monday.

Zidane has been given a contract until June 2022, just nine months after he resigned at the end of last season, having led Madrid to an historic third consecutive Champions League triumph.

Solari’s dismissal was expected after three consecutive home defeats – to Barcelona, twice, and Ajax – deemed Madrid’s season all but over before the middle of March.

But Zidane coming back, with only 11 games left in La Liga and almost nothing to play for, is a surprise, particularly after he left on the incredible high of yet another European triumph.

“Real Madrid’s board has decided to terminate Santiago Solari’s contract as coach of the first team,” read an official statement on Monday.

“Real Madrid appreciates the work done by Santiago Solari and the commitment and loyalty he has always shown to this club.

“The board has also agreed to the appointment of Zinedine Zidane as the new coach of Real Madrid with immediate effect for the remainder of the season and the next three, until June 30, 2022.”

(AFP)

Army blasts UK over comment on Rivers elections

The Nigerian Army has warned the United Kingdom against interfering in Nigeria’s elections following comments by the UK that the role of the military in the Rivers State elections was improper.

The British High Commission in Nigeria had in a series of tweets on Monday expressed concerns over the report of military interference in the election in Rivers State.

It said the military interference in the polls put stress on the staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission and has made it difficult for them to carry out their duties.

However, the army said in a statement by acting Director of Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, that the allegations were baseless.

In a statement titled, ‘Re: UK expresses concern over military involvement in Rivers poll’, the army denied allegations that its men contributed to the electoral problems in the state.

“Foreign interests are enjoined to be mindful of interfering in our national internal affairs especially when there is no credible evidence. Any allegation against the NA must be confirmed from appropriate quarters before jumping to conclusions,” the army said.

The agency said there was no evidence to show that its men compromised the exercise.

The statement added, “The NA wishes to state that the statement is totally baseless, untrue and therefore capable of misleading unsuspected members of the public, especially when there is no credible record of such involvement anywhere in Nigeria before, during and after the 2019 elections.

“The NA, as a responsible organisation, wishes to debunk such misrepresentation in order to set the record straight. Similarly, it is on record that the NA has been globally applauded by many individuals, foreign and local elections observers for its sacrifices/roles in creating an enabling environment for a secure, transparent and peaceful conduct of the elections.”

The army maintained that politicians gave hoodlums military uniforms which confused members of the public.

It said it would continue to remain neutral during and after the polls, adding that it was only providing assistance to civilian security agencies.

Air Peace not cancelling Boeing 737-MAX 800 order

Nigeria’s leading carrier, Air Peace says there is no plan to cancel its order for 10 Boeing 737-MAX 800 aircraft following worldwide concerns about safety .

The airline spokesman said any decision about cancelling the order is premature.

Mr Chris Iwarah, Corporate Communications Manager, Air Peace, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.

He said the airline will continue to act in the interest of the safety of the flying public.

NAN reports that Ethiopian Airlines had grounded all B-737-800MAX aircraft in its fleet till further notice following Sunday’s crash of its fight ET302 which killed all 157 persons on board.

The aircraft en route Nairobi from Addis Ababa, crashed six minutes after takeoff around Bishoftu, 40 miles south-east of the Ethiopian capital.

The crash was the second involving the B737 MAX 800 aircraft in the past four months following October 2018 crash involving a Lion Air plane which went crashed into the sea off Jakarta, in Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board.

Other carriers in China and elsewhere have grounded the B737 MAX 800 aircraft in their fleets due to safety concerns.

Iwarah told NAN that the multi-million dollar deal signed between Air Peace and the American aircraft manufacturer, The Boeing Company, on Sept. 13, 2018 for the delivery of 10 brand new B737 MAX 800 aircraft was still on.

“At this moment, it is premature to begin to talk about things and conclusions that have not been put in the public domain.

“Investigations into the crashes involving B737Max 800 are ongoing so it will not be fair at this time to begin to make definite comments on those issues.

“We are still in the domain of investigation but we want to assure the public that we are following the development very closely,” he said.

The Air Peace spokesperson said the airline had not yet taken delivery of the ordered aircraft, adding that before that time issues surrounding its safety must have been identified by global aviation experts.

Iwarah said : “We also trust that Boeing is capable of responding to the issues technically. They have the capacity to respond to that.

“I want to say clearly that we will not engage in anything that will jeopardise the lives and safety of our passengers. There is no basis for talking about cancelling the order.

“Any step we take now will be premature until investigations are concluded. So, we are following the investigations very closely to ensure that at the end of the day only the right thing is done.

“Whatever steps we take will be in line with what favours safety and what is in the interest of our passengers.”

He further explained that the B737 Max Air were “suspended” by those already operating the equipment to enable investigation run its course.

“If investigation runs its course and they feel that there is nothing to be worried about, they will lift that suspension and continue to operate the aircraft but on our part, we have not even taken delivery.

“We are currently working with Boeing, we are also asking questions and following all developments because we are a safety conscious airline,” Iwarah added.

INEC resumes collation in Kano after row over torn result sheet

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Kano state has resumed the collation of the governorship election results in the state.

The electoral body had suspended the collation of the results due to what it called “disturbing report of disrupting collation process at Nasarawa local government by some people that led to the destruction of some election results.”

Results from 43 of Kano’s 44 local government areas had been announced, and Abba Yusuf, governorship candidate of the PDP, was leading Abdullahi Ganduje, incumbent governor and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The PDP candidate had polled 960,004 votes while Ganduje was able to secure 953,522 votes.

Nasarawa local government remains the only region whose result is yet to be announced in Kano.

However, Riskuwa Shehu, the state resident electoral commissioner (REC), said the electoral body is bent on concluding the collation process, and will use its primary and secondary results from polling units and ward levels.

The collation of results in the state is ongoing as of the time of filing this report.

Malami playing games, says MTN CEO on $2bn tax arrears

Rob Shuter, chief executive officer of MTN Group, says Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), is “playing games” over the federal government’s demand of $2 billion tax arrears from the company.

Shuter spoke at a conference call where MTN’s 2018 annual results were presented to executives and stakeholders of the company.

In September 2018, Malami had written to MTN Nigeria,  demanding a payment of $2 billion in tax arrears.

He broke the amount down to a 10-year period for import duties, value added tax (VAT) and withholding taxes on foreign imports/payments. 

MTN Nigeria had denied any wrongdoing, saying it had fully settled all outstanding taxes. The telco also sued the AGF.

Reiterating the company’s stance, Shuter described the legal process as “odd,” adding that the attorney-general had no right to collect tax on behalf of government.

He said MTN is a responsible company whose tax assessments sre in line with the requirements of the relevant authorities.

“I think if you look at our history for complicated tax disputes they can take years, because you end up going through this tribunal, that tribunal etc,” the transcript read.

“Now, of course what’s odd about the Nigeria situation is it’s not the Commissioner for Inland Revenue that we have the dispute with. It’s the Attorney General, who is really not mandated to collect tax.

“So the legal process is basically saying you’re playing a game that you’re not meant to be playing. And when we talk to the tax authorities they have no particular quarrel with where we are with our various assessments.

“So either we get the thing chucked out early on and the issue is finished, or it is just one of these lingering things that rolls around in the system for a while. And personally I don’t know which way it’s going to play out.

“I’m just absolutely adamant that we’re a responsible company, we have paid the taxes we had to pay, and the tax authorities themselves aren’t saying that we owe them anything. So I think we’ve just got to stare this one down.”

Commenting on the issue, Ralph Mupita, MTN’s chief financial officer said: “The audit committees of both Nigeria and group, as you can well imagine, have gone through this very thoroughly in terms of all our tax exposures. And it’s the second time we’ve looked at this.

“We looked at it at the half year when it was then a tax assessment before the letters came in August.

“But we still believe there isn’t even a remote exposure that we would put in contingent liabilities. But I think it’s important to re-emphasise the point Rob raised.

“In the course of having any tax disputes with the authorities these things can take years. So if this thing rolls on it’s no different from a transfer pricing matter you may have a dispute with an authority in country x, y, z.”

The hearing of the suit against the AGF first scheduled for November 8, 2018, has been adjourned to March 26.

Kano dep gov arrested for ‘disrupting collation of results’

Nasiru Gawuna, Kano state deputy governor, and Mutari Sule Garo, commissioner for local government, have been arrested for alleged electoral misconduct.

The duo were taken into custody on Monday morning over alleged disruption of the collation of governorship election results at Nassarawa local government area of the state.

It was gathered that Garo and Gawuna were rescued from being manhandled by party agents and supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before they were subsequently detained.

The development has led to a delay in the release of the final outcome of the state’s election.

More to follow…

BREAKING: Imo REC orders arrest of LG collation officer who ‘manipulated results’

Francis Otunta, returning officer for Imo state elections, has ordered the arrest of Kelechi Thankgod, the collation officer of Ohaji Egbema local government area for allegedly altering the results of the LGA.

Otuana, who said he had the results from the field, announced that the figures Thankgod presented were doctored.

More to follow…

Melaye re-arraigned — 12th time since 2018

Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west, has been re-arraigned before a high court of the federal capital territory (FCT).

This will be the 12th time the lawmaker would be arraigned before a court since 2018 when he was first charged for lying to the police over an attempt to assassinate him.

At the court on Monday, the senator was re-arraigned for resisting arrest, “tweeting and speaking to journalists from hiding.”

In December, some police officers laid seige to Melaye’s Abuja residence. Then, the police accused him of culpable homicide.

The police said supporters of the senator shot and injured an officer in Kogi in July last year.

He was eventually arrested on the eighth day of the siege to his residence. Before this development, the senator had been arraigned on various counts for arming thugs in Kogi.

However, the charges to which Melaye was arraigned at the court was amended by the federal government.

By this action, the government has taken over the case from the police. Yusuf Halilu, the judge, granted Melaye fresh bail existing conditions.

Halilu has granted the senator bail at least twice since the authorities began arraigning him.

Melaye has repeatedly denied the allegations levelled against him.

BREAKING: Crashed Ethiopian Airlines black box recovered —report

Investigators have recovered one of two black box recorders on the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 that crashed just outside Addis Ababa Sunday, killing all 149 passengers and eight crew, Ethiopian state media reported.

“#BreakingNews: The black box voice recorder from Ethiopian Airlines aircraft which crashed yesterday has been recovered: #Ethiopia,” FANA Broadcasting Corporate said on its Twitter page.

(AFP)

NOVA Merchant Bank posts N1.15bn PAT, projects further growth

NOVA Merchant Bank Limited has declared a profit after tax of N1.15 billion for the year ended 31st of December 2018, a significant increase from N510.6 million achieved in 2017, marking a 125 per cent increase.

The  result was achieved as it begins to reap the benefits of its investments in its operations, technology and people, the bank said in a statement.

The impressive result demonstrates the Bank’s growth trajectory which is expected to accelerate as it scales its business and grows its client base.

NOVA achieved strong growth across all parameters. The Bank recorded a 54.10 per cent  growth in gross earnings from N1.22bn in 2017 to N1.88bn. The bank further grew the total assets by 38.89 per cent from N18bn to N25bn between 2017 and 2018.

This impressive performance marks a very successful year for the newly licensed merchant bank which recently deployed a state of the art and fully digital core banking application. The Bank also recorded remarkable growth in customer acquisition and in line with its objective to be the employer of choice, promoted about a third of its workforce.

Anya Duroha, the MD/CEO, commented: “Our stellar results are a culmination of the hardwork, commitment, resilience, discipline and resourcefulness of all our employees. We have been able to drive strong customer acquisition and deploy leading edge technology whilst optimising our costs. We will continue to focus on growing our business, providing solutions tailored to our clients’ needs, building a high performance culture, motivating our employees and creating sustainable value for our shareholders”.

Also commenting on the results, Phillips Oduoza, Chairman of NOVA Merchant Bank said, “We have been able to build a strong foundation for the success of the Bank and approach the future with confidence and optimism in our business model, value proposition, clients and employees. We remain committed to the implementation of our over-arching philosophy of ‘New Thinking, New Opportunities’ to create value for all our stakeholders.”

The bank will continue to strive to deliver profitable, responsible and sustainable growth. It remains dedicated to its core values of Uniqueness, Passion, Leadership, Integrity, Fairness and Teamwork (UPLIFT) as it believes these ethos will enable it to surpass the expectations of its clients and stakeholders.

PDP congratulates Sanwo-Olu

Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday congratulated Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu for emerging winner of the March 9 governorship election in the state.

Similarly, the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, has also congratulated Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr Femi Hamzat, on their electoral victory.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had on Sunday declared Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the election.

The State Returning Officer, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, while announcing the results, said the APC candidate polled 739,445 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mr Jimi Agbaje of the PDP, who polled 206,141votes.

The PDP Publicity Secretary in the state, Mr Taofik Gani, in a statement in Lagos on Monday, said the congratulatory message was to exhibit sportmanship and show respect for the laws of the land.

The spokesman, however, said the if PDP had any reason to challenge the results, it shall not hesitate to do so.

Gani called on the governor-elect to accommodate everyone in victory and shun politics of seclusion and retaliation.

He advised the governor-elect not to go against anyone because of political or ideological differences.

“Lagosians will not accept any excuse for any failure in governance for any reason.

“We advise Mr Sanwo-Olu to hit the ground running, get competent hands, irrespective of party affiliation.

“This is necesssary so that all hands can be on deck to move Lagos State forward as it should be,” he said.

Speaking, Obasa, who also won the fifth mandate to represent Agege Constituency I at the Lagos Assembly, also felicitated with returning and new members-elect of the House.

He described the victory of APC as hard-earned but well deseved for the party at the polls.

“It was tough for us all but at the end of the day, a well deserved victory for all members of the party.

“It was a confirmation of the love Lagosians have for our great party and the giant strides we have been achieving in the state,” obasa said.

The speaker also expressed appreciation to Nigerians, particularly Lagos residents, for reposing and renewing their confidence in the APC, not only in the state, but also at the federal level.

He assured that Nigerians won’t regret the renewed mandate given to the APC.

“We have absolute confidence in President Muhammadu Buhari and the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; the Lagos State Governor-elect, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and his Deputy, Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, to deliver good governance.

“Therefore, I want to assure Nigerians, particularly Lagosians, that the APC administration at all levels will continue to put in place programmes and projects that will enhance your welfare and improve your standard of living,” he added.

Obasa said that Sanwo-Olu would take the state to greater heights.

INEC declares guber polls inconclusive in four states

Four states — Bauchi, Adamawa, Plateau and Sokoto state — do not have a clear cut governors elect following the inconclusive nature of the guber polls.

In all these states, the margin of win has been smaller than the number of cancelled votes, narrowing the race to any of the top two candidates game to take.

In Bauchi

APC: 465,456
PDP: 469,512

Rejected: 21,419

Margin of lead between PDP and APC: 4059

Cancelled Votes: 45,312

INEC therefore declared the state guber election inconclusive.

In Adamawa

PDP: 367, 471

APC: 334,995

Margin of win: 32,476

Cancelled Votes:  40,988

Andrew Haruna, the state returning officer, said votes were cancelled in 44 polling units across the state.

He declared the poll inconclusive.

In Plateau

The story is not any different in Plateau state, where Simon Lalong of the APC is seeking re-election.

Final result for the governorship poll

APC: 583,255

PDP: 538,326

Total registered voters 2,480,455

Total accredited voters 1,157,025

Total valid votes 1,154,678

Rejected 15,691

Total votes cast 1,154,678

Margin between the two parties 44,929

Cancelled votes 49,377

In Sokoto

Aminu Tambuwal of the PDP has his fate hanging in balance as his state guber poll was declared inconclusive, for the same reason.

Sokoto State Governorship election declared inconclusive

Aminu Tambuwal PDP: 489,558 votes
Ahmed Aliyu APC: 486,145 votes

Margin of Winning 3,413

Cancellation in 136 polling units with 75,403 registered voters

Ethiopian Airlines grounds Boeing 737 Max 8 fleet over crash …As authorities begin investigations

Ethiopian Airlines has announced the grounding of its Boeing 737 Max 8 fleet, over yesterday’s crash of its Flight ET302 from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Nairobi, Kenya, about six minutes after takeoff, in which 149 passengers and eight crew members on board perished.

The Ethiopian and Kenyan authorities have also launched investigations in line with international standards to ascertain possible causes of crash, which has put the global aviation community into a state of mourning.

According to a CNN report, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary of Transport James Macharia and Ethiopian Airlines’ Kenya country manager, Yilma Goshu, held a press conference at the Jomo Kenyatta International airport in Nairobi.

Goshu said that Ethiopian Airlines has grounded its Boeing 737 Max 8 fleet, “as a precautionary safety measure. He however noted that the decision to “suspend the planes from service” did not mean that the incident was related to “defects with (this) specific fleet.”

The two officials also said that the focus now would be on conducting the “investigation in line with international standards” and on “comforting and counselling relatives, friends and family” of passengers on board the flight. So far they managed to contact 25 families, they confirmed.

Goshu also said that relatives of the victims who wished to travel to Addis would be assisted, and the government would provide accommodation and updates to the investigation.

It was gathered that the 157 dead were of 35 different nationalities, including eight Americans and two Nigerians.

The Nigerian victims were identified as a popular Nigerian-born Canadian professor and writer, Pius Adesanmi, and Ambassador Abiodun Bashua, a former Joint Special Representative for the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur, Sudan.

Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, where Adesanmi was a lecturer, said in a statement on its website, “The contributions of Pius Adesnami to Carleton are immeasurable…He was a scholar and teacher of the highest calibre who left a deep imprint on Carleton.”

Other victims include 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians, eight Chinese, eight Italians, eight Americans, and seven people each from France and United Kingdom. There were also six Egyptians, five Germans, four people each from Slovakia and India, three people each from Austria, Russia, Sweden, and two people from Spain, Israel, Morrocco and Poland.

Recall that the aircraft, a Boeing 737 MAX with registration number ET- AVJ, took off at 08.38am local time on Sunday from Addis Ababa and lost contact at 08.44am. Search and rescue operations began soon after, where it was discovered that there were no survivors, a statement by the airline had said.

It was gathered that the weather in the capital was clear when the brand-new Boeing plane, delivered to Ethiopia last year, took off. The Boeing came down near the village of Tulu Fara outside Bishoftu.

The African Union Commission chief, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said he learnt of the crash “with utter shock and immense sadness.”

“Our prayers are with the families of the passengers and the crew as authorities search for survivors. I also express our full solidarity with the governments and people of Ethiopia,” he said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s leader,President Muhammadu Buhari, has condoled with the families of the victims of the accident both in Nigeria and abroad. In a condolence message to the government and people of Ethiopia, the President however said the high casualty figure was disturbing.

China grounds all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

Civil Aviation Administration of China grounds all Boeing 737MAX aircraft as a precautionary safety measure, following a deadly Ethiopian Airline 737 MAX 8 crash that killed all onboard.

The airlines in China have grounded MAX aircraft after a notice they received from CAAC this Monday morning. The CAAC said it would issue a statement on its website regarding the 737 MAX soon.

Airlines in China operates more than 90 Boeing MAX aircraft and on FlightRadar24, there are no MAX flights are flying over

Cayman Airways said “In the wake of the tragic loss of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, 2019, which was being operated by a Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft,…”we have taken the decision to suspend operations of both our new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, effective from Monday March 11, 2019, until more information is received,”

Guber polls: APC takes Lagos, Ogun, Niger while PDP wins in Oyo, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi … Bauchi inconclusive

Results released so far in the Governorship and States Houses of Assembly elections held in the country on Saturday  have revealed some surprises and upsets across the country.

For instance, the ruling All Progressives Congress in Oyo State lost the governorship poll to the Peoples Democratic Party. The APC candidate, Adebayo Adelabu, backed by the incumbent Governor Abiola Ajimobi, lost scandalously to his PDP’s counterpart, Seyi Makinde, with a margin of 157, 635 votes. While Makinde polled 515,621 votes, Adelabu came second with 357,982 votes.

Also, as it was during the February 23 presidential and National Assembly elections in Kwara State where the incumbent Senate President, Bukola Saraki, lost his bid to return to the Senate, his party lost all elective positions in the March 9 polls.

The Kwara State APC governorship candidate, Abdulrahman Abdulrazak, swept the poll to beat his PDP counterpart, Abdulrazak Atunwa, with a margin of 216,792 votes.

Also, the APC governorship candidate in Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, won a landslide victory over his closest rival, Jimi Agbaje of the PDP. Observers had expected Agbaje to give Sanwo-Olu a run for his money, but this was not to be as the political machinery of the national leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu that backed the new comer was too much for Agbaje.

The PDP candidate was beaten with over 500,000 votes.

But as the people of Rivers State were waiting for the outcome of the polls, INEC announced the suspension of the governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state till further notice

It cited violence that marred the exercise as reason for its actions.

Protest from the national headquarters of the PDP is, however, trailing the electoral umpire’s decision.

However, INEC had declared winners in some of the 29 states where the governorship poll was conducted on Saturday as of the time of filing this report this morning. These states include Lagos, Kwara, Gombe, Enugu, Oyo, Abia, Kebbi, Jigawa, Katsina , Ogun, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi and Niger.

Other states where the results have not been fully released include Benue, Nasarawa, Sokoto.

But the results so far declared have  stirred protest as opposition parties in some states rejected the outcome citing vote-buying, supporters’ harassment and alleged bias by the electoral umpire and the security agencies as reasons.

INEC declares Sanwo-Olu as new Lagos governor

INEC on Sunday declared the APC candidate, Sanwo-Olu, as the winner of the March 9 governorship election held in the state on Saturday.

Sanwo-Olu, who scored 739,445 out of the 977,476 total valid votes in the election, defeated 44 other candidates to emerge as the governor-elect in the state.

The candidate of the PDP in the election, Agbaje, polled the second highest votes in the election with 206,141 votes.

Declaring the result of the election at the state collation centre in Yaba at about 8.40pm on Sunday, the state Returning Officer, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, said Sanwo-Olu, scored the highest number of votes to win the election.

Ogunbodede, who is the Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, said, “That Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, of the All Progressives Congress, having satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected.”

He said the number of registered voters was 6,505,512; number of accredited voters was 1,006,074; total number of votes cast was 998,715, rejected votes was 21,239, while the total number of valid votes was 977,476.

Ogunmodede pointed out that 31 party agents signed the result sheet.

Sanwo-Olu thanked residents of the state for electing him in the March 9 governorship election.

Addressing party stakeholders in Ikeja after he was declared the winner by INEC, Sanwo-Olu said he was honoured by the overwhelming support of residents.

He said though “the victory carries my name,” his success in the election was actually victory for all residents.

Sanwo-Olu said he viewed the mandate given to him as a call to service to improve the lives of the people.

“I accept the mandate given to me and I understand that it bestows the most profound honour and sober responsibility on me. I thank and commend those who contributed to this campaign. You have laboured and toiled countless hours and done so much.

“You have exerted yourself not just for me but because you believe in the vision that we share.

“You are too numerous to name at this time; in the next few days, I wish to personally thank each one of you for this progressive and collective efforts.

“Most of all, I must commend the voters and honour them; though this victory bears my name, the victory actually belongs to you dear Lagosians,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the party National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, for believing in his vision.

He said he would not disappoint those who had invested their trust in him, as he was focused on development.

He faulted what he called unhealthy statements and actions made by some of his rivals before the election.

Sanwo-Olu said some of the statements and actions were capable of causing disunity in the state and affecting peaceful co-existence.

He said it was time for all to put the pre-election politics aside and join him in efforts to birth a better Lagos.

APC’s Abdulrazaq wins Kwara gov poll

In Kwara State, the APC governorship candidate, Abdulrazaq, has been declared winner of the governorship election.

Declaring the results of the poll on Sunday, the state Returning Officer and Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State, Prof. Muhammad Liman, said Abdulrazaq polled 331,546 votes to emerge as the winner of the election.

His PDP counterpart, Atunwa, polled 114,754 votes to emerge as the runner-up.

From the official results declared in all the 16 LGAs in the state, Abdulrazaq led Atunwa with a margin of 216,792 votes.

Also, the APC beat the PDP in all the 16 Local Government Areas of the state and thus won all the seats in the state House of Assembly.

Though the PDP boycotted the venue where the result was announced, Saraki later congratulated the Kwara State Governor-elect, Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq, on his victory at the poll.

Saraki also congratulated the people of the state for coming out to exercise their franchise.

The Senate President wrote, “I thank all Kwarans, particularly the PDP supporters, who worked for the party in the just-concluded elections. My congratulations go to Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq and all those who emerged at all levels. I wish them all the best.”

PDP’s Makinde floors APC’s Adelabu in Oyo

Also, the PDP’s candidate in Oyo State, Makinde, was declared elected by INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, having polled the highest number of votes in the election.

Ogundipe is the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos.

While Makinde secured 515,621 votes, his closest contestant, Adelabu of the APC, came second with 357,982 votes. Makinde led with 157,635 votes.

The results showed that out of the 33 LGAs in the state, Makinde won in 28 councils, including that of his rival’s, while Adelabu won in five LGAs.

While announcing the winner, Ogundipe said, “I state that Seyi Makinde of the PDP, having satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes, is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected.”

Ogundipe put the number of registered voters at 2,934,107 out of which 940,211 voters were accredited. Total valid votes were 916,860; total rejected votes, 20,688; while total votes cast stood at 937,545.

Meanwhile, out of the 32 seats in the state House of Assembly, the PDP won 25 seats, the APC secured five seats while the Action Democratic Party got one.

The state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mutiu Agboke, who made the disclosure, stated that the commission was fair to all political parties.

He said the commission resisted intimidation from some quarters in respect of the polls, adding that “INEC will continue to do the right thing at the right time in the best interest of voters.”

However, there was palpable fear around Ibadan in the wake of the killing of a House of Representatives member from Lagelu/Akinyele Federal Constituency, Temitope Olatoye, aka Sugar.

As of 9pm on Sunday, our correspondents observed that the roads had been deserted as residents stayed indoors.

Earlier on Sunday, rumours were rife that the wife of a National Union of Road Transport Workers leader, Lamidi Mukaila, aka Auxiliary, was killed, but the Oyo State Police Command spokesperson, SP Fadeyi Olugbenga, dispelled the rumours.

He said it was an attempt to heat up the already tensed polity, urging the people to be calm.

APC’s Dapo Abiodun wins Ogun gov

Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the APC in Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, has emerged winner of the 2019 governorship.

The Returning Officer, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, who announced the result and declared Abiodun winner, said the APC governorship candidate polled 241,670 votes to defeat the candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement, Adekunle Akinlade, who scored 222,153, leaving a margin of 19,517 votes.

Olayinka, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, said the  APC won in 11 of the 20 Local Government Areas, while the APM had six LGAs.

Ugwuanyi triumphs over Ayogu Eze, wins Enugu gov poll

In Enugu State, the incumbent Governor Ifeanyi Ugwanyi of the PDP also won his re-election bid as he beat his opponents to win the governorship poll. Ugwuanyi cleared all the 17 Local Government Areas results.

Announcing the results, the state Returning Officer, who is also the Vice-Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku, said the PDP candidate polled 449,935 to defeat the APC’s Ayogu Eze who polled 10,423 to come a distant second.

Our correspondents reported that the results of the 17 LGAs as announced by Ahaneku showed that the PDP polled over 98 per cent of the total votes in the election.

Ahaneku noted that though the total accredited voters was 478,241, it was less than 30 per cent of the total registered voters in the state which, he said, stood at 1,944,803.

“By the power vested on me, I, Prof. Joesph Ahaneku, hereby declare Mr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of the PDP, the winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election held in Enugu State having scored the highest number of votes cast he is hereby returned elected,” he said.

Bagudu wins Kebbi gov poll again

INEC has also declared Governor Atiku Bagudu of the APC winner of Saturday’s governorship election in Kebbi State.

The results was announced at the state Collation Centre for the 2019 governorship election by the Collation Officer for Governorship and State Assembly Elections, Prof. Hamisu Bichi, on Sunday in Birnin Kebbi.

He said Bagudu scored 673,717 votes, while his closest rival, Isah Galaudu of the PDP, polled 106,633 votes.

Bichi said, “Atiku Bagudu of the APC, having certified the requirement of the law and scored the highest number of votes is hereby returned elected and declared the winner of the March 9, Saturday governorship election in the state.”

Bichi said 1,789,975 voters were registered; 820,078 accredited, while 814,084 votes were cast; with 793,388 valid votes and 20,696 votes rejected.

According to the results, Bagudu won in all the LGAs of the state.

INEC declares Inuwa Yahaya of APC winner

In Gombe State, Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya of the APC won the state governorship election.

The INEC Returning Officer in the state, Prof. Saminu Abdulrahaman, who declared the result in Gombe on Sunday, said Yahaya scored 364,179 votes to defeat his closest rival of the PDP, Usman Nafada, who polled 222,868 votes and was returned elected.

He said there were 1,394,386 registered voters, 627,457 accredited voters, 608,846 valid votes, 14,384 rejected votes and 623,230 total votes cast.

Abdulrahman, who is also the Vice-Chancellor, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, added that Yahaya won in 10 of the 11 LGAs of the state.

Ikpeazu wins Abia gov election, APC, APGA rejects result

Also, the candidate of the PDP in Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, has been declared the winner of the governorship election in the state.

INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, declared him winner after polling 261, 127 to defeat his closest rival and candidate of  the APC, Uche Ogah, who garnered 99,574 votes.

He also announced that the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, Alex Otti, polled 64, 366 votes to come third in the election.

Meanwhile, the candidates of the APC and APGA have called for the cancellation of the election.

Addressing journalists shortly after the results were declared in Umuahia, the state capital, the opposition candidates alleged that INEC breached its guidelines for the conduct of the elections in the state.

In a statement jointly signed by the candidates, they stated that they had expected INEC to cancel results from polling units where votes did not match what was on  the smart card readers, adding that reverse was the case.

The statement partly read, “The results were highly tempered with to favour the PDP, even where some of us in the opposition had warned that INEC connived with security agencies to change the result in favour of the PDP.

“We reject in totality the results of the 2019 governorship election as announced by INEC and demand its total cancellation in the entire state.”

Badaru wins re-election in Jigawa

Meanwhile, the incumbent Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Muhammad Badaru, has won the governorship election in the state.

The Returning Officer for the governorship election in Jigawa, Prof. Azubike Nwankwo, who is the Provost, Nigeria Defence Academy, Kaduna, declared the result in Dutse on Sunday.

Nwankwo said Badaru, of the APC, was returned elected with 810, 933 votes to beat his closest rival, Alhaji Aminu Ringim of the PDP, who scored 288, 356 votes, followed by Alhaji Bashir Adamu of the Social Democratic Party, who got 32,894 votes.

He explained that the total number of registered voters was 2,109,477, accredited voters, 1,169,924, total votes cast, 1, 163, 206, while valid votes stood at 1, 139, 054, and rejected votes, 24, 152.

The Returning Officer stated that the election was free and fair, adding that due process was followed before the declaration of the result.

Nwankwo had also announced that the APC won all the 30 seats for the state House of Assembly.

Emmanuel re-elected, wins in A’ Ibom

Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the PDP in Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel, has been re-elected for a second term in office.

Emmanuel secured 519,712 votes and won in the 30 LGAs in the governorship results announced by INEC, while his closest rival and candidate of the APC, Mr Nsima Ekere, garnered 171,978 and won only in Essien Udim, which is the LGA of the former Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio.

Declaring Emmanuel winner at 12.30am on Monday, the state Returning Officer, Prof. Faraday Osasere, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Benin, Benin, Edo State, said out of the 2,119,727 registered voters in the state, only 720,064 were accredited for the election, while the total vote cast was 712,037.

All other political party agents signed the result sheet with the exception of the APC state agent, Mr Sam Akpan, who walked out of the collation centre.

Akpan, however, rejected the results, claiming that they were not a true reflection of the exercise.

He called for the cancellation of the result of the governorship election in the state.

Bello floors Nasko to win re-election in Niger

Also, the Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, who contested for a second tenure on the ticket of the APC, has won the bid, according to the results of the Saturday polls announced by the Returning Officer, Prof. Angela Freeman-Mary.

Freeman-Mary, the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University, Lokoja, Kogi State, who announced the result on Sunday in Minna, said Bello won the polls in all the 25 LGAs of the state.

According to the VC, Bello polled 526,412 votes as against Umar Nasko’s 298,065 thereby defeating the PDP candidate with a margin of 228,347 votes.

The result was declared in Minna at about 11pm on Sunday.

Umahi floors Ogbuoji, wins Ebonyi gov poll again

Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State of the PDP has been declared winner of the state governorship poll.

The Returning Officer for the state governorship poll, Prof. Frank Chukwuemeka, announced Umahi winner on Sunday in Abakaliki.

According to the result, Umahi polled 393,043 votes to defeat his closest rival, Sonni Ogbuoji of the APC who polled 81,703 votes to emerge the winner.

“I, Prof. Frank Chukwuemeka, state Returning Officer for the Ebonyi State governorship election held on Saturday, March 9, hereby declare the candidate of the PDP, Chief Dave Umahi, winner of the governorship election having won the highest number of votes cast in the election.

“He has fulfilled the requirements of the law and is hereby declared winner and returned elected,” Chukwuemeka said.

APC’s Masari wins Katsina gov election

The Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, has won the governorship poll in all the 34 LGAs of the state announced by INEC on Sunday.

Masari, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, sought re-election for another term of four years on the platform of the APC last Saturday.

The PDP’s candidate is Senator Yakubu Lado-Danmarke.

In the results announced by the State Returning Officer, Prof. Abdullahi Zuru, the APC scored 22,482 votes in Dutsi Local Government Area, while the PDP came second with 10,564 votes.

The re-elected governor was awaiting formal declaration of his victory by INEC as of the time of filing this report.

Ortom leads in Benue

Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the PDP in Benue State, Mr Samuel Ortom, has won in nine of the 19 LGAs result declared as of the time of filing this report.

From the result so far announced on Sunday at the state headquarters of INEC in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, Ortom scored over 300,000 votes, while his closest rival, Mr Emmanuel Jime of the APC, won in 10 LGAs with a total votes of over 270,000.

The results of four remaining LGs were being awaited as of the time of filing the report.

APC sweeps Nasarawa gov poll

In Nasarawa State, the APC candidate in the governorship election, Abdullahi Sule, has been declared winner by INEC.

The APC candidate got 327,229 votes to beat his PDP challenger, David Ombugadu, who came a distant second with 184, 281 votes.

The state Returning Officer, Prof Abdullahi Bala, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, declared the result some minutes to 1am on Tuesday.

Tambuwal leads in 12 LGAs

INEC has announced results of 20 out of 23 LGAs of Sokoto State in Saturday’s governorship election.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that LGAs Collation Officers announced the results before the state’s Chief Returning Officer, Prof. Fatima Muktar, on Sunday in Sokoto.

Muktar is the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University, Dutse, FUD, Jigawa State.

In the results declared so far, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of the PDP  won  in 12 out of the 20 LGAs while the APC was leading in eight LGAs.

NAN reports that Tambuwal polled a total of 429, 526 votes while Alhaji Ahmad Aliyu of the APC scored 416, 082 votes in the declared results from the 20 LGAs received.

However, the PDP is leading the APC with a margin of 13,444 votes in the results so far declared.

The figure of cancelled votes so far is 50,530 at different polling units across the state based on the results announced.

NEC declares Bauchi gov poll inconclusive

However, the governorship election of Bauchi State has been declared inconclusive.

The Returning Officer for the state, Prof. Mohammed Kyari, made the announcement at exactly 12am on Tuesday.

He said that the total registered voters were 2, 323, 603, while the accredited voters stood at 1, 056, 729.

According to him, the candidate of the PDP,  Bala Mohammed, got 469, 512 votes to defeat Governor Mohammed Abubabakar of the APC, who scored 465, 453 votes.

He added that the total valid votes are 1, 026, 901, the number of rejected votes was 21, 419 while the number of  total votes cast was 1, 048, 220.

Kyari of the Federal University of Technology, Yola, Adamawa State, said he declared the poll inconclusive because the margin of lead between the PDP and the APC candidates was 4, 059 votes.

He added, “Secondly, the number of cancelled votes even without that of Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area which he had earlier cancelled was 45, 312.

“Thirdly, the total number of registered voters in the affected areas is 139, 240.

“Therefore, based on Section 26 Part 53 of the Electoral Act, I hereby declare this result inconclusive.”

He therefore directed INEC to immediately conduct a re-run in the affected areas within 21 days.

APC leads in Borno, wins 24 declared LGAs results

The candidate of the APC, Prof. Babagana Zulum, has maintained his lead in the ongoing collation of results of  Saturday’s governorship election in Borno State.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the APC candidate won 24 of the 27 LGAs in the ongoing collation exercise at the Kashim Ibrahim College of Education, Maiduguri.

The collation exercise presided over by the INEC Returning Officer in the state, Prof. Alhassan Gali, was conducted smoothly in the presence of party agents, election observers, security agents and journalists.

NAN reports that election results from 24 of the 27 LGAs of the state were submitted for collation by their respective returning officers.

The governorship election results so far collated indicated that Zulum garnered more votes than his closest opponent, Muhammad Imam of the PDP.

The results as announced by the Returning Officer in charge of Nganzai, Dr Ibrahim  Mustapha, showed that the APC candidate scored 20, 196 as against the 907 votes scored by the PDP candidate.

INEC suspends Rivers polls, PDP fumes

Meanwhile, INEC has suspended the governorship and House of Assembly elections in Rivers State till further notice.

The commission premised its action on the widespread disruption of elections and violence.

INEC has, therefore, set up a fact-finding committee to assess the situation and report back within 48 hours.

This is contained in a statement issued on Sunday by INEC National Commissioner and chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.

The statement partly read, “Initial reports suggest that violence occurred in a substantial number of polling units and collation centres, our members of staff have been taken hostage and materials including result sheets have either been seized or destroyed by unauthorised persons.

“In addition, safety of our workers appears to be in jeopardy all over the state and the commission is concerned about the credibility of the process.

“Consequently, at a meeting held today, Sunday, March 10, 2019, the commission has decided to suspend all electoral processes in the state until further notice.

“This is in line with Section 26 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and Clause 47(e) of the regulations and guidelines of the commission.

“The commission has also established a fact-finding committee to assess the situation and report back within 48 hours.”

However, the PDP has charged INEC to end what it described as manipulative schemes and immediately declare the result.

The party rejected INEC’s decision to suspend the electoral process in the state, after it claimed that results had been collated.

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to caution the security agencies in the state.

He said, “Our party contends that elections have been concluded in Rivers State; results of the Governorship and House of Assembly polls have been declared at the various polling units, wards and local government collation centres and all returning officers and political parties in the ballot conclusively have the figures.

“It is therefore directly incumbent on INEC to declare the final results instead of deliberately creating openings for the subversion of the final process; a development, which exposes the commission’s complicity with the Buhari Presidency and the APC to enmesh the election into unnecessary crisis.”