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INEC announces temporary suspension of voter registration

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced a temporary suspension of the ongoing continuous voter registration (CVR) exercise.

The commission said the exercise will be temporarily suspended on August 17 to enable sufficient time for data capture and production of permanent voter cards (PVCs).

Augusta Ogakwu, secretary to the commission, announced this in a memo to resident electoral commissioners.

She said the measure followed consultations with stakeholders regarding the electoral process especially pertaining to the voter registration.

“The stakeholders expressed satisfaction with the commission’s preparedness for the conduct of the 2019 general elections and enjoined the commission to continue to do more to ensure free, fair and credible elections,” the memo dated July 6 read.

“On the CVR, the stakeholders noted the need to comply with statutory timelines and unanimously agreed that sufficient time be given between the data capture, processing and production of PVCs.

“Based on the recommendations of the stakeholders and taking into consideration the statutory obligations to end the revision, update, certification and publication of the voters’ register for the general elections, the commission decided to suspend the ongoing CVR at 3.00pm on Friday, 17th August, 2018 until after the general elections.”

Ogakwu, however, added that collection of PVCs will continue until a week to the commencement of general election starting February 16, 2019.

“The commission will undertake, overhaul and intensify its publicity initiatives in order to ensure that all qualified Nigerians who wish to register are able to do so and collect their PVCs before the general election,” she said.

INEC says Fayose’s rigging plot allegation is baseless

No INEC member of staff, no matter how highly placed, can rig an election in favour of or against any particular candidate or political party”, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) affirmed on Tuesday evening, debunking allegations raised by Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, that the commission is planning to rig the July 14 governorship election in favour of All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Kayode Fayemi.

In a release signed by the governor, he accused some officials of INEC of plotting to subvert the commission ‘for monetary gains’.

He said: “As the July 14, 2018 governorship election in Ekiti State draws closer, disturbing and worrisome information on plots to rig the election in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, and subvert the will of Ekiti people, have come to our attention

“INEC National Commissioner, Mrs. Amina Zakari, two Deputy Directors (ICT Dept), Mr. Paschal Uwaenwe and Mr. Abdulrazaq Agboola Yusuf as well as Director (Procurement Dept), Mr. Kenneth Ukeagu are the arrow-heads of rigging plot;

“The duo of Uwaenwe and Agboola are to pre-load card readers, supply faulty card readers to Ado and Ikere while Kenneth Ukeagu is to provide ballot papers for stuffing of ballot boxes, Forms EC8A, EC8B and EC8C series and other sensitive election materials. Two sets of the Forms are to be procured bearing the same Serial Numbers. One set will be handed to Fayemi to change results of 503 Polling Units;

“Also, real Youth Corps members, students of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti and Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti that are to serve as Presiding Officers (POs) and Assistant Presiding Officers (APOs) are to be replaced with APC members;

“Fayemi and other APC leaders have been meeting with these three INEC officials in Akure and Abuja and they are reporting directly to Mrs Amina Zakari;

“Furthermore, Fayemi’s ex-Chief Security Officer (CSO), Hakeem Abiola and former ADC, Adeyemi Ajayi are to coordinate indiscriminate arrest of top functionaries of the State Govt and bribery of other security officials. Hakeem is already in Ado Ekiti, operating from a popular hotel located off Iworoko Road;

Fayose also cliamed that Mr. Akin Fakorede of the Federal SARS is being considered for secondment to Ekiti State for the election. “Nigerians are aware of the ignoble roles Akin Fakorede played in Rivers State and they want him to play the same role in Ekiti”, the governor alleged.

According to him, “the armed policemen to be coordinated by Fayemi’s ex ADC and Akin Fakorede are to invade the already selected 503 Polling Units, shoot sporadically in the air to scare voters away so as to be able to perpetrate the fraud;

“Our question is; why will DSS and the Police post Fayemi’s ex security aides to Ekiti for an election in which he is a candidate?”.

Fayose therefore called on the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and the DSS Director, Lawal Daura to allow Ekiti election to be credible by ensuring impartiality of their men.

“We also call on the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to prevail on his officials listed above, who appear bent on frustrating the electoral commission for monetary gains. They must not be allowed to play any role in the Ekiti election. He should cause an investigation into the issues raised and personalities mentioned”, he stated.

However, in a swift reaction, INEC described  as baseless, untrue and unworkable, the allegations of the Ekiti governor.

The Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi said accusations as described by the Ekiti governor is not possible at INEC given the institutional checks and balances engaged in every electoral process.

Oyekanmi stated: “The Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) attention has been drawn to some allegations made by a serving governor, which give the impression that INEC is planning to rig the July 14 Ekiti Governorship Election. We wish to state unequivocally that the allegations are untrue and baseless;

“The Commission has since November 2015 successfully conducted elections into 180 constituencies. These include five governorship elections carried out in Kogi, Bayelsa, Edo, Ondo and Anambra states. So far, nobody has accused the Commission of rigging any of these elections. All of the election results recorded so far testify to INEC’s ability to ensure that only the voters determine who wins an election;
“We wish to emphasize that it is impossible for the Commission’s officials, any individual or group for that matter to pre-load the Smart Card Readers (SCRs) or provide ballot papers for stuffing as alleged. Indeed, the SCRs which perform the three functions of identifying, verifying and authenticating the voter and the Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) can only function on the election day;
“In addition to the results sheets that we issue to party agents at the Polling Unit and at every level of collation, the Commission also deliberately introduced Form EC60E to show election results at the Polling Units, which is the most important level. This form is pasted at every Polling Unit after collation;
“To that extent, no INEC member of staff, no matter how highly placed, can rig an election in favour of or against any particular candidate or political party. This is as a result of the stringent processes and safeguards introduced by the Commission;
“It is not true as alleged that three INEC officials have been meeting with one of the candidates contesting in the Ekiti governorship election;
“The Commission has also not made any plans to hire members of any political party as Presiding Officers (PO), Assistant Presiding Officers (APO) or for any electoral position.
“Indeed, the Commission’s staff members have been working round the clock to ensure a free and fair election in Ekiti on July 14. It is thus unfair to associate them with an imaginary plot to rig the election. Rather than malign them at press conferences, the Governor should make any evidence of wrongdoing available to the Commission for appropriate action;
“We hereby appeal to the general public to ignore all deliberate attempts to soil the Commission’s reputation with wild, unsubstantiated allegations.
“We also wish to assure all Nigerians that INEC is committed to a free, fair and credible governorship election in Ekiti State on July 14 and indeed, the 2019 General Elections”, Oyekanmi concluded.

Kano underage voting: INEC to release full investigation report – Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it would soon release the full report of its investigation into alleged under-aged voting in the Kano election report.

INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this during an interaction with political editors of media organisations on Saturday in Lagos.

Mr Yakubu recalled that the commission had earlier in Abuja disclosed that its voter register was not used by the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission (KANSIEC) for the February local government poll.

He, however, said that based on the demand by some stakeholders, the commission would soon release the report submitted by the committee set up to investigate the allegations.

““INEC committee conducted investigation, submitted its report and we addressed the press on the matter that there was no connection between INEC voter register and the incidence of underage voting in Kano.

In fact in many voting units they did not even use voter register to accredit anyone.

“Having said so, there is a demand that we should release the report of our investigation. I assure you we will soon release the full report of that investigation.’’

Mr Yakubu, speaking on the clean-up of the voter register, said that the commission would continue to strengthen the register.

He said while the commission had been working on the clean-up of the register, no single Nigerian had officially complained to INEC about the inclusion of ineligible persons.

Mr Yakubu said as part of measures to clean up the register, the commission pasted the details of new registrants nationwide as well as given each registered political party a copy of the register for claims and objections.

“As we speak the commission has not officially received any complain of the registration of ineligible persons.“

“Only last week in Ekiti, we made it available to 35 political parties contesting in the state elections, we have not also receive a single complaint.’’

Mr Yakubu said that when the Kano investigation was conducted, the commission agreed to give the register to civil society organisations and the media.

He said that would be done without infringing on the right of Nigerians to apply for the register once they paid to the commission the relevant fee stipulated by the law.

“I want to assure you that we will continue to do whatever we can to improve the voter register as we approach 2019 general elections.’’

Mr Yakubu added that one of the innovations INEC had brought into the registration process was that registered voters could now check the status of their registration online.

Answering another question on allegation that officers of the commission demanded for money before they register voters, Mr Yakubu said that the registration and collection of cards was free.

He urged Nigerians to report to the commission if any of its staff demanded for money.

(NAN)

INEC releases full 2019 elections timetable

The Independent National Electoral Commission has released a comprehensive timetable for the conduct of the 2019 general elections.

According to an INEC statement laye on Saturday  party primaries must be concluded by  August 18 2018 (for presidential and national assembly elections) and October 17 2018 for governorship and state assembly elections.

Presidential and National Assembly election will hold on 16 February, 2019 while  Governorship and state houses of assembly poll will hold on 28 February, 2019.

Below is the full time table.

*COLLECTION OF FORMS FOR POLITICAL PARTIES FOR ALL ELECTIONS TO BE ISSUED TO CANDIDATES*
*17TH AUGUST TO 24TH AUGUST 2018.*

CONDUCT OF PARTY PRIMARIES INCLUDING RESOLUTION OF DISPUTE ARISING FROM PRIMARIES.
*18TH AUGUST ENDS 07TH OCTOBER 2018.*

*COMMENCEMENT OF CAMPAIGN BY POLITICAL PARTIES.*

PRESIDENTIAL AND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
*18TH NOVEMBER 2018*

GOVERNORSHIP AND STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
*01ST DECEMBER 2018.*

LAST DAY OF SUBMISSION OF FORMS CF001 AND CF002 AT INEC HQ (FOR ALL ELECTIONS)
PRESIDENTIAL AND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
*18TH OCTOBER 2018.*

GOVERNORSHIP AND STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
*02ND NOVEMBER 2018.*

PUBLICATIONS OF PERSONAL PARTICULARS OF CANDIDATES (CF001)
PRESIDENTIAL AND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
*25TH OCTOBER 2018*

GOVERNORSHIP AND STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
*09TH NOVEMBER 2018.*

LAST DAY OF WITHDRAWAL BY CANDIDATES/REPLACEMENT BY POLITICAL PARTIES.
PRESIDENTIAL AND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
*17TH NOVEMBER 2018*

GOVERNORSHIP AND STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
*01ST DECEMBER 2018.*

LAST DAY OF SUBMISSION OF NOMINATION FORMS BY POLITICAL PARTIES.
PRESIDENTIAL AND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
*03RD DECEMBER 2018*

GOVERNORSHIP AND STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
*17TH DECEMBER 2018.*

SUBMISSION OF NAMES OF PARTY AGENTS FOR ELECTION TO ELECTORIAL OFFICERS OF THE LOCAL GOVT AREAS.
PRESIDENTIAL AND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
*01ST FEBRUARY 2019*

GOVERNORSHIP AND STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
*16TH FEBRUARY 2019.*

LAST DAY OF CAMPAIGN.
PRESIDENTIAL AND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
*14TH FEBRUARY 2019*

GOVERNORSHIP AND STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
*28TH FEBRUARY 2109.*

DATE OF ELECTIONS.
PRESIDENTIAL AND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
*16TH FEBRUARY 2019*

GOVERNORSHIP AND STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
*28TH FEBRUARY 2019.*

 

 

Breaking: Senate asks INEC to declare June 12, 1993 election result

The Senate has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to announce the results of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Senate made the request on Thursday during plenary.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Wednesday declared June 12 to replace May 29 as Democracy Day, in honour of late MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the election.

Buhari said that June 12 was more symbolic than May 29 and also conferred a posthumous GCFR title on Abiola.

Kidnappers abduct INEC official in Akwa Ibom, demand N10m ransom

Mr Mike Igini, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Akwa Ibom State has confirmed the kidnap of Mr Otobong Ukpong, serving in Ukanafun Local Government Area office of the commission.

Igini said on Wednesday in Uyo that INEC was making efforts to secure his freedom.

“We are aware of the incident and are making efforts for his release. The most important thing now is his safety,” Igini said.

Similarly, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Macdon Odiko, said that the Police had received a report on the kidnap and was acting on the matter.

Odiko said that the Commissioner of Police, CP Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, had visited the area, following series of killings and the recent abduction of two female students of Obong University, a private institution in the area.
Ukpong, who hails from Iwukem village in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area, was kidnapped near Government Primary School, Uruk Ata2, on the Ukanfun-Azumini Expressway.

According to the distressed brother, Mr Mbetobong Ukpong, the victim was kidnapped at Uruk Ata2, on Tuesday while on his way to distribute Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to the electorate in line with the REC’s directive.
Ukpong said that the hoodlums blocked the victim at the volatile area of Uruk Ata2, where militants had been laying siege in the recent times.

He said the militants had opened contact with the family, demanding N10 million.
“They used my brother’s phone number to call the family to disclose their ransom but the elders of the family have told them that such demand is outrageous for a largely peasant family to pay,” he said.

N100m was spent on Melaye’s recall, says INEC

Prof Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says it spent only N100 million on the bid to recall Dino Melaye, lawmaker representing Kogi west senatorial district.

Yakubu said this at a press conference in Abuja on Friday, debunking the allegation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the commission spent N1 billion on the process.

“A recall exercise is just like conducting a senatorial election. The Kogi-west which Melaye represents has 552 polling units and seven local governments… we spent only N100 million on the exercise,” he said.

On Saturday, INEC verified signatures collected for the recall but not one of the seven local government areas in the district recorded a big turnout of voters.

Out of the 189,870 signatories to the petition to recall Melaye from the upper legislative chamber, only 18,742 were verified by INEC.

The verified signatories represent 5.34 percent of the 351,146 registered voters in Kogi west, thereby did not meet the required criteria.

For the verification exercise to succeed, 50 percent plus one of the signatories to the petition had to be verified.

Announcing the result of the verification exercise on Sunday morning, Ukertor Moti, the declaration officer for the exercise, said a referendum — the next step in the recall process — would not be hold.

He said: “I Professor Ukertor Gabriel Moti, affirm that the information on verification of signatures to the petition for the recall of senator Dino David Melaye of Kogi west senatorial district has taken place on this day, 28th day of April 2018, and that the verified signatures is 5.34 percent of the total number of registered voters in the constituency and has therefore not satisfied a requirement of the law for a referendum.”

2019: 2Baba urges youths to get their PVCs

A Nigerian singer, 2Baba, also known as Innocent Idibia,  has called on Nigerian youths to register for their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC), ahead of 2019 general elections.

He made the call at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Campus Outreach program on `Youth Votes Count,’’ at the University of Abuja, on Thursday.

2Baba, who is also an INEC Youths Ambassador, urged the youth to actively get involved in constructive political discussions, especially social media.

“Your vote is your bragging right, so get your PVCs, so take your destinies into your hands, whatever you want to be in the next 10 years start now.

“Let us go out and vote for our conscience. We have always been told that we are the future of Nigeria, it is our time now yet the old is still encroaching into our space.

“This coming election is our opportunity to change things, your destiny is what you make of it so use it wisely.’’

Another INEC Ambassador, Mrs Helen Paul, encouraged Nigerian youths to believe in themselves and in their ability to make difference in politics.

She expressed hope in the leadership of the Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC to deliver credible elections to Nigerians in 2019.

She urged the youth not to relent but get their PVCs to vote, and be voted to be able to participate fully in the elections.

Also, Mr Cobhams Asuquo, an INEC Ambassador, urged youths to recognize opportunities at their disposal.

Asuquo said that the saddest thing that could happen to anybody was not to recognize and use the opportunities at his disposal.

“Your vote is your right. It is your power, I beg you to choose to exercise that power because it determines what kind of future we will have as a nation.

“So I am begging you to use your vote wisely and intentionally collect your PVCs and make sure that come 2019, under rain or sunshine, you will come out to vote.’’

He, however, appealed to INEC to tackle the issue of underage voter before the next general elections, to ensure credible elections.

NAN

Breaking: Dino Melaye’s Recall Exercise Fails Woefully

The move to recall Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West Senatorial District at the National Assembly has failed as the Saturday’s signature verification exercise failed to meet the constitutional requirement to proceed with the exercise.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the results released at the INEC office, Lokoja, in the early hours of Sunday said only 5.34% signatures of the petitioners was verified as against the 50% plus 1 as required by the Electoral Act.

According to the result announced in Lokoja by INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in charge of Benue State, Professor Ukertor Gabriel Moti, said total numbers of registered voters in Kogi West was 351, 140.

The Commissioner added that the total number of petitioners’ signatures collated for recall was 189, 870, while only 20, 868 signatory were present for accreditation.

He however said only 18,743 number of the signatures were verified at the end of the exercise.

According to the INEC Commissioner, the constitutional requirements and percentage to effect the recall of Senator was not met, hence, the Commission could not go to the next stage which is referendum.

In making his declaration, Prof Moti said: “I hereby affirm that the information on verification of signatures to the petition for the recall of Senator Dino Melaye of Kogi West Senatorial District has taken place on this date April 28, 2018 and that the verified signatures is 5.34% of the total number of registered voters in the constituency and has therefore not satisfied the requirements the law for a referendum”.

Low turn out as INEC verifies signatures for Melaye’s recall

The ongoing verification organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to authenticate signatures of voters seeking the recall of Senator Dino Melaye (APC/Kogi West), has witnessed a low turn out in most parts of Lokoja, the state capital.

During the exercise, most of the polling units were empty, with some people claiming that they were not aware of the partisan move to recall the senator.

At most polling units in Ward 1 of Odo Egbe, INEC officials said that less than 20 voters had shown interest in the exercise.

They said that many people were not interested in the recall process.

Miss Felicia Adebayo, a voter, said that she came out because she was told that money was being shared at the polling units.

“I am told that money is being shared to those that come. I need the money because we have not been paid salary for a while,” she said.

An INEC official, who craved anonymity, said that there was general apathy to the exercise.

“Very few people have shown interest in the exercise; we have been waiting for people to come out but very few seem to know what we are doing here,” he said.