Election PetitionTribunal: Election Did Not Hold In Rivers – Peterside

dakuku on rivers tribuanlThe All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate during the 2015 elections in Rivers State, Mr Dakuku Peterside, on Wednesday took his turn in the witness box at the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal in Abuja, where he told the tribunal that the April 11, 2015 election did not hold in the state.

In his submission, Mr Peterside, who was led by his counsel, Akin Olujinmi, said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), simply allocated votes to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Nyesom Wike.

The APC candidate, who voted at his Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area, told the tribunal that few minutes after casting his votes, some hoodlums came and carted away election materials.

He tendered some documents including reports of International Observers on the Rivers governorship election, manual of electoral officials, result sheets, which were accepted as exhibits by the tribunal while some were withdrawn.

Another witness, Maj. Abdulraham Imam, told the tribunal how his team, comprising 55 soldiers were able to arrest two people and recovered over 80 machetes, three AK 47 riffles, in Gegema/Akukutoro Local Government Areas of the state on the eve of election during routine patrol.

Mr Imam, who is the 52nd witness at the tribunal, said he personally handed over the suspects and weapons to the Divisional Police Officer because of the sensitive nature of the recovered items.

A Chieftain of the APC, Mr Achi William-Wobodo, who represented the party at the tribunal, said only four political parties; PDP, APC, Labour Party and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) out of 18 political parties were recorded in INEC’s data base.

Rivers Election Tribunal Strikes Out Petition Filed By Labour Party

RiversThe River State governorship election petition tribunal has struck out the petition filed by the Labour Party in the state, challenging the emergence of Barrister Nyesom Wike as Governor in the April 11 governorship election.

Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Muazu Pindiga, in his ruling, agreed with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor Nyesom Wike that the petition did not follow laid down procedures.

According to him, the petition was not filed within the time frame stipulated by the Electoral Act.

The tribunal, however, deferred ruling in the suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, challenging the legality of the pre-trial hearing being carried out by the tribunal.

The Labour Party and its governorship candidate in the state, Tonye Princewill,had approached the Rivers State governorship election tribunal sitting in Abuja, challenging the victory of Governor Nyesom Wike at the polls.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Nyesom Wike winner of the April 11 governorship election with a total of 1,029,102 votes.

Mr Wike defeated the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Dakuku Peterside, who polled 124,896 votes.

APGA Ready For Rerun Governorship Election In Abia

APGA-2The All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, in Abia State said it is prepared for the rerun governorship election to be conducted in 9 local government areas on Saturday.

Though it is still contesting the reversed decision of the state’s returning officer on the cancellation of results in three local government areas, the party is optimistic of winning in the supplementary poll.

The APGA says the enormous support it has enjoyed from the electorate in the April 11 governorship election, is indicative of the change that is much desired, despite the irregularities witnessed.

While the people get prepared, some residents in the affected areas are allegedly being intimidated and threatened not to participate in the rerun elections.

The party says that going by the alleged intimidation on its supporters, the irregularities witnessed in the April 11 election may be repeated. It therefore, demanded a level-playing ground from electoral officials and security agencies.

Over 173,000 registered voters are expected to vote in 299 polling units, to determine the winner in a poll that has so far been keenly contested between the APGA and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

I Have Not Received Any Impeachment Notice – Fayose

AYO-FAYOSEThe Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has again dismissed the impeachment notice allegedly posted online by the All Progressives Congress (APC).

While speaking at an audience participatory programme, ‘Meet Your Governor’ on Monday, Governor Fayose, said that those plotting his impeachment were the same enemies of Ekiti State that plotted his exit from office in 2006.

He said: “Nobody served me any impeachment notice. I only saw the notice online like every other person. I’m like Israel that is in the midst of enemies but will always prevail. Whoever wants to remove me will first have to impeach God”.

Fayose added that the APC people were trying to get at him because he wholeheartedly supported President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election bid.

“Let me say it again, I have not been served any impeachment notice. The House of Assembly is also on recess and Dr Adewale Omirin is not the speaker of the State House of Assembly.’

“Omirin is in court, challenging his impeachment and he can’t be challenging his impeachment in court and at the same time laying claim to being Speaker,” he said.

While urging the APC to accept defeat, as done by President Goodluck Jonathan, Governor Fayose said: “By the power of God, they lost 16 – 0 on June 21, 2014, they lost 16 – 0 again on March 28, they will lose 26 – 0 on Saturday, April 11”.

Governor Fayose had earlier dismissed the impeachment plot, saying “the script being acted by the APC is a failed one because no one, no matter how highly placed he is, would be allowed to test the will of Ekiti people”.

APC led FG Will Run All Inclusive Government – Okorocha

Gov-Rochas-OkorochaImo state governor, Rochas Okorocha has said the incoming Federal Government of Nigeria led by the All Progressives Congress APC will run an all inclusive government, expressing his optimism that APC will emerge victorious in Imo state in the coming governorship and State House of Assembly elections on April 11.

Okorocha has also appealed to all Nigerians irrespective of their political, religious or ethnical differences to come together and support the incoming APC led federal government with President-elect General Mohammodu Buhari as the driver.

Speaking to our Imo state correspondent at the Government House in Owerri the Imo state capital, the governor said the APC led government will run an all inclusive government irrespective of where their interest lies during the presidential campaign.

The governor also assured the people of the South East that the Buhari led administration will bring the desired change Nigerians yearn for.

Speaking on his chances at the April 11 governorship polls, the APC governorship candidate said he is optimistic that his party will emerge victorious following his achievements in the lasts 3 and a half years in the state.

He however called on all security operatives especially the army and SSS to desist from intimidating voters and carry out their lawful duties as stipulated by law.

Amosun Tasks Electorates On April 11 Polls

amosunOgun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has called on the electorate in the state to repeat their performance in last Saturday’s Presidential elections, come April 11 when they would be voting for House of Assembly members and the state governorship candidates.

Senator Amosun in a statewide broadcast, praised voters in the state for showing good character at the polls.

The governor is urging the electorates to vote candidates of the All Progressive Congress (APC), to consolidate on the development and transformation currently being recorded in the state.

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has promised to improve the electoral process, as the Governorship and state House of Assembly elections is due to hold on April 11.

Meanwhile, the people of Ogun have demanded the re-fertilization of the economy and especially the anti-corruption crusade, to put the country on the path of growth and progress.

2015 Elections: Academics, Others Call For Peaceful Polls

ElectionsAppeals have continued to come from different quotas for peaceful polls in the rescheduled March 28 and April 11 general elections.

‎The University of Port-Harcourt Alumni Association, members of the civil society and other concerned individuals on Thursday, asked Nigerians to come out en mass to vote without causing trouble.

They also appealed to security operatives to be on the alert.

‎Acknowledging the transformation agenda of the present administration, the group advised voters not to be intimidated by tension in the atmosphere, noting that they have the freedom to make their choice by going to the polls.

The Nigerian Chief of Army Staff had on the previous day, warned that any one who threatens violence, no matter his position, would be met with organised violence by the Nigerian Army.

Lieutenant-General Kenneth Minimah stated that the Armed Forces, the Police and other security agencies have made adequate arrangements for security, ahead of the general elections commencing on Saturday.

He urged Nigerians to turn out en masse and vote candidates of their choice without fear for their safety.

INEC Accredits 107 Observers To Monitor Polls

inec-4The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has accredited 107 domestic and international observers to monitor the general elections slated for March 28 and April 11, 2015.

Among the observers accredited on Tuesday were embassies of 11 foreign nations of the United States of America, Switzerland, Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Canada, Ireland, Australia, Ghana and the Republic of Korea.

The commission also listed 14 international and regional organisations as part of the accredited observers, while the remaining 82 observers are domestic groups.

The international and regional organisations include: National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, Commonwealth Observers Mission, International Republican Institute, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Kenya, Africa Students Association of Ireland, ECOWAS Mission, among others.

Similarly, the 82 domestic observers accredited for the election were: Police Service Commission, Justice Development and Peace Commission (Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria), Centre for Strategic Conflict Management, Election Monitor, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, among others.

Going by the plans of the Electoral umpire (INEC), ballot papers for Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections are to be moved from the vaults of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday.

The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Kayode Idowu said all the non-sensitive materials had already been distributed to the appropriate destinations.

The INEC spokesman emphasised, the ballot papers for the different positions and locations had been customised in such a way that it would be difficult to be faked.

However, this is in line with preparations for the forthcoming general elections slated for March 28 and April 11, 2015.

IGP Warns Voters Not To Wait At Polling Units

IGPThe Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, has again warned voters not to remain at the polling centers after casting their votes on Saturday.

Mr Abba, on Tuesday told a gathering in Abuja, in very clear terms, that the security operatives expect everyone to vote and go.

The IGP made the pronouncement during the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC stakeholders’ meeting.

This view had been opposed by the political parties and INEC.

INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, had repeatedly maintained that voters could stay and protect their votes after casting their ballot as long as they conduct themselves in such a way that they do not run foul of the Electoral Act.

The IGP, however, insists that voters should not wait after the voting exercise because there is high possibility of committing electoral offense if they stay back.

He also added that each polling unit would have at least two or three policemen to protect votes cast by voters.

“We will go on to protect the electorate. Every eligible voter should feel safe enough to cast his votes. We will be there to protect the votes and make sure no one disrupts the process,” Abba said.

The INEC Chairman, during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise is of the opinion that voters can wait peacefully for ballot papers to be counted without being violent.

Yoruba Leaders Say Election Must Hold As Rescheduled

yoruba leadersYoruba leaders in south-west Nigeria have stressed the need for the rescheduled elections to hold without any delay on March 28 and April 11, expressing their commitment to a smooth transition and purposeful leadership.

After an extensive summit at the historic parliament building in Ibadan on Thursday, it was concluded that no excuse would be entertained for any shift of the date, as it could be a recipe for disaster.

In his address at the Pan Yoruba Summit that, the convener of the conference, General Alani Akinrinade (Rtd), said the summit was necessary because the current leadership had made Yorubas “victims of arrested development, with significant retrogression which must be stopped”.

He expressed hopes that the meeting would arrive at a common narrative that would outline the demand of the Yorubas for development in an emerging Nigeria, with purpose driven goals for regional and national progress.

Retrogressive Measures Of The Government

The Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who hosted the event, condemned recent violent protest involving OPC in Lagos. He lamented what he called a state of servitude of his people which made it possible to turn them against one another .

Governor Ajimobi further said that despite the rich historical repertoire of the Yorubas and its contribution to national development, the region had suffered a great deal in the last 16 years of democracy.

The convergence of eminent Sons and Daughters of the Yoruba race at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Buildings Secretariat in Ibadan was called by the Yoruba elders to urgently address issues affecting the growth and unity of the race.

It was an avenue for the Yoruba leaders to register their displeasure with the retrogressive measures of the government at the centre to the south-west and by extension all Yoruba kits and kins across the world.

In a communique signed by the convener at the end of the summit, the elders agreed unequivocally that; elections must hold as scheduled, states must be allowed to grow and prosper at their pace while an end must be put to alienation and repression of the race.

PVC Collection: Low Turnout In Edo State

pvcFollowing the postponement of the general elections and the extension of voter card collection deadline by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the daily turn out of residents at the various Permanent Voter Card (PVC) collection centres is still low in Edo State.

INEC recently disclosed it is recording daily success in the distribution of PVCs in the state, having distributed over 1.1 million cards.

However, some residents who spoke to Channels Television at some of the PVC collection centres want INEC to urgently address the challenges they are facing in order to enable them get their cards and vote in the rescheduled elections.

So far, INEC has recorded a 76 per cent distribution of PVCs across the country. The umpire body has also guaranteed that there would be free, fair and credible elections, come May 28 and April 11.

INEC had extended the deadline of the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) following the postponement of the 2015 general elections.

The commission in a statement signed by its Secretary, Mrs. Augusta Ogakwu, said following the rescheduling of the 2015 general elections, collection of the cards would continue for four more weeks until March 8th, 2015.

“The Commission hopes that this extension will finally avail every registered person yet to collect his/her PVC the opportunity to do so in readiness for the general elections,” Ogakwu said.

The electoral body had announced a shift in the general elections dates to March 28 and April 11.

AD Confident INEC Will Deliver Credible Elections

inecThe leadership of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) has expressed its support and confidence in the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, to conduct free, fair and credible general elections.

The National Vice Chairman of the political party, Mr Muhammed Yakubu, gave the party’s vote of confidence in Abuja while commenting on the recent postponement of the general elections.

Recently the INEC has come under criticism for not being adequately prepared for the 2015 elections.

The Independent National Electoral Commission in Nigeria (INEC) on the February 7 announced a shift in the general elections dates to March 28 and April 11.

Professor Jega said that the Presidential Election would hold on March 28 while the Governorship election would hold on April 11.

The Chairman of the commission said that the decision was not influenced by any group or individuals, adding that “We have done wide reaching consultations to enable us have as much input as necessary before taking an informed decision.

The major opposition party in Nigeria, the All Progressives Congress (APC,) has come down hard on the electoral umpire on the decision to postpone the polls.

The APC Chairman, John Oyegun, in a press statement, also stated that the decision was a major setback for Nigerian democracy, saying “This is clearly a major setback for Nigerian democracy, and our party is meeting in emergency session to study its implications and will inform Nigerians of its decisions in the next few days.