Bye-Elections: Unscrupulous Persons Are Bent On Disrupting The Processes – INEC

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that some unscrupulous individuals are bent on disrupting some of the bye-elections conducted across eleven states of the country on Saturday, 5th December 2020.

In a communique on Sunday, INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman,
Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, said although the elections went generally well, some unscrupulous persons are still bent on disrupting the processes.

According to Mr Okoye, a number of the Commission’s staff were assaulted during the bye-elections.

“In some areas, the staff of the Commission were assaulted and materials destroyed, while in others there was resistance to the use of the Smart Card Readers.

“In yet other areas, Commission staff were prevented from deploying altogether. In fact, in one area in Lagos State, some people demanded for money from INEC staff before they would be allowed to deploy.

“These acts continue to reflect poorly on our country and denude the spirited efforts of the Commission to improve the electoral process under very difficult circumstances,” Okoye’s communique partly read.


READ ALSO: We Must Accept PDP’s Defeat With Dignity, Says Governor Bala Mohammed

Presidency Welcomes Bye-Election Results, Vows Not To Fail Nigerians


Okoye revealed that one consequence of the lingering problem of election disruption manifested in the declaration of the bye-election for Bakura State Constituency in Zamfara State inconclusive.

“The Returning Officer declared the result inconclusive in line with the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and the Commission’s Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections.

“The election for Bakura State Constituency became inconclusive because the 2,181-vote margin between the two leading candidates – those of the PDP (18,645 votes) and APC (16,464) – is less than the total number of registered voters in 14 Polling Units where elections were cancelled or not held, which stands at 11,429.

“Consequently, by the “margin of lead principle”, the election could not be declared and no winner was returned.

“Voting in the 14 affected Polling Units was marred by over-voting, abduction of staff of the Commission, violence, assault occasioning grievous hurt against INEC officials, burning of INEC materials and snatching and carting away of sensitive electoral materials, resistance to the use of smart cards readers and obstruction of the electoral process,” Okoye revealed.

The Commissioner further stated that the Commission met on Sunday, 6th December 2020 and decided to remobilize and conclude the elections on Wednesday, 9th December 2020.

He stressed that in order to ensure that the Supplementary Election is properly secured, the Commission is considering clustering the affected Polling Units to prevent the disruptions experienced on 5th December 2020.

According to the INEC spokesman, the details for the conclusion of the bye-election in Bakura will be worked out by the INEC State Office in Gusau after consultation with stakeholders.

Mr Okoye said the Commission has commiserated with staff who were assaulted and has also extended its deep condolences to the families of the six policemen who lost their lives when the boat in which they were escorting election staff and materials capsized in Bayelsa State.

The bye-elections on Saturday involved nine State House of Assembly seats and six Senatorial seats.

The results of all the House of Assembly seats have been declared, except for Bakura State Constituency in Zamfara State.

Also, the results of four Senatorial seats have been successfully declared and INEC hopes that the results of the other Senatorial seats would be declared soon.

The Commission through its spokesman assured that as has become part of its practice, the results of the elections will be available on the INEC website during the week.

 

 

 

 

The Commission warns all those who have no business with the conduct of the Supplementary Election to keep away from the 14 Polling Units as only election staff, security agencies, voters, accredited observers and media, as well as polling agents are entitled to be at the locations. The Commission is determined to conclude the election and will not condone further attacks on its staff and destruction of materials. We urge all the stakeholders to cooperate with the Commission for the successful conclusion of the Bakura State Constituency bye-election.

INEC Conducts Bye-Elections In Lagos, 10 Other States

 

 

Bye-elections are currently holding in 11 states across the country, covering six senatorial districts and nine state constituencies.

While Lagos and Cross River are the only states where both senatorial and state assembly elections are being conducted, the other nine states are either holding senatorial or assembly elections.

INEC had postponed the elections earlier scheduled for October 31, following the #EndSARS protests and other security and environmental challenges.

In Lagos, about 1.1 million registered voters spread across 71 wards, 1,928 polling units and 188 voting points are set to cast their vote in the east senatorial elections, while 280,363 registered voters are expected to participate in the Kosofe Constituency (II) of the State House of Assembly’s bye-election.

Read Also: Lagos East Bye-Election: Police Restrict Movement, Call For Peaceful Conduct

In Ikorodu Senatorial district, voting commenced at about 9:30 am today.

However, there was initially a brief controversy over a campaign poster which was mounted close to the polling unit.

The matter was eventually resolved after the party candidate arrived to vote and the poster was taken down.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, had announced a restriction of movement from 6:00am to 6:00pm.

He explained that the move is to ensure free, fair and credible polls.

Acting INEC Chairman, Others Meet Over Postponed Bye-Elections

Acting INEC Chairman, Ahmed Muazu, at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja on November 9, 2020. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Ahmed Muazu on Tuesday met with chairmen of a political party over the 15 bye-elections postponed across the country.

The meeting holds one day after Professor Mahmood Yakubu handed over to Muazu, the mantle of leadership of the electoral body.

Yakubu stepped down on Monday, pending the confirmation of his reappointment by President Muhammadu Buhari.

READ ALSO: Staying In Office Beyond Monday Will Be Inappropriate, Says INEC Chairman

Muazu during the meeting on Monday said political parties leaders will be able to review the conduct of the Edo and Ondo state governorship election and make recommendations on how to improve the quality of elections

INEC had earlier scheduled the conduct of bye-elections for October 31 but later postponed the exercise due to security challenges arising from the nationwide EndSARS protests.

Bye-Elections: We Do Not Have Anointed Aspirants For Primaries – APC

A file photo of APC flags.

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) says it has not anointed any member of the party aspiring to contest any political office in the forthcoming bye-elections.

Mr Yekini Nabena who is the party’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary made the position of the APC known in a statement on Tuesday.

He noted that the Appeal Committees constituted by the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee of the party has cleared all aspirants to contest the primary election of the party.

The APC spokesman revealed that the party has fixed September 3 to elect its candidates for the concurrent legislative bye-elections scheduled to hold across eight states of the Federation.

READ ALSO: INEC To Conduct 12 Bye-Elections On October 31

“There are no preferred, pre-determined or anointed aspirants,” he said, adding, “Under the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Committee, the party is already moving in a new and progressive direction whereby things are done properly and internal democracy is the norm.”

Nabena explained that the clarification was in reaction to a statement by an APC chieftain, Okoi Obono-Obla, who he said alleged an attempt to ‘foist’ a predetermined candidate in the forthcoming Cross River North Senatorial District by-election.

He insisted that the party would continue to give all aspirants a level playing field and ensure that only those with impeccable records and popularly elected were presented as APC candidates in all elections.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced that it would conduct all pending bye-elections on October 31.

Areas where the polls will be conducted include Bayelsa Central senatorial district, Bayelsa West senatorial district, Nganzai State Constituency in Borno, Bayo State Constituency in Borno, and Cross River North senatorial district.

Others are Obudu State Constituency in Cross River, Imo North senatorial district, Lagos East senatorial district, Kosofe II State Constituency in Lagos, Plateau South senatorial district, Bakura State Constituency in Zamfara, and Ibaji State Constituency in Kogi.

We Will Only Accept Credible Candidates For By-Elections – APC

FILE: APC Caretaker Committee Chairman and Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja on June 29, 2020.

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it will only accept credible candidates for the October 31 concurrent legislative by-elections scheduled to be conducted across eight states of the Federation.

APC Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni, gave the warning while inaugurating the Party’s Screening and Appeal Committees for the by-elections at the APC National Secretariat, Abuja, according to a statement released on Thursday by spokesman Yekini Nabena.

The Committees are saddled with the responsibility of screening APC Candidates for the by-elections.

Buni, who was represented at the inauguration on Wednesday by the APC Caretaker Committee secretary, Senator John Udoedeghe, further stated that the party was moving in a new direction and would ensure that things were done properly.

He charged the members of the Committees to be fair to all the aspirants and ensure that only those with impeccable records in their careers were chosen as APC candidates.

Responding on behalf of the other members, Prof. Stephen Ocheni assured that the members of the Screening and Appeal Committees would discharge their assignment with fairness and a sense of responsibility. Ocheni who was a former Minister expressed gratitude to the national leadership of the Party for the confidence reposed in them and for giving them the task to perform on behalf of the Party.

 

Below is the party’s schedule of activities for the legislative by-elections:

– Screening of Aspirants: Wednesday August 26th, 2020 – Thursday August 27th, 2020.

– Publication of Claims and Objections: Friday 28th August, 2020

– Screening Appeal: Tuesday 1st, September, 2020

– Primary Election: Thursday 3rd, September, 2020

– Election Appeal: Saturday 5th, September, 2020

INEC To Conduct 12 Bye-Elections On October 31

APC Excluded As INEC Publishes Names Of Rivers Senatorial Candidates
A file photo of a ballot box.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced plans to conduct 12 bye-elections in eight states.

INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, made the announcement in a statement on Tuesday.

He disclosed that the electoral umpire would conduct all the pending bye-elections on October 31.

Okoye added that by the harmonised timetable, INEC would give the notice of election on Monday next week while political parties would conduct their primaries to nominate candidates between August 24 and September 8.

According to him, the submission of forms and personal particulars of candidates would take place between September 9 and 13.

A file photo of INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.

 

The INEC spokesman noted that the commission was aware of the vacancies in Isi-Uzo State Constituency in Enugu and Bakori State Constituency in Katsina.

He, however, said INEC has yet to take any action because the speakers of the affected state assemblies have yet to formally declare the vacancies.

Okoye asked the political parties and concerned stakeholders to take note of the timelines in the schedule and strictly adhere to them.

He explained that the announcement of the date for the bye-elections followed a meeting of INEC leadership to review the preparations for the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States.

The areas include Bayelsa Central senatorial district, Bayelsa West senatorial district, Nganzai State Constituency in Borno, Bayo State Constituency in Borno, and Cross River North senatorial district.

Others are Obudu State Constituency in Cross River, Imo North senatorial district, Lagos East senatorial district, Kosofe II State Constituency in Lagos, Plateau South senatorial district, Bakura State Constituency in Zamfara, and Ibaji State Constituency in Kogi.

Read the full statement below:

Bye-Elections: APC Wins In Bauchi, Kwara, Katsina

Candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have emerged as winners of the bye-elections conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Bauchi, Kwara and Katsina states.

The bye-elections were conducted on Saturday to fill three vacant seats in the House of Representatives in the respective states.

In Bauchi State, APC candidate, Yusuf Nuhu got 22,317 votes to defeat his nearest rival, Shehu Baba of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who received 18,235 votes in the Toro Federal Constituency bye-election.


RELATED:

Kwara Bye-Election: Lai Mohammed Casts Vote, Describes Process As Peaceful

INEC Identifies 1,224 Names Of Deceased Persons On Adamawa Voters’ Register

 

INEC also announced Tunji Olawuyi of the APC as the winner of the bye-election for the Irepodun/Isin/Oke Ero/Ekiti federal constituency of Kwara State.

According to the INEC Returning Officer, Professor Abimbola Adesoji, Olawuyi won with 21,236 votes to defeat Saheed Alatishe of the PDP who scored 18,095.

In Katina State, APC candidate, Abubakar Kusada, emerged winner of the Kankia/Kusada/Ingawa constituency bye-election.

Kusada polled a total of 48,518 votes, ahead of his closest rival, Abdussamad Yusuf of the PDP, who had 20,193 votes.

The Returning Officer, Professor Rasheed Adedayo, while announcing the election results on Sunday at the Kankia INEC collation centre in Katsina said that Kusada, having satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes is hereby declared the winner of the bye-election.

Buhari, Osinbajo In Good Stead To Win 2019 Election – Presidency

 

The presidency has said that the outcome of last weekend’s bye-elections in Bauchi, Katsina and Kogi states have placed President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, in good stead to win next year’s presidential election.

Addressing journalists at the State House on Monday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said election after election, Nigerians continue to place confidence on President Buhari and the vice president.

Read Also: Bye-Election Victories Have Proven Nigerians’ Trust In Buhari – APC

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu (file)

 

Shehu said, “The decisive victories are an indication and a clear statement by Nigerians that Nigerians have spoken; that President Buhari maintains and retains his momentum that these big victories place the Buhari, Osinbajo ticket that won in 2015, in a very good stead for next year’s election.

“It represents certainly, a statement on the fact that the APC would go into the election next year with every confidence that the election will be won.

“Nigerians, by this statement, are also saying that they no longer have time for politics of insults, diversion and mud slinging and the ‘monkey dey work, baboon dey chop’ politics of the PDP”.

Shehu appealed to the National Assembly to work with President Buhari to enable him to continue providing good governance.

INEC Assures Of Credible Elections In Kogi, Bayelsa

INEC Chairmanm, Amina ZakariThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is giving assurances that the governorship elections holding in Kogi and Bayelsa States about three months from now would be free and fair.

The Acting Chairman of INEC, Amina Zakari, told Channels Television’s correspondent, Gbenga Ashiru in Abuja that everything has been put in place to ensure a hitch-free exercise.

“We do a by-election within a month with the time we get information from the National Assembly if there’s a vacancy, but this is about three months/four months.

“I think we’ve been adequately prepared and remember, we just came out of the national election and we have already met some purchases of some non-sensitive materials. What is remaining for us is to put our acts together,” she said.

The Acting Chairman also commented on the controversy surrounding her appointment.

She said, “I think we should not distract ourselves from the issues at hand. I have been in the commission, I’m a National Commissioner.

“I passed through the Senate screening to become a National Commissioner and by virtue of that, I am appointed Acting Chairman in the commission, so there shouldn’t have been much controversy. But be it as it may, I have a job to do and I am set out to do that job,” she added.