Tambuwal Now NGF Interim Chairman, Takes Over From Fayemi

A file photo of Governor Tambuwal

 

Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State is now the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), taking over from his Ekiti State counterpart Kayode Fayemi

“The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ekiti State Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, today at the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, held at the Aso Rock Villa Abuja transferred power of the NGF to the Governor of Sokoto State, Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal,” the spokesman of the Forum Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo said in a statement Thursday.

According to him, Fayemi will formally hand over power to Tambuwal on October 16th, 2022.

“The Sokoto State Governor will be holding the fort until May next year when a proper election is conducted among the governors,” Abdulrazaque added.

Until his recent position, the Sokoto governor was the Vice Chairman of the Forum. He served in that capacity for four years.

Fayemi was only recently elected as the President of the Forum of Regional and State Governments in Saidia in the state of Casablanca in Morrocco.

READ THE FULL STATEMENT BELOW:

Tambuwal now Interim Chairman of the NGF

The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ekiti State Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, today at the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, held at the Aso Rock Villa Abuja transferred power of the NGF to the Governor of Sokoto State, Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.

Tambuwal has served meritoriously and harmoniously as Vice Chairman of the Forum under Dr Fayemi in the last four years.

Dr John Kayode Fayemi who was only a few weeks ago elected as the President of the Forum of Regional and State Governments in Saidia in the state of Casablanca in Morrocco attended the NEC virtually from New York City, where he is currently attending the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

The Sokoto State Governor will be holding the fort until May next year when a proper election is conducted among the governors.

Before making the announcement, the Ekiti State Governor acknowledged the result-driven output of the NEC and thanked his colleagues and other members of the council for their support, explaining that yes, we may be occasionally troublesome, coming from the Forum of Governors, and we do test your patience but you have never really expressed any frustration with all our truculent questions and the insistence that the federation must be a true federation.”

The new President of the FORAF also did not forget to thank the Secretariat of the NEC and through the NEC thanked the President and Commander in Chief of the Country for taking the resolutions of the NEC seriously by implementing them.

In his response Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo said the NGF chairman had taken the wind out of their sail, because he was “meant to, on behalf of the NEC commend the Ekiti Governor and NGF Chairman’s informed and patriotic services to the council in the last four years and that was enhanced by your chairmanship of the NGF, admitting that the NGF has ensured that we move to a true federation, not just in words but in deeds as well.”

Professor Osinbajo prayed that Dr Fayemi’s services both nationally and globally to development, and to all of the good that the nation deserves and the global community deserves will continue.

Dr Fayemi formally hands over the Chairmanship of the NGF to Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal on October 16th.

SERAP Sues INEC For Allegedly Failing To Prosecute Vote-Buyers

File photo of a voter casting his vote during an election.

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for “failing to prosecute those suspected of vote-buying and electoral bribery” in the June 18 governorship election in Ekiti State.

In a statement on Sunday, SERAP cited reports that suggested there was a brazen pattern of vote-buying and electoral bribery at several polling units in the state, including bargaining prices for votes and payments made in uncompleted buildings.

READ ALSO: Atiku: Soon, Nigerians Will Know The Actual Truth – Wike

Filing the suit last Friday at the Federal High Court in Abuja, the group is seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel INEC to seek and obtain detailed information about reports of vote-buying by the three leading political parties in the 2022 Ekiti State governorship election.”

In suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1189/2022, it also seeks “an order of mandamus to direct and compel INEC to promptly and effectively prosecute those arrested, and to bring to justice anyone who sponsored, aided and abetted them.”

“Vote-buying is a threat to fair and representative elections. Vote-buying amounts to undue influence and improper electoral influence,” the statement by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, read in part.

“Wealthy candidates and their sponsors ought not to be allowed to profit from their crimes. Arresting and prosecuting vote-buyers will end widespread impunity for vote buying ahead of the February 2023 general election.”

Arguing that vote buying encourages poor governance and weakens citizens’ capacity to hold their ‘elected officials’ accountable for their actions, SERAP says the act undermines INEC’s ability to discharge its responsibilities under Section 153 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended), paragraph 15(a) of the third schedule of the Constitution, and the Electoral Act 2022.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

 

Ekiti election: SERAP sues INEC for failing to prosecute vote-buyers

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for “failing to prosecute those suspected of vote-buying and electoral bribery during the recently concluded Ekiti State governorship election.”

According to reports, there was a brazen pattern of vote-buying and electoral bribery in several polling units during the recently concluded Ekiti governorship election, including bargaining prices for votes and payments made in uncompleted buildings.

In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1189/2022 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court, Abuja, SERAP is seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel INEC to seek and obtain detailed information about reports of vote-buying by the three leading political parties in the 2022 Ekiti State governorship election.”

SERAP is also seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel INEC to promptly and effectively prosecute those arrested, and to bring to justice anyone who sponsored, aided and abetted them.”

SERAP is arguing that, “Vote buying is a threat to fair and representative elections. Vote buying amounts to undue influence and improper electoral influence.”

According to SERAP, “Wealthy candidates and their sponsors ought not to be allowed to profit from their crimes. Arresting and prosecuting vote buyers will end widespread impunity for vote buying ahead of the February 2023 general elections.”

SERAP is arguing that, “Vote buying encourages poor governance and weakens citizens’ capacity to hold their ‘elected officials’ accountable for their actions.”

SERAP is also arguing that, “Vote buying undermines the ability of INEC to discharge its responsibilities under Section 153 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended), paragraph 15(a) of the third schedule of the Constitution, and the Electoral Act 2022.”

SERAP is also arguing that, “Corruption of the ballot box intrudes on the freedom of Nigerian voters to make up their own minds. Vote buying and other forms of electoral corruption freeze out the less wealthy candidates and parties.”

SERAP is arguing that, “When political candidates or their sponsors decide to buy the support of the people rather than contest fairly for their votes, there are possibilities that such candidates and sponsors will show a disregard for democratic rules and a disposition to adopt illegal means becomes inevitable.”

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Opeyemi Owolabi, read in part: “Vote buying is entirely an act of election malpractice connected with vested interest since an election can be said to be free and fair when it is devoid of vote buying.”

“Ending impunity for vote-buying and electoral bribery would contribute to free and fair elections. A corruption-free electoral process is essential for building public confidence in the electoral process, and the credibility and legitimacy of the 2023 elections.”

“One of the people’s most sacred rights is the right to vote. INEC has a constitutional and statutory responsibility to ensure the effective exercise of the right of all eligible voters to participate in their own government in free and fair elections.”

“Preventing and combating vote buying and electoral bribery would advance the people’s right to vote and to participate in their own government, as well as bolster the ability of INEC to effectively discharge its constitutional and statutory mandates.”

“Many years of allegations of vote-buying and electoral bribery and entrenched impunity of perpetrators have undermined public confidence in the electoral process.”

“Prosecuting allegations of vote-buying and electoral bribery would be entirely consistent with the Nigerian Constitution, the Electoral Act, and the country’s international human rights anti-corruption obligations.”

“Agents of the three dominant political parties in the state, namely All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Social Democratic Party (SDP), were reportedly involved in buying votes across the state, and voters offered as high as N10,000 in exchange for their votes.”

“The Nigerian Constitution provides in Section 14(1)(c) that, ‘the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.’”

“Section 145(2) of the Electoral Act provides that, ‘a prosecution under this Act shall be undertaken by legal officers of the Commission or any legal practitioner appointed by it.’”

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Kolawole Oluwadare

SERAP Deputy Director

24/7/2022

Lagos, Nigeria

Elections In Anambra, Ekiti And Osun Proof Of My Irreversible Commitment To Credible Polls – Buhari

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja declared that the off-season elections in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun States have confirmed his Administration’s irreversible commitment to credible and violence-free polls in the country.

Receiving a delegation from Nasarawa State, the President urged the electorate to vote the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the next general elections to ensure continuity in the polity, and stability in the country and West African region.

The President told the high-powered delegation led by the State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, that the Electoral Act, signed by him earlier this year, was an attestation of the fulfilment of the administration’s determination and commitment to the tenets of the rule of law.

‘‘On the issues of credible, free and fair elections in the country, I have always re-assured my listeners both at home and abroad, my personal desire and indeed the priority of this administration is to bequeath to our nation an irreversible political process that continues to be both democratic and acceptable to the people.

‘‘My desire for our nation is that the 2023 elections should clearly mark the commencement of the institutional strength of our electoral body in conducting acceptable, credible and violence-free elections.

‘‘The forthcoming general elections will provide us with the opportunity to convince the electorate on the need for continuity to enable our party to consolidate on our achievements in the last 7 years.

‘‘The Government and people of Nasarawa State, as usual, have a great role to play in returning our party to governance in the 2023 elections, in order to create a path for greater socio- economic growth and development. This is not only important for Nigeria alone but also for the West African Sub-Region.’’


READ ALSO: ASUU Strike: Shelve Planned Protest, FG Appeals To NLC


Noting that Nasarawa remains very dear to his heart, President Buhari described the State as the symbol of hope and determination in collective efforts to entrench democracy in Nigeria.

He recounted that in 2011, the State stood out during the general elections of that year, as the one State that compensated the political efforts in the then Congress for Progressive Change, defying rigging and ensuring that their voices mattered.

‘‘To demonstrate this admiration and appreciation to the people of Nasarawa State, I personally attended the inauguration of Governor Tanko Al- Makura on May 29, 2011. In 2015 and 2019, the State remained one of the strongholds of our great party, the APC.

‘‘I am optimistic that the people of the State, the APC Government and this broad representation of your delegation will not disappoint me, as we sustain concerted efforts in pushing forward the frontiers of good governance in our country.’’

President Buhari also used the occasion to stress the need for partnerships among the three tiers of government in order to deliver good governance, infrastructure and critical services needed by the people.

He pledged commitment to the joint-efforts by the State and the Federal Governments to facilitate easy transportation by road, railways and airports as well as power as no nation can develop without these components of infrastructure.

‘‘The proximity of Nasarawa State to the FCT naturally makes the State a partner in infrastructural development. We therefore need more collaboration to enhance this proximity with other contiguous States to achieve more integrated development,’’ the President said, expressing appreciation to the Government and people of the State for their continuing support to his administration.

Governor Sule told the President that the delegation comprising political office holders, royal fathers and community leaders was in the Villa to show appreciation for the numerous projects executed by the Buhari Administration which Nasarawa State ‘‘is among the great beneficiaries.’’

He thanked the President for approving the Federal Government takeover of the Lafia airport, refunds for the completion of the Lafia-Keffi road, ongoing construction of Abuja-Keffi-Akwanga-Lafia-Makurdi dual carriage road, and appointment of prominent sons and daughters of the State into different positions in the Federal Government.

On Lafia airport, the Governor said: ‘‘By this approval we can now see our airport being properly utilised not only as a cargo, but also commercial and security airport. This will createenormous economic activities, employment opportunities and more importantly security for our State and region.’’

He also congratulated the President for providing leadership and creating the enabling environment that facilitated the conduct of free, fair and credible primary elections, which resulted in the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the Presidential Candidate of APC, as well as the recent Osun elections that produced the PDP-candidate as Governor-elect.

2023: Presidency Must Return To Southern Nigeria, Fayose Insists

In this file photo, a former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on April 14, 2021.

 

A former governor of Ekiti State Ayodele Fayose has insisted that the southern part of Nigeria must produce the country’s president in 2023.

Fayose, a two-time governor under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said this in a series of tweets on his official handle on Wednesday, pinning his argument on the party’s constitution.

“The PDP Constitution provides for a rotational Presidency. Section 3(c) provides that the Party shall pursue its aims & objectives by “adhering to the policy of the rotation & zoning of Party & Public elective offices in pursuance of the principle of equity, justice, and fairness’,” Fayose maintained.

“The current President of Nigeria is a 2-term Northern Presidency, thus implying that it MUST be a Southern Presidency in 2023 or NOTHING. Awa ‘South’ lo kan’. Nigerians should await details soon.”

READ ALSO: [APC Primary] 17 Delegates Returned Money I Gave Them – Oloriegbe

Fayose, who contested the PDP presidential primary, lost out to former Vice President Atiku Abukar in the exercise held earlier this month.

He has been one of the strong advocates for a power shift to southern Nigeria despite the party Atiku from the northern region, as the party’s flagbearer.

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, who also lost in the exercise, had campaigned, among others, based on a power shift to the south.

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), however, is fielding a southerner – Bola Tinubu – as its presidential candidate to honour the power-sharing deal called zoning between the north and south.

Ekiti Governor-Elect Oyebanji, Deputy Receive Certificate Of Return From INEC

Oyebanji receives the certificate of return from INEC. [email protected]

 

The Ekiti State governor-elect and his deputy, Mrs Monisade Afuye, were on Wednesday presented with certificates of return by the electoral umpire following their victory in Saturday’s governorship election in the state.

Presenting the certificates in Ado, the state capital, the National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) overseeing the state, Sam Olumekun, expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the election and the role played by technology.

 

In his remarks, the governor-elect, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, commended INEC and security agencies for a good job. He attributed his electoral victory to the sterling performance of Governor Kayode Fayemi, promising to build on his legacies.

Oyebanji was on Sunday declared the winner of the poll after beating his closest challengers from the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Ekiti Election: Official Results Consistent With Votes Cast At Polling Units – YIAGA

YIAGA Africa says the result is a reflection of the people’s choice.

 

YIAGA Africa says official results of the Ekiti governorship election are a reflection of the voters’ choice at the polling units. 

The Civil Society Organisation said this in a tweet on its official handle on Sunday afternoon, hours after the election results were announced.

“According to Yiaga Africa’s Parallel Vote Tabulation estimates,” the tweet read,  “@inecnigeria official results for the Ekiti Governorship election is CONSISTENT with votes cast at the polling units.”

It said the official results would not have tallied with YIAGA Africa’s estimate ranges if they were changed at the ward, local government, or state collation centres.


RELATED

Ekiti Election: Prosecute Vote-Buyers Or Face Legal Action, SERAP Tells INEC

APC’s Oyebanji Declared Winner Of Ekiti Governorship Election


‘Indication Of  Confidence’

In this file photo, President Buhari presents the APC flag to its flag bearer for the Ekiti governorship poll, Abiodun Oyebanji. Photo: [email protected]

 

YIAGA’s comment comes hours after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Biodun Oyebanji of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the exercise.

The Returning Officer for the election, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan (UI), Prof. Kayode Oyebode Adebowale, said Oyebanji got 187,057 votes to defeat his closest challengers – Segun Oni of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Bisi Kolawole of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

While the SDP flag bearer had 82,211 votes, his PDP counterpart took the third spot having garnered 67,457 votes. He resumes office in October, taking over from Governor Kayode Fayemi.

Following his victory, President Muhammadu Buhari was among the first persons to congratulate Oyebanji on the feat.

The Nigerian president believes the development is a testament that the APC enjoys massive support in the country.

“This is a good beginning for you and your team. The APC is getting stronger and more united,” Buhari said in a statement on Sunday.

“The victory of our party in Ekiti is an indication of the confidence of Nigerians in the ability of our great party to deliver quality governance to all.”

According to him, the win is well deserved as he called on Oyebanji to be magnanimous in victory for the interest of the southwest state.

Ekiti Election: Oyebanji’s Victory Shows APC Is Accepted By Nigerians – Buhari

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari is of the opinion that the victory of Biodun Oyebanji at the just concluded governorship race in Ekiti State, is a signal that Nigerians accept the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Oyebanji was declared winner of the election within the early hours of Sunday, having polled  a total of 187,057 votes to defeat his two closest challengers – Segun Oni of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Bisi Kolawole of the People’s Democratic Party.

Reacting to the win, President Buhari congratulated the governor-elect via a statement, noting that the victory is well deserved considering Oyebanji’s contributions to the development of the State and the party, before his nomination as the standard bearer.


READ ALSO: Ekiti Election: Prosecute Vote-Buyers Or Face Legal Action, SERAP Tells INEC


Buhari further urged him, however, to be magnanimous in victory in the interest of the people of the State.

The president also rejoiced with the APC chairman, Abdulahi Adamu, and the National Working Committee for the victory, which is the first under the tenure of the newly elected executives of the party.

“This is a good beginning for you and your team. The APC is getting stronger and more united. The victory of our party in Ekiti is an indication of the confidence of Nigerians in the ability of our great party to deliver quality governance to all,” said the President.

He charged all APC members across and outside the country to see this as a good omen for the 2023 general elections and work assiduously to ensure the party’s victory, continuing the trend with Osun State next month July.

President Buhari also felicitated with the people of Ekiti State for the smooth conduct of the election, affirming that they are the real victors as they have been able to freely choose their leader for the next four years.

He lauded the Independent National Electoral Commission and the law enforcement agencies for the preparations put in place, urging them to keep the momentum for upcoming elections.

Ekiti Election: We Must Keep Our Feet Firmly On Ground To Win Osun – Keyamo

A file photo of the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo.

 

Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, says while the All Progressives Congress (APC) has attained success in the just concluded election in Ekiti State, the ruling party must be ready to do more in a bid to repeat the same feat in Osun State. 

In his reaction to the APC’s victory, Keyamo congratulated Biodun Oyebanji, however, the minister noted that a greater work will be needed for the Osun governorship polls slated for July 2022.

“Whilst this buoys our spirits in APC and I congratulate our own Biodun Oyebanji on this momentous feat, we must keep our feet firmly on the ground as there’s greater work ahead to win the Osun Governorship election and the 2023 Presidential elections.

“There should be no complacency,” Keyamo declared in a tweet on Sunday.

APC’s Oyebanji who is a former Secretary to the Ekiti State Government (SSG) won 15 out of the 16 Local Government Areas of the state gathering 187,057 votes in an election that was adjured peaceful.

Coming a far distant second in the race was the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Segun Oni who polled 82,211 votes, while the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bisi Kolawole gathered 67,457 votes.

While the election was described as peaceful, there were reports of a few incidences of violence and a widespread of vote buying especially by the ruling APC.

Reacting to these claims, Keyamo in an earlier tweet said that voting-buying in the governorship election in Ekiti State is not solely synonymous to the party.

The minister said the claims are only subtle messages passed across by opposition parties to the gullible, all in a bid to see that the APC loses the election.

He lamented that the only way some would be able to see an election as credible is only if the ruling party loses.

Ekiti Election: Prosecute Vote-Buyers Or Face Legal Action, SERAP Tells INEC

 

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has given Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) seven days to “gather information about reports of vote-buying, undue influence, intimidation, ballot box snatching, and other electoral offences by the three leading political parties in the just concluded Ekiti State governorship election.”

SERAP also urged INEC to “promptly and effectively prosecute those arrested, and bring to justice anyone who sponsored, aided and abetted them.”

In the letter dated 18 June 2022 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “Corruption of the ballot box intrudes on the freedom of Nigerian voters to make up their own minds. Vote buying and other forms of electoral corruption freeze out the less wealthy candidates and parties.”

SERAP said, “Wealthy candidates and their sponsors ought not to be allowed to profit from their crimes. We are concerned that impunity for vote buying and electoral bribery is widely prevalent in Nigeria, as perpetrators are rarely brought to justice.”


READ ALSO: Ekiti Election: Incidences Of Vote-Buying Not Synonymous Only With APC – Keyamo


According to SERAP, “If voting is as important as INEC always claims it is, now is the time to end the buying of democracy by wealthy politicians and their sponsors.”

The letter, read in part: “Vote buying encourages poor governance and weakens citizens’ capacity to hold their ‘elected officials’ accountable for their actions.”

“When political candidates or their sponsors decide to buy the support of the people rather than contest fairly for their votes, there are possibilities that such candidates and sponsors will show a disregard for democratic rules and a disposition to adopt illegal means becomes inevitable.”

“Vote buying is entirely an act of election malpractice connected with vested interest since an election can be said to be free and fair when it is devoid of vote buying, ballot snatching, and intimidation.”

“Your commitment to these issues will demonstrate to the voters that INEC is ready, willing and able to combat vote buying and electoral bribery and reassure Nigerians that INEC will do everything within its mandates to ensure that the 2023 general elections are not tainted by corruption.”

“Ending impunity for vote-buying, undue influence, ballot snatching, intimidation, and other electoral malpractices would contribute to free and fair elections and show that INEC would not tolerate these illegal practices during the 2023 general elections.”

“There are reports of a brazen pattern of vote-buying and electoral bribery in several polling units during the just concluded Ekiti governorship election. There are reports of bargaining prices for votes and payments made in uncompleted buildings and bags of foodstuff being shared after votes have been cast.”

“Acting swiftly to address the brazen impunity and reports of vote-buying and electoral bribery and other electoral offences during the Ekiti state governorship election would also send a strong message to politicians that INEC under your watch would not tolerate such practices during the 2023 general elections.”

“SERAP is concerned that the failure of INEC to rein in vote buying, electoral bribery and intimidation is illustrated by the fact that the body has not seriously addressed similar incidents in previous elections.”

“Vote buying and electoral bribery is a threat to fair and representative elections. Vote buying amounts to undue influence and improper electoral influence.”

“By engaging in vote buying and electoral bribery in so blatant a fashion, the politicians involved and their sponsors have clearly influenced voters to vote for him, contrary to the Electoral Act, thus raising serious questions about the legitimacy and validity of the election.”

“A corruption-free electoral process is essential for building public confidence in the electoral process, and the credibility and legitimacy of the 2023 elections.”

“One of the people’s most sacred rights is the right to vote. INEC has a constitutional and statutory responsibility to ensure the effective exercise of the right of all eligible voters to participate in their own government in free and fair elections.”

“Preventing and combating vote buying and electoral bribery would advance the people’s right to vote and to participate in their own government, as well as bolster the ability of INEC to discharge its constitutional and statutory mandates effectively and satisfactorily.”

“Many years of allegations of vote-buying, undue influence, ballot snatching, intimidation, and other electoral malpractices, as well as entrenched impunity of perpetrators have undermined public confidence in the electoral process.”

“Prosecuting allegations of vote-buying, undue influence, ballot snatching, intimidation, and other electoral malpractices during the Ekiti state governorship election would be entirely consistent with the Nigerian Constitution, the Electoral Act, and the country’s international human rights anti-corruption obligations.”

“Prosecuting those that have been arrested and identifying and arresting those who sponsored, aided and abetted them and bringing them to justice would act as a deterrent against vote buying and electoral bribery and other electoral malpractices and offences in the February 2023 general elections.”

“Agents of the three dominant political parties in the state, namely All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Social Democratic Party (SDP), were reportedly involved in buying votes across the state. According to reports, agents of the three parties in Ward 007, PU 001, Ado LGA offered voters as high as N10,000 in exchange for their votes.”

“There are also several reports of ballot box snatching including in polling units with codes 13/05/06/005 and 007 in Ilawe Ward IV, near St. Patrick’s School. In several voting units, party agents for the APC, PDP and SDP reportedly clustered around the voting cubicle and saw how voters marked their ballot papers.”

“Vote buying and electoral bribery, intimidation of voters, ballot snatching and other electoral malpractices and offences undermine the ability of INEC to discharge its responsibilities under Section 153 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and paragraph 15(a) of the third schedule of the Constitution, and the Electoral Act 2022.”

“The Nigerian Constitution provides in Section 14(1)(c) that, ‘the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.’”

“Section 145(2) of the Electoral Act provides that, ‘a prosecution under this Act shall be undertaken by legal officers of the Commission or any legal practitioner appointed by it.’ Under section 2(b), the commission ‘shall have power to promote knowledge of sound democratic election processes.’”

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel INEC to comply with our request in the public interest.”

Ekiti Election: SERAP Urges INEC To Prosecute Vote-Buyers

SERAP Threatens To Sue UI, AAUA Over Increased Fees
A logo of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prosecute all those involved in vote-buying in the course of the Ekiti State governorship election.

SERAP in a short tweet on Saturday said the prosecution must not end with those caught in the act, but must be extended to the politicians who fund their election malpractice.

The group’s reaction trails news of vote-buyers being arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).


READ ALSO: You Truly Belong To Everybody And Nobody, Tinubu Tells Buhari


Parading some of the suspects at the Oke Ori Omi Area Division of the Nigerian Police Force, the authorities said the individuals were caught with monies allegedly used to induce voters, an act the EFCC officials say were carried out surreptitiously.

While the polls were relatively peaceful, observers say they witnessed massive vote buying and selling.

One of such groups that testified to this was the Campaign for Equal Voting Access for Persons with Disabilities (EVAPWD), a program of the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD).

According to the body, its observers witnessed massive vote buying and selling, particularly in “Polling Unit (PU) 001, Ward 10, Irepodun/Ifelodun LGA, PU 002, Ward 10, Odo-Oye / Ayedun 1, Gbonyi LGA, and PU 039, Ward 11, Ado-Ekiti LGA”.

In a communique signed by its chairman, David O. Anyaele, the group however, noted that it is impressed to observe that marginalized populations – the aged, nursing mothers and pregnant women and persons with disabilities were offered priority voting in most of the polling units observed.

Ekiti Election: Incidences Of Vote-Buying Not Synonymous Only With APC – Keyamo

A file photo of the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo.

 

Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has said that reports of voting-buying in the ongoing governorship election in Ekiti State is not solely synonymous to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). 

Keyamo’s statement comes on the heels of reports suggesting that the APC was involved in mass vote buying and selling in the ongoing Ekiti polls.

In his statement on Twitter, the minister said the claims are only subtle messages passed across by opposition parties, all in a bid to see that the ruling party loses the election.

“Incidences of vote-buying can’t be synonymous only with the ruling party, but the subtle message the other parties try to pass to the gullible is that only the ruling party engages in illegalities & that the only way an election can be deemed credible is if the ruling party loses,” Keyamo lamented.


READ ALSO: We Observed Massive Vote Buying And Selling – EVAPWD


The election in Ekiti State has been adjudged peaceful by many, however, there have been pockets of violence and several reports of “money for votes” practices.

Agents of the ruling APC were reportedly arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for alleged vote-buying.

Parading some of the suspects at the Oke Ori Omi Area Division of the Nigerian Police Force, the suspects were said to have been caught with monies allegedly used to induce voters, an act the EFCC officials say were carried out surreptitiously.

The EFCC thereafter proceeded to burst another residence where some persons were caught with a book containing details of voters of certain voting area.

Owo Attack: We Failed To Defend Victims, Akeredolu Laments At Funeral

The Federal Government has blamed ISWAP for the attack. [email protected] RotimiAkeredolu

 

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State says the government did not do enough to protect victims of the Owo church attack. 

He spoke on Friday during a funeral mass held for the victims of the St. Francis Catholic Church attack.

“We have failed to defend these people. Not because we have not tried. But because these forces on the other side are evil,” the governor said.

Governor Akeredolu noted that “the sight of the victims of the horrendous attack cuts deep in our hearts”.

READ ALSO: Catholic Church Holds Funeral Mass For Members Killed In Owo

The Chairman of the South West Governors’ Forum, however, said “we take solace in the Divine even as we hold the assurance that light will always prevail in the end. May the souls of the departed requiescat in pace.”

After the funeral mass at the Mydas Event Centre in Owo, families of the victims took the remains of their loved ones for burial.

A former governor of the state, Olusegun Mimiko, was among the dignitaries that graced the event.

Some clergymen, including Bishop Jude Arogundade of Ondo Catholic Diocese and Bishop Matthew Kukah of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, also attended the funeral.

Over 40 persons were killed in the attack with several others injured.