The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved N2.6 billion for the printing of 40 million permanent voters’ cards.
The 40 million voters’ cards, which when issued will allow voters to participate in elections irrespective of their location in the country, are expected to be ready by November.
According to the government’s calculations, the unit cost of the electronically enabled voters’ cards is N65.00.
The printing contract for the new cards was awarded to ACT Technologies Limited.
The printing of 40 million Permanent voters’ cards which is the first phase of the project is to replace the temporary cards issued to voters at the point of registration in 2011.
The Council meeting was presided over by the President, Goodluck Jonathan, who also directed all ministries, departments and agencies to list out their procurement needs for goods to be procured locally in this year’s budget, in order to prepare local manufacturers on their demands.
Briefing state house correspondent, the Minister of Information Labaran Maku said the approval for the provision of those cards for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is to instil transparency in the electioneering process.
Mr Maku said that the move is in line with the governments’ efforts in reducing electoral frauds and cases of multiple voting.
He said the process will continue in 2013 as an upgrade on the card printing process which will contain data of eligible voters in a micro-chip that will be accommodated in the card.
The Congress for Progressive Change has called for the postponement of the Kebbi State governorship election which has been scheduled for Saturday, 31 March 31.
The Deputy National Chairman of the Party, Mustapha Saliu told journalists in Abuja that the party is requesting for the postponement because of the withdrawal of the party’s candidate for the election.
“We are asking for the postponement of the election so that we can be able to shop, nominate and sponsor a fresh candidate,” he said.
He further observed that the Independent National Electoral Commission had turned down the application on the premise that a 45 day notice was to be given according to the Electoral act as amended in 2010.
Mr Saliu said that should the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) proceed with this Saturday’s election the CPC will be heading for the court to seek redress.
“We have asked our people to boycott the election,” he said.
The National Secretary of the party, Buba Galadima said that “even though the Supreme Court gave them the latitude of 90 days, so that all legal processes ought to take place before the election,” INEC preferred to schedule the election 37 days after the Supreme Court judgement.
He said that the 37 days is not even close to the 45 days’ notice given by the electoral act for candidate substitution.
The Kebbi State governorship elections is set to hold on Saturday, 31 March and 15 candidates are vying for the position, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said in a bulleting on Wednesday.
The Supreme Court of Nigeria sacked the former Kebbi State governor Usman Saidu Nasamu Dakingari earlier this year and had ordered INEC to conduct fresh elections within 90 days of the decision.
Usman Dakingari, the PDP frontman, is back in the running to reclaim his governorship position and will be facing down 14 other contenders.
The other candidates include:
Alhaji Sulaiman Argungu of the ANPP
Kabiru Turaki of ACN
Umaru Birnin Kebbi of APGA
Attari Sani from the AD party
Hajiya Hauwau Mohammed from ADC
Alhaji Lawan Moad of ALP
Malam Abubakar Abubakar of CPC
Alhaji Sani Abubakar from the CPP
Muhammed Danbare of LP
Sahabi Atiku representing NNPP
Alhaji Tukur Yaro of NSDP
Mohammed Mogaji of NTP
Alhaji Abubakar Umaru of the PPA
Alhaji Mohammed Nura from PPP
INEC will be deploying over 8,000 officials to conduct the elections through out Kebbi state’s 21 local governments, 225 registrations areas and 2,398 polling units.
“A breakdown of the personnel requirement for the re-run election shows that the commission will deploy 7,859 ad hoc staff from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) plus undergraduates from tertiary institutions in Kebbi.
“In addition, 225 Supervisory Presiding Officers (SPOs), 247 Collation Officers (COs), 25 Supervisors and 273 reserves,’’ it said, adding that over 1.6 million people are registered to cast their votes.
The Supreme Court has upheld the election of the governor of Bauchi state, Isa Yuguda, dismissing the appeal of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).
The Chief Justice of Nigeria who delivered the lead judgment said the Apex Court lacks the jurisdiction to hear the appeal afresh since it emanated from a tribunal and not a trial court.
He added that “the court cannot allow the judgment of the Appellate court as it lacks competence since it gave reasons for its judgment outside the 60 days stipulated by the law.” “It has become a nullity and therefore does not exist.
The Court there after held that the tribunal judgment which upheld the victory of the governor as subsisting.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, however urged the National Assembly to amend Section 285 of the Electoral Act to ensure that litigants do not continue to suffer as a result of the law.
Counsel to CPC’s candidate in the April 2011 governorship election, Mr Olawale Akoni had told the court to evoke Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act to hear the suit afresh as it is not satisfied.
With the handling of the suit by the Appellate court, counsel to the governor, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi and that of (INEC) Mr Hassan Liman both opposed the application on the grounds that several judgment of the Supreme Court.
Have indicated that if the appeal court delivers judgment outside the 60 days stipulated by the law it is null and void and since the same scenario is applicable to this suit same should apply.
The Supreme Court also set aside the judgment of the Appellate Court in the appeal brought before it by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) challenging the victory of governor Dambaba Suntai of Taraba state in the April 2011 governorship election on the grounds that the Appeal Court lacks the competence to deliver judgment and give reasons outside the 60 days stipulated in the electoral act 2010 as amended.
An explosion tore through a polling station in the southern Yemeni city of Aden on Monday (February 20), followed by gunfire that killed one soldier, a day before a presidential vote to replace Ali Abudllah Saleh.
The soldier was killed and another injured when unidentified gunmen opened fire on an army patrol in the same neighbourhood shortly after the blast, an official said. No one was hurt in the blast, he said.
The official could not confirm whether the two incidents were related. He told Reuters the explosion caused a big hole in the building’s wall and shattered the windows of nearby houses. He said authorities were investigating both incidents.
Millions of Yemenis vote on Tuesday (February 21) in an election in which Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, representing Saleh’s supporters and opponents, is the only candidate. A year of protests and unrest have forced Saleh to end his 33-year rule.
Southern secessionists and Houthi Shi’ite rebels in the north are boycotting the vote but analysts say they are unlikely to be involved in violence to disrupt it. In the south a powerful branch of al Qaeda is active and has controlled a number of cities there for nearly a year.
Saleh handed power to Hadi in November under a power-transfer deal brokered by Gulf Arab states with the help of the United Nations, the United States and the European Union.