INEC Redeploys Five RECs, Four Directors

National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has redeployed five Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) and four directors across the country.

This was announced in a statement signed by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.

In the new postings, the REC in Osun State, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje, has been redeployed to Ogun State.

At the same time, his counterpart in Ogun State, Prof. AbdulGaniy Olayinka Raji, will take charge as REC, Osun State.

In the same vein, the REC in Bayelsa State, Dr Cyril Omorogbe, will take up his new role as the REC for Cross River State, while Dr Emannuel Alex Hart proceeds to Bayelsa State as the REC from his former office in Cross River State.

The REC in Zamfara State, Dr Asmau Sani Maikudi, has also been redeployed to Kaduna State.

According to the statement, the redeployments are part of the commission’s routine administrative postings.

Similarly, the Director (Voter Education and Publicity), Mr. Nick Dazang, has proceeded on terminal leave.

Consequently, Mr. Victor Ayodele Aluko has been reassigned from Director (Administration) to Voter Education and Publicity as Director, while Mr. Mikah Thabbal Lakumna has been redeployed to Administration from his erstwhile position as Director (Security).

Mr. Nduh Lebari Samson moves from the office of the Secretary to the Commission to Director (Security).

Mr. Yakubu Mohammed Duku, Director in the Electoral Operations Department, proceeds to Niger State as the substantive Administrative Secretary.

The handing/taking over activities should be completed by Monday, September 13.

INEC To Hold Jigawa Bye-Election On June 19

A photo combination of Jigawa map and INEC logo

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will conduct a bye-election for the Gwaram Federal Constituency of Jigawa State on June 19.

INEC Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, disclosed this via a statement issued on Friday.

He said the decision to conduct the exercise followed the death of the former holder of the office, Hon. Yuguda Hassan Kila on March 4, in which the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila declared the seat vacant.

“Consequently, the Commission has fixed Saturday 19th June 2021 for the conduct of bye-election to fill the vacant seat for the said Constituency in the House of Representatives,” the statement partly read.

READ ALSO: Tambuwal Leads Governors To Resolve PDP Crisis In Cross River

“The official notification for the election will be published on 17th May 2021. Political parties shall conduct their primaries between 18th and 24th May 2021.

“The Access Code for online submission of nomination forms will be available for collection from 24th May 2021 at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja while the last day for submission of the list of nominated candidates is 28th May 2021 at 6.00 pm.”

Okoye also directed political parties to submit the names of their polling agents for the election to the INEC Electoral Officer for Gwaram Local Government Area on/or before 1st June 2021, noting that campaigns would end on June 17.

While noting that the detailed Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the bye-election has been uploaded on the Commission’s website and other social media platforms, he asked political parties to abide by Section 87 of the Electoral Act relating to the nomination processes.

He added, “The Commission wishes to reiterate that since work on the expansion of voter access to Polling Units in the country is ongoing, the bye-election will hold in the existing Polling Units and Voting Points across the Constituency covering Gwaram Local Government Area of Jigawa State.

“The Commission enjoins all political parties to strictly adhere to the Timetable and Schedule of Activities and avoid rancorous primaries and violence during the campaigns and throughout the electoral process.”

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.

Ondo Fire: Over 5,000 Smart Card Readers Destroyed – INEC

 

Over 5,000 smart card readers are said to have been destroyed in the fire that engulfed the head office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akure, Thursday. 

Confirming this on Friday, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of INEC in the state, Amb. Rufus Akeju told newsmen that the inferno started at about 7:30pm after the office had been closed for the day.

According to him, 5,141 smart card readers were destroyed in the fire.

Mr Akeju stressed that things could have been worse, had it not been for the timely intervention of the men of the Ondo State Fire Service, Federal Fire Service, and fire service officials from Ilesa, Osun State.

READ ALSO: Card Readers Destroyed As Fire Guts Ondo INEC Head Office

At the time of reporting, the actual cause of the fire is yet unknown, but the REC assured that appropriate agencies are already investigating the incident.

The Commissioner also stated that the incident will not affect the coming election in the state, stressing that necessary arrangements are being put in place to replace the burnt materials.

The fire outbreak on Thursday comes only a few weeks to the October 10 governorship election in the state.

INEC’s Commissioner in charge of Information and Voters Education, Festus Okoye, told journalists at the scene of the incident that the fire affected the Information and Communication Technology section of the Commission.

Speaking further on the damaged materials, Mr Okoye revealed that about 1000 card readers delivered to INEC from Osun State were caught up in the flames alongside over 4000 card readers belonging to INEC in Ondo State.

He, however, assured that the inferno will not lead to the postponement of the polls.

INEC Releases Final List Of Candidates For Ondo Governorship Election

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission has released the list for the Ondo State governorship election scheduled to hold on October 10.

In a statement issued on Friday by Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, the release followed a weekly regular meeting which held on August 20 where the commission deliberated on the conduct of the exercise and subsequent elections.

Okoye explained that four political parties that earlier made valid nominations substituted their candidates.

“The African Democratic Congress (ADC), Action Democratic Party (ADP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) withdrew and substituted their Deputy Governorship candidates while the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) substituted both its Governorship and Deputy Governorship candidates,” the statement partly read.

 

While urging political candidates and their parties to be guided accordingly, the electoral umpire asked members of the public to check its website for the final list.

READ ALSO: Edo Election: Police Clampdown On Proliferation Of Prohibited Firearms

This comes three weeks after the commission released the names of candidates for the Ondo election.

In the list sighted by Channels Television on July 31, INEC published the names of 17 governorship candidates and their running mates with their political parties.

The parties include the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and 15 other political parties.

Of the 17 political candidates vying for the number 1 office in the state, APC candidate and incumbent Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu with his PDP contender, Eyitayo Jegede can be visibly seen.

See Full List Here:

INEC Determined To Conduct Polls But Will Back Out If Violence Becomes Unbearable – Okoye

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said that it is determined to conduct elections in Edo and Ondo States, however, the electoral umpire says it will pull out if there is unbearable violence recorded in the course of the polls. 

INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, disclosed this on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

Mr Okoye said the commission is poised to conduct these elections though some political parties are engaging in activities aimed at making the commission become scared about moving on with the electoral exercises.

The tension in Edo state recently came to a very disturbing magnitude when dozens of heavily armed security operatives stormed the Assembly complex of the state,  purportedly to forestall an alleged plan to attack the facility by some unnamed persons.

While nerves seemed to be getting calm from the “averted invasion” of the Assembly, news filtered in that seventeen lawmakers in the state including 14 members whose seats have been previously declared vacant, held a covert plenary and impeached the Speaker of the House, Francis Okiye, and his deputy, Roland Asoro.

This news triggered another round of palpable unrest, stirring debates and causing opposition parties to throw shades and exchange banters. The banters, however, degenerated to an unhealthy point to which there were claims of a plot to assassinate high-profile personalities in the state.

Having closely monitored the situation, INEC said the commission is not scared, noting that it is going to strategise with the security agencies and will move in to make sure that the people of Edo State and the people of Ondo State are given the choice and exercise their sovereign rights to choose whoever they want as their leaders.

INEC through its spokesman, Festus Okoye, insisted that there is a level of violence that will be tolerated, adding that if the threshold is exceeded, then the Commission would be forced to suspend the electoral proceedings.

“The violence we are talking about will be the type of violence that puts people on edge, which puts fear in the minds of the people.

“The type of violence that is cogent and verifiable, that everybody can see and be sure that the peace and security of the state are being threatened. It is not if there is violence maybe in a particular ward that the security agencies have been able to contain that we are going to call off the election.

“Type of violence I’m talking about and the type of issues that will lead us not to proceed with the election must be so serious that no regulatory agency or no regulatory commission will move into such a place to go and conduct election when it is completely unsafe to conduct the election.

“We are determined to proceed with this election but if we encounter the type of violence that is unbearable, the type of violence that will make it completely impossible to conduct anything called an election, we will pull out”.

The nation’s electoral umpire recently introduced a dedicated portal to check election results uploaded from various polling units in real-time.

INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, had made the announcement in a statement on Thursday last week.

Okoye believes INEC should be commended for taking a step further to ensure transparency in its conduct of elections in the country.

He described the portal as a new step to further strengthen Nigeria’s election management process.

The portal, which was first used in the recently concluded Nasarawa Central Constituency election, would also be deployed in forthcoming governorship polls in Edo and Ondo States.

INEC had fixed September 19 and October 10 for the elections in Edo and Ondo, respectively.

The 10 easy ways to access election results on the portal have been highlighted below:

COVID-19 Forces INEC To Suspend Regular Activities

Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended regular activities for the time being. 

This is according to a statement by Festus Okoye, INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee.

Mr Okoye stated that the move was in view of the Coronavirus Pandemic and the preventive and containment measures put in place by the Federal and State Governments and in line with the advisory on social distancing from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The INEC spokesman noted that the Commission has taken some extra measures to protect its staff, visitors and the general public.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Nigerians Must Brace Up For Tougher Measures – Lai Mohammed

Some of the measures taken include that, “Effective from Tuesday 24th March 2020, all regular and non-essential activities will be suspended in its headquarters and offices nationwide for 14 days in the first instance.

“The regular quarterly meetings with Stakeholders, namely: Political Parties, Civil Society Organisations, the Media, Security Agencies and all other meetings, have been suspended until such a time when normalcy returns.

“In addition, the Commission will no longer monitor the conventions, congresses, conferences or meetings of political parties until further notice.”

The Commissioner reiterated the Commission’s commitment to openness, consultation and continued communication with its stakeholders and expects all to understand the emergency situation that informed the suspension of contact engagements.

He stated that the health and wellbeing of all INEC staff, officials and the general public are of paramount importance to the Commission.

Mr Okoye, however, noted that notwithstanding the measures outlined, the Commission will continue to meet via non-physical contact channels while communication between the Commission and its stakeholders will remain open.

He emphasized that the new measures taken do not affect the activities for Edo and Ondo governorship elections scheduled for 19th September and 10th October 2020 respectively.

#KogiBayelsa2019: Most Voters Who Were Willing To Vote Had Opportunity To Do So – INEC

INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says despite reports of violence recorded in different parts of Kogi and Bayelsa states, most voters who were willing to vote had the opportunity to do so. 

In a communique by its National Commissioner, Mr. Festus Okoye, the commission said it carefully monitored the electoral process in both states.

The Commission further stated that reports from accredited observers and electoral officials in the field indicate that those who were willing to vote did vote accordingly.

This statement is coming amid outcry over violence, thuggery, and vote-buying during the electoral exercise in Kogi and Bayelsa States.

In Kogi State, suspected thugs attempted to snatch ballot papers in the Odu Ward 4, Odu-Ogboyaga ward 1 of Dekina local government area, where the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mr. Musa Wada cast his vote.

The thugs were confronted by youths and security officials who threw stones and objects to secure the electoral materials.

Similarly, the electoral process was disrupted in ward 2, Lokoja, as gunshots were fired into the air by suspected thugs who made away with ballot boxes.

Voters in the Ajayi Crowther Memorial School were forced to scamper for safety following the invasion of thugs.

Commencement of voting in the polling unit which is the biggest in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital had a delay due to late arrival of security officials.

However, INEC argues that the Commission delivered materials to its offices in both Bayelsa and Kogi.

INEC further noted that despite all efforts to promote peaceful elections including several engagements with stakeholders and the signing of the peace accords, there were cases of thuggery and violence, which the Commission condemns unequivocally.

READ ALSO:  Bayelsa Election: Electoral Officials In Southern Ijaw Have Been Kidnapped – Dickson

VIDEO: No Amount Of Money Can Give You Control Over Thug Attacks, Says INEC

 

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reacted to the thuggery attacks on some polling units in the ongoing governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States.

This comes as residents of both states go out in their numbers to elect their governors for the next four years.

While the exercise was said to have gone smoothly in some parts of the states, there were reports of violence in other areas.

READ ALSO: Suspected Thugs Storm Kogi PDP Governorship Candidate’s Polling Unit

Hoodlum attacks were recorded at the polling units where the governorship and Kogi West senatorial district candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Musa Wada and Senator Dino Melaye, cast their votes.

On the other hand, the exercise went well at the polling units where those of the All Progressives Congress (APC) – Governor Yahaya Bello and Senator Smart Adeyemi – cast their votes.

 

Reacting to the attacks recorded in the elections, INEC’s National Commissioner Mr Festus Okoye insisted that the commission was in control of the entire process.

He, however, decried the rate of violent attacks which take place during elections and the inability of the electoral body to address the issue.

According to Okoye, although INEC has a duty to organise, conduct, and supervise elections, the responsibility of ensuring it is successful must be shared with the security agencies and the media among other political stakeholders.

INEC To Publish Voter Register For Kogi And Bayelsa Elections On Monday

A file photo of Mr Festus Okoye

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission says it will, on Monday, publish the register of voters for the upcoming governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa. 

INEC disclosed this in a communique issued by Mr. Festus Okoye, the National Commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, on Wednesday in Abuja.

Okoye said that INEC would also present the register to all the political parties sponsoring candidates for the Nov. 16 polls in the two states in line with Section 20 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

READ ALSO: Bayelsa Governorship: Court Orders Substituted Service On APC Candidate

He said the events, which would take place at the commission’s offices in Yenagoa and Lokoja, would be presided over by the Supervising National Commissioners and assisted by the Resident Electoral Commissioners of the respective states.

He said that November 2 was the deadline for the submission of names of polling agents to the Electoral Officers, while Nov. 14 remained the deadline for campaigns.

The Commission appealed to all candidates to avoid comments capable of inciting violence and instilling fear during their campaigns.

INEC Clears 23 Parties For Kogi, 45 For Bayelsa Governorship Elections

A file photo of Mr Festus Okoye

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cleared 23 political parties to contest the governorship election in Kogi State and 45 parties to contest the governorship election in Bayelsa State.

In a communique on Friday, INEC said it had rejected 14 invalidly submitted nominations by political parties for the elections slated for November 16.

According to the communique signed by Festus Okoye, INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, 19 political parties willingly withdrew their nominations for the elections.

READ ALSO: Reps Divided Over Deregistration Of Political Parties

Mr Okoye said that out of the 14 rejected invalid nominations, eight were from Kogi, while six were rejected from Bayelsa.

He said that at the close of nomination, 23 political parties were cleared in Kogi with 18 parties withdrawing from the race, while one party withdrew in Bayelsa leaving 45 political parties in the race.

Elections: INEC Vows To ‘Restore Voters’ Confidence’ In Bayelsa, Kogi

Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it wants to restore the confidence of voters in the governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states.

Speaking during his appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Mr Festus Okoye that the Commission was working hard to conduct credible elections in both states on November 16.

“Based on what we are hearing from the stakeholders, we are going to move into Bayelsa and Kogi states early enough to build the confidence of the voters and the confidence of the stakeholders,” Okoye who is the INEC Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee said on Monday.

READ ALSO: Customs Officer Who Promoted Himself To CG, Undergoing Medical Examination – Attah

He added, “So we are going to move in on time and hold meetings with the religious leaders, civil society groups and organisations, political parties, security agencies with all the critical stakeholders.

The INEC official explained that they intend to carry out ‘a robust’ voter education to ensure the people of the states understand their processes and procedures.

According to him, the electoral umpire will build the confidence of the people and make them understand that it is ready to conduct an election they will be proud of.

Okoye, who is also INEC National Commissioner, urged political parties conduct their primaries in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

He stressed that Sections 87 and 31 of the Act already explained how political parties should field candidates that would fly their flags in the governorship elections.

When asked if INEC has enough time to implement the report by electoral observers in the general elections, Okoye gave assurance that the Commission would consider it.

“The ones that we can do administratively, we will carry them out; the ones that need legislative intervention, if a new law comes into being before then, we will implement them,” he said.