A day after the residents of Bayelsa and Kogi States cast their ballots in the governorship elections in both states, voters are awaiting the results to know who will govern them for the next four years.
Results from the elections which held on Saturday have started trickling in at the collation centre of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the two states.
The police have lamented that the violence in Kogi State during the governorship elections was worse than that of Bayelsa State.
Elections had been disrupted in Ward 2, Lokoja, after gunshots were fired into the air by suspected thugs.
They also made away with ballot boxes, even as electorates scampered for safety.
Speaking about the situation during an appearance on Channels TV’s special election programme, the Police Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, noted that although some of the incidences had been identified in the threat analysis and preventive measures were taken, a lot of things are still beyond the control of the security agencies.
He, however, explained that if the public knew the level of threat that was detected as well as the amount of work that went into identifying, isolating and neutralising a lot of the threat they would appreciate the efforts of the security agencies.
According to him, the fact that there were incidences of some isolated cases of violence should “not distract from the heavy investments and amount of work (they) have done”.
“The situation in Kogi has actually been very challenging, more challenging than the situation in Bayelsa,” he said.
“The truth, however, is that we saw a great deal of this in the threat analysis we conducted earlier and we actually took a lot of measures and strategic steps to isolate and neutralise some of these problems”.
Speaking further, he blamed some of the electoral malpractices and violence on politicians who play very desperate games.
According to Mba, despite being armed, the security agencies have to exercise maximum restraint in order not to harm innocent citizens.
“When you are policing an environment where politicians play very desperate games, where politicians believe in winning at all cost, where they do not believe in the rule of law or political process, you will constantly be swimming against the tide and of course you understand that as police officers, we can never behave like thugs.
“As much as we are armed, we believe first and foremost that our weapons are given to us by the state to preserve our citizens and so even when we are responding to incidents at the polling stations, we are conscious of the fact that we need to exercise maximum restraint.
“We need to exercise a lot of due care and diligence to ensure that in trying to stop the thugs, stop the law breakers, we do not bring the innocent into harm’s way”.
Residents of Bayelsa and Kogi states are awaiting the outcomes of the elections to choose who will govern the states for the next four years.
In Bayelsa, 45 candidates are in the governorship race, according to data from the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Mr David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Senator Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are believed to be the top contenders in the race.
The race is expected to produce a successor to Governor Seriake Dickson who is in the final months of his second term.
In Kogi, a tight race is expected, involving 24 candidates.
It is a heated race with Governor Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) seeking re-election, while Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party, the younger brother of the man Bello and his party ousted from power four years ago, is a leading candidate to stop the governor and reclaim the seat for the opposition party.
The build-up to the election has been dramatic and sometimes violent.
Just on Thursday, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Natasha Akpoti, was attacked outside the venue of a meeting between stakeholders and the Inspector General of the Police and the INEC Chairman.
An added dimension to today’s election in Kogi is the Senatorial election rerun in Kogi West which pits old foes Dino Melaye of the PDP and Smart Adeyemi of the APC against each other once again.
Melaye had ousted Adeyemi from the Senate as a member of the APC in 2015.
At the time, Adeyemi was a member of the PDP.
Both men later switched camps with Melaye being declared winner of the February 23, 2019 election in the district, a declaration the court later nullified and called for fresh elections.
Ahead of the elections, President Muhammadu Buhari called for fairness and transparency and the IGP promised to ensure peace so the people can vote.
Opposition party leaders, however, expressed fears about whether the votes would be peaceful and fair.
Channels TV reporters are on the ground to keep you updated about happenings in both states. Stay with us and keep refreshing this page for fresh updates.
5:26 PM: Officials prepare for the collation of election results at the INEC Headquarters in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.
5:20 PM: Officials prepare for the collation of election results at the INEC Headquarters in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.
3:30 PM: Soldiers parade Lokoja-Okene Expressway following violent attacks on some polling units in the Kogi State capital.
3:06 PM: Counting of votes is underway at Polling Unit 017 in Epie III in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
1:20 PM: Suspected thugs destroy electoral materials at Ward 8 in INEC’s Registration Area Centre (RAC) in Ekeremor LGA of Bayelsa.
12:40 PM: Gunmen attack and disrupt voting at Iluafor Ward polling unit 002 in Kogi State.
12:10 PM: The APC candidate in Bayelsa, David Lyon, has just voted at Olugbobiri in Southern Ijaw LGA.
12:03 PM: Suspected thugs have disrupted the exercise at Ayetoro II Polling Unit 003 in Kogi West.
The polling unit is located very close to the NSCDC office in the area.
Kogi polls: Thugs attack journalists at Ayaingba. Thugs suspected to belong to one of the political parties have allegedly attacked Sam Egwu of the Leadership newspaper & Sunday Omachi of Radio Kogi, reports News Agency of Nigeria. #Travesty
11:11 AM: SDP Gubernatorial Candidate, Natasha Akpoti, casts her vote at Polling Unit 19 Ward 1 in Obeiba Ihima Okehi LGA of Kogi State.
Meanwhile, suspected thugs have attempted to snatch ballot papers in the Odu-Ogboyaga Ward 1 of Dekina Local Government Area in Kogi State, where the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mr Musa Wada cast his vote.
The thugs were, however, confronted by youths and security officials who threw stones at them to secure the electoral materials. READ…
10: 50AM: Electoral officials and materials are yet to arrive at the polling units in former President Goodluck Jonathan’s hometown, Otuoke in Bayelsa State.
10:41 AM: Senator Smart Adeyemi has just arrived at Ijumu Iyara 002 polling unit where he is expected to cast his vote.
He has joined the queue, waiting to get accredited and cast his vote.
10:30 AM: Some wards and units were merged together in Sagbama LGA of Bayelsa State because some communities were flooded.
10:15 AM: Voting going on smoothly at Amule polling unit in Lokoja, Kogi State.
10:10 AM: PDP Deputy Governorship Candidate, Senator Lawrence Ewrhujakpor, casts his vote at Ofoni Community in Bayelsa State.
9:47 AM: In Brass Constituency I in Bayelsa, distribution of materials to the various polling units started at about 7am.
Accreditation has begun but voting is yet to commence in Polling Units 7 and 3 in Ward One.
9:40AM: Accreditation process is about to commence at Unit 013 in Epie III, Amarata in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
9:14 AM: Senator Dino Melaye casts his ballot after he was accredited.
According to him, he got information that some areas in his ward were being attacked by thugs and has informed the police.
8:49 AM: Governor Yahaya Bello and his wife, Aminat, get accredited at a polling unit in Agasa in Okene LGA of Kogi State.
He hails INEC for the conduct of the poll.
8:46 AM: Accreditation has started and there is no issue reported with the smart card reader at Ward 4 in Odoware Town Hall in Bayelsa State.
Security operatives are also present while pregnant women and the elderly are being given preference at the ward.
8:42 AM: At ward 6 in Epie in Bayelsa, there is a delay as electoral officials are yet to arrive with the materials for the exercise. Voting and accreditation have yet to commence.
8:35 AM: Card reader malfunction was reported at Polling Unit 8 in Ward 4 in Nembe LGA of Bayelsa State. However, an electoral official is addressing the issue.
8:30 AM: There are four electoral officials and three security operatives present as accreditation and voting commenced at a polling unit in Okpoama in Brass LGA of Bayelsa State.
The exercise is said to be going on smoothly.
8:28 AM: Accreditation and voting have commenced at a polling unit in Gboloko Ward in Bassa LGA of Kogi State.
There are eight security operatives present, comprising men of the police, NSCDC, and Nigeria Customs Service.
Meanwhile, some voters in Kogi West senatorial district are gradually coming out to cast their ballot for the governorship and senatorial elections.
Others arrived very early at the Ajayi Crowther Memorial School in Lokoja, waiting to vote for the candidates of their choice as electoral officials prepare for the exercise.
See some photos below:
8:24 AM: Suspected thugs said to have disrupted exercise in Omala LGA in Kogi State.
8:15 AM: Channels TV correspondent, Kayla Megwa, gives updates from Lokoja, Kogi State capital. She says there was a delay as a result of the late arrival of security personnel.
She adds that INEC ad-hoc staff arrived at their duty posts very early and were ready to deploy materials across the state but no security operative was attached to them.
Ajayi Crowther Primary School in Lokoja, according to here, is one of the biggest polling units in Lokoja and security operatives arrived at about a few minutes to 8am and voting has yet to commence.
7:42 AM: Electoral officials and materials set to be deployed to various polling units following the arrival of security personnel in Ajayi Crowther Primary School in Lokoja A (Kogi State).
7:33 AM: Yenagoa: In the Bayelsa State capital, INEC officials are setting up polling units for voting.
Here are some photos below:
7:29 AM: The Ajayi Crowther Primary School in Lokoja A (Kogi State) has 27 polling units 100 voting points 49,374 registered voters.
There are only two security officers deployed there from Friday and the electoral officials are unable to deploy to the polling units due to the absence of security personnel to accompany them and the materials.
The Plateau State Election Tribunal has upheld the election victory of Simon Lalong as the governor of the state.
Delivering judgment on Wednesday, Justice Halimat Saleeman, in a unanimous decision of the tribunal threw out the petitioner’s case on the grounds that the petition is weak along the line of law and therefore cannot sway justice to the side of the petitioner.
The petition was therefore dismissed in its entirety and the declaration of Simon Lalong by the Independent National Electoral Commission in the Governorship election became valid.
Okoye, however, said INEC has yet to receive any resignation letter from the REC, in line with the provisions of the Constitution.
According to him, Dr Briyai failed to follow laid down procedure for resignation as such can only take effect on receipt of the resignation letter by the appointing authority.
The National Commissioner also condemned the use of the premises of the electoral body for expression of political interest, saying it was unlawful.
He, therefore, noted that INEC’s administrative secretary in the state has been directed to take over the responsibilities of the REC until further notice.
Read the full statement from the electoral umpire below:
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Cross River State of INEC, Dr Frankland Briyai yesterday addressed the media to the effect that he has resigned his position as REC with effect from August 8, 2019, and joined a political party on whose platform he intends to contest the November 16, 2019 governorship Election in Bayelsa State.
Although this was done at the commission’s Cross River State office in Calabar, the commission is yet to receive any communication on this from Dr Briyai.
The commission strongly frowns at the REC’s expression of partisan interest. We note that the Constitution precludes National and Resident Electoral Commissioners from belonging to political parties.
Also, the use of INEC premises and facilities for such declaration or for any political purpose is unlawful and contrary to the Code of Conduct subscribed to by all INEC officials.
Dr Briyai failed to follow laid down procedure for resignation as REC. Section 306(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) provides that the resignation of such appointment takes effect on receipt of the letter of resignation by the appointing authority – in this case, the President.
We are not aware that he has tendered his resignation to the appointing authority and the commission has not received any resignation letter as he claimed.
Following his actions and based on the constitution, the commission has withdrawn all powers and functions delegated to Dr Briyai as Resident Electoral Commissioner.
Consequently, the Administrative Secretary of INEC Cross River State has been directed to oversee the office and take over the functions and duties of the REC until further notice.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that is has received petitions from some stakeholders in Kogi State kicking against Indirect Primaries adopted for the election of the Party’s candidate for the forthcoming Governorship election in the state.
According to a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party will look at the merit of the petitions and come out with a position in due course.
“The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has received petitions from some stakeholders in Kogi State in reaction to Indirect Primaries adopted for the election of the Party’s candidate for the forthcoming Governorship election in the state.
“The NWC will look at the merit of the petitions in line with the Party’s constitution and come out with a position in due course.”
He added that the party’s constitution “provides for three modes of primaries to elect Party candidates – Indirect, Direct Primaries and consensus – depending on the peculiarities of the state and preferences of the stakeholders in respective elections.”
Mr Issa-Onilu stated that the NWC will be guided by the rules of the party.
The declaration follows the Supreme Court’s judgment on Friday which nullified the victory of all candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election held on March 9, 2019.
According to the court, the APC failed to conduct primaries in the state and consequently, all votes cast in the state were wasted votes.
Read the full speech of the INEC Chairman below.
TEXT OF PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY THE HON. CHAIRMAN, INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION (INEC), PROFESSOR MAHMOOD YAKUBU, ON THE SUPREME COURT DECISION ON CANDIDATES OF THE ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC) IN THE 2019 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN ZAMFARA STATE HELD AT THE CONFERENCE ROOM, INEC HEADQUARTERS, ABUJA, ON SATURDAY 25TH MAY 2019
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. First, let me welcome all of you to this Press Conference. The reason for addressing you today is to provide an update on the recent decision of the Supreme Court regarding the candidates fielded by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara State for the 2019 general elections.
2. It is important to provide a background to the legal process that culminated in the Supreme Court decision on 24th May 2019. You may all recall that the Commission issued the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2019 general elections on 9th January 2018, over one year in advance. Among other activities, the conduct of party primaries was scheduled to take place between 18th August and 7th October 2018. Unfortunately, the APC did not conduct its primaries in Zamfara State within this stipulated time and the Commission duly informed the party that it would not be in a position to present candidates for elections in the State. Subsequently, various interested parties, including the APC itself, approached the court over the decision of the Commission. Just before the election, the subsisting court judgment at the time ordered the Commission to include the APC on the ballot for the Governorship, National Assembly and State Assembly elections, which the Commission complied with.
3. However, since the elections were completed, a Court of Appeal judgment and now a Supreme Court judgment have determined that the APC did not conduct valid primaries for the elections in question. In its judgment delivered on 24th May 2019, the Supreme Court, having determined that the APC did not conduct valid primaries, said that the votes cast for the party in all the elections in question were “wasted” and ordered the Commission to recognize the runners-up as the winners. This judgment affects the positions of Governor and Deputy-Governor, three Senatorial, seven Federal and twenty-four State Assembly Constituencies.
4. Following the judgment of the Supreme Court, the Commission has met in two emergency sessions and taken briefings from our lawyers and staff on the implementation of the Supreme Court judgment. While the legislative elections (Senatorial, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly elections) are straight forward to deal with because they entail first-past-the-post or simple majority of votes, the Governorship election is determined not just by majority votes but also spread in accordance with Section 179 (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). This means that we had to first discount the votes cast for the APC at the elections and then carefully rework the spread by Local Government Areas based on the new valid votes.
5. In compliance with the Supreme Court judgment, the Commission has now determined the winners of the elections in Zamfara State as follows:
Governorship S/N POSITION NAME OF ELECTED CANDIDATE GENDER PARTY 1. GOVERNOR BELLO MOHAMMED MATAWALLE, MALE, PDP 2. DEPUTY GOVERNOR MAHDI ALIYU GUSAU,MALE, PDP.
Senatorial S/N NAME OF SENATORIAL DISTRICT NAME OF ELECTED CANDIDATE GENDER PARTY 1 ZAMFARA NORTH ALHAJI YA’U SAHABI MALE PDP 2 ZAMFARA CENTRAL MOHAMMED HASSAN MALE PDP 3 ZAMFARA WEST LAWALI HASSAN ANKA MALE PDP
House of Representatives S/N NAME OF FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY NAME OF ELECTED CANDIDATE GENDER PARTY 1 KAURAN NAMODA/BIRNIN MAGAJI UMAR SANI DAN-GALADIMA MALE PDP 2 SHINKAFI/ZURMI BELLO HASSAN SHINKAFI MALE PDP 3 GUSAU/TSAFE KABIRU AMADU MALE PDP 4 BUNGUDU/MARU SHEHU AHMED MALE PDP 5 ANKA/TALATA MAFARA KABIRU YAHAYA MALE PDP 6 BAKURA/MARADUN AHMED MUHAMMAD BAKURA MALE PDP 7 GUMMI/BUKKUYUM SULAIMAN ABUBAKAR GUMI MALE PDP
State House of Assembly S/N NAME OF STATE CONSTITUENCY NAME OF ELECTED CANDIDATE GENDER PARTY 1 KAURA NAMODA NORTH ZAHARADEEN M. SADA MALE PDP 2 KAURA NAMODA SOUTH ANAS SARKIN FADA MALE PDP 3 BIRNIN MAGAJI NURA DAHIRU MALE PDP 4 ZURMI EAST SALIHU USMAN ZURMI MALE PDP 5 ZURMI WEST NASIRU MU’AZU MALE PDP 6 SHINKAFI MUHAMMAD G. AHMAD MALE PDP 7 TSAFE EAST MUSA BAWA MUSA MALE PDP 8 TSAFE WEST ALIYU NA-MAIGORA MALE PDP 9 GUSAU EAST IBRAHIM NAIDA MALE PDP 10 GUSAU WEST SHAFI’U DAMA MALE PDP 11 BUNGUDU EAST KABIRU MAGAJI MALE PDP 12 BUNGUDU WEST NASIRU BELLO LAWAL MALE PDP 13 MARU NORTH YUSUF ALHASSAN MUHAMMAD MALE PDP 14 MARU SOUTH KABIRU HASHIMU MALE NRM 15 ANKA YUSUF MUHAMMAD MALE PDP 16 TALATA MAFARA NORTH SHAMSUDEEN HASSAN MALE PDP 17 TALATA MAFARA SOUTH AMINU YUSUF JANGEBE MALE PDP 18 BAKURA TUKUR JEKADA BIRNIN TUDU MALE PDP 19 MARADUN I FARUK MUSA DOSARA MALE PDP 20 MARADUN II NASIRU ATIKU MALE PDP 21 GUMMI I ABDULNASIR IBRAHIM MALE PDP 22 GUMMI II MANSUR MOHAMMED MALE PDP 23 BUKKUYUM NORTH IBRAHIM MOHAMMED NA’IDDA MALE PDP 24 BUKKUYUM SOUTH SANI DAHIRU MALE PDP
6. The Commission will issue Certificates of Return to the new winners as follows:
i. Governor and Deputy Governor-elect, Senators-elect and Members of the House of Representatives-elect will receive their certificates on Monday 27th May 2019 at the Commission’s Electoral Institute at 2.00pm.
ii. Members of the State House of Assembly-elect will receive their certificates from the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Zamfara State at the INEC State Office in Gusau on Friday 31st May 2019 at 10.00am.
7. I wish to seize this opportunity to draw the attention of all stakeholders, but particularly the political parties, to the implications of the Supreme Court judgment on the Zamfara matter. It is clear that properly conducted party primaries are cardinal to the proper internal functioning of political parties, the electoral process and our democratic system at large. Therefore, political parties must take very seriously the conduct of primaries according to all extant rules, including the monitoring of the processes by INEC to avoid a repeat of the Zamfara experience. I want therefore to remind us that the Commission has since 9th April 2019 issued the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2019 Bayelsa and Kogi Governorship elections by which party primaries are scheduled to hold between the 2ndand 29th August 2019. I appeal to political parties intending to field candidates in the elections to adhere strictly to this and other timelines in the Timetable and Schedule of activities.
8. I thank you very much and I will now take some questions.
Listed as the first respondents in all three petitions is the governor-elect of the state and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election, Muhammad Yahaya.
The petitions were three ex parte motions seeking court leave to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow the petitioners access to physically inspect all materials used in the election and to have certified true copies of the documents.
They also sought an order of the Tribunal for substituted service on the first respondent, Mr Yahaya.
The Tribunal is sitting barely one month after INEC declared the APC candidate as the winner of the March 9 governorship election in Gombe.
According to the results announced on March 10, Yahaya polled 364,179 votes to defeat Senator Bayero Nadafa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who got 222,868 votes.