PHOTOS: INEC Begins Movement Of Sensitive Materials In Edo

 

 

Ahead of Saturday’s elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has started the distribution of sensitive election materials to the 18 local government areas of Edo state.

INEC’s distribution exercise is in line with the new timetable put out by the Commission following the rescheduling of the elections.

The electoral umpire commenced distribution of sensitive materials in the early hours of the day with various agents monitoring.

Below are some photos from the ongoing distribution exercise.

READ ALSO: Governorship Election: Court Affirms Candidacy Of Senator Anyogu

[VIDEO] ‘A Decision Has Been Taken’: INEC Set To Announce Outcome Of Crucial Meeting

 

Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the commission will soon announce its decision about the general elections.

Mr Oyekanmi said this on Saturday while briefing journalists about the crucial meeting being held by top officials of the commission.

“A decision has been taken,” Mr Oyekanmi told the journalists who had gathered at the INEC’s headquarters amid speculations that the commission would postpone the general elections.

He, however, declined to provide any further detail about the decision and what the meeting was about.

The INEC Chairman and top officials of the commission had gone into a meeting late on Friday, fuelling the speculations that it would shift the election after encountering challenges in the distribution of electoral materials.

According to Oyekanmi, the INEC boss is meeting with 12 national commissioners.

READ ALSO: INEC Postpones General Elections

Nigerians are scheduled to go to the polls tomorrow for the Presidential and National Assembly elections. Governorship and state houses of assembly elections are expected to hold two weeks later, on March 2.

Many are now waiting for INEC to confirm if that would be the case.

APC Insists Justice Onnoghen Must Stand Trial

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC), has said that the CCT trial is a legal matter, and as such, the law must run its course even in the charges preferred against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen. 

This position was made in a statement on Monday signed by APC spokesperson,  Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu.

According to the ruling party, its position is in line with the bid to ensure that democratic and constitutional institutions operate without interference.

Below is the full statement as published by the APC national publicity secretary.

“Following the notice by the Code of Conduct Bureau at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been on overdrive vituperating over an issue that should at best be left to the judiciary to resolve.

While we would not want to be lured into discussing issues that are presently before the courts and for which any respectable political party hoping to hold positions of responsibility should restrain itself, we regret to suggest that the PDP’s attempt to hoodwink Nigerians into believing that there is a political motive behind the allegation brought against the CJN might itself be indicative of some unholy alliances.

The likely affinity existing between the PDP and a section of the judiciary is further accentuated by the nonappearance of Justice Onnoghen before the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Monday in line with the suggestions made by the PDP governors from the South-South on Sunday.

READ ALSO: ‘Ask AGF To Take Complaints Against Justice Onnoghen To NJC’, SERAP Tells Buhari

Are Nigerians expected to see this as a mere coincidence? Is the PDP and their governors acting a script? Haven’t we missed an opportunity to show confidence in an institution headed by the CJN?

This becomes more worrisome knowing that the PDP’s campaigns have been receiving a cold shoulder everywhere they have gone to and it has become apparent the party and its Presidential candidate are facing imminent defeat in the February 2019 elections and may be searching for some unorthodox means of forcing itself on the Nigerian people.

If this were not so, the PDP should, before coming to these distracting conclusions, have taken cogniSance of the facts of the allegations made against the CJN and his admission to the facts so stated.

The only logical conclusion in the circumstance is that realising the refusal of Nigerians to allow the deception of the PDP con them into returning the party to power, the opposition party has alongside some pliable human rights activists devised a plot to distract the APC and indeed the good people of Nigeria from addressing the very important issues on the APC’s manifesto in the electioneering process.

We have also noticed the very dangerous attempt to designate the CJN’s arraignment along ethnic and religious lines thereby trying to heat up the polity by evoking primordial sentiment which would do the country no good. This is an ungodly ploy when we consider that the CJN was an officer of the federation rather than that of any region.

We, therefore, urge all Nigerians of good conscience to caution the PDP as the country is bigger than any political party or the interest it represents, and nothing should stop the country’s steady march into sustainable democratic governance.

In our earlier statement on the CJN’s CCT trial, we had noted the PDP’s shocking and innate proclivity to defend cases of corruption anytime it arises. The call by the PDP’s South-South Governors for the CJN’s boycott of the CCT trial further cements our position. Let it be reiterated that nobody no matter how highly placed should be above the laws of the land.

We wish to put on record that the virulent attack that has come from the PDP in the wake of the trial of the CJN over alleged false asset declaration is particularly worrisome and suspicious when the PDP has in fact called for the removal of virtually all heads of government’s arms, particularly the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Inspector General of the Police over frivolous issues.

While the will not be drawn into debates on the legality and sponsored conspiracies of the CCT trial, we insist that our democratic and constitutional institutions must be allowed to operate without interference and undue pressure from partisan and sundry interests as being done by the PDP and its cronies.

The CCT trial is a legal matter, let the law run its course. The CJN must go through the instrumentalities of the courts, more importantly as an institution he represents. Indeed, this is the true test of our constitution, rule of law and will deepen democracy.

Where there are contestations on institutional procedures, we must allow same institutions perform their functions unhindered, autocorrect if necessary and set good precedence on future matters.

This is the only way we can build strong and lasting institutions.”

 

Edo Governorship Election: Another Observer Group Picks Holes In Process

Voters get accredited before voting
Voters get accredited before voting

An Election Observer Group, Election Monitor, is asking the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to pay attention to calls for the cancellation of the just concluded governorship election in Edo State.

The call is on grounds that widespread public outcry signifies dissatisfaction that should not be ignored.

Presenting the group’s election observation report to a press conference in Abuja on Friday, the National coordinator, Abiodun Ajijola, said the election had a high case level of vote buying and over-voting across the polling stations especially in Esako Local Government Area.

He says such acts give credence to such expressions of dissatisfaction.

Mr Ajijola also noted that while the election could be said to have been conducted effectively with regards to operation and conduct, the group observed unacceptable delay in collation of results which the electoral commission ought to address.

It is the second observer group  that is dismissing claims by the electoral body that the election was free and fair.

Another group, the Alliance for Credible Elections, (ACE), a civil society organisation, had expressed dissatisfaction with the conduct of the September 28 governorship election.

The group claimed that the election was far from being free, fair and credible.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday, the acting General Secretary of the organisation, Mrs Mma Odi, said that there was generally no secrecy in voting, as people voted in the full glare of party agents despite the presence of security agents.

But INEC says the governorship election was free and fair, dismissing allegations of bias and compromise by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The PDP had alleged that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the INEC had planned to rig the September 28 election at the collation centre in Benin City.

But an official of the electoral body said the election was conducted in accordance with the guidelines of the Electoral Act.

INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of Voter Education and Publicity, Solomon Soyebi, told Channels Television’s correspondent in Kaduna on Wednesday that the election was not fraught with irregularities, as being alleged by the PDP and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

Osagie-Ize-Iyamu
Candidate of the peoples Democratic Party, Osagie Ize-Iyamu

He also debunked claims by the PDP that the commission deliberately delayed result of the election from the 18 Local Government Councils in Edo state in order to favour the ruling APC in the state.

“Checkmated Any Form Of Rigging”

He further explained that INEC deployed an electronic device during the election that tracked the collation of results from the polling units up to the last collation centre.

“These devices checkmated any form of rigging,” he stated.

Mr Soyebi further highlighted that with the peaceful conduct of the Edo election, the commission was determined to improve on the success during the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State.

INEC has come under criticism by some aggrieved persons since last week Thursday when it announced the results of the election that produced the APC candidate, Godwin Obaseki as governor-elect in Edo State.

Another opposition party in the election APGA had before the announcement of the result called for total cancellation of the election, citing irregularities.

Osaro-Onaiwu-APGA-Governorship-Candidate-in-Edo-elction

Mr Osaro Onaiwu alleged that financial inducement and intimidation of party loyalists occurred during the poll.

“The election is going to be inconclusive because there is a lot of damage already. There was no election in Ologbo and Oluku and whatever result they are bringing out from these two places, it is not going to be accepted by us,” Mr Onaiwu said.

He is the first candidate in the election that has called for the cancellation of the election that had 19 contestants.

The election is said to have been peaceful, but with cases of ballot snatching reported.

Earlier, a member of the party monitoring the process at a polling unit, Stephen Edema, told Channels Television that the process had been smooth.

The Independent Electoral Commission had said the election was smooth and had progressed as expected.

Edo Governorship Election: PDP Candidate Rejects Election Results

Osagie-Ize-IyamuThe candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu has rejected the results announced so far by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC on the just concluded Edo State governorship election.

The PDP candidate alleged inducement of voters and collaboration of INEC and the state government to doctor the results in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said they decided not to wait for the full result to be called because they were already been informed about what is playing out now.

So far about 17 local government areas have been announced, with the PDP trailing the APC 5 to 12 local governments.

The APC won in Akoko-Edo LGA, Ikpoba-Okha, Etsako West, Etsako East, Etsako Cenral, Owan East LGA, Ovia North LGA, Oredo LGA, Uhunwomnde,  Igueben LGA, Egor LGA, Owan West LGA

While the PDP won in Esan North Central, Esan West LGA, Orhionmwon LGA, Esan South East LGA, Esan North East LGA.

Earlier, some protesters contested the results being announced, alleging that the results are not a reflection of what transpired at the polling units.

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has described the rejection of the state governorship election results by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as quote; an act of a bad loser.

Chairman of the Edo State APC Chapter, the Mr Anselm Ojezua, says the entire process of the election had been nothing but peaceful. he adds that though the announcement of the results is still ongoing, he commends INEC so far.

Mr. Ojezua adds that INEC was efficient in the delivery of materials to ensure that they got to locations on time.

The APC Chairman is also asking the PDP to channel its grievances to the appropriate quarters.

Edo Governorship Election: INEC Begins Announcement Of Results

Solomon-Soyebi-INEC-National-Commissioner-on-Voter-Education
INEC National Commissioner for Voter Education, Mr Solomon Soyebi.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has begun announcement of results of the  Edo State governorship election.

The Commission had earlier delayed the announcement as it awaited results from eight Local Government Areas before it begins announcement of the results.

The National Commissioner for Voter Education, Mr Solomon Soyebi, confirmed the delay to Channels Television.

Speaking during a phone interview he said the results started trickling in from midnight but the Commission decided to “have a number of them before we start collation and as of now we have about 10 out of the 18 local government results”, adding that “we believe collation will start in about one hour”.

He dismissed as “speculative” various results on newspapers, websites and blogs, maintaining that “whatever comes out from the Commission is the authentic result”.

He added that the Returning Officer is the only person authorized to make announcement of the result.

He, however, didn’t mention which local government areas these are.

Compilation of results in the Edo State governorship election began at the different local government areas across the state, with the electoral body getting ready at the headquarters to receive the results.

The compilation started after voting and counting of ballot papers at different polling units ended.

The exercise is said to have been largely peaceful.

However, cases of ballot box snatching have been reported at some polling stations.

Dissatisfied Opposition Parties

Dissatisfied with the way the election is going, the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) has called for total cancellation of the poll.

Mr, Osaro Onaiwu on Wednesday alleged that financial inducement and intimidation of party loyalists occurred during the poll.

“The election is going to be inconclusive because there is a lot of damage already.

There was no election in Ologbo and Oluku and whatever result they are bringing out from these two places, it is not going to be accepted by us,” Mr Onaiwu said.

Similarly, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State claims there is a plan by the electoral body and Governor Adams Oshiomhole to rig the election at the collation centre.

The opposition party said that the delay by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to begin ward results announcement at the collation centre was a sign of the plan.

Governor Oshiomhole is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
A statement by the spokesman for the party in Edo State, Chris Nehikhare, pointed out that voting stopped at 2:00pm and votes were counted immediately at the unit levels.

“From results made available to us we are in a very comfortable lead.

“We are however shocked that till now no ward result has been declared.

“We are aware that the APC and INEC plan to change the result at the collation centre and we wish to warn that any change to the result we are already aware of will be met with stiff resistance,” the opposition party said.

It further urged the INEC to tell Governor Oshiomhole that the changing and swapping of results at the collation centre was a no-no.

“Even worse is the attempt to prevent our agents into the collation centres.
“We, however, advise our supporters and members to remain calm. In a few more hours, the liberation of Edo will be official,” the statement further read.

Earlier, the candidate of the PDP, Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, said there were attempts to smuggle in results at the ward and the LGA collation.

He told reporters that the party was confident that the plan would not work.

Edo 2016 Governorship Election: Results Compilation Ongoing In Local Councils

INEC-sorting-sensitive-materialsCompilation of results in the Edo State governorship election is ongoing at the different local  government areas across the state, with the electoral body getting ready at the headquarters to receive the results.

The compilation started after voting and counting of ballot papers at different polling units.

The exercise is said to have been largely peaceful. However cases of ballot box snatching have been reported at some polling stations.

Over 1.9 million people were registered to vote in the poll, which was supervised by over 18,511 officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), with 19 candidates contesting for the position of governor.

Edo State has 192 registration areas 2,627 polling units and 4,011 voting points.

Earlier, an official of the electoral body, said polls went on smoothly.

INEC National Commissioner, Mrs Amina Zakari, said the electoral process was going on as expected while the INEC officials and security agents were working professionally.

Mrs Zakari made the observation in an interview with Channels Television on Wednesday at one of the polling centres in Benin City, the state’s capital in south-south Nigeria.

“It (the electoral process) has gone based on our expectation.

“The ad-hoc staff are working professionally (and) the security agents are doing their work (while) the people of Edo State are actually doing what we expect of them.

“They are behaving adequately, they are lined up neatly and everything is going smoothly,” she said.

But the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Osaro Onaiwu, called for total cancellation of the poll.

He claimed that there were cases of financial inducement and intimidation of Party loyalists.

Edo Election: PDP House Caucus Express Concern Over INEC’s Neutrality

Insurance FraudMembers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caucus in the House of Representatives on Tuesday expressed concern about some arrangement put in place for the governorship elections in Edo State.

These concerns, according to them, may not guarantee free and fair elections.

The lawmakers, led by Minority Leader, Rep. Leo Ogor, said information available to them showed that some staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have been compromised to rig the election.

They also alleged that INEC unlawfully agreed with some security agencies to move collation centres to a police station.

They urged INEC to be an independent and unbiased umpire and ensure free and fair elections in the state.

We Are Ready For Governorship Election – Edo CP

Police CommissionerThe Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Lafimihan Adeoye says his command is fully prepared for the challenges ahead of the governorship election in Edo State.

Mr Adeoye made the assertion after an assessment tour of several police formations including the Edo State Police Area Command headquarters in Auchi, Edo North and Irrua, Edo Central.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had postponed the election till September 28, 2016, following advice from security agencies in the state.

The Nigeria Police and Department of State Services (DSS) had advised INEC to postpone the governorship election scheduled for Saturday, September 10, 2016 in Edo state.

The two security agencies say the advise is based on credible intelligence at its disposal which suggests that insurgents are planning to attack vulnerable communities and soft targets, with high population during the Sallah celebrations which took place between 12th and 13th September.

The agencies say Edo State is amongst the states that was earmarked for the planned attacks.

In a joint statement, the agencies reminded the public that similar threats were issued during the May 1, Labour Day and Democracy Day, May 29, celebrations as well as the Eid-el-Fitr holidays in July, 2016.

The statement further adds, “The security agencies were able to decisively disrupt and thwart the insurgents’ plan. In the same vein, while election is important, the security agencies cannot allow the peace of the country to be disrupted, and we will continue to remain vigilant and ensure consolidation of the successes gained in the current counter-insurgency fight.

“It is in regard of these that we are appealing to INEC which has the legal duty to regulate elections in the country to consider the need for possible postponement of the date of the election in Edo State, in order to enable security agencies deal decisively with the envisaged terrorist threats”, they said.

Governor Oshiomhole Condemns Postponement of Edo Election

Adams-Oshiomhole-on-Edo-electionEdo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has expressed surprise at the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the state’s governorship election earlier slated for Saturday, September 10, 2016.

The agency on Thursday afternoon announced this decision after it had earlier said that it would go ahead with the polls.

Speaking on Channels TV’s Politics Today, Governor Oshiomhole described the decision as a setback for the state.

He frowned at the time it took the electoral body to make the decision, which he said had affected the parties’ programmes.

He said that if INEC had given the hint earlier that the election would be postponed, the All Progressives Congress (APC) would have also postponed its final rally to suit the new election date.

The Governor also reacted to allegations that his party was behind the postponement of the election by stating that none of the other parties was as ready as the APC for Saturday’s election.

He argued that the large turnout of supporters at the party’s final campaign rally on Tuesday was an indication that Edo State was indeed an APC state.

He maintained that the only issue that involved him as the Governor of the state was INEC’s decision to fix the election to coincide with the West African Examination Council (WAEC), GCE examination, which led to protests by students of the state.

“INEC ought to have known that the West African Examination calendar was out there. It is not something they fix two or three weeks to the time,” he said.

APC/PDP React To Postponement Of Edo Governorship Election

pdp-on-dss-inecc-boss, edo election, INECThe two leading parties in the Edo state have been reacting to the postponement of the governorship election to September 28.

The election which was originally slated for Saturday, September 10 has now been shifted to Wednesday, September 28, 2016.

The electoral body made the U-turn on Thursday evening, few hours after it had said that it would go ahead with the election against the advice of Nigerian security agencies.

The Nigeria Police Force and Department of State Services (DSS) had advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the governorship election scheduled for Saturday for security reasons.

The two security agencies said the advice was based on credible intelligence at its disposal, which suggested that insurgents were planning to attack vulnerable communities and soft targets, with high population during the forthcoming Sallah celebrations between 12th and 13th September.

Meanwhile, the PDP and the APC have reacted to INEC’s decision to postpone the Edo polls.

The State Chairman of the APC, Mr Anslem Ojezua described the postponement as not unusual.

He also said that securing the lives of residents in the state must remain a priority.

Shocking And A ‘Bizarre’

On his part, the PDP Chairman in state, Mr Dan Orbih said that the nation’s democracy is being threatened.

“The political parties in the state should see this as a challenge.

“We must rescue democracy. It is under serious threat with what we are witnessing today in Edo State,” Mr Orbih stressed.

After the security agencies gave the advice, the PDP said it was shocking and a ‘bizarre’.

The PDP, which claims to be the strongest opposition in the state, said it was taken aback on this advice, coming a day after President Muhammadu Buhari attended a Mega Rally of the All Progressives Congress in Benin City which was concluded without any hitch.

A statement on September 7 by the party’s spokesman, Day Adeyeye, highlighted that INEC recently conducted a ‘hitch free’ Senatorial By-Election in Borno State which is a high-point of insurgency in the Country and wondered why the Security Agencies saw no reason to call-off the Election.

They have been no report of any bomb attack in Edo State in the last six years that insurgency was at its peak in Nigeria’s northeast, something critics said  apparently made the advice appear shocking to the party.

“It is therefore lamentable to hear from these same security agencies that the Election cannot be held in a State where in less than 24 hours, the President and all the APC leaders and members had an uninterrupted Rally.

“We are calling on the President, Muhammadu Buhari to caution the security agencies and direct them to provide full security, and also to desist doing anything that will jeopardize this forthcoming Gubernatorial Election in Edo State.

“We are equally counting on INEC not to succumb to this false alarm by acting independently and holding election as scheduled.

“We hope that this advice from the security agencies are not in concert with the APC of having seen the indices of losing the Edo State Gubernatorial Election to the PDP,” the statement read.

While the PDP is expressing displeasure over the postponement of the election,  the APC has raised alarm over what it called an alleged plot by the PDP to unleash violence and cause confusion in the state during the governorship election.


The party, which is holding power in the state, claims that the plan would pave way for the opposition to rig the governorship election scheduled for September 10.

Militants From Delta

A statement by the party said “no less than 500 militants from Delta are being mobilised to critical areas of Edo State to carry out this evil plan using the waterways.

“The primary targets are Edo-North using the River Niger to access areas around Agenebode; Edo-South, via the Osse River; and Edo Central, via Ilushi River”.

Citing internal sources within the PDP, the APC also alleged that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members recruited by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to participate in the conduct of the elections were being compromised by the PDP with the lure of huge financial rewards should they agree to act out their script to rig the elections.

INEC To Go Ahead With Edo Governorship Election

pdp-on-dss-inecc-bossThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday said it will go ahead with the Edo State governorship elections against the advise of Nigerian security agencies.

The Nigeria Police and Department of State Services (DSS) had advised INEC to postpone the governorship election scheduled for Saturday, September 10, 2016 in Edo state.

The two security agencies said the advise was based on credible intelligence at its disposal, which suggests that insurgents are planning to attack vulnerable communities and soft targets, with high population during the forthcoming Sallah celebrations between 12th and 13th September.

The agencies said Edo State is amongst the states being earmarked for these planned attacks.

In a joint statement, the agencies reminded the public that similar threats were issued during the May 1, Labour Day and Democracy Day, May 29, celebrations as well as the Eid-el-Fitr holidays in July, 2016.

The statement further adds that “the security agencies were able to decisively disrupt and thwart the insurgents’ plan. In the same vein, while election is important, the security agencies cannot allow the peace of the country to be disrupted, and we will continue to remain vigilant and ensure consolidation of the successes gained in the current counter-insurgency fight.

“It is in regard of these that we are appealing to INEC which has the legal duty to regulate elections in the country to consider the need for possible postponement of the date of the election in Edo State, in order to enable security agencies deal decisively with the envisaged terrorist threats”, they said.