Tribunal Orders INEC Chairman To Produce Documents Requested By PDP, Atiku

Presidential Election Tribunal has ordered Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Professor Mahmoud Yakubu to produce documents requested by the petitioners.

The Tribunal gave the order on Wednesday at the resumed hearing of the petition by People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23, election.

Ordered alongside the INEC boss is the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Zamfara State to produce documents requested.

They are to produce the documents by 12:pm on Thursday, July 18.

The court gave the order following a complaint by the PDP that the subpoena served on both INEC officials, since July 12 and 15, have not been complied with.

Buhari’s Legal Team Plays Video Evidence At Petitions Tribunal

The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal on Tuesday resumed hearing of petition by People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar challenging the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.

President Buhari’s legal team during the hearing played a video clip to support their claim on INEC’s position on the mode of transmission of election results.

Buhari’s counsel Alex Izinyon at the hearing played a video showing Professor Mahmoud Yakubu in an interview with Seun Okinbaloye of Channels Television in a clip tagged One-On-One Interview with INEC Chairman.

Professor Yakubu in the interview declined making a categorical statement that the commission will transmit results electronically from all parts of the country

The video was admitted as exhibit by the Tribunal.

Amina Zakari Is Not Related To The President – INEC Chairman

Amina Zakari Is Not Related To The President – INEC Chairman
A file photo of Mrs Amina Zakari

 

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has insisted that Mrs Amina Zakari, a national commissioner is not related to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Professor Yakubu said this in reaction to the controversy that trailed Mrs Zakari’s appointment as the chairperson of the collation centre committee for the general elections.

“Let me say categorically that she is not related to the President. She is from Jigawa State, the President is from Katsina State,” he told reporters in Abuja on Friday after a meeting with ASUU leaders.


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The INEC chairman dismissed allegations that Zakari could help manipulate the outcome of the presidential election in favour of President Buhari.

“Let me state this very categorically, that the responsibility for managing the venue does not in any way involve the collation of results,” he explained.

“Under the Nigerian Constitution, I am the Chief Electoral Officer of the Federation and the Returning Officer in the presidential election. I am not going to share that responsibility with anyone in the commission.

“I am absolutely responsible for the coordination of the secretariat for the collation of results. But somebody has to prepare the venue for us to collate results.”

The appointment of Mrs Zakari as the collation centre chief has sparked mixed reactions since she was inaugurated by Professor Yakubu on Thursday.

Hours after the news broke, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rejected the appointment and raised an alarm of alleged plot by the Muhammadu Burahi administration to rig the February polls.

In its reaction, the Presidency described the PDP allegation as false and stated that it was the opposition party that appointed her when it was in power.

2019 Elections: PDP Asks IGP, INEC Chairman To Resign

Mr Ibrahim Idris                                                                                                 Professor Mahmood Yakubu

 

The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, to resign ahead of the general elections in 2019.

The party also asked the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, to resign his position.

PDP National Chairman, Mr Uche Secondus, made the call while addressing the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party at its National Secretariat in Abuja.

READ ALSOCall For IGP’s Resignation Laughable, Police Reply PDP

With 78 days to the polls, the PDP chairman accused the police boss of working for the incumbent to arrest and intimidate its opponents.

He also alleged that the INEC chairman lacked the will and capacity to deliver free and fair elections next year.

The NEC meeting of the PDP is the first since the party’s convention held in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital where former Vice President Atiku Abubakar emerged as the party’s presidential candidate.

Similarly, the PDP leadership used the occasion to inaugurate its National Campaign Council for the general elections.

Mr Secondus is the Chairman of the committee which is co-chaired by the party’s presidential candidate and former vice president, Atiku Abubakar.

Atiku’s running mate and former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, is part of the council while Senate President Bukola Saraki is the director-general.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, former Vice President Namadi Sambo, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, are among the members of the council.

Others are Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, PDP governors and lawmakers, as well as chieftains of the party.

See the full list below;

Osun Election: INEC Chairman, IGP Meet With Stakeholders In Osogbo

 

The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu have arrived at Osun State.

The arrival of both officials for a stakeholders meeting comes barely five days to the governorship election in the state.

INEC and the police have expressed readiness for the September 22 election in the state, with both agencies vowing to curb vote buying.

INEC Chairman on his part said that collection of the Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) in the state will end by 5pm today .

According to him, the number of registration areas is 333, polling Units are 3010, and voting points are 3,765.

The state also has three senatorial districts, nine federal constituencies and 26 state constituencies.

In all, Yakubu stated that the total numbers of registered voters are 1,682, 495.

Meanwhile, Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, warned that the police would deal decisively with anyone caught buying and selling votes.

He stated this warning on Sunday while briefing journalists on the preparedness on the police in the smooth conduct of the election.

He reiterated the commitment of the police in providing adequate security to residents of the state before, during and after the election.

 

 

 

Date For 2019 Elections Won’t Be Shifted, Says INEC Chairman

INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu

 

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, says the date for the 2019 general elections will not be shifted.

The INEC boss disclosed this on Friday in an interview with journalists at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

“There are no conditions under which elections will be postponed under section 26 of the Electoral Act.

“The date is firm and fixed, February 16, 2019. We issued the timetable well in advance. For the very first time in the history of our elections, citizens of Nigeria know when elections will take place, one year in advance,” Yakubu said.

According to him, there is no provision in the 2019 election budget for international observers except for their kits and materials that will be used during the elections.

“We have no provision in the budget for election observation. I have heard some people say that we (INEC) have earmarked budget for international observers, there is nothing like that. What we have provided for are the kits – the jacket, face cap, the publication and Identity cards that we will give international observers.

“Their accommodation, transportation, and all expenditure will be borne by different election observation teams and not by the Nigerian government,” he said.

The INEC chairman said further that it is the standard practice for a country that conducts and organises elections to make this type of provision for election observers.

 

Court Orders Arrest Of INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu

INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the arrest of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, for failing to appear in court.

Justice Stephen Pam issued the warrant of arrest on Thursday after Mahmood’s absent in court for the third time.

The judge asked the police to effect the arrest immediately.

Justice Pam had on July 5 ordered Yakubu to appear before him to show cause why he should not be sent to prison for contempt of court.

The judge made the order for Mahmood to appear before him while ruling on a preliminary objection by INEC and its Chairman in a contempt proceeding filed by Ejike Oguebego and Chuks Okoye, Chairman and Legal Adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State, respectively.

Five days later, on July 10 when the court sat again, the INEC boss did not show up. His counsel, Mr Adeboyega Awomolo, informed the court that his client had filed an appeal challenging that order at the appeal court and another appeal before the Federal High Court asking for a stay of proceedings pending the determination of the appeal.

But counsel to the plaintiff informed the court that contrary to the claims of the INEC counsel there was no material evidence before the court to stop the order of the court or the hearing.

In his ruling (on July 10), Justice Pam held that the fiat by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to hear the matter subsists.

The judge, however, adjourned the case to August 1 (today)to allow the INEC chairman to attend to his mother’s funeral but insisted that the INEC boss must appear before the court as ordered at the next sitting.

But when the court reconvened today, the INEC Chairman was absent, a development that led to the order for his arrest.

INEC Chairman Shuns Court Order

INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu was ordered to appear before the court to show why he should not be jailed on contempt charges

 

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr Mahmud Yakubu, failed to appear before a Federal High Court which ordered him to appear and show cause why he should not be committed to prison on contempt charges.

At the resumed sitting of the court after it made the order, counsel to the INEC Chairman, Mr Adeboyega Awomolo, told the court that his client had filed an appeal challenging that order at the appeal court and another appeal before the Federal High Court asking for a stay of proceedings pending the determination of the appeal.

The counsel to the INEC Chairman also told the court that his client was bereaved and in no frame of mind to handle the hearing.

Responding, however, the counsel to the plaintiff informed the court that contrary to the claims of the INEC counsel there was no material evidence before the court to stop the order of the court or the hearing.

He also argued that a court sitting is at the prerogative of the court and not parties in the suit as such the application for adjournment should be discountenanced.

In his ruling, Justice Stephen Pam held that the fiat by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to hear the matter subsists.

He also warned lawyers to desist from the habit of advising their clients to disregard orders of courts as it constitutes contempt of court.

The judge then held that a party cannot continue to be contemptuous towards the court and at the same time seek the favour of the court.

He, however, agreed to adjourn the case to allow the INEC chairman to attend to his mother’s funeral but insisted that the INEC boss must appear before the court as ordered at the next sitting.

Justice Pam adjourned the case to August 1, 2018, for the INEC Chairman to appear before the court to show cause as to why he should not be committed to prison for contempt.

The Federal High Court had on July 5, 2018, had ordered the INEC Chairman to appear before it after dismissing a preliminary objection filed by the INEC boss and the commission challenging contempt proceedings against them.

Electoral Fraud: INEC Partners EFCC To Prosecute Erring Staff

Electoral Fraud: INEC Partners EFCC To Prosecute Erring StaffThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prosecute any of its staff member found to have committed any offence related to its mandate.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, made the appeal during a meeting with the EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, at the anti-corruption agency’s headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The called followed the suspension of 205 members of staff of the electoral body, for their alleged involvement in fraud during the 2015 general elections.

Professor Yakubu said it took the INEC about four months to thoroughly investigate all the allegations contained in the interim report it received from the anti-graft agency, before a final decision could be reached.

He asked the EFCC to commence the prosecution of any staff without waiting for the conclusion of INEC’s internal investigation, if it has sufficient evidence to do so.

“If we get our elections right, we will get our democracy right; and if we get our democracy right, we will attain real development as a nation,” he told Mr Magu.

He assured the EFCC of INEC readiness to join it in creating more awareness on the consequences of corruption as a preventive measure.

According to the INEC Chairman, sensitisation is a cheaper way of fighting corruption, since it is capable of discouraging potential offenders from taking dangerous risks.

“We shall look at ways of partnering with the EFCC on this,” he said in statement issued by his spokesman, Rotimi Oyekanmi.

In his response, Mr Magu said the EFCC regards corruption as “a crime against humanity”, lauding Professor Yakubu for cooperating with the anti-graft agency in the cases involving some INEC staff.

“We are already prosecuting some INEC staff in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano and Gombe states. In the future, before we take any such case to court, we will inform INEC and share details of the Charge Sheet with you.

“And if you have anybody in your Legal Department that wants to join our prosecution team, such persons are welcome. This will add value to work,” he noted.

The EFCC boss also commended the INEC management for its decisive action on the allegation, saying: “When you take actions like these, you are reducing our work and as far as the fight against corruption is concerned, we (EFCC and INEC) are on the same page”.

Three Reasons Cameroon Seeks INEC’s Support For Elections

elections, INEC. CameroonThe Cameroonian Electoral Body has approached the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to assist in cleaning up their voters’ register.

The electoral umpire is seeking INEC’s collaboration ahead of the presidential elections in Cameroon in 2017.

Camaroon’s desire for assistance was communicated to INEC on Tuesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, by the leader of a delegation from the electoral body in Cameroon, Mr Mewoand Hugues.

Mr Hugues said the Cameroonian Government was requesting the help of INEC in three areas including voters’ registration, distribution of voters’ cards and the clean-up of voters’ registers ahead of the nation’s forthcoming Presidential Election in 2018.

The INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, in his response, assured the Cameroonian delegation that INEC would offer the needed support to protect democracy in Africa.

He expressed delight that INEC had played host to a number of Election Management Bodies from other countries in the last one year, an indication that Nigeria’s electoral system and processes were being appreciated internationally.

“Be rest assured that you have a friend and partner in INEC. We will support ELECAM in the interest of democracy across our continent. We will continue to work towards strengthening our democracy but our democracy should also be of help to democracies everywhere especially in our own continent.

“We have the largest biometric voter register in the whole of Africa and one of the largest in the world. We have about 70 million registered voters.

“Our own presidential democracy is only second to the United States in terms of size. We will be very happy therefore to share our experiences in terms of voter registration, the cleaning up of the voter registry and the deployment of the biometric voter register,” Professor Yakubu told the Cameroonians.

He explained that in 2015, INEC went completely electronic by deploying an electronic register with electronic voter cards which were compatible with the Smart Card Reader (SCR). These, he said, added value to the integrity of the process.

 

Why Increasing Rate Of Electoral Violence Worries INEC

INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, Electoral ViolenceThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed concern over the increasing cases of electoral violence in Nigeria.

Chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, said the trend portends danger for the nation’s democracy.

He blamed the level of violence on the lack of enforcement of relevant laws relating to electoral violence.

Professor Yakubu, at a forum on elections organised by the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, announced plans by INEC to test-run some new initiatives in 2017 ahead of the 2019 general elections.

He revealed on Monday in Abuja that at least 100 staff of the commission in 17 states were being investigated for their roles in the 2015 general elections and the parliamentary re-run election in Rivers State.

A New Vigour

INEC’s Chairman further recommended an attitudinal change in order to reduce the increasing cases of electoral violence in Nigeria.

“INEC is not without their own share of blame. There were instances of electoral officials subverting the process, usually as a result of financial inducement resulting in obviously compromised processes, leading to the nullification of elections by the court.

“I wish to assure you that this will be addressed with a new vigour because such electoral officials should have no place in the management of a sacred trust called election,” he said.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Abubakar Kyari, also announced plans by the National Assembly to pass a bill on electoral offences commission.

“There are bills presently on the current legislative refining in two Houses of (the) National Assembly.

“The bills have been holistically approached and there are most of the prevailing challenges in our electoral process,” he said.

Macabre Dance Of Shame

Another speaker at the forum and Coordinator of Open Society Initiative for West Africa, Mr Udo Jude Ilo, condemned the heightened tension that characterised elections in Nigeria and Africa in general.

“We need to wake up to the reality that Nigerians are tired. I am tired and frustrated and that our continued macabre dance of shame around elections is destroying our collective psyche and faith in democratic process,” he stated.

The convener of the forum, Clement Nwankwo, also criticised the violent electoral process in the country, saying: “We do have a civil society concern regarding some of the challenges that have recently reared (their) heads and it is coming from events that took place in this recent elections and the Rivers State elections”.

Group In Rivers Wants More From INEC Over Alleged Fake Materials Printing

Election MaterialsA group of youths from Rivers State under the aegis of Alliance in Defence of Democracy has staged a protest at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja, calling for the resignation of the electoral body’s chairman over the alleged printing of fake electoral materials in Rivers State.

The protesting group say they are disappointed with the way the chairman of INEC has responded to the arrest of a printer who was allegedly caught printing fake electoral materials in Port Harcourt last week.

The spokesman for the group, Mr Agu Okwukwe, said that the police had arrested the suspect following a tip off.

“Officers of the Nigeria police on Saturday, November, 5 stormed 12 Isiokpo Street D-Line in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and arrested three persons including the manager of the printing press, Atonye Peterside, a prominent member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a cousin to Mr Dakuku Peterside.

“We express our utter disappointment and shock at the complicity of the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu and the INEC National Commissioner in Charge of Elections Amina Zakari in the entire saga.

“The questions begging for answer are, how did the printer get the serial number of the materials they are printing when the numbers are to be known only by INEC leadership? How did they get the polling units they were printing when INEC has not made public the units were elections will be held? How about the colour, format, font size and security features of all the materials? How did the printer get all those?” Mr Okwukwe questioned.

Meanwhile INEC’s Director for Voters Education, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, told the protesters that the protest was unnecessary, as the electoral body had been working with the police in their investigations.

“When we catch people in the act, allegedly forging currency notes, do you go to blame the Central Bank because people are forging their own things that they produce.

“When a person is caught with a forged WAEC certificate do you blame WAEC or the examination body because people have decided to go and forge this things? It is ridiculous. So, on what bases are people now blaming INEC? What is the evidence?

“We will still have to wait for the police to complete their investigation and we are collaborating and cooperating with the police in ensuring that we unravel the circumstances which lead to this,” he told the protesters.