Missing INEC Staff Found Dead In Anambra

A photo combination of INEC staff, Duruocha Joel, and the commission’s logo.

 

A staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Duruocha Joel, has been found dead in Anambra State.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.

He said Duruocha’s body was dumped by unknown persons and found on Thursday along the Isu-Aniocha-Urum Road in Awka North Local Government Area.

READ ALSO: 2023 Polls: Nigerians Can Trust PDP Again – Atiku

Prior to the recovery of his body, the late INEC staff was declared missing by the commission. Duruocha was a Principal Executive Officer II on Grade Level 10.

According to Okoye, INEC’s Administrative Secretary in Anambra State, Okwuonu Jude, reported on Wednesday about the disappearance of Joel.

“On Wednesday, 28th September 2022, the Commission’s Administrative Secretary in Anambra State, Mr. Okwuonu Jude, reported the disappearance of a staff, Mr Duruocha Osita Joel, a Principal Executive Officer II on Grade Level 10,” the statement read.

“On Thursday, 29th September, the Administrative Secretary further informed the Commission that Mr Duruocha Joel’s dead body was found along Isu-Aniocha-Urum road in the Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State, where unknown persons dumped him.

“Other staff members of the Commission, Duruocha’s brother and the Police have evacuated the body and deposited same in the morgue. The Police and other security agencies have commenced an investigation to determine the circumstances that led to Duruocha’s disappearance and eventual death.”

Court Nullifies Gov. Oyetola’s Nomination, Voids Buni’s Actions

A file photo of Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola.

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has nullified the nomination of Governor Isiaka Oyetola and his Deputy Governorship candidate, Benedict Alabi on the grounds that Governor Mai Mala Buni who submitted their names to INEC violated the provisions of Section 183 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 82(3) of the Electoral Act 2022.

On 7th April 2022, Mr Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN) had commenced a suit between the PDP v Governor Mai Mala Buni & 4 Ors. at the court challenging the nomination and sponsorship of Governor Isiaka Oyetola and his deputy as the duly nominated candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In challenging the competence of the suit, Mr Kunle Adegoke (SAN) who represented Governor Isiaka Oyetola contended, amongst other grounds that the Plaintiff did not have the locus to commence the action and that the suit was statute-barred.

In his opposing arguments, Ogunwumiju who led Muyiwa Atoyebi SAN and Ademola Abimbola submitted that the Plaintiff rightly commenced the suit under Section 285(14) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

In his judgment, Justice Emeka Nwite agreed with the submissions of the Plaintiff’s counsel and declared as null and void, the nomination of Governor Isiaka Oyetola and Benedict Alabi by the APC.

The court also held that Governor Mai Mala Buni acted in contravention of the provision of Section 183 of the Constitution when he held dual executive positions as the Governor of Yo e State and the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of APC.

The court held that the steps or decisions taken by Governor Mai Mala Buni, including forwarding the names of Governor Isiaka Oyetola and Benedict Alabi to INEC, amounted to a nullity in law.

Counsel to Gov Oyetola, Adegoke says the verdict will be tested on appeal.

No Political Party Is Allowed To Receive Funds From Abroad – INEC

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday said political parties in Nigeria are not allowed to receive funds from foreign countries.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today, INEC National Commissioner, Festus Okoye, said parties are also not allowed to receive funds anonymously.

The provision may affect parties such as the Labour party who have looked to Nigerians in the diaspora to fund part of their campaigns.

“Section 225 of the Nigerian constitution makes it clear that no registered political party in Nigeria shall possess any funds outside the country,” Mr Okoye said.

 

“In other words, a political party cannot open an account and have monies remitted into that particular account outside the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Secondly it makes it clear that no political party shall under any circumstance retain any funds remitted to it outside the country.

“And if such funds are remitted to the political party from outside the country, that particular political party has a constitutional and legal obligation to turn in such funds to INEC within a period of 21 days from the date of receipt of such funds.”

Tribunal Begins Sitting In Oyetola Vs Adeleke Suit

A photo collage of Oyetola, Adeleke and the venue of the Election Petition Tribunal in Osun State on Monday

 

 

The Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Monday commenced sitting in Osogbo, the state capital, in a suit between the incumbent governor, Gboyega Oyetola; and the governor-elect, Ademola Adeleke.

The legal teams of the two politicians are slugging it out before the Tribunal amid heavy security at the premises, in the Government House in Osogbo.

The Appeal Court in Abuja had recently rejected Oyetola’s request to relocate the sitting of the Tribunal to Abuja.

The Court of Appeal noted that after due consultation on, and consideration of Oyetola’s request, the President of the Court was unable to accede to the proposal as the security agencies in the state have assured the Court of their cooperation and support in enhancing the security of the Tribunal and its sittings.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had in July announced Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party as winner of the governorship election in the state.

INEC said Adeleke won 17 of the 30 local government areas during the election whilst Oyetola who sought re-election on the platform of his party, the All Progressives Congress, won 13 local governments.

 

 

No Campaign Will Hold Till ASUU Strike Is Called Off – NANS

NANS National Taskforce at a press briefing in Abeokuta on Wednesday

 

 

The National Association of Nigerian Students has threatened not to allow any political campaign hold across the country till students of public universities return to classrooms.

Chairman, NANS National Taskforce, Ojo Olumide, announced this at a press conference in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, on Wednesday, some days to September 28, the official date for candidates to kick-off campaign as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

“Our blocking of access to public roads and ports is just a warning. If the government fails to conclude all the negotiation and agreement with ASUU within the frame of two weeks, they will witness more protests and rallies all over the country, they will also witness the annoyance, anger and frustration of Nigerians Students who have been at home for the past seven months.

“As we promise them that we will not allow any political campaign to hold across the country until we are back to class. This government has pushed so many Nigerians students into depression. We say enough is enough; we can no longer bear the brunt from this avoidable crisis in our nation public ivory towers again,” he said.

READ ALSO: Court Orders ASUU To Call Off Strike

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has been on strike since February 14, 2022 as talks between the Federal Government and lecturers of public universities broke down.

Channels Television had reported that students blocked access road to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos as well as the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Ibadan-Ife Road, causing pains to thousands of commuters and passengers.

Umahi, Egwu Among 80 Nominees To Contest As NASS Candidates In Ebonyi

Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi is unbothered by defections to the APC in Nigeria
A file photo of Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has displayed the list of senatorial and House of Representatives candidates for various political parties cleared to contest the 2023 general elections in Ebonyi State.

The state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Ebonyi Chukwuemeka Chukwu made this known in Abakaliki, the state capital on Tuesday.

The REC said a total of eighty candidates are to contest for seats in the National Assembly in the 2023 general polls.

READ ALSO: [2023 Presidency]: INEC Releases Final List, Names Atiku, Obi, Tinubu, 15 Others

Some of the candidates who made the list include the governor of the state David Umahi who would be vying for the senatorial seat on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Ebonyi South, and the first civilian governor of the state Senator Sam Egwu under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Chukwu further disclosed that a total of fifty-one candidates will participate in the coming general elections as nominated by their respective political parties to contest for seats in the House of Representatives, while twenty-nine will contest for the three senatorial positions across Ebonyi State.

2023: INEC Lists Akpabio As APC Senatorial Candidate, Omits Lawan

A photo combination of Lawan, Akpabio, and Machina.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has listed Godswill Akpabio as the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom Northwest but did not name the party’s candidate for Yobe North. 

This was contained in the list of candidates for the election released by INEC on Tuesday evening.

Akpabio, a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, had contested the APC presidential primary but withdrew for eventual winner Bola Tinubu on the day of the exercise.

Since then, his candidature for the senatorial election has been in question but a Federal High Court in Abuja last week ordered the electoral commission to recognise the former governor as the APC flagbearer for Akwa Ibom Northwest.

In his judgment, Justice Emeka Nwite faulted INEC’s non-recognition of the former minister, maintaining that the electoral umpire “is bound by the provisions of Section 29 (3) of the Electoral Act to publish only the personal particulars of the candidate of the first plaintiff for the Akwa-Iborn North/West Senatorial District elections in the person of the second plaintiff (Akpabio) as received from the first plaintiff”.

But in Yobe North, INEC did not list any candidate for the ruling APC where Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Bashir Machina are jostling for the ticket.

Like Akpabio, the lawmaker contested the APC presidential primary with Machina winning the party’s senatorial ticket for the district. Since Machina’s emergence, his candidacy has been hotly debated. He also claimed there was pressure on him to relinquish the ticket to Lawan.

READ ALSO: [2023 Presidency]: INEC Releases Final List, Names Atiku, Obi, Tinubu, 15 Others

Bashir Machina had insisted he won’t step down for Lawan.

 

Earlier in the month, he denied a letter claiming he had written to the party’s hierarchy and handed the ticket to Lawan.

“I want to state unequivocally that the purported letter was forged. I did not at any time withdraw nor resign from my party,” he said in a short statement after the letter made rounds.

“I was shocked when I discovered that some persons concocted plans to mislead the public, particularly my supporters into believing that I have withdrawn.”

Following the publication of the candidates’ list, INEC’s  National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education Committee Festus Okoye said “the list published today contains the names of candidates validly nominated for national elections at the close of party primaries and the period earmarked for withdrawal and substitution of candidates”.

Okoye in a statement explained that “validly nominated candidates had the opportunity to voluntarily withdraw their candidature by notice in writing and personally deliver such notice to the political party that nominated them for the election.

“Thereafter, political parties substituted such candidates under section 31 of the Electoral Act for which the last day was 15th July 2022 for national elections and 12th August 2022 for State elections as clearly provided in item 6 of the Commission’s Timetable and Schedule of Activities.

“Thereafter, no withdrawal or substitution of candidates is allowed except in the event of death as provided in section 34(1) of the Electoral Act or pursuant to an order of a Court of competent jurisdiction.”

2023 Presidency: INEC Releases Final List, Names Atiku, Obi, Tinubu, 15 Others

This combination photo shows the Presidential candidates of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi (L); All Progressives Congress, Mr Bola Tinubu (C); and Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Atiku Abubakar (R).

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the final list of candidates contesting for the presidency in the 2023 general elections.

This is according to a circular released by the electoral body on Tuesday in Abuja.

The INEC circular also included the candidates’ state of origin, age, qualifications, and other details, as well as that of running mates.

Among those cleared by the electoral umpire are Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the  New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

INEC 2023 Presidential Candidates’ List

Below is the final list of candidates for the 2023 presidential election as published by INEC:

1. Imumolen Christopher  – Accord Party (AP)

2. Al-Mustapha Hamza – Action Alliance (AA)

3. Sowore Omoyele – African Action Congress (AAC)

4. Kachikwu Dumebi – African Democratic Congress (ADC)

5. Sani Yabagi Yusuf  – Action Democratic Party (ADP)

6. Tinubu Bola Ahmed – All Progressives Congress (APC)

7. Umeadi Peter Nnanna –  All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)

8. Ojei Princess Chichi – Allied People’s Movement (APM)

9. Nnamdi Charles Osita – Action Peoples Party (APP)

10. Adenuga Sunday Oluwafemi – Boot Party (BP)

11. Obi Peter Gregory – Labour Party (LP)

12. Musa Rabiu Kwankwaso  – New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP)

13. Osakwe Felix Johnson  –  National Rescue Movement (NRM)

14. Abubakar Atiku – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

15. Abiola Latifu Kolawole – Peoples Redemption Party (PRP)

16. Adebayo Adewole Ebenezer – Social Democratic Party (SDP)

17. Ado-Ibrahim Abdumalik  – Young Progressives Party (YPP)

18. Nwanyanwu Daniel Daberechukwu – Zenith Labour Party (ZLP)

Meanwhile, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, has given the details of the candidates in the elections.

In a statement on Tuesday, he revealed that there were 11 persons with disability (PWDs) among those vying for various positions.

Read the full statement below:

At its regular weekly meeting held today Tuesday 20th September 2022, the Commission approved the final list of candidates for national elections (Presidential, Senatorial, and Federal Constituencies) pursuant to section 32(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 and item 8 of the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election.

The publication of the full names and addresses of all nominated candidates follows the political parties’ conduct of primaries and completion of the nomination exercise.

Nigerians may recall that at end of the process, the personal particulars of all nominated candidates were displayed in their constituencies nationwide as provided by section 29(3) of the Electoral Act.

Subsequently, validly nominated candidates had the opportunity to voluntarily withdraw their candidature by notice in writing and personally deliver such notice to the political party that nominated them for the election.

Thereafter, political parties substituted such candidates under section 31 of the Electoral Act for which the last day was 15th July 2022 for national elections and 12th August 2022 for State elections as clearly provided in item 6 of the Commission’s Timetable and Schedule of Activities.

Thereafter, no withdrawal or substitution of candidates is allowed except in the event of death as provided in section 34(1) of the Electoral Act or pursuant to an order of a Court of competent jurisdiction.

The list published today contains the names of candidates validly nominated for national elections at the close of party primaries and the period earmarked for withdrawal and substitution of candidates.

The final list of candidates for State elections (Governorship and State Constituencies) will be published on 4th October 2022 as already indicated on the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election.

We note the fact that not all the political parties conducted primaries in all the constituencies, submitted the particulars of candidates that emerged from valid primaries, or substituted their candidates after fresh primaries within 14 days as provided in section 33 of the Electoral Act.

This has led to numerous litigations, some of which are ongoing. Where the Commission was served with court orders by aggrieved aspirants or candidates before the publication of this list, these have been indicated under the remark column.

In summary, all the 18 political parties have fielded candidates and their running mates for the Presidential election. For legislative elections, 1,101 candidates are vying for 109 Senatorial seats and 3,122 candidates for Federal Constituencies i.e. House of Representatives seats, making a total of 4,223 candidates contesting for 469 legislative positions.

In terms of gender distribution, 3,875 candidates are male, made up of 35 for Presidential and Vice Presidential, 1,008 for Senate, and 2,832 for House of Representatives.  Similarly, 381 females comprising 1 for the Presidential, 92 for the Senate, and 288 for the House of Representatives are contesting. There are also 11 Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the race.

The list for specific constituencies is published in each State where they are located while the comprehensive nationwide list has been uploaded to the Commission’s website.

We appeal to all political parties to channel any observations on the list of candidates to the Commission and such must be signed by the National Chairman and Secretary of the political party and supported with an affidavit as provided in section 32(2) of the Electoral Act 2022.

Festus Okoye Esq

National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee

Tuesday 20th September 2022.

 

 

 

Peter Obi Can’t Get 25% Votes Across Nigeria – ADP Presidential Candidate

 

The presidential candidate of the Action Democratic Party, Yabagi Sani, says his Labour Party counterpart, Peter Obi, is making “a lot of motion without movement”, adding that the former Anambra State governor cannot win 25% of votes in 24 states across the Federation in the 2023 presidential election.

Sani, who is also the ADP leader and chairman of the Inter-party Advisory Committee, the umbrella body of registered political parties in Nigeria, spoke on Channels Television’s Political Paradigm programme aired on Tuesday.

He dismissed Obi’s Labour Party as the Third Force that Nigerians desire to break away from the cyclical rotational governments of the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress – the two parties that have held the reins at the centre since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999. PDP was in government from 1999 to 2015 when the APC took over.

“It is not the Third Force that will bring us the change that we need but the fact that the makeup of these parties and what they represent today is a fiasco,” he said.

Sani also described as mere social media “euphoria” the growing support for Obi amongst youths.

“It is an expression of frustration by Nigerians against these two parties (APC and PDP) and this does not translate to victory for Peter Obi…Will Peter Obi be able to achieve 25% as required by the constitution across the board?

“When EndSARS happened, people were thinking that can translate it to become a political force that will effect a change but it fizzled.”

READ ALSO: Court Orders Sule Lamido To Open Defence In Alleged N712m Fraud

According to Section 34 of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of Elections, a presidential candidate can only be announced as the winner if he or she “has the majority of votes cast at the election; and has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.”

Asked whether Obi stands a chance to win the 2023 presidential poll, the ADP presidential candidate said, “I don’t think so if you situate it in our political structure, in our formula; what the constitution says you must have. Peter Obi cannot have it. Peter Obi can create the vibration, a lot of motion without movement; noisemaking but it can’t win an election.”

‘Social Media Euphoria About Obi An Entertainment’

Pressing further, Sani said the only thing Peter Obi has going for him is because he is of Igbo extraction and there has been a clamour for a President from the South-East zone.

The ADP candidate questioned the integrity and the parameters of a poll by the Anap Foundation favouring Obi. “Social media is not equal to the polling unit. The euphoria is entertainment. Let’s have some entertainment,” he mocked.

Sani said his party is the main third force as it came third in the recent Osun State Governorship Election after PDP and APC which came first and second respectively.

“We are not so much into noise-making,” he said, adding that the ADP is a party to beat in Kano State, where presidential candidates including APC’s Bola Tinubu and PDP’s Atiku Abubakar look forward to large votes.

According to him, the APC and the PDP are shadows of themselves going by the controversies that surrounded their respective primaries.

Seven Million Nigerians Sue INEC Over Failure To Allow Them Complete Voter Registration

A photo combination of SERAP’s logo and Iogo.

 

Twenty-four Nigerians have filed a lawsuit against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for “failing to give them and other seven million Nigerians adequate time and opportunity to complete their voter registration after they have carried out their registration online.”

The Plaintiffs who are suing for themselves and on behalf of seven million other Nigerians want to “complete the registration process, so that they can obtain their permanent voter cards (PVCs), and exercise their right to vote.”

INEC recently disclosed that out of 10,487,972 Nigerians who carried out their pre-registration online, only 3,444,378 completed the process at a physical centre. This represents just 32.8 percent of completed online registration.


READ ALSO: Buhari Attends 77th United Nations General Assembly


But in the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1662/2022 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court, Abuja, the Plaintiffs are seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel INEC to re-activate its continuous voters registration exercise to allow the Plaintiffs to complete their registration and collect their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs).”

The Plaintiffs are also seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel INEC to provide adequate facilities and deploy personnel to the registration units of the Plaintiffs to enable them complete their registration and collect their PVCs.”

The Plaintiffs are arguing that, “We have completed the online registration exercise. Denying us the time and opportunity to complete the registration for our PVCs would impair our right to vote, and deny us a voice in the 2023 elections.”

The Plaintiffs are also arguing that, “The inability to complete our registration is entirely due to factors outside of our control. We are eligible Nigerians but unless we are given a reasonable time and opportunity to complete the registration process, and obtain our voter cards, we will not be able to vote in the 2023 general elections.”

The twenty-four Nigerians include: Adeeyo Bayo Wasiu; Kunat Tychius Amos; Tagbo Philips Chidubem; Emeghe Uchanma Grace; Ayoola Opeyemi Ebenezer; Eche Onah Otakpa; Olatoye Clement Damilola; and Ogunejiofor Raphael Emeka.

Others include: Adedotun Adegoke Babatunde; Emmanuel Promise Tochukwu; Emmanuel Ternajev; Joy Oluwadamilola Ige; Lawerence Ignatius; Agbede Kunle; Eze Daniel Ndubisi; and Nkemdilim Agbor Bassey.

Others are: Omoike Iredia Oseine; Joshua Patrick Ogenekaro; Wisdom Emeka; Ukpe Victor Destiny; Abayomi Opeoluwa; Ndubuisi Anthony Ahanihu; Akande Akintunde O; and Adamma Rhodes.

The suit filed on behalf of the Plaintiffs by lawyers to Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Kolawole Oluwadare and Ms Adelanke Aremo, read in part: “Closing the gates on eligible Nigerians cannot preserve trust in the electoral process.”

“According to reports, the inability of Nigerians to complete their voters registration exercise or even transfer their permanent voters’ card, affected wide spectrums of persons, hence this class action by the identified plaintiffs on behalf of other affected Nigerians.”

“There were reports of incidence of bribery, unethical conducts of INEC staff, registration process marred by irregularities, insufficient machines, malfunctioning of machines, insufficient staff and unskilled staff, before the defendant ended the Continuous Voters Registration Exercise on the 31st July, 2022.”

“The right to vote is not merely the right to cast a ballot but also the right to be given the time and opportunity to complete the registration process, so that the right can be meaningfully and effectively exercised.”

“Any proffered justifications of saving time and cost are therefore wholly insufficient. Administrative convenience is simply not a compelling justification in light of the fundamental nature of the right to vote.”

“This severe vote deprivation cannot be justified by any perceived considerations of saving time, especially because Section 9(6) of the Electoral Act 2022 provides that ‘the registration of voters, updating and revision of the Register of Voters shall not stop not later than 90 days before any election covered by this Act.’”

“Providing fresh opportunity for the Plaintiffs and seven million other Nigerians to complete their registration would promote and preserve the right to vote, and ensure that legal and eligible voters are not inadvertently and unjustifiably turned away from exercising their fundamental right to vote.”

“The Plaintiffs are Nigerians who commenced the voters registration exercises in their respective states via successful online enrolment at the respective dates but could not complete the registration process, and obtain their voters cards.”

“The plaintiffs also include those who are interested in transferring their permanent voters’ cards to another location so that they can vote.”

“The Plaintiffs and other eligible Nigerians have the rights to equal treatment before the law, equal protection, non-discrimination and equal opportunities to participate in the government of Nigeria.”

“By refusing the Plaintiffs and seven million other Nigerians the opportunity to complete the registration for their PVCs, INEC have unfairly, unreasonably, and unjustifiably denied them the opportunity to be heard at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner as to the reasons for not completing their registration.”

“The Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended) provides in Section 14(1)(c) that, ‘the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.’”

“Similarly, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance guarantee the right to political participation, including the right to vote.”

“The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), recently disclosed that over seven million Nigerians who carried out their voter pre-registration online could not complete the process at physical centres.”

“According to a report released by INEC, out of 10,487,972 Nigerians who carried out their pre-registration online, only 3,444,378 Nigerians representing 32.8 percent, completed the process at a physical centre. 7,043,594 Nigerians carried out their pre-registration but are yet to complete the process at a physical centre.”

“This represents over 67 percent of those who began their registration process online. According to INEC, a total of 12,298,944 Nigerians completed their voter registration; 8,854,566 of which were persons who did their registration entirely at a physical centre.”

“The Plaintiffs and seven million other Nigerians have already completed their registration online, that is, via INEC online portal by providing their biodata and required documents.”

“According to INEC, the process that is outstanding for the applicants to complete the registration for their PVCs is to visit INEC designated centres for their biometric to be captured.”

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

‘No New Registrant Added:’ INEC Dismisses Claims Of Foreigners In Voter Register

Voters check for their details in a polling unit in Ekiti state on June 18, 2022. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television
In this file photo, voters check for their details in a polling unit in Ekiti state on June 18, 2022. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television

 

The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Mr. Festus Okoye has dismissed claims that foreigners are on the country’s voter register. 

The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) had claimed that there was a plot to compromise the forthcoming 2023 elections.

“Significant among the discoveries in the register is the fact that the majority of the foreign names were all born in 1983 despite whether their photographs showed they were old or young,” the spokesman of the coalition Mr. Ikenga Ugochinyere said on Wednesday.

But Okoye refuted the claims even though he said INEC recognizes the right of citizens to hold the commission accountable.

READ ALSO2023 Presidential Election A Three-Horse Race With Obi Leading — Anap Poll

“Nigerians would recall that on 31st July 2022, the Commission suspended the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) to commence supplemental activities that will culminate in the integration of new registrants into the final Register of Voters for the 2023 General Election,” Okoye said in a statement he issued on Thursday.

“It is important to reiterate that no new registrant has yet been added to the Register of Voters for the 2023 General Election or will be included until these supplemental activities have been completed in line with the law.”

He also assured Nigerians about the credibility of the election process and that all ineligible records will be detected for removal.

“We appeal to the public to await the Commission’s display of the register for claims and objections to raise any concerns that they may have about the registration. We reiterate that our ABIS is robust and will detect practically all the ineligible records for removal.

“Nigerians should be reassured of the Commission’s commitment to the credibility of the electoral process in Nigeria. We appeal for your support while we painstakingly deal with the cleanup of the register and other processes that will guarantee that the general election in 2023 is free, fair, credible, and inclusive,” he assured.

Godswill Akpabio: INEC Yet To Receive Certified Court Judgement– Okoye

Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Thursday said it is yet to receive the recent court judgement on the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had earlier ordered INEC to recognise Akpabio as the senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Akwa Ibom North/West district in 2023.

Specifically, Justice Emeka Nwite held that INEC acted illegally by refusing to accept and publish Akpabio’s name after it was sent by APC.

But reacting to the development during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, INEC National Electoral Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, said the electoral body does not rely on media reports before making decisions.

“As of today, we have not received any court order/judgement,” he said when asked if INEC will obey the verdict.

“Based on our rules, we respect court orders because under Section 287 of the Constitution; we are a public institution and are bound to obey orders from properly constituted courts of law.

“But we have to receive the judgement, study the judgment, understand what has transpired in relation to the matter, and then make a decision on what the court expects us to do and also make a decision whether the commission will appeal against such a judgement.”

Okoye also defended the commission’s decision to deploy the Bimodal Voter Accreditation Systems (BVAS) for voter accreditation and verification ahead of the 2023 polls.

According to him, the decision to adopt BVAS followed challenges it experienced during the 2015 and 2019 general elections.

On plans by some politicians to challenge the legality of BVAS in court, the INEC National Commissioner explained that the technological device is backed by the Electoral Act.