Kogi Election: INEC Seeks Media Support Against Fake News

We Won’t Argue Sub Judice Petitions, INEC Tells PDP

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged the public to shun fake news ahead of the governorship election in Kogi State.

INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter’s Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, made the appeal on Wednesday at the commission’s office in Lokoja, the state capital.

He also urged journalists to work within the rules of the profession to ensure the successful conduct of the November 16 poll.

According to Okoye, hate speech and fake news are becoming very divisive forces in the society.

He, therefore, appealed to journalists to do all necessary checks in order not to incite violence during the election.

READ ALSO: Ochanya: Benue Arraigns Senior Lecturer Over Rape, Death Of Teenager

The national commissioner asked the media to sustain its indispensable status in the task of nation-building and never be allowed to be used as a platform for promoting hate speeches.

He disclosed that about 16,139 electoral officials would be recruited by the commission and listed the political parties that would participate in the election.

The INEC official told political parties who felt INEC should have advised them on how to fill some of the forms that the commission was a regulatory agency and not an advisory body.

He spoke during a workshop on legal and procedural issues, aimed at creating awareness on the use of basic concepts and terminologies in the electoral process.

On his part, INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, asked journalists to be objective in their reportage during the election.

The Kogi Residence Electoral Commissioner (REC), Professor James Apam, also sought the cooperation of the media for the election.

He described journalists as gatekeepers of the exercise, adding that they should be able to report without bias.

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

A file photo of Mr Festus Okoye

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PHOTOS: EFCC Uncovers N65m From INEC Office In Zamfara

Courtesy: twitter.com/officialEFCC

 

Operatives of the Economic and Finacial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Sokoto zonal office on Wednesday recovered money to the tune of N65,548,000 (Sixty-five Million, Five Hundred and Forty-eight Thousand Naira) from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Zamfara State.

READ ALSO: EFCC Recovers N65m From INEC Office In Zamfara

The monies which comprise of  81 bundles of N1000 notes, 97 bundle of N500 notes and 96 pieces of N500 notes were stacked in two fireproof safes during a search conducted in offices of the HOD Accounts and Cashier of the INEC.

See Photos Below: 

 

EFCC Recovers N65m From INEC Office In Zamfara

Courtesy: twitter.com/officialEFCC

 

Operatives of the Economic and Finacial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Sokoto zonal office on Wednesday recovered money to the tune of N65,548,000 (Sixty-five Million, Five Hundred and Forty-eight Thousand Naira) from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Zamfara State.

The monies which comprise of  81 bundles of N1000 notes, 97 bundle of N500 notes and 96 pieces of N500 notes were stacked in two fireproof safes during a search conducted in offices of the HOD Accounts and Cashier of the INEC.

The money is suspected to be 40% illegally deducted on funds released to the INEC Zamfara office to cater to the rent of Canopies, Tables, and Chairs and also funds for RAC (Registration Area Center) and movement of men and materials to Polling Units, by the HOD Accounts & Cashier.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: EFCC Recovers N65m From INEC Office In Zamfara

The raid followed a petition by one of the INEC ad-hoc staff during the 2019 presidential and gubernatorial elections in Zamfara State. The staff alleged that the Adhoc INEC officials were denied payment of their N6,000 movement allowances each for the two elections.

According to the complainant, while INEC in Zamfara allegedly paid its ad hoc staff the sum of N9,000, others in states like Sokoto were paid N12,000.

The recovered fund is suspected to be part of the funds illegally deducted from releases meant to cater for the movement of materials and electoral officials as well as the provision of chairs, tables and canopies for the 2019 governorship and presidential elections in the state

Before the raid, the Commission a few days ago, had arrested four officials of INEC in the state. The officials, Hassan Sidi Aliyu, Administrative Secretary, Hussain Jafar, Head of Operations, Abdullahi Yusuf Abubakar, State Accountant and the Cashier Labaran Ishaka, were picked for alleged conspiracy, breach of trust and criminal diversion of Ad hoc staff allowance to the tune of N84, 696,000 (Eighty Four Million, Six Hundred and Ninety Six Thousand Naira).

The investigation by the EFCC revealed that none of the 10,500 presiding officers who participated in the elections were paid their entitlements commutatively put at N84, 696,000 (Eighty-Four Million, Six Hundred and Ninety-Six Thousand Naira).

The 14 Electoral Officers of the state were also arrested. They are: Abdullahi Sumbawa, Zurmi LGA; Aliyu Jafaru Goronyo, Maradun LGA; Balarabe Ahmed S Gobir, Gummi LGA; Amadu Ibrahim, Gusau LGA; Mohammed Bashir Musa, Kaura Namoda LGA; Dalhatu Usman Musa,Birnin Magaji LGA; Abdulmumin Usman, Maru LGA; Muhammad Nasir Saidu, Talatu Mafara LGA; Abdullahi A. Ukashatu, Tsafe LGA; Tukur Garba Kaita, Bungudu LGA; Salihu Musa Abdullahi, Bukuyun LGA; Sadiq Abdullahi, Fari Anka LGA; Lawali Muhammed, Argungu Bakura LGA; Jafaru Gide, Shinkafi LGA; Tanimu Muhammad, Shinkafi LGA; and Hassan Abdullahi,Shinkafi LGA.

The investigation is still ongoing while efforts are being made to recover all the illegal deductions.

 

Bauchi Election Petition Tribunal Set To Deliver Judgement

The Bauchi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal is set to deliver judgement today.

The tribunal is set to deliver its verdict in a petition filed by the immediate past governor Mohammed Abubakar and the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the declaration of Bala Mohammed of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the 2019 governorship election held on April 9th and 23rd by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The petition was filed on the 12th of April 2019.

Governor Abubakar and the APC are alleging over voting and non-compliance in some polling units in Bogoro Tafawa Balewa and Bauchi local government areas of the state.

The counsel to petitioners prays that the Tribunal cancels votes of some polling units and declare the first petitioner winner while counsel to respondents prayed that the tribunal dismisses a petition for lacking in merit.

Bayelsa, Kogi Polls: Over 200,000 PVCs Yet To Be Claimed – INEC

1,733,479 PVCs Collected, 43,626 Unclaimed In Taraba - INEC

 

A total of 201,143 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) have yet to be collected in Kogi and Bayelsa States as of September 20.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced this in a progress report on PVC collection.

It noted in the infographic report released on Thursday that the exercise started on September 2 ahead of the governorship elections scheduled to hold on November 16 in the two states.

According to the electoral body, 163,856 PVCs are yet to be collected in Kogi while another 37,287 cards are still in its possession in Bayelsa State.

However, a total of 17,250 PVCs have been claimed in both states – Bayelsa (10,206_ and Kogi (7,044).

The collection of PVCs will continue until September 30 in the two states.

See the report of PVCs collected according to the local government areas in the two states below:

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

A file photo of Mr Festus Okoye

 

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

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

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

READ ALSO: Reps Divided Over Deregistration Of Political Parties

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

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

Reps Divided Over Deregistration Of Political Parties

A file photo of lawmakers during plenary at the House of Representatives Chamber in Abuja on September 27, 2019.

 

 

There was division among members of the House of Representatives on Thursday over a bill seeking to urge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deregister political parties in the country.

Those listed for deregistration are political parties who failed to win at least one seat in the National Assembly or a State House of Assembly in the last general elections.

While some of the lawmakers questioned the powers of INEC to deregister the political parties, others were of the opinion that it was necessary to investigate whether or not such powers existed.

They also stressed the need to ascertain why the electoral body has yet to deregister the political parties in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

Mr Francis Uduyok from Akwa Ibom moved the motion calling on INEC to implement Section 78(7, ii) of the Electoral Act.

In the absence of the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, presided over the final plenary for the week.

After the motion was moved, the Chief Whip, Mohammed Monguno, raised a point of order on the powers of the electoral body to which the deputy speaker agreed.

However, another lawmaker Mr Toby Okechukwu (Enugu) raised a counter-point of order, but Mr Wase disagreed him.

This led to the division among members of House while the motion was eventually stepped down.

 

Reps Probe Crude Oil Theft

Meanwhile, the lawmakers have set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the quantity of crude oil stolen on a daily basis and those accountable for the theft.

They took the decision after Mr Chukwuma Umeoji from Anambra State raised concerns over the economic loss suffered in the country due to the crime.

The House noted that Nigeria loses about N5 trillion annually as a result of the crime, adding that N1.3 trillion worth of crude oil was stolen in the Niger Delta region since the beginning of 2019.

It directed the ad-hoc committee to determine the volume of oil extracted and the quantity of oil sold in the country and report back to the House in eight weeks.

 

House Moves To Rename Fire Service

In another development, a bill for an act to repeal the Fire Service Act of 2004 scaled through second reading in the House during Thursday’s plenary.

The bill was sponsored by Mr Dachung Bagos from Plateau State.

It seeks to change the name of the agency from Fire Service to Fire and Rescue Service, to enable the service to carry out rescue services and not just firefighting.

The bill enjoyed the support of the lawmakers who agreed that in keeping with changing trends, it was necessary to upgrade the fire service to save not only property but lives as well.

It was, thereafter, referred to the Committee on Interior for a public hearing.

The House has adjourned till Wednesday next week, October 1 for the commemoration of the Independence Day billed to hold on October 1.

101 Candidates Nominated For Bayelsa, Kogi Polls – INEC

 

A total of 101 candidates have been nominated for the forthcoming governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced this in a statement by its National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye.

Okoye noted that 64 political parties conducted primaries in Bayelsa State while 59 parties held the exercise in Kogi.

READ ALSO: Akwa Ibom Senatorial Poll: Akpabio Loses To Ekpenyong At Tribunal

Out of these, he said 52 parties for Bayelsa and 49 for Kogi submitted the list of candidates and their personal data at the close of nomination on Monday.

A breakdown of the 101 nominees for the two states shows that 91 are male while 10 are female – six in Bayelsa and four in Kogi.

According to Okoye, INEC will publish the personal particulars of the nominees on the notice boards of it offices in Yenagoa and Lokoja.

He added that the commission would make the names public on Friday, in line with the Electoral Act as well as the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the governorship elections scheduled to hold on November 16 in the two states.

Read the statement below:

In accordance with the Electoral Act and in line with the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the Bayelsa State and Kogi State Governorship elections, the Commission will on Friday 13th September 2019 publish the personal particulars of nominated candidates for the elections.

The personal particulars of the nominees will be published on the notice boards of our offices in Yenagoa and Lokoja.

As required by law, the Commission monitored the primaries of the political parties and the list of aspirants who emerged has since been published on our website and other platforms.

From our records, 64 political parties conducted primaries in Bayelsa State as against 59 in Kogi State.

Out of these, 52 political parties for Bayelsa State and 49 for Kogi state respectively submitted the list of candidates and their personal particulars at the close of nomination at 6pm on Monday 9th September 2019.

While some of the political parties that conducted primaries did not submit any list and personal particulars of candidates, a few failed to submit within the time limit prescribed by the Commission.

Out of the 101 nominees for the two States, 91 are male, representing 90%, while 10 are female, representing 10% of all the nominees.

Of the 52 nominees for Bayelsa State, 6 are female, while 46 are male. The corresponding figures for Kogi State are 4 female and 45 male nominees.

The publication of the personal particulars of nominees is for members of the public to make any claims and objections regarding these candidates, as required by law.

Similarly, the Commission has observed from a preliminary review of the list and personal particulars submitted by the political parties that some of the Governorship and Deputy-Governorship candidates are below the minimum age prescribed by the Constitution for these positions.

The Commission will notify the concerned parties soon and subsequently consider further action.

As we continue to prepare for the Bayelsa and Kogi Governorship elections scheduled for Saturday 16th November 2019, the Commission once more reminds the political parties of the timelines in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities and requests strict compliance with them.

We look forward to working with the parties and all stakeholders to make the forthcoming elections in the two States free, fair and credible.

Festus Okoye Esq.

National Commissioner & Chairman,

Information and Voter Education Committee

12th September 2019.

Nigeria’s Law Does Not Allow Electronic Transmission Of Election Results, Says INEC

The Director of Publicity for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, says the nation’s laws do not create room for the electronic transmission of electoral results.

Osaze-Uzzi, who stated this during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Thursday, however explained that the result can be uploaded theoretically.

The INEC spokesman explained that even if the country begins using electronic mode of voting and releasing of results, those who want to undermine the process will still do it.

READ ALSO: Kogi Governorship: APC NWC Clears 10th Aspirant To Contest Primaries

“Theoretically, in our elections, you can transmit the results electronically. But the law in Nigeria does not allow for that.

“If Nigerians want that to happen, then you can do that. But that does not mean it will not be susceptible to manipulation by people who are interested in manipulating the process,” he said.

According to the national commissioner, the crucial part of the electioneering process is the actual voting and the direction of result at the polling unit.

Explaining further, he said: “That is the building for the very foundation. If that is not right, others are not right. Even if INEC gets the collation wrong which it should not, there is a process by which, for example it is challenged, it goes back to the commission.”

His remarks come two months to the commencement of the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.

The electoral body has promised to improve on the successes recorded in the recently concluded general elections in the November exercise in the two states.

APC Disqualifies Ex-INEC REC From Bayelsa Governorship Primary

A file photo of Dr Briyai Frankland.

 

 

The Governorship Primary Election Screening Committee of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State has disqualified the former Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Cross Rivers State, Dr Briyai Frankland.

Dr Frankland was disqualified by the committee on Tuesday over an allegation of not being a card-carrying member of the party for up to one calendar year.

The panel, however, cleared the immediate past Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, and five others for the August 29 governorship primary.

The others are Mr Preys Aganaba, Mr Ebitimi Amgbare, Ms Diseye Poweigha, Mr Lyon David, and Professor Ongoebi Etebu.

The screening committee headed by the Chairman, Isa Song, stated that only Dr Briyai Oyeins Frankland was not cleared after a thorough exercise.

In its report, signed by all seven members, the committee explained that it conducted the screening exercise in line with the guidelines and code of conduct emphasised at ensuring that aspirants must have been card-carrying members of the party up to one calendar year while aspirants with multiple declarations of age must harmonise same to avoid untoward situation.

The committee stated that the modalities adopted for the screening were the balloting of numbers one to seven which was picked by each aspirant to determine the order for which they were called to appear before the members.

It stressed that each aspirant was asked questions relating to qualifications and conduct in line with both party constitution and election guidelines to contest for the primary election on the platform of the APC.

The aspirants, the report noted, were also asked to produce evidence of membership of the party, voter’s card and payment of the prescribed fees, as well as the original copy of their credentials for sighting.

“The screening committee is empowered to screen aspirants for the governorship election for Bayelsa. Therefore, Dr Briyai Frankland was not cleared and disqualified on the ground of Section 3 paragraph ‘L’ of the guideline for nomination of candidates,” the report read.

It added, “On the premises of the aforesaid report, we want to observe that the prevalent did most rated commitment of the leadership of our party to reinvigorate the culture of integrity and party discipline be encouraged.

“That the core value of our party, which is premised on leadership responsibility and discipline, will be vigorously enthroned in our leadership recruitment process. That the aspirants, whose names are above stated, appeared for screening and were attended accordingly.”

Kogi, Bayelsa Polls: INEC Fixes September For PVC Collection

1,733,479 PVCs Collected, 43,626 Unclaimed In Taraba - INEC
A file photo of uncollected PVCs

 

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will commence the distribution of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) on September 2 in Bayelsa and Kogi States.

INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, announced this in a statement on Tuesday.

He explained that the commission held a meeting and reviewed its preparations for the conduct of the governorship election scheduled to hold in both states on November 16, 2019.

READ ALSO: Six Killed As Floods Displace Over 600 In Jigawa

Mr Okoye said PVCs would be available for collection at the registration areas and wards across the local government areas in the states.

He noted that the exercise, which would take place between 9am and 3pm from Monday to Friday, would last till September 30.

According to the national commissioner, the total number of uncollected PVCs in Kogi and Bayelsa States are 170,644 and 49,291 respectively.

INEC urged all registered voters that are yet to collect their PVCs to do so in order to vote for their preferred candidates in the polls.

Read the full statement below: