The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has explained why some Nigerian politicians are desperate.
Responding to the question on Channels TV’s Politics Today, the Director Voter Education and Publicity, (INEC), Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, said one of the reasons could be because the rewards of public office seem too juicy to ignore.
“I think the rewards of public office seem too juicy (the amount of power influence and money) that comes with public office I guess, is such that there has to be a desperation. It’s almost a do or die and many of them don’t have another source of income,” he said.
“So, if you lose out, I guess for a couple of years, you would be in the cooler”.
Speaking further about the importance of electoral reforms in curbing the menace of electoral malpractices, Osaze-Uzzi noted that an increased use of technology and less human interference is always a better way to go.
Also speaking on the matter, Convener of the election Situation Room, Clement Nwankwo, noted that in addition to the Electoral Reform Bill proposed by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo Om-Agege, an Electoral Offenses Commission should be established.
The National Working Committee of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday met with representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over issues of electoral reforms.
Leaders of the political party during the meeting urged the electoral body to lead the process of electoral reforms that will legalise electronic voting and reduce military presence during elections.
“I would like to urge your commission to move quickly and initiate Electoral Act amendment that will legalise electronic voting and remove the influence of the military as primary security on the Election Day,” National Chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, said while welcoming the INEC representatives to PDP National Secretariat, Abuja.
The party also lamented over alleged military involvement in elections noting that the recent elections including the 2019 general elections calls the integrity of the electoral umpire to question.
“Despite a standing lawful court ruling that military should be kept at a distance during elections as secondary security, we have all watched how they not only took over the primary security role from the Police but in some instances dictated and even connived with some INEC officials,” they said.
The also described the 2015 election which saw the transition of power from Goodluck Jonathan of PDP to Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as ‘Nigeria’s finest election.’
PDP however tasked the electoral body to stand up to their responsibility of balance and impartiality.
“The survival and sustenance of our democracy rest squarely on the integrity of the Electoral Commission which will derive from the character and the impartiality of its operatives.
“The effect of bad elections in our polity has been far reaching, stagnating the political and economic development.”
They concluded that free, fair and credible election is exactly what PDP and indeed global democracy demand and expect from INEC.
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Smart Adeyemi, has won the Kogi West senatorial district election.
The Returning Officer of the election, Professor Olajide Lawal, announced this on Saturday at the collation centre in Kogi State.
According to him, Senator Adeyemi polled a total of 88,373 votes to beat Senator Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 62,133 votes.
Ambassador Rufus Aiyenigba of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) came third in the poll with 659 votes and was trailed by John Olabode and Adeyemi Taiwo of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Nigeria Elements Progressive Party (NEPP who) garnered 262 and 119 votes respectively.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the APC candidate as the winner of the keenly contested election two weeks after the people of the senatorial district went to the poll.
See the result below:
This came after the supplementary poll conducted by INEC following the November 16 rerun election which failed to produce a winner.
It was said to have been marred by violence and other alleged electoral malpractices.
Although the results of the poll favoured Senator Adeyemi who polled 80,118 votes as against Senator Melaye’s 59,548 votes, the returning officer had said that he was constrained by law to declare a winner.
He explained that the margin of 20,570 votes between the two candidates was lower than the number of cancelled votes in 53 polling units of the 20 registration.
Following the victory of the APC candidate in the rerun poll and upon receiving the certificate of return, Senator Adeyemi will replace Senator Melaye as the lawmaker representing Kogi West senatorial district in the National Assembly.
INEC’s decision to conduct a fresh election in the senatorial district was in line with the order of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which dismissed an appeal filed by Senator Melaye challenging the nullification of his victory on February 23. during the general elections.
Reacting to the outcome of the poll, APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, congratulated Senator Adeyemi on behalf of the party.
In a statement, he described the victory as “well-deserve” and thanked the people of the senatorial district for their support for the party and its candidate.
Read the statement below:
I congratulate our newly elected Senator, Smart Adeyemi on his well-deserved victory in the Kogi West re-run election which held today.
This victory has again affirmed the general acceptance of our great party, by the great people of Kogi State who just a few weeks ago voted massively for our governorship candidate, Governor Yahaya Bello, who was re-elected for a second term.
I have always believed in the ability of the people of Kogi West to elect leaders who will make them proud in the Senate and not the defeated Senator Melaye who is among the 16 Senators who rebelled against our party.
As it stands today, the broom has swept away the entire 16 Senators, Dino being the last, who tried to destabilise our democracy for their personal interest, jettisoning the interest of the electorate.
On behalf of our great party the APC, I congratulate my brother and friend, Senator Smart Adeyemi once again and we look forward toward working with you in this resolve by our dear President, Muhammadu Buhari to take the nation to the NEXT LEVEL.
Voting has commenced in some areas of the Kogi West Senatorial supplementary election.
The rerun which first took place on November 16 was declared inconclusive by the returning officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Olayinde Lawal.
According to him, the total margin between the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Smart Adeyemi and that of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Dino Melaye was lower than the number of cancelled votes in 53 polling units of the 20 registration.
INEC officials and sensitive materials arrived some polling units before 7 am, but voting commenced at about 9 am in Itedo ward, Yagba East LGA, Ward D 004, Lokoja LGA, Aiyedayo Registration Area, Mopa Moro LGA.
Senator Adeyemi is currently leading with a total of 80,118 votes, while Senator Melaye has 59,548 votes from the seven Local Government Areas during the November 16 rerun.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has firmed up preparations to conclude the Kogi West senatorial district rerun for Saturday, November 30.
The November 16 election in the senatorial district was declared inconclusive by the returning officer, Professor Olayinde Lawal, because the margin between the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Smart Adeyemi and that of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Dino Melaye was 20,570.
Professor Lawal explained that the total margin between both candidates was lower than the 43,127 registered voters in 53 polling units of 20 registration areas in the zone where elections were cancelled.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Lunchtime Politics, the Chairman, Voter Education, and Information, Festus Okoye, stated that the commission is constitutionally obliged to conclude the elections.
“The supplementary elections in Kogi West will go ahead tomorrow because it was the collation/returning officer for that particularly senatorial district that declared the election as inconclusive and we have a constitutional and legal obligation to conclude that election and we are going to conclude it tomorrow.”
He clarified allegations of unfair usage of the smart card reader during the election while adding that the electoral umpire will continue to use the device in all elections.
“The smart card reader is innovative, creative and novel and was designed to bolster the credibility of the accreditation process. It is incumbent on every presiding officer to use the smart card reader for the purposes of accreditation.
Mr Okoye revealed that the commission received complaints of card reader malfunction in some polling units, and if the usage is resisted, zero votes will be recorded.
“There is no doubt whatsoever that in a few places, there were reports of smart card reader malfunction and we had sufficient redundancies and we intervened speedily and restored the smart card readers in the polling unit.
“We also received a few reports of attempts to bypass the use of the smart card readers and all the presiding officers have very clear instructions that if there is over-voting in any polling unit, the result should be cancelled.
“If any community or political force resists the use of the smart card reader, zero votes should be recorded for that particular polling unit,” he stated.
One of the candidates in Saturday’s supplementary election for the Kogi West Senatorial seat, Senator Dino Melaye of the PDP is not happy with the plans of the electoral umpire (INEC) and wants the exercise to be cancelled over what he describes as intimidation of voters and violence in the first conduct of the poll.
Senator Melaye today approached INEC again with yet another petition, asking the commission to act on his petition and not start preparing for a supplementary election.
The PDP candidate asked INEC to postpone the exercise, alleging that the electoral umpire did not include some of the polling units that were canceled during the November 16th election in the forthcoming supplementary poll.
No INEC national commissioner was present to receive Senator Melaye’s petition, however, a senior officer in the office of the INEC chairman, Mr. Jafaru Leko received the petition.
The trial of former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Maurice Iwu, has failed to continue as scheduled.
Professor Iwu’s trial was stalled on Monday at the Federal High Court in Lagos as the trial judge, Justice Nicholas Oweibo, did not sit.
He is facing three counts bordering on fraud and money laundering filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The former INEC boss was first arraigned on August 8 before Justice Chuka Obiozor, who granted him bail in the sum of N1 billion.
Following the transfer of the case to Justice Oweibo, Professor Iwu was re-arraigned by the EFCC on October 24 before Justice Oweibo.
He, however, he pleaded not guilty to the charges while Justice Oweibo adjourned until November 25 for his trial to commence.
Following the absence of the judge at Monday’s sitting, the case was further adjourned until February 27, 2020.
In the charges filed against the former INEC chairman, the EFCC alleged that between December 2014 and March 27, 2015, Mr Iwu “aided the concealment of N1.23 billion in the account of Bioresources Institute of Nigeria Limited with number 1018603119, domiciled in the United Bank for Africa.”
According to the commission, Professor Iwu “ought to have reasonably known that the N1.23 billion formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to commit fraud.”
The prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that the former INEC boss acted contrary to Sections 18(a) and 15(2)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 and that the offence was liable to be punished under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked its members to prepare for a triumphant supplementary election for Kogi West Senatorial District.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) fixed the 30th of November for the conduct of the supplementary election in Kogi West Senatorial District after its returning officer; Professor Olayinde Lawal announced that the poll to fill the senatorial seat was inconclusive.
The party in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, charged members to unite in readiness against any repressive forces that may attempt to forcefully invade any polling unit.
“The party calls on all its members, supporters, citizens and voters in Kogi West to unite in readiness against any repressive forces that may attempt to forcefully invade any polling unit, disrupt the electoral process or alter results as witnessed in the November 16 elections.
“The PDP notes that Kogi State and particularly Kogi West, remains its home and the people are not ready to stomach the kind of impunity exhibited by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 16 polls.”
The PDP also asked security agencies and the INEC not to give in to any pressure as such will attract serious consequences.
“The PDP cautions security agents as well as officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to pander to repressive forces, who seek to subvert the will of the people, as such is capable of attracting dire consequences.
“The PDP is mourning our compatriots slain by the APC on November 16 and restates that their death will never be in vain.”
Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Smart Adeyemi is currently leading with 80,118 votes, while the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Dino Melaye has 59,548 votes.
INEC stressed that the margin between both candidates is 20,570 and it is less than the 43,127 registered voters in 53 polling units of 20 registration areas in the zone where elections were cancelled.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has presented the Certificate of Return to Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.
Governor Bello received the certificate on Thursday, three days after he was declared as the winner of the just concluded governorship election in the state.
INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of Nasarawa, Kogi, and Kwara States, Mohammed Haruna, presented the certificate to the governor at a ceremony attended by the Commissioner of Police in Kogi which held at the INEC office in Lokoja, the state capital.
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Yahaya Bello on his re-election as Governor of Kogi State, while commending INEC and security agencies for “discharging their responsibilities under difficult conditions.”
The President tweeted his congratulations on Monday after INEC announced Bello as the winner of the Kogi elections, which was marred with reports of violence, according to observers.
However, Buhari noted that it “was a race well run and a victory well won.”
“I urge him (Bello) to see his renewed mandate as another opportunity to build on the foundations already laid towards improving the lives of the people of Kogi State,” the President said.
“I commend INEC & security agencies for discharging their responsibilities under difficult conditions. The violence that took place, and loss of lives, by thugs doing the bidding of their political sponsors, is condemnable. There is no room in our democracy for electoral violence.
“I commiserate with the families and loved ones of all those who lost their lives. All political actors and stakeholders must take deliberate steps to eschew electoral violence as a peaceful and orderly process is vital to our quest for enduring democracy.
“Let me enjoin Governor Bello to imbibe the spirit of magnanimity in victory by extending a hand of partnership to opposition candidates, and also ask that all those dissatisfied with the outcome of the election should, in seeking redress, approach the courts.”