Don’t Let Courts Determine Future Elections Outcome, Yakubu Tells Parties

A file photo of INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu. Photo: Channels Television/Sodiq Adelakun

 

 

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has advised political parties ahead of future elections in the country.

He urged them to shun acts that could lead to situations where the courts would be the ones to determine the outcomes of the forthcoming elections.

Professor Yakubu gave the advice when he met with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) at the INEC headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Ahead of the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States scheduled for September 19 and October 10 respectively, he decried the recent litigations which resulted in the Supreme Court determining the winners of the polls in some states.

“The end of tenure governorship elections in Edo and Ondo are holding later in the year.

“Given recent experience with some governorship elections, political parties need to do more to avoid the conduct of acrimonious primaries or failure to observe due diligence in the screening of their candidates, resulting in protracted litigations and eventual determination of the outcome of elections by orders of the court,” the INEC boss said.

He warned that the court might have to decide the outcomes of the polls should political parties continue to conduct inappropriate party primaries and poor screening of their nominated candidates that could lead to protracted litigations.

Professor Yakubu, therefore, asked the political parties to be mindful of the “two critical dates” in the timetable released by INEC recently.

He said, “Party primaries for the democratic election and nomination of candidates for the Governorship election in Edo State must be held from June 2-27,” adding, “The date for Ondo State is July 2-25.”

The INEC boss warned that the commission would not extend the dates.

“We will also rigorously monitor the primaries and where necessary, apply sanctions as provided by law,” he stressed.

INEC Declares PDP’s Douye Diri Winner Of Bayelsa Election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Duoye Diri, as the winner of the Bayelsa election.

The INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, who made this announcement on Friday at the INEC headquarters in Abuja said the certificate of return will be issued immediately to the winner.

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Sacks Lyon As Bayelsa Governor-Elect, Hours Before Inauguration

Yakubu while briefing journalists at the INEC Headquarters confirmed receiving the true certified judgement of the court.

According to him, the commission met on Friday morning to review the results of the election, without the votes of the APC which have been voided by the court.

The total votes cast after excluding those of the APC now stand at 146,999. PDP polled 143,172 and scored 25 percent as required by the law.

As at the time of this report, Senator Diri is in the conference room set to receive his certificate of return.

He is accompanied by dozens of his supporters, including some leaders of the PDP.

 

See photos of the INEC Chairman and senior officials of the Commission during the briefing…

 

Prosecuting Electoral Offenders Swiftly Will Deepen Democracy, Says INEC Chairman

 

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu has restated the call for a swift prosecution of electoral offenders in the country.

Professor Yakubu who spoke during the review of the 2019 General Elections with the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), said that attention must be paid to the forthcoming governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi state scheduled to hold on Saturday 16 November 2019.

“The truth is that democracy and credible elections will be deepened where electoral offenders are swiftly prosecuted. For instance, in the recent general elections in South Africa held in May 2019, some electoral offenders were arrested and swiftly charged to court even before the election was concluded.

“As we review the 2019 General election, we must also pay attention to the forthcoming elections, the Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections are scheduled to hold on Saturday 16 November 2019.”

READ ALSO: Alleged N6.9bn Money Laundering: Court Grants Fayose Permission To Travel Abroad

He added that the history of reported political violence in the states brings into consideration, safety of INEC personnel and sanctity of the electoral process.

“Given the history of political violence, resulting in the governorship election declared inconclusive in the two states in 2015, the commission is concerned about the safety of our personnel, properties and the sanctity of the electoral process.

“The politicians in Bayelsa and Kogi must shed off the toga of political violence associated with the conduct of elections in the two states.

The INEC Chairman assured that the electoral body will protect the integrity of electoral process in the forthcoming elections.

“I am glad to note the peace efforts in Bayelsa State through a broad-based Stakeholders Summit on Violence-free elections. I am also glad that some concerned leaders in Kogi State are considering a similar initiative.

“I want to assure all well-meaning leaders of Bayelsa and Kogi States that the Commission will work with them to ensure peaceful and credible polls.

“I also wish to assure all voters in the two States that INEC will protect the integrity of the electoral process and ensure that the will of the people prevails. We will also work with the security agencies to ensure professionalism and neutrality in strict compliance with their rules of engagement”, he pledged.

INEC To Employ Corps Members With ‘Excellent Performance’ In 2019 Elections

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has revealed plans to give automatic employment to some National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) with excellent performance in the 2019 General Elections.

This was made known by the Chairman INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, during the European Union for Democracy Nigeria Donation to Youth Corps Members at the NYSC Orientation Camp in Abuja on Monday.

READ ALSO: Lagos Govt Announces Road Closure From Mile 2 To Tin Can Island Port

According to Yakubu, the electoral body has started conducting the 2019 Election Review and the performance of Corps members will give special attention.

I want to appreciate all official NYSC Nigeria here & those not here; presently we are conducting the 2019 Election Review & we promise to reward some Corps members with excellent performance in the Elections with automatic employment.

EU To Present Final Report On 2019 Elections Today

 

The European Union Election Observation Group will today present its final report and findings on the 2019 elections to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The group made this known on Friday during a meeting with the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu in Abuja.

Speaking shortly after the meeting, Mr Yakubu promised to ensure the implementation of the group’s recommendations, adding that the EU has been part of Nigeria’s progress towards democratic consolidation since 1999.

Meanwhile, ahead of the today’s presentation of the report, the EU EOM Chief Observer, Marie Arena has met with key stakeholders such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the civil society, political parties such as the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

INEC Issue Certificates Of Return To Zamfara Governor-Elect, Others

PHOTO: Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakun

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issued Certificates of Return to new winners of elections in Zamfara state.

The INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu on Monday, issued certificates to the Governor, Deputy Governor-elect, and Senators-elect at the Commission’s Electoral Institute in Abuja.

READ ALSO: Buhari Signs 2019 Budget

According to Yakubu, there are a total of 809 pre-election cases pending in various courts, challenging the conducts of primaries by political parties.

“I want to reiterate the importance of conducting proper primaries before elections in order to reduce the spate of litigation associated with them. At the moment, there are 809 pre-election cases pending in various courts across the country challenging the conduct of primaries by political parties for the 2019 general elections.”

Below are photos of the event:

Zamfara Elections: Winners To Get Certificates Of Return On May 27, 31

INEC To Conduct Supplementary Elections In Kano, Sokoto, Four Others March 23
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, at a press conference in Abuja on March 7, 2019. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released a schedule for the issuance of Certificates of Return to newly announced winners in Zamfara state.

The electoral umpire in a social media post on Sunday announced that the Governor, Deputy Governor-elect, Senators and Members of the House of Representatives-elect will be issued their certificates on Monday, May 27, 2019, at the Commission’s Electoral Institute in Abuja.

The commission also said that members of the State House of Assembly-elect will receive their certificates on Friday, May 31, 2019, at the INEC State Office, Gusau from the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC).

READ ALSO: INEC Declares PDP’s Mattawalle Winner Of Zamfara Gov Election

INEC had declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bello Mattawalle, winner of the Zamfara State governorship election.

Chairman of the Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, made the announcement at a press briefing on Saturday in Abuja after an emergency deliberation.

The deliberation followed the Supreme Court’s judgment on Friday which nullified the victory of all candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election held on March 9, 2019.

We Won’t Tolerate Holding Our Officials Hostage, INEC Warns Politicians

We Won’t Tolerate Holding Our Officials Hostage, INEC Warns Politicians
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, at a press conference in Abuja on March 7, 2019. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cautioned politicians against electoral malpractice during the governorship and state house of assembly elections scheduled for Saturday.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, gave the warning on Thursday at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Professor Yakubu warned political actors, especially those contesting in the elections that anyone found culpable in any form of electoral malpractice would not receive the certificate of return.

He said, “The commission is concerned that many of our materials, including ballot boxes, voting cubicles, voters’ registers, and smart cards, were lost to the act of hooliganism and thuggery in the elections held two weeks ago.”

READ ALSOAdebutu Endorses Akinlade, Asks Ogun PDP Supporters To Vote APM

“Most worrisome is the attack on electoral officials. Some of our staff were abducted and taken hostage in an attempt to disrupt elections or influence the outcome,” the INEC boss decried.

He added, “The commission will not tolerate the act of holding our officials hostage and forcing them to declare winner under duress. Where such occurs, the commission will not reward bad behaviour by issuing them the certificates of return.”

 

The INEC chairman was briefing reporters at an interface with the heads of security and other relevant agencies, as part of preparations for the coming polls.

He noted that that the nation’s security agencies have worked effectively to ensure that the elections were conducted under a peaceful atmosphere.

Professor Yakubu also said that lessons can be learned from the incidences of violence during the presidential and National Assembly elections.

He commended the police for the several arrests made as a result of violence recorded in parts of the country during the February 23 elections.

The INEC boss said, “I wish to assure Nigerians that the commission will work very closely with the Inspector General of Police and the Nigerian Police to ensure the diligent prosecution of all violators of our electoral laws.”

See photos below;

R-L: INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, with acting Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, at a press conference in Abuja on March 7, 2019. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

Acting Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, at a press conference in Abuja on March 7, 2019. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

Learn From Presidential Election, INEC Chairman Challenges RECs

Learn From Presidential Election, INEC Chairman Challenges RECs

 

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has asked Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to take a cue from the presidential election.

He gave the charge while hosting a preparatory summit of RECs on Thursday at the headquarters of the electoral body in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

 

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Ahead of the governorship and state house of assembly elections, Professor Yakubu stressed the need for the RECs to implement corrections learned from challenges faced in the February 23 exercise in the March 9 polls.

According to him, the preparations and conduct of the coming elections must be a tremendous improvement of the just concluded exercise.

General Elections: Any Underage Person Trying To Get Accredited Will Be Arrested – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned underage voters to stay away from the general elections, warning that anyone less than 18 years who is caught being accredited will be arrested.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, stated this on Friday while briefing stakeholders in Abuja, the nation’s capital about the Commission’s preparedness for tomorrow’s exercise.

“Under-aged voting is illegality because there is a statutory age for eligibility for registration as a voter. But what you should do is that if on election day, you find anyone that is apparently under-aged, or conclusively so, kindly report this to any official of the Commission or the security agencies,” he stated.

According to the INEC boss, the Commission is working with the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to effectively identify areas that might disrupt the voting process.

READ ALSO: INEC Chairman Provides More Updates On Preparations For The Elections

According to Professor Yakubu, it is only Nigerians who have been registered for the elections that can exercise their franchise.

INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu briefs the media about preparations for the elections in Abuja on Friday, February 22, 2019. Photo: Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakun

“Any underage person caught trying to be accredited or voting on the election day will be arrested. Voting is only open to Nigerian citizens who are above the statutory age of 18 (years).”

As for those planning to sponsor minors to vote, the INEC Chairman warned, “Let me use this opportunity to warn those who may want to sponsor underage persons to vote on election day that they will be arrested.”

Yakubu explained that no report of underage voters was made in the previous elections INEC conducted in about 195 constituencies in Kogi State in 2015 and that of Osun last year.

With the Presidential and National Assembly elections to take place in less than 12 hours, the electoral umpire is reiterating its commitment to conducting free, fair and credible polls.

General Elections: INEC Insists APC Cannot Field Candidates In Zamfara, Rivers

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Mahmood Yakubu speaks to the press about preparations for the rescheduled general elections in Abuja, on February 21, 2019.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara and Rivers States will not field candidates in the forthcoming general elections.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Thursday during a daily briefing ahead of Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly polls.

“The position of the commission remains the position we announced before now. That the parties in question by court order and/by our understanding of the interpretation of the judgments of two courts of co-ordinate jurisdictions delivered same day in the case of Zamfara cannot field candidates in the 2019 general elections for the National Assembly, Governorship and State Assembly elections,” he stated.

According to the INEC boss, the court pronouncement restraining APC from participating in the polls does not affect the presidential elections.

Yakubu explained that the Commission under his watch would always obey court orders, especially from a competent jurisdiction.

“The position of the Commission has not changed. Once Courts of law make pronouncements, all persons and authorities in the Federal Republic of Nigeria are duty bound to obey. But if the judgment is from the Supreme Court, that is the end to litigation,” he added.

The clarifications by the INEC Chairman comes two weeks after two separate courts barred the APC in Zamfara and Rivers State from participating in the general elections.

READ ALSO: 72.7 Million Nigerians Collected PVCs – INEC

In the case of Zamfara, the Court of Appeal in Sokoto State dismissed the appeal challenging the qualification of candidates put forward by the APC for the forthcoming general elections.

A three-member panel led by Justice Jummai Sankey unanimously dismissed the appeal following its withdrawal by the appellant, Aminu Jaji, an APC governorship candidate in the state.

The court held that Jaji was at liberty to withdraw the case based on Order 11, Rule 1, of the Appeal Court laws which permits an appellant to do so after serving a notice on the parties and filing same with the registrar, at any time before the appeal is called for hearing.

Similarly, the Supreme Court on February 12 struck out three appeals filed by the two Rivers APC factions challenging a High Court ruling that barred INEC from recognising APC candidates for Rivers elections.

A five-man panel led by Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, struck out the three remaining appeals filed by the APC, Ojukaye Flag-Amachree and Tonye Patrick Cole, challenging the court’s decision.

According to the court, the appeals were filed outside the time allowed under Section 285(9) and (12) of the Constitution as amended by the 4th Alteration Act.

VIDEO: Why We Postponed General Elections – INEC

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday explained why it postponed the general elections.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, addressed reporters at the press centre of the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s Capital.

The Presidential and National Assembly elections were earlier scheduled to hold on February 16, while that of Governorship and State House of Assembly were expected to hold on March 2.

Professor Yakubu, however, told reporters that the polls would not go on as planned due to some challenges encountered by the commission.

READ ALSOINEC Postpones General Elections To February 23

According to him, the decision to postpone the polls followed a careful review of the implementation of the logistics and operational plans put in place for the exercise.

The INEC boss reiterated the commitment of the electoral body to conducting a free, fair, and credible exercise.

He explained that the postponement of the elections would afford them the opportunity to address the issues raised, although the decision was a tough one to make.

Professor Mahmood Yakubu

 

Professor Yakubu revealed that the commission would inform critical stakeholders in the elections about the new development at a meeting which would hold later on Saturday.

Read the full speech by the INEC boss below;

Ladies and gentlemen, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met on Friday 15, February 2019, and reviewed its preparations for the 2019 general elections scheduled for Saturday, 16 February 2019, and Saturday 2 March 2019.

Following a careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plan, and the determination to conduct free, fair, and credible elections, the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the elections as scheduled is no longer feasible.

Consequently, the commission has decided to reschedule the Presidential and National Assembly elections to Saturday, 23 February 2019.

Furthermore, the Governorship, State House of Assembly, and Federal Capital Territory Area Council elections are rescheduled to Saturday, 9 March 2019.

This will afford the commission the opportunity to address identified challenges in order to maintain the quality of our elections.

This was a difficult decision for the commission to take but necessary for the successful delivery of the elections and the consolidation of our democracy.

The commission will meet with key stakeholders to update them on this development at 2pm on Saturday, 16 February 2019, at the Abuja International Conference Centre.

Thank you very much.