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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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“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.

General Elections: We’ve Removed Over 1,000 Illegal PVCs From Voter System, Says INEC

 

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, says the commission has expunged over 1000 Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) discovered from illegal aliens in the country.

Yakubu stated this during an interview with on Channels Television where he spoke on the INEC’s preparedness to properly clean up the voter register ahead of the February 16 presidential election.

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“We have liaised with the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS ) and they have done a fantastic job in confiscating cards where there are PVCs from aliens who registered. Remember the law says it is only Nigerians who are entitled to register and vote in our elections.

“I think now we have well over a thousand cards. The last batch submitted was well over 600 cards of aliens who registered and we have registered those from the register.”

The INEC boss explained that the commission has established a good relationship with the Immigration to identify foreigners who may want to disguise as citizens to vote during the elections.

Speaking on the voter register, Yakubu stated that he had sent the complete copy of the national register of voters.

Amina Zakari Is Not Related To The President – INEC Chairman

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

 

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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