Akwa Ibom REC Uncovers 23 Polling Units In Politicians’ Compounds

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

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has uncovered 23 polling units at private homes in Akwa Ibom State.

INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Mike Igini, disclosed this during his appearance on Sunrise Daily.

He explained that the discovery was made after he was transferred to the state from neighbouring Cross River State.

“I set up a committee to identify the location of polling units on account of records that I have from within the system found; I discovered 23 polling units were in private homes – the compounds of politicians,” Igini told Channels Television on Tuesday.

He added, “Consequently, 23 polling units were relocated to public places and by the time we are done with the report at the commission, we will be addressing stakeholders again,” he said.

Mr Mike Igini speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on January 28, 2020.

 

According to the REC, elections do not hold in the entirety of the state, especially as it relates to the 2015 and 2019 general elections.

He stressed that the days of not conducting elections were gone and promised that the electoral system in Akwa Ibom State would witness a major turnaround.

Igini hinted that he had informed stakeholders in the state after he assumed office that it would no longer be business as usual.

He also reacted to the allegation of bias preferred against him by some political groups, saying they were only making attempts to secure undue advantages.

Igini also took a swipe at the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

He said, “APC in Akwa Ibom and PDP; they are the same people tied together in a single garment of one destiny.

“They’ve always been together before, forget about all this mutation. It is not whether you agree with me but it’s about the fact on the ground.”

Creating Additional Polling Units Now Will Send ‘Red Signal’ – Presidential Aspirant

Presidential aspirant of the National Conscience Party, Yinusa Tanko.

 

A Presidential aspirant under the National Conscience Party (NCP), Yinusa Tanko, on Tuesday said the creation of additional polling units will send a wrong signal to Nigerians.

Tanko who was a guest on Channels Television Breakfast Programme, Sunrise Daily said, “If you do it (create additional polling units) during the time of election or close to election, it will send a red signal. People will think that there is an ulterior motive trying to give an advantage to certain group of contestants.”

Tanko’s statement is in reaction to earlier speculations that INEC had the plans to create additional polling units. Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu had however debunked this claim by saying despite requests from people that INEC create 30,000 additional polling units, the commission is not in a hurry to do so.

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Tanko, however, emphasised that the move to create additional polling units now that the 2019 elections is fast approaching would be strongly resisted by political parties, including the NCP, which he represents.

“That would not be acceptable for political parties, especially now that is very close to the general elections.

“I can say this with due respect to INEC. This is not the right time for this, it ought to have been done immediately after an election has taken place.”

With the election less than a year from now, Nigerians hope for credibility in the electoral process while exercising their franchise.

INEC Explains Controversy Trailing Alleged Creation Of 30,000 Polling Units

Chief Press Secretary to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi

 

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has explained the controversy trailing the alleged creation of additional 30,000 additional polling units across the country.

Rotimi Oyekanmi, who is the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu on Tuesday during Channels Television’s Breakfast Programme, Sunrise Daily, said the allegation is false.

“INEC is not about to create 30,000 polling units. What happened is that we received requests from all over the country.

“In total as we speak, about 3,789 requests from all over the country from people asking us to create new polling units in their new settlements,” he said.

The electoral umpire has come under serious criticism from political stakeholders, especially the main opposition party Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of planning to rig next year’s election with the creation of additional polling booths.

But Oyekanmi debunked this claim. He said the Commission only received requests to create more polling units due to increase population and other factors.

“This should not be unexpected because the population is growing, new settlements are springing up and because of clashes all over the place, people are moving from one place to the other.

“And we have existing polling units. So if new settlements are coming up and the number is increasing, it is natural for people to say we would like to participate, come and create polling units.”

The INEC official explained that despite the requests, the commission was not in a hurry to create more voting centers.

“When we receive such requests, we decided then to ask our Resident Electoral Commissioners in the state for information.

“We wanted to know the new settlements, areas where there are barriers, areas where communal clashes push people out to places and it is based on this report that we will now look at what could be done about the profiling in the country,” he explained.

With the election about 300 days from now, Nigerians expect that INEC would avoid distractions from political gladiators and focus on how to deepen the nation’s democracy by improving on the electoral process.

INEC Denies Alleged Plan To Create 30,000 New Polling Units

INEC Fixes Date For Anambra Central Senatorial Re-run Election

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied allegation of the plans to re-introduce 30,000 new polling units so as to compromise the 2019 general elections.

INEC in a statement on Sunday described the allegation as false and misleading adding that it should be disregarded by members of the public.

The statement which was signed by the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman Rotimi Oyekanmi explained that said INEC had directed its Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to thoroughly assess the requests and provide it with information on new settlements not served or inadequately served by existing polling units among other areas with natural barriers.

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“The fact of the matter is that in response to 3,789 requests so far received nationwide for the creation of new polling units, the Commission directed its Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to thoroughly asses and provide it with information on new settlements that are not served or inadequately served by existing polling units.

“Areas with natural barriers that hinder access to existing polling units, areas that are distant from existing polling units and areas affected by communal and other conflicts that make voting in existing polling units unsafe for voters,” the statement read in part.

Oyekanmi in the statement said these reports are still being awaited from the states.

“It is these reports and the information they contain that will be collated and carefully examined by the Commission in order to determine what changes may be necessary in the current polling units profile of the country.”

INEC therefore said insinuation that the Commission intends to create 30,000 new polling units to compromise the 2019 General Elections is “false, misleading, unfounded and should be disregarded.”

INEC added that the decisions and actions of the commission shall always be guided by the provisions of the extant laws.

Gov. Dickson Urges National Institutions To Be Apolitical

DicksonBayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has called on the political class in Nigeria to stop the use of national institutions to serve personal and political aspirations of their political allies.

He said this while addressing a world press conference at the Government House Banquet Hall in Yenagoa.

The Governor began his address by observing a minute silence in honour of persons who lost their lives during the December 5 and 6 elections in the state.

Governor Dickson stated that the essence of the briefing was to inform Bayelsans of the state of affairs, with particular reference to the upcoming January 9 elections, expected to take place in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area and 101 polling units across the state.

The Governor, who seized the opportunity to call on law enforcement agencies to do their jobs and stop meddling in partisan politics, said that such acts would be interpreted as a deliberate subversion of national security.

The Governor decried the ongoing situation in the state where he alleged that known perpetrators of violence are not being called for questioning by security agencies.

He advised residents of the oil-rich state not to engage in electoral violence as the essence of politics is to build and not to destroy.

Rivers Election: Police Beef Up Security, Say State Is Calm

RiversThe Rivers Police Command says that the state is calm with people going about their normal businesses after the annulment of the election of Governor Nyesom Wike.

In Port Harcourt and neighbouring local government areas, security had been beefed up with deployment of security personnel in strategic locations.

Rivers State Police Spokesperson, Mrs Grace Iringe-Koko, said that the command has not recorded any incidents and that it was on top of the situation.

The petition challenging Mr Wike’s victory was filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) Mr Dakuku Peterside.

In the 2hrs. 8mins judgment delivered in Abuja, the tribunal agreed that the evidence provided by the witnesses called by the respondent and INEC is incredible and unreliable.

The petitioner had argued that the elections were marred by unauthenticated alterations in forms EC8A, issuance of ballot papers in excess of 100 leaves per booklet, one PDP collation agent signing for several wards, presiding officer signing for party agents, voter signing for party agent and absence of collation at ward collation centers and many more.

Both the PDP and APC have reacted to the verdict and asked their supporters to remain calm.

While the All Progressives Congress welcomed the judgement, referring to it as a deadly body blow to impunity and hooliganism, the Peoples Democratic Party described it as bias, bizarre and unacceptable.

Therefore, the party and its candidate in the election, Governor Nyesom Wike have said that they will appeal the judgment.

 

Rivers Petition Tribunal Nullifies Wike’s Election

RiversThe Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has nullified the election of Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party as the Governor of Rivers State, on grounds that his election did not comply with electoral guidelines.

Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Suleiman Ambrosa, has ordered INEC to conduct fresh elections in the state within 90 days of the ruling.

The petition challenging Mr. Wike’s victory was filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) Mr. Dakuku Peterside.

In the 2hrs. 8mins judgment delivered in Abuja, the Tribunal agreed that the evidence provided by the witnesses called by the respondent and INEC is incredible and unreliable.

The petitioner, had argued that the elections were marred by unauthenticated alterations in forms EC8A, issuance of ballot papers in excess of 100 leaves per booklet, one PDP collation agent signing for several wards, presiding officer signing for party agents, voter signing for party agent and absence of collation at ward collation centers and many more.

Counsel to the petitioners, Chief Akin Olujimi, also argued that the resort to manual accreditation lacked legal justification when INEC had directed that card readers should be exclusively used for accreditation.

The respondents Nyesom Wike, his party, the PDP and INEC who jointly called 40 witnesses, urged the Tribunal to dismiss the petition on the grounds that it was constituted by unfounded allegations which the petitioners failed to establish.

Justice Ambrosa ruled that the panel was satisfied and the petitioners had proved their case and ordered INEC to conduct fresh elections within 90 days of the ruling.

The Lawyer to the Peoples Democratic Party, Chris Uche (SAN) said they will appeal to the Tribunal’s judgement immediately.

In a swift reaction, the Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC)accepted the judgment of the Tribunal.

In a statement signed by the Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, the APC said “We have been vindicated in our persistent claim that the election in Rivers State was false and that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) erred in declaring Wike governor.

The PDP could not beat Dr. Dakuku Peterside, in a free and fair election, we thank the Justice Ambrosa-led Tribunal for restoring hope to the downtrodden people of Rivers State.

Rivers Election Tribunal: Wike Closes Case

RiversGovernor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, whose election is being challenged at the Rivers State governorship election tribunal in Abuja has finally closed his case having called a total of 24 witnesses.

At the resumed hearing of the petition filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Dakuku Peterside, lawyers to Governor Wike informed the tribunal of their intention not to call additional witnesses saying they have supplied enough evidence before the tribunal to show that Governor Wike won the governorship election conducted in a peaceful atmosphere.

Lawyer to the petitioners, however, said that the early closure of the defence by Governor Wike’s legal team is a plus for the petitioners who are determined to prove their case.

With 15 witnesses called by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prove its case of conducting the election under a peaceful atmosphere and Governor Nyesom Wike calling 24 witnesses, the stage is now set for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to open its defence on the next adjourned date.

Governor Nyesom Wike had insisted that the election was held under a peaceful atmosphere, devoid of any form of electoral violence.

Hearing of the petition continues on Thursday, October 8.

Rivers Election Tribunal: Wike Presents More Witnesses

Rivers-wikeA former National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Dr. Christopher Iyimoga, has again reaffirmed the testimony of other witnesses to the effect that the April 11 governorship election conducted in Rivers State was devoid of violence.

Testifying before the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Abuja, Dr. Iyimoga claimed that he monitored the election in six Local Government Areas of the state for INEC.

He informed the tribunal that no report was received by the three National Commissioners who monitored the election concerning ballot box snatching, hijacking of electoral materials, or any form of violence.

Other witnesses who also testified before the tribunal, said that the election was generally peaceful during and after the exercise.

Claiming that though the turnout of voters for the election was poor, they were accredited with both the card readers and manually, as there was failure of the card reader in some polling units.

However, the Petitioners Counsel, Akin Olujimi (SAN), who insisted that the election was marred by violence and poor voter turnout, disagreed with the testimony of the witnesses.

Governor Nyesom Wike had insisted that the election was held under a peaceful atmosphere, devoid of any form of electoral violence.

Okorocha Receives Certificate of Return, Promises More Dividends of Democracy

okorochaThe Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has received his Certificate of Return as the winner of the just concluded governorship elections in the state.

The Governor, while receiving the certificate at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office along Port Harcourt road in Owerri, the Imo State capital, said that the desired dividends of democracy is well guaranteed for the people of the state, with the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the government at the centre.

Upon collection of his Certificate of Return, the Governor commended INEC, security operatives and all stakeholders for delivering successful elections in the state.

Okorocha also called on the President-Elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, to ensure that all persons who were arrested for electoral offenses do not go unpunished, so it can serve as deterrent to others in subsequent elections.

The Governor, who received the certificate alongside his deputy, Eze Madumere, was accompanied by his wife, Nkechinyere Okorocha, his Chief of Staff, Jude Ejiogu, the Secretary to the State Government, Anthony Anwuka and other top functionaries of the Imo State Government, as well as APC chieftains in the state.

The April 11 election had been declared inconclusive by INEC and a supplementary was held on April 25 where Okorocha won, polling 416,996 votes against Mr Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who got 320,705.

Election Results Were Doctored To Favour Okorocha – Ihedioha

EmekaihediohaThe PDP governorship candidate in the just concluded Imo governorship elections, Mr Emeka Ihedioha on Sunday said as a law abiding citizen and democrat, he has acknowledged the declaration of the governorship election results by INEC.

He, however, noted that though the elections was marred with irregularities, which he alleged was majorly perpetrated in favour the APC candidate in the election.

Speaking to journalists in Owerri, the Imo State capital, Mr Ihedioha alleged that the INEC staff also conspired with the opposition party to manipulate the result of the elections in various local governments area across the state, which was already declared in favour of the PDP at the polling units.

He added that despite the proven widespread incidents of manipulation which eroded the validity and credibility of the exercise, INEC still went ahead to declare the APC candidate as winner.
He said in due time, his party will study the details of the results carefully and communicate their next line of action.

Nigeria’s Election: Voting Begins In Some Polling Units

February electionsVoting has started in some polling units across Nigeria while accreditation of voters is still ongoing in other places.

Channels Television correspondent in Damaturu in Yobe State reports that voting has started.

Voting began at about 1:45pm in Government Secondary School, Damaturu, Yobe State, with large voters turnout.

Voting has also started in some polling units in Ogun, Yobe, Bayelsa and Imo States.

In Otuoke, Bayelsa State, President Goodluck Jonathan and the First Lady, Patience Jonathan, were the first to cast their votes in their polling unit.

Accreditation is still ongoing in other states across the nation, after delays caused by poor functionality of the card readers in some polling units.