House Urges Buhari To Appoint Substantive INEC Chairman

house-of-reps-on-INEC-chairmanThe House of Representatives has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a substantive Chairman for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in line with the provisions of the constitution of the country.

Representative, Edward Gyang Pwajok in a motion, said, according to the provisions of Section 154 of the constitution establishing INEC, it is supposed to have 15 National Commissioners.

He argued that as of now, 10 out of 15 National Commissioners have retired. Therefore, the commission cannot form a quorum to take decisions.

Mr Pwajok said that INEC is not properly constituted to carry out its constitutional function of preparing for the governorship elections for Kogi and Bayelsa States, which have been scheduled for November and December respectively.

President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Mrs Amina Bala Zakari as the Acting Chairman of INEC following the conclusion of the term of Office of Prof. Attahiru Jega.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Barr. Danladi Kifasi, who conveyed the appointment in a letter, said it is with effect from 30th June 2015 until the appointment of a substantive chairman.

Era Of Winning Elections By Hook Or Crook Is Over – Jega

JegaThe Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, says the era of politicians winning elections by hook or crook is over.

The INEC Chairman said this in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, during a meeting with the candidates for governorship and house of assembly elections slated for April 11.

Professor Jega also promised to ensure that a level-playing field is provided for all candidates in the polls.

He explained that many INEC materials were damaged during the Presidential and National Assembly elections in Benue, pointing out that the commission had to replace about 200 card readers there.

The INEC Chairman warned electoral officials that they would be held responsible if they scuttle the polls in any way.

Jonathan, Hero Of 2015 Election – Olisa Agbakoba

Olisa-AgbakobaFormer President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba, believes that President Goodluck Jonathan should be commended for the peaceful conduct of the election.

In a session with the media in Lagos, Agbakoba commended President Jonathan for giving room for free and fair elections and for conceding defeat to the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate and new President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.

The constitutional lawyer said; “Jonathan allowed the democratic space to open. He allowed multiparty democracy and he allowed free and fair elections.

“He took the shine off Buhari by calling and conceding, even before the final result was announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission.”

Similarly, Agbakoba commended the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, for his patience even in the face of outright provocation.

He also praised all Nigerians for their efforts towards the success of the elections, but noted that voting along ethnic lines was not good for Nigeria, urging the electorates to see beyond ethnic differences.

The Senior Advocate also congratulated General Muhammadu Buhari on his victory in the 2015 presidential election and urged him not to discard the recommendations made from the National Conference.

Agbakoba further called for the creation of a new anti-corruption framework and the strengthening of Nigeria’s institutions to tackle the menace.

“We need a new anti-corruption framework because the current one has not worked.

“Let the message be clear that there will be response from government that corruption will be severely punished,” Agbakoba said.

 

Orubebe Accuses Jega Of Being Tribalistic, Selective And Partial

Godsday Orubebe

Former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe on Tuesday accused the Chairman of the Independent National electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega of being ” tribalistic, selective and partial” in dealing with issues of irregularities raised during the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Mr Orubebe was speaking during the resumed announcement of the elections result in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He alleged that Prof Jega swiftly set up a committee to look into issues raised about the results in Rivers state by the All Progressives Congress, APC and slowly responded to PDP raised issues.

“We have raised issues about results in Kano, in Kaduna, Jigawa and Katsina and yet you have done nothing about it. You are biased. You are partial. You are tribalistic.

“Jega you have been compromised, we are no longer confident in you,” Orubebe said while causing a scene at the centre.

The ex-Minister also accused Jega of handing out results to the All Progressives Congress (APC) to publish on its site.

He also noted that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s will reject the results being announced INEC.

However, in a swift reaction, the professor of Political Science responded to the allegations raised by the former minister.

INEC Says Ballot Papers Arrive States On Wednesday

Ballot papersThe Independent national Electoral Commission, INEC, says that ballot papers for Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections are to be moved from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN vaults on Wednesday March 25.

The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, says that that already, all the non-sensitive materials have been distributed while the ballot papers have been kept in the vaults of the Central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) branches across the country.

The INEC Spokesman added that the ballot papers for the different positions and locations had been customised in such a way that it would be difficult to be faked by anybody.

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega has also revealed that about 56.7 million voter cards had been collected.

Professor Jega, who hosted a stakeholders meeting on Tuesday, said that the voters card collected represents about 82% of the registered electorate by the close of distribution ahead of the March 28 election.

YDP Tasks INEC Over New Ballot Papers

ydpMembers of the Young Democratic Party (YDP) are insisting that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should re-print ballot papers that will include the party in the forthcoming elections or reschedule the date for the polls.

The YDP secured a court victory over INEC on Wednesday when a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the inclusion of the party in the general elections.

YDP is a political party with young people forming the majority of its members.

The party was not listed among parties contesting in the 2015 general elections until the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered INEC to issue a certificate.

Following the judgement of the court, the leadership of the party is insisting that INEC must print new ballot papers, to include its name and candidacy or shift the election date further.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Peoples Party has also clarified allegations that it is among those calling for the sack of Prof. Attahiru Jega.

Members of the DPP have said that they have confidence in the electoral body and the introduction of the card readers during the polls.

The DPP has no presidential candidate in the forthcoming elections, rather it has adopted the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

APC Youth Leadership Warn Against Move To Oust INEC Chairman

APC youthCalls have continued to reverberate against any plan to remove the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, barely four weeks to the 2015 general elections.

The national youth leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) told journalists in Abuja that they would squarely resist any such alleged plans by the ruling party, reiterating that the use of card readers must not be tampered with.

The National Youth Leader, Mr Jalo Ibrahim, said that their inaugural meeting this year is aimed at building strategies on ways to recapture more support ahead of the elections.

The APC Youth Leader added that supporters must be careful not to trade their Permanent Voter Cards.

APC Lawmakers Warn FG Against Sacking Jega

Voter register
INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega

The All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus in the Senate has warned of an alleged plan by the executive to sack the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega.

Speaking to journalists after plenary, the Senate Minority leader, Senator George Akume, said the APC was aware of the plan to ask the INEC chairman to proceed on pre-retirement leave.

Professor Jega’s tenure as INEC chairman is expected to end in June this year.

Senator Akume said the APC would resist any plan to remove Professor Jega at this critical time.

He further stressed that any plan to remove the INEC chairman is capable of sabotaging the forth coming general elections.

A former Oyo State Governor, Mr Victor Olunloyo had called for the immediate resignation of INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega.

In an exclusive interview with Channels Television in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, Mr. Olunloyo opined that Jega’s resignation would pave way for better reforms, as several attempts have been made to discredit him and his office.

He urged the electoral body to desist from using the Ekiti 2014 governorship poll as a template for credible elections in Nigeria, insisting that the election was tainted with series of malpractices.

The elder statesman further stressed the need to conduct credible elections starting with sincerity in PVC distribution, and holding politicians responsible for their mistakes.

Meanwhile, the Senator representing Oyo South Senatorial District, Sen. Olufemi Lanleyin, in a swift reaction negated Olunloyo’s submission, describing Jega as a credible professional who must be encouraged to conduct a credible poll.

INEC Chairman, Jega, To Appear Before Senate Today

INEC-Elections-JegaThe Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, is expected to appear before the Senate today to explain reasons for the postponement of the general elections by six weeks.

The Senate on Tuesday issued a summon to the professor of Political Science when plenary resumed at the Upper Legislative Chamber.

The Senate also asked Professor Jega to appear before it with card readers to demonstrate how INEC would use them during the elections.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced a shift in the general elections dates to March 28 and April 11.

The new schedule was announced on February 7 by Prof Jega, after meetings with political stakeholders.

Prof Jega said that the Presidential Election will hold on March 28 while the Governorship election on April 11.

“We have done wide reaching consultations to enable us have as much input as necessary before taking an informed decision.

“In the series of consultations that we had with stakeholders, the questions constantly posed to them for consideration are; in view of the latest developments, should INEC proceed with the conduct of the general elections as scheduled in spite of the strong advice and if so, what alternative security arrangements are available to be put in place.

“The second is; should INEC take the advice of the security chiefs and adjust the schedules of the general elections within the framework of the constitutional provisions,” Professor Jega said.

‘Concerned About Security’

According to him, the commission decided to take the advice of the security chiefs and adjust the dates of the elections in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

“We have done this, relying on section 26 (1) of the Electoral Act, as amended.

“Where a date has been appointed for the holding of an election and there is reason to believe that a serious breach of the peace is likely to occur if the election is proceeded with on that date or it is impossible to conduct an election as a result of natural disaster or other emergencies, the commission may postpone the election and shall in respect of the area or areas concerned appoint another day for the holding of the postponed election provided that such reason for the postponement is cogent and verifiable.”

The chairman of the INEC pointed out that for the fact the commission was not a security agency that could guarantee protection of personnel, voters during elections and observers, the commission could not likely wave-off the advice by the nation’s security chiefs.

“The commission is concerned about the security of our ad-hoc staff, the young men and women of the NYSC and students of the tertiary education who constitute at least 600,000 young men and women that we will use in the election,” he said.

Professor Jega further said that the concern was not limited to the areas in the north-eastern part of the nation that has witnessed series of attacks by the members of a terrorist group, the Boko Haram but to the security of the commission’s officials and the observers.

“We believe that few election management bodies around the world will contemplate conducting elections under these circumstances,” he said, emphasising that “the prospect for free, fair and credible elections will not be guaranteed if the election was held as scheduled”.

In the new schedule, the Presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on March 28 while the Governorship and State Assemblies elections will hold on April 11.

In the initial schedule, the elections were meant to hold on February 14 and 28.

Former Oyo Governor Calls For Jega’s Resignation

olunloyoFormer Oyo State Governor, Mr Victor Olunloyo has called for the immediate resignation of INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega.

In an exclusive interview with Channels Television in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, Mr. Olunloyo opined that Jega’s resignation will pave way for better reforms as several attempts have been made to discredit him and his office.

He urged the electoral body to desist from using the Ekiti 2014 governorship poll as a template for credible elections in Nigeria, insisting that the election was tainted with series of malpractices.

The elder statesman further stressed the need to conduct credible elections starting with sincerity in PVC distribution, and holding politicians responsible for their mistakes.

Meanwhile, the Senator representing Oyo South Senatorial District, Sen. Olufemi Lanleyin, in a swift reaction negated Olunloyo’s submission, describing Jega as a credible professional who must be encouraged to conduct a credible poll.

Fani-Kayode Accuses INEC Of Planning To Collude With APC

Femi-Fani-Kayode-on_Fayose_PublicationThe PDP Presidential Campaign Organization has accused the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, of planning to aid the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the 2015 general elections.

The Director of Media for the Campaign Organization, Femi Fani-Kayode, who was speaking in Abuja, alleged that the chairman is doing this through the manipulation of the Permanent Voters Cards.

The campaign office says there are pertinent questions that the INEC Chairman must answer if the party is to have confidence in him.

The INEC Chairman had postponed the 2015 general elections to March 28 and April 11 from the earlier scheduled February 14 and 28 citing security concerns.

The new schedule was announced by Prof. Jega, after meetings with political stakeholders in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.

Professor Jega said that the Presidential Election would now hold on March 28 while the Governorship election would hold on April 11.

At a press briefing after the last meeting between Prof. Jega and other top officials of INEC, Prof. Jega said that the commission’s decision was not influenced by any group or individuals.

‘Concerned About Security’

According to him, the commission decided to take the advice of the security chiefs and adjust the dates of the elections in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

“We have done this, relying on section 26 (1) of the Electoral Act, as amended.

“Where a date has been appointed for the holding of an election and there is reason to believe that a serious breach of the peace is likely to occur if the election is proceeded with on that date or it is impossible to conduct an election as a result of natural disaster or other emergencies, the commission may postpone the election and shall in respect of the area or areas concerned appoint another day for the holding of the postponed election provided that such reason for the postponement is cogent and verifiable.”

The chairman of the INEC pointed out that for the fact the commission was not a security agency that could guarantee protection of personnel, voters during elections and observers, the commission could not likely wave-off the advice by the nation’s security chiefs.

“The commission is concerned about the security of our ad-hoc staff, the young men and women of the NYSC and students of the tertiary education who constitute at least 600,000 young men and women that we will use in the election,” he said.

Professor Jega further said that the concern was not limited to the areas in the north-eastern part of the nation that has witnessed series of attacks by the members of a terrorist group, the Boko Haram but to the security of the commission’s officials and the observers.

“We believe that few election management bodies around the world will contemplate conducting elections under this circumstances,” he said, emphasising that “the prospect for free, fair and credible elections will not be guaranteed if the election was held as scheduled”.

 

INEC Extends Distribution Of PVC Till March 8

pvc-2The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) following the postponement of the 2015 general elections.

The commission in a statement signed by its Secretary, Mrs. Augusta Ogakwu, said following the rescheduling of the 2015 general elections,collection of the cards will continue for four more weeks until March 8th, 2015.

“The Commission hopes that this extension will finally avail every registered person yet to collect his/her PVC the opportunity to do so in readiness for the general elections,” Ogakwu said.

The electoral body had announced a shift in the general elections dates to March 28 and April 11.

The new schedule was announced on Saturday by the Chairman of the commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, after meetings with political stakeholders.

Professor Jega said that the Presidential Election would hold on March 28 while the Governorship election would hold on April 11.