INEC Sets Up Panel To Review Rivers Polls

Wike Says Illegal Printing of INEC Materials Must Be Investigated, Election Materials, Election MaterialsThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has pledged to cooperate with the special joint investigative panel set up by the Inspector General of Police on the violence that almost marred re-run election in Rivers State.

At a meeting with members of the panel, the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, said the Commission had also set up an administrative panel to review the re-run election.

The chairman recalled past collaboration with the police that led to the prosecution of 40 electoral offenders.

The chairman of the special investigative panel, Dan Okoro, told reporters that the work of the panel was going smoothly.

INEC To Prosecute Corrupt Officials

Earlier, INEC had said it would not hesitate to prosecute any of its staff guilty of corrupt practices.

INEC said it was studying an investigative report submitted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that some officials collected money from politicians during elections.

The Commission’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Wole Osaze-Uzzi, told Channels Television that indicted staff might face criminal prosecution while others would face disciplinary action.

Ondo Voters Registration: Residents Request For Extension

Nigerian voters registration in OndoResidents of Akure, Ondo State capital, have requested for an extension of the voters registration exercise ahead of the governorship election in the state.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Olusegun Agbaje, said the request for more time had been communicated to the National Headquarters although he felt it was uncalled for.

Agbaje also appealed to politicians to abide by the rules of voting in their various primaries.

Chieftains of the two major political parties in the state – the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party – denied any wrong doing in the voter registration exercise and blamed the electoral body.

The APC’s Director of Publicity, Steve Otaloro, also claimed violence marred the exercise at some centres.

Both representatives believe that INEC’s biometric methods of capture should fish out those with multiple registration.

The five-day voters’ registration ended on Sunday June 26 and over 110,000 people across the state were registered in the exercise.

Yobe IPAC Disagree With INEC Over By-Election Timetable

Voter-register-INEC-2015-electionThe Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Yobe State has expressed displeasure with the timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for a planned by-election into a vacant National Assembly Office in the northeast Nigerian State.

The vacant office is sequel to the nomination of Hon Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim of the House of Representatives to serve in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari.

INEC had scheduled the by-election to hold on February 27 to fill the vacuum created by the exit of Mr Ibrahim who is now the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

While addressing reporters on Wednesday in Damaturu the capital of the State, the Chairman of IPAC in the state, Umar Kukuri, said the three weeks given for political parties to prepare for the conduct of the election was inadequate.

They sought for an extension.

“The council wishes to note with concern the timing of the election is inadequate for us to mobilise our electorate to participate in the election.

“In view of this therefore, we wish to appeal to INEC to extend the time by two months for adequate preparation on their part and our part as political parties,” Mr Ibrahim stressed.

The party emphasised that some electorate in the state were in faraway Gombe, Bauch, Kano and Kaduna States and needed sufficient time to mobilise them for effective participation.

Some politicians in an interview at the media briefing called for more time, as the constituency that the election would be held was worse hit by the current insecurity problem bedevilling the state.

They pointed out that an extension would afford the political parties more time to mobilise their members for credible and acceptable polls.

The spokesman for INEC in Yobe State, Mr Bagudu Nna, in response to the request of IPAC, said INEC had taken its stand on the issue, as they were already implementing the decision of the National secretariat.

He urged Yobe IPAC to channel its grievances to electoral body’s national headquarters.

The election will be conducted in Gujba, Gulani, Damaturu and Tarmuwa Federal Constituency located in Yobe East Senatorial Zone of the state.

INEC Insists On Card Reader For Governorship Polls

Card readerThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted that it will maintain the use of card readers for the verification of voters during Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections.

INEC disclosed this in a statement by the Secretary to the Commission, Mrs Augusta Ogakwu, on Monday.

The statement read: “The provision of the guidelines for the conduct of the 2015 general election which outlined what is to be done if a card reader fails and cannot be replaced by the commission within the specified time frame (i.e. reschedule the election to the next day) will be enforced.

“The relaxation of the guidelines on March 28 was only with respect to the Presidential and National Assembly election held on that date.

“The Commission has reviewed the operation of the card reader in the 28th March elections, identified the challenges and has taken adequate measure to address them.”

Accreditation of voters during the March 28 election drew mixed reactions as the incumbent President and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, and the First Lady could not be accredited with the card reader. At his home town, Otuoke in Bayelsa State, President Jonathan’s card and that of his wife, Patience could not pass the process.

Channels Television correspondent, Chukwuma Onuekwusi reported that several card readers were tried but his card and that of his wife could not be read by three different card readers.

While President Jonathan urged all Nigerians to be patient with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), politicians in different parts of the country had since urged INEC to review the use of the card reader, citing challenges faced during the presidential and National Assembly elections.

Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano, called the overall performance of the card reader device in the state ‘a disaster’, noting that his fingerprints could not be captured despite several attempts.

“Well, it was in my opinion a disaster at the early stages,” Obiano said during an interview on Channels Television’s special election programme, ‘Nigeria 2015’.

He explained that as at 10:30 on Saturday morning, INEC officials were absent at his polling unit,  while the queue was more than a quarter of a mile long.

According to the governor, INEC officials arrived at noon following a call to the REC. Even after their arrival, the card reader failed to work.

“But before then, substantially everywhere, the comment I was getting was that the card reader wasn’t working. As a matter of fact, I received so many calls that I got so worried,” he said.

The governor of Niger State, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, had also urged the commission to make another pronouncement on the use of the card reader for the governorship and National Assembly elections.

Jega On Card Reader Flop

However, there had been an indication that the faith of INEC in the card reader technology remained strong despite the challenges faced on election day.

INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, admitted that there were indeed challenges in the deployment of the card readers but the challenges were not significant enough to affect the overall success of the elections.

In an interview with Channels Television about 24 hours after the presidential elections, he said: “From our general assessment, out of the 150,000 card readers which we have deployed, only about 450 were affected.

“But because we just wanted to ensure that Nigerians who have been patient in this process have an opportunity to exercise their rights and because the numbers are relatively insignificant, that’s why we thought it was necessary to do an addendum to the guidelines and allow those people to be able to vote once they can be physically authenticated and verified.”

 

INEC To Investigate Cause Of Glitches In Election

JegaThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has started investigation into the cause of the glitches that forced the electoral body to adjust its guidelines to accommodate manual accreditation of voters.

After card readers at different polling units malfunctioned on Saturday, the INEC gave the order for manual accreditation of voters with the voters register to enable everyone participate in the election.

The chairman of the commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, told reporters in Abuja on Sunday that ‘the commission hopes to address the lapses witnessed in the election to ensure it would not recur on April 11.

Lapses More Than Anticipated

He said that the lapses witnessed in the election were more than what the commission had anticipated.

“We’ll ensure they don’t occur in April,” Jega said.

The chairman of INEC told reporters that the commission had started investigations into what accounted for the difficulties with the card readers.

He also said that the commission would investigate reports of underage voting from Taraba, stressing that INEC had instructed that the officials involved should be identified.

“Underage voting is against the law. We are investigating reports and will take measures once this is established.”

Rivers Election

The Chairman of the INEC told the reporters that the commission had received a letter from the All Progressives Congress, calling for the cancellation of elections in Rivers State.

“We are thoroughly investigating this and after the investigation, we will brief the political parties on our findings.

“If we find out that our staff are involved in any illegal acts, they will be investigated and penalised according to the law,” Professor Jega said.

He further said that the commission was pleased that the elections went on smoothly across the country including the north-east where Internally Displaced Persons in Adamawa Borno and Yobe voted.

“We hope good conduct will continue to prevail throughout the election period as well.

The commission commended Nigerians for the resilience and understanding exhibited in the face of these difficulties.

“According to the reports from our state offices, collation of results has commenced and it is going well,” Professor Jega said.

He insisted that results of the election should be expected 48 hours after the elections have been concluded.

APC Supporters Protest In Rivers State

Rivers State ProtestSome supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State in southern Nigeria  are protesting against the conduct of Saturday’s election in the state, declaring their dissatisfaction with the process.

Protesters in their thousands walked the streets in the State capital, Port Harcourt, on Sunday, causing heavy traffic.

They broke through the security barricade and walked towards the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

No election was held in Rivers State, they said, demanding that the exercise should be cancelled and rescheduled.

The APC supporters said the rules of the election were broken and the election reflected nothing that suggests true democracy.

Eyewitness told Channels Television that the situation in the state was ‘very tense’.

Channels Television correspondent, Emmanuel Ereyi quoted the leader of the group as saying that they had gathered over 50,000 supporters of the APC for the protest.

According to Ereyi, the protest has been peaceful.

“They were harmless. They were not carrying any form of weapon. No bottles, no guns no machetes. Securities forces allowed them to protest because they were harmless,” he said.

At the gate of the INEC office, the protesters led by the governorship candidates of the APC, Dakuku Peterside, demanded access into the premises of the INEC office, but security agents on ground stopped the group from entering the premises.

Lapses In Election More Than We Anticipated – Jega

Professor Attahiru Jega on electionThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Nigeria says it hopes to address the lapses witnessed in Saturday’s election to ensure it will not recur on April 11.

The chairman of the commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, told reporters in Abuja on Sunday that the lapses witnessed in the election were more than what the commission had anticipated.

“We’ll ensure they don’t occur in April,” Jega said.

The chairman of the INEC told reporters that the commission had started investigations into what accounted for the difficulties with the Card Readers.

He also said that the commission would investigate reports of underage voting from Taraba, stressing that the INEC had instructed that the officials involved should be identified.

“Underage voting is against the law. We are investigating reports and will take measures once this is established.”

The Chairman of the INEC told the reporters that the commission had received a letter from the All Progressives Congress, calling for the cancellation of elections in Rivers State.

“We are thoroughly investigating this and after the investigation, we will brief the political parties of our findings.

“If we find out that our staff are involved in any illegal acts, they will be investigated and penalised according to the law,” Professor Jega said.

After card readers failed to read finger prints in some polling units, the commission issued supplementary guidelines to enable officials perform manual accreditation in Osun, Kebbi, Ekiti, Adamawa, Borno, Jigawa, Anambra, Akwa Ibom and Ebonyi.

Although collation of results are still ongoing in different states, there have been reports of results on social media, a development the INEC chairmen told the reporters to disregard.

Professor Jega emphasised that “only the INEC is empowered by law to announce results and it is an offence for anyone to pre-empt the commission in this regard”.

He further said that the commission was was pleased that the elections went on smoothly across the country including the north-east where Internally Displaced Persons in Adamawa Borno and Yobe voted.

“We hope good conduct will continue to prevail throughout the election period as well.

The commission commended Nigerians for the resilience and understanding exhibited in the face of these difficulties.

“According to the reports from our state offices, collation of results has commenced and it is going well,” Professor Jega said.

He said that results of the election should be expected 48 hours after the elections have been concluded.

Elderly Persons Commit To Nigeria’s Democratic Process

Elderly man comes out to vote
Man supported by nurses coming to exercise his rights

Some elderly persons have showed unwavering commitment to the tenets of democracy and its growth in Nigeria, as they came out on Saturday to vote against all odds.

Images of two elderly persons went viral, after they were captured making all efforts necessary to ensure they cast their votes in the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Though old, they saw the need to come out to cast their votes at a period that the Electoral Commission introduced the card reader electronic machine for the accreditation of voters.

Elderly woman comes out to vote
Elderly woman comes out to vote

In Duara, Katsina State, the home town of the presidential candidate of the All progressives Congress, General Muhammadu Buhari, an elderly woman approached the electoral body’s ad-hoc staff at the polling unit to cast her vote, showing her commitment to Nigeria’s democratic process and an expression of her believe that a democratically elected government was worth making such commitment for.

Helped to the polling unit, she showed determination to be a part of the process.

In another part of Nigeria, a man was also captured being supported by nurses and some other persons to ensure that he took part in the election.

It is believed that the man must have requested that he should be taken to the polling unit to cast his vote despite his condition.

 

Card Reader Flop: Jega Says Number Insignificant

JegaThe Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, has expressed gratitude to Nigerians for their peaceful conduct during the presidential elections on Saturday, March 28.

The INEC boss, in an interview with Channels Television on Saturday night, expressed gratitude to the Almighty for how peaceful the process has been and for the large turnout of Nigerians who showed patience in the face of frustrations.

“Of course, man proposes and God disposes. We thought that this would be near perfect but regrettably there have been challenges,” he said.

“There were still cases of late distribution of materials and late arrivals in polling units but in spite of this we think its been very good also.

“We cannot but thank Nigerians for the passion they have shown, and the commitment to be able to vote in this general elections.”

Professor Jega was particularly happy about the exercise in the north-east region of the country where there had been fears of insecurity.

Election Postponement

He also explained that elections which failed to hold on Saturday will only be conducted in 13 federal constituencies and that will be on April 11.

He explained that the polls would have to be moved to that date as a result of shortage of electoral materials.

Prof. Jega said that the decision was agreed to by all relevant stakeholders, who unanimously asked for all 11 federal constituencies in Jigawa State be moved to April 11 even though only seven federal constituencies were affected.

The INEC boss, however, looked on the bright side when he compared the situation with what obtained in 2011.

“Federal constituencies alone we rescheduled over 60 and then we also rescheduled some senatorial because of shortages of materials,” he recalled.

Nevertheless, he expressed regret over the challenges faced. He stated that lessons have been learnt, which would be factored into preparations for the governorship and State Assembly elections holding on April 11.

Card Reader Flop

Professor Jega admitted that there were indeed challenges in the deployment of the card readers but the challenges were not significant enough to affect the overall success of the elections.

“From our general assessment, out of the 150,000 card readers which we have deployed, only about 450 were affected.

“But because we just wanted to ensure that Nigerians who have been patient in this process have an opportunity to exercise their rights and because the numbers are relatively insignificant, that’s why we thought it was necessary to do an addendum to the guidelines and allow those people to be able to vote once they can be physically authenticated and verified.

“Thank God it went well. The only challenge is that it meant the voting has gone on in some places into late evening and early night.”

He expressed confidence in the assurance given by security agencies that all arrangements had been made to secure all the polling units and ensure the successful completion of voting as well as a successful collation of the results.

INEC’s Press Release On New Election Guidelines

Election GuidelinesThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Nigeria has adjusted the election guidelines to address some of the challenges being faced during the accreditation process across the country.

INEC Orders Manual Accreditation, Extends Voting To Sunday

card readersThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Nigeria has adjusted the guidelines for the elections to address some of the challenges being faced during the accreditation process across the country. 

The chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee of the commission, Dr. Chris Iyimoga, told reporters that “where card readers fail to work, presiding officers can accredit voters by marking the voter register”.
He also said arrangements will be made for voting to take place on Sunday in polling units where accreditation was suspended.

In some polling units across the country, card readers failed to read the finger prints of voters, causing delay in the process that is supposed to last for at most five hours.

In Otuoke, the home town of Nigeria’s President and the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Goodluck Jonathan, the card reader failed to authenticate the finger print of the President and his wife.

President Jonathan was made to fill the ‘Incidence Form’ before he was accredited manually by the ad-hoc staff of the electoral commission.

After waiting trying for over one hour, President Jonathan urged Nigerians to be patient with the INEC, saying everything that is being used for the first time will always have challenges.

Read INEC’s Press Release HERE

Buhari Votes In Katsina

Muhammadu Buhari votingThe Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) General Muhammadu Buhari has cast his vote at his hometown, Daura in Katsina State.

General Buhari was earlier accredited at the same polling unit early in the morning when accreditation started.

He is the strong opposition to the incumbent President and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Goodluck Jonathan.

After voting, the APC Presidential candidate did not speak with reporters.

Earlier, President Jonathan voted at his home town, Otuoke in Bayelsa State.

President Jonathan and his wife, Patience, were among the first voters to cast their votes in the state after voting started at about past 3:00pm.

He told reporters that he was hopeful.

Addressing reporters after casting his vote, President Jonathan urged Nigerians to be patient with the electoral body despite the issues with the card reader reported at some polling units.

After voting, President Jonathan said: “Let me again use this unique opportunity to congratulate our dear country Nigeria and everyone in Nigeria.

“We appreciate the patience of everyone.

“INEC wants to use the card reader to make sure that electoral process is credible and acceptable by international electoral observers. I believe that at the end of the day we all will be happy,” he said.