INEC Ready For Lagos Bye-Election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Wednesday said it was ready to conduct the bye-election in the Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State.

The State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Sam Olumekun, said this at a press briefing.

According to him, the election is scheduled to hold on September 30, and became necessary after the death of a member of the state’s House of Assemby, kazeem Alimi.

Olumekun however urged residents within the area to give the commission necessary support to ensure a hitch-free elections.


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Court Humbles Dino, As INEC Releases Recall Time Table

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has issued an amended timetable and schedule of activities regarding the recall of Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye.

In a statement by its secretary, Augusta Ogakwu, on Monday, INEC said enough time had been given for the senator to study the petitions and other attachments to enable him to prepare for the exercise.

The table showed the notice of verification will begin on October 3, while the last day of submission of application by observers will be October 5.

The publication of the list of accredited observers will be on October 9, following which there will be a stakeholders meeting at both the senatorial district headquarters and the local government headquarters on October 10.

The last day for submission of names of polling agents for verification by the lawmaker to be recalled and representatives of the petitioners will be on October 12.

The final verification will hold on October 14, according to the INEC timetable.

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INEC To Release Timetable For Dino’s Recall Sept. 18

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced that it would resume the recall process  for the senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye.

In a statement made available on Tuesday, and signed by one of its Commissioner, Mallam Mohammed Haruna, a revised timetable and schedule of activities will be released on September 18, 2017 in compliance with the orders of the court.

The statement partly reads: “It will be recalled that in obedience to an interlocutory order of the Federal High Court, Abuja given on 6th July, 2017 the Independent National Electoral Commission stayed all actions relating to the petition to recall Senator Dino Melaye as the senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District.

“Judgment in the suit was delivered yesterday, September 11,  2017. All legal hurdles have now been cleared and the recall process can now proceed as envisaged by the constitution, the Electoral Act and the extant INEC guidelines and regulation.

“Accordingly, and in compliance with the orders of the court, the commission will release a revised timetable and schedule of activities on Monday,  September 18, 2017.”


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#DinoRecall: Court Orders INEC To Commence Recall Process

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to serve Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, a recall petition, schedule of signatures attached to the recall petition and full list of all persons in support of the recall process in jute bags before the verification exercise.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, in his ruling on Monday, said that the recall process is a political question, which is beyond the court to deal with.

“The electorate voted the legislator into office; they gifted him with the office, they also have the powers to take away that which have been given,” he said.

Recall that Senator Melaye, had through his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, filed a suit at a Federal High Court in Abuja with No. FHC/ABJ/CS/587/2017 challenging the bid to recall him.

Mr. Ozekhome, thereafter, wrote to INEC informing it of the suit and asking it not to commence the recall process until the matter is heard.

The judge dismissed Melaye’s claim that the petition emanated from malice, bad faith, vendetta and against the natural justice.

He also dismissed the senator’s assertion that the the 188, 000 signatories to the petition contained those of non-existent, dead and forged” was hasty since he has not exhausted the INEC verification process for the signatories.

The judge described Melaye’s complain that officials of the electoral umpire ought to swear to an oath of neutrality as “premature” since it is not certain that a recall election will hold.

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INEC Inaugurates 20-Man Committee To Assess E-Voting System

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has inaugurated a 20-member Inter-Agency Technical Committee to assess a newly-developed e-voting system.

The commission disclosed this in a statement issued by INEC Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, on Thursday in Abuja.

The e-voting machine was developed by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI).

The agency, led by the Minister for Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, had in June paid a visit to the commission for a demonstration of a prototype e-voting machine developed by NASENI.

Mr. Osaze-Uzzi said the committee was inaugurated to evaluate the requirements for the successful deployment of the indigenous e-voting technology.

The INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, reiterated the Commission’s commitment towards increasing the application of technology in the electoral process.

Mr. Yakubu, who was represented by INEC National Commissioner, Okechukwu Ibeanu, said he was happy that NASENI had gone that far in developing the machine.

He said the machine would not only help the process, but more importantly the it was indigenously developed.

He said the application of electronic technology to the electoral process, particularly to the voting process would, increase the confidence of the electorate in the outcome.

Mr. Yakubu added that it would also in many ways facilitate the work of the Commission.

“Part of the challenges the Commission has had over the years is the undue delay in votes casting, collation and result declaration.

“As such, every means of cutting down the turnaround time in that process is highly appreciated,” he said.

He urged the committee to diligently carry out the assignment and assured them of the full support of the Commission.

Responding on behalf of the Committee, Abbas Gummi assured that the Committee would live up to the expectations of the confidence reposed on it and would deliver a very good report.

Premium Times

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Court To Rule On Melaye’s Recall September 11

A  High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed September 11, to deliver judgement in a suit filed by Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West senatorial district in the National Assembly,  seeking an order of the court to stop  the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC from recalling him from the senate.

In his argument, counsel to Senator Melaye, Nkem Okoro averred that the petitioners ought to have availed the Senator with facts on the circumstances which the alleged loss of confidence was based prior to the submission of the petition to INEC.

According to him, failure to serve his client copies of the petitions by INEC has violated the rule of natural justice and fair hearing.

He added that even when the petition was submitted to INEC, the electoral body failed to give him a copy.

Senator Melaye also in the suit, is challenging the constitutionality of the required numbers of signatories to the petition in line with Section 69 of the Nigerian Constitution, which requires more than half of registered voters in the constituency.

More so, counsel to Melaye urged  the court to uphold his prayers in the originating summon, submitted that majority of the signatories to the petition are nonexistent, dead and forged.

The counsel insisted that the petition was initiated as a result of political malice, bad fate and animosity.

Meanwhile, counsel to INEC, Sulaiman Ibrahim in his augments urged the court to dismiss Melaye’s suit for lack of merit.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, after listening to argument from both counsels fixed September 11, 2017 for judgement.


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Senate Confirms Eight Resident Electoral Commissioners, Rejects One

The Nigerian Senate has on Thursday, confirmed the appointment of eight resident electoral commissioners (RECs) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The confirmation followed its consideration of the report of the INEC on the screening of 12 nominees for appointment as RECs during Thursday’s plenary session.

It however stepped down the confirmation of three nominees from Lagos, Kebbi, and Zamfara states, and outrightly rejected the appointment of Professor Mustapha Zubairu, as the nominee representing Niger state, North Central Nigeria.

Nominees whose appointments were stepped down include Ambassador Rufus Oloruntoyin Akeju representing Lagos state, Dr. Mahmuda Isah representing Kebbi state, and the nominee representing Zamfara state, Ahmad Bello Mahmud.

In the case of the Lagos nominee, Ambassafor Akeju for instance, the Senate decided to step down his confirmation because of a court verdict against his appointment.

Senate Deputy Minority Whip, Senator Biodun Olujimi had presented the court document, arguing that the parliament should not be seen as flouting a court ruling and therefore suggested that his appointment be suspended until the court says otherwise.”

The eight nominees whose appointments were confirmed by the Senate include, Dr. (Mrs.) Asmau Sani Maikudi, representing Katsina state on new appointment, and Sam Olumekun representing Ondo state, on reappointment.

Also confirmed on Thursday are Professor Riskuwa Shehu representing Sokoto state on new appointment, Barrister Kasim Geidam representing Yobe state on reappointment and Jibrin Zarewa representing Kano state on reappointment.

Other confirmed appointees are, Abdulganiyu Raji, representing Oyo state, on new appointment, Professor Samuel Egwu, representing Kogi state, on new appointment, and the appointee representing Delta state on reappointment, Barrister Mike Igini.

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INEC To Go Ahead With Dino’s Recall

The Independent National Electoral Commission( INEC) has said it will go ahead with the recall process of Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye.

A top official of the electoral commission, who spoke with The Nation on Friday denied been served any court ruling or process.

Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja had on Thursday rejected Melaye’s ex-parte motion for a temporary injunction to restrain the INEC from proceeding with the recall process.

The source said: “As at the close of work, we were not served any order, ruling or a process from the Federal High Court.

“Even if we had received any order from the court, our legal unit will still advise us on what the status quo means. We cannot act in vacuum.

“Certainly, we are adhering to our timetable on the recall process. We are going ahead from Monday.

“Any time we get a court order to stop the process, we will comply immediately.”

The timetable released by the INEC for Melaye’s recall process will run from July 10 to August 19.

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Breaking: INEC Releases Time-Table To Begin Dino’s Recall

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Monday released the time table for the recall of the senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye.

INEC had last week acknowledged receiving a petition from Mr. Melaye’s constituents asking to recall him. About 52 per cent of registered voters in the lawmaker’s constituency are believed to have signed the petition.

The commission had also written to the senator intimating him formally of its receipt of the petition and that it would kickstart the process on July 3.

In the timetable it released, INEC said it would verify the signatures of those calling for the recall on August 19 and publish the results same day.

See details below:

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INEC Denies Plan To Postpone Osun-West Bye Election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has refuted reports alleging that the Osun-West Bye-election would not hold.

In a press release signed by its Director of Publicity and Voter Education at the commission, Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, the commissioned maintained that there would not be postponement of the election.

Recall that the Osun State PDP Chairman, Soji Adagunodo, had in a statement alleged that there were serious moves by the Osun State government to force the commission to shift the elections.

“We are preparing for the election as scheduled and we have no plan to either postpone it or cancel it.

“That claim (by the PDP ) that the election was going to be postponed is not true.

We are planning for the election and we are going ahead with it. I’m not aware of the plan to shift the election,” the statement added.

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Election Tribunal Sacks Rivers PDP Senator George Sekibo

The Rivers State National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal has sacked Senator representing Rivers East, George Sekibo.

The three-man panel sacked Sekibo, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and declared Chief Andrew Uchendu of the APC as duly elected Senator for Rivers East.

In declaring Chief Uchendu Senator-elect, the Tribunal held that the 1st Respondent (INEC) cannot pick and choose which results to accept in an election that held on the same day.

Recall that the electoral agency had declared Hon Chidi Wihioka and Hon Byke Wanjoku of the APC as duly elected and returned for Ikwerre/Emohua Federal Constituency and Ikwerre State Constituency respectively but failed to declare the results of the Senatorial election which held simultaneously.

The Tribunal wondered why INEC failed to collate the results of the areas mentioned above, especially in Ikwerre and Emuoha LGAs, when it has accepted and collated the results of the House of Representatives election conducted on the same date and time by the same INEC officials in the area.

The Tribunal accepted the responsibility of collating the results of the areas so ignored by INEC and arrived at the total score of 126,160 for Uchendu and APC and 84,000 for Sekibo and PDP.

Tribunal nullified the declaration of Sekibo and ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to him.

Tribunal declared Uchendu winner of the Election having scored the highest number of lawful votes cast and ordered INEC to immediately issue him the certificate of returns.

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Diezani ‘Bribed’ INEC Officials With N264m To Rig Polls – Witness

The Federal High Court in Lagos heard on Wednesday that two Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) employees, Christian Nwosu and Yisa Adegoyin, allegedly received N264million from former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to rig the 2015 general elections.

A prosecution witness, Timothy Olaobaju, said the money was paid to Nwosu and Adedoyin in cash.

He stated these while being led in evidence by prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, in the trial of Nwosu and Tijani Inda Bashir before Justice Idris.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accused the duo of receiving gratification from the former minister.

Adedoyin had pleaded guilty to the charge and was convicted following a plea bargain.

Olaobaju, who was his bank’s head of operations in Ilorin, Kwara State, said he paid the Nwosu and Adedoyin the cash based on Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s instructions.

He said: “I was the Head of Operations for Ilorin Branch where I had cause to meet Nwosu and Adedoyin. Sometime in 2015, there was a meeting between our Managing Director and the former Petroleum minister during which she explained that some companies and individuals would come to the bank to pay some money into some accounts.

“The companies were Northern Belt Limited, Actus Integrated Limited, Midwestern Company and one Mr. Leno Laitan. In addition, she said certain individuals would bring some cash to be kept for her.

“A total sum of $89million was paid into the accounts. A cash sum of $25million was brought, totaling $114million. The money was kept in the bank pending her instruction as agreed.

“On March 26, 2014, we got instruction that the money should be converted to naira. After it was converted, it was about N23billion. There was a list of beneficiaries that was sent, to be paid across the 36 states of the federation, including Kwara. I handled the transactions in my branch.”

He said the defendants came to his office to collect the cash payment, and that he only acted on instruction.

“There was an instruction that Nwosu and Adedoyin be paid N264, 880,000. The instruction came from the head office based on instruction from Mrs. Alison-Madueke and they were paid. They signed a receipt of payment for the money they collected,” Olaobaju said.

The witness said after the defendants were paid, they left with the cash and did not pay it into any account.

Under cross examination by defence counsel, Obinna Okereke and Nelson Imoh, the witness said he did not know the purpose of the payment.

“The only instruction we had was that they should bring means of identification and should be paid. They even waited for the money to be released to them. We did not know the purpose of the payment,” he said.

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