#DinoRecall: INEC To Begin Recall Process July 3

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it has informed Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye of demand by his constituency to recall him from the Senate.

In a statement by its spokesperson on Thursday, INEC confirmed it had received the petition and written the senator about it.

“The Commission has formally acknowledged the receipt of the petition to the petitioners’ representatives and has conveyed a letter notifying Senator Melaye of our receipt of the petition,” Mallam Haruna, an INEC National Commissioner said in the statement.

The commission also said that it would issue a notice to the petitioners and Melaye on July 3, on when it would begin the verification of the signatures of those who signed the notice.

Aggrieved voters from Melaye’s constituency were at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday where they presented their petition on their demand for the recall of the senator.

Kogi-West, which Melaye represents in the Senate, has seven local government areas.

Signatures and petitions from each of the local government area were packaged in seven bags, which were tagged according to the names of the local governments, and submitted to the commission.

The local government areas and the percentage of the voters who signed the recall petition showed that Yagba-West had the highest number of voters asking Melaye to return home from the Senate.

A prominent member of the All Progressives Congress in Ijumu, Mr  Cornelius Olowo, who led the delegation, had insisted that the constituents were not satisfied with the quality of Melaye’s representation.

He had said, “We want Senator Melaye back because of poor representation, he is also not accessible to us, he is unreachable and has no constituency projects.

“Apart from the fact that he has never called any town hall meeting, there has been a major gap between the senator and the people he claims to represent.”

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INEC Registers 65, 915 New Voters In Lagos

No fewer than 65, 915 eligible voters have been captured in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration in Lagos State.

The Administrative Secretary of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Lagos State, Dr Mustapha Mudashiru, gave the figure on Wednesday. He said that the exercise had been smooth in the 20 local government areas of the state.

He added that the objectives were being achieved.

“We have achieved so much in terms of registration of new voters; we were able to register 65, 915 eligible residents as at June 19.

“We have been able to distribute 7, 166 of the yet-to-be-collected PVCs (Permanent Voter Cards).

“We are on course as far as those who are willing to get voting power are concerned.

“With respect to cases of transfer of registration, we have been able to take care of 1,421 cases; in terms of PVC replacement, we have attended to 4, 228 cases,” he said.

According to him, the volume of uncollected voter cards is still.

He said that the non-collection might be due to the relocation of the owners.

Mudashiru called on residents of the state to register for elections, adding that those yet to collect their cards should do so.

On enlightenment of the residents on the registration and PVC collection, Mudashiru said that INEC had distributed posters and fliers and created awareness through schools and political parties.

The commission began the nationwide CVR on April 27 to capture those who attained 18 years of age and others who had not registered.

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INEC Receives Signatures, Petitions To Recall Dino Melaye

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has received the signatures of 52.3 percent of the electorates from Kogi West Senatorial District and other petitions calling for the recall of Senator Dino Melaye from the Senate.

The signatures and petitions were submitted to the Commission in Abuja on Wednesday.

 

 

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INEC Fixes July 8 For Osun By-Election

The Independent National? Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed July 8 for Osun-West Senatorial District bye-election to elect a new senator for the constituency following  the sudden death of Sen. Isiaka Adeleke.

A notice by INEC’s Administrative Secretary in Osun, Mr E.A Ademusire, in Osogbo on Monday, said the conduct of parties’ primaries would commence on Tuesday through June 14 while the election would hold on July 8.

The notice stated that bye-election was scheduled “consequent upon the position of the enabling status that bye-elections to fill the declared vacant seat by the National Assembly be conducted within 30 days upon the declaration.

“Take note that by the directives of the Chairman, Independent National? Electoral Commission’s bye-election for Osun West Senatorial seat will hold on Saturday, July 8, 2017.”

The attachment to the notice however indicated that last day of submission of party nomination form is June 15, publication of nominated candidate’s names, June 22 and submission of names and addresses of party agents to INEC officer, June 30.

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INEC To Register Five New Political Parties

The number of registered political parties may increase to 45 soon, with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) giving the nod to five associations to register as parties.

Presently, there are 40 registered parties.

Already, the Department of Political Party Registration of INEC is ready to forward names of the five associations to the commission’s management.

Confirming the number of applications before the commission, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, said the process is still on; though he did not say how long the process will take.

It was learnt 91 associations applied to INEC for registration as political parties after the 2015 general election.

This is beside 10 fresh applications seeking information on the requirements for registration as parties.

It was also learnt 43 of the 91 associations failed the initial assessment and were contacted on their status and advised accordingly.

The breakdown of the status of other associations showed eight of the remaining associations are under initial assessment.

It was gathered 22 passed the initial assessment and were directed to pay the administrative fee of N1million to obtain Form EA1. Another 21 paid the mandatory N1million administrative fee.

Five other associations collected Form EA1, but are yet to return them for processing. Seven associations are awaiting verification and processing.

Oyekanmi said the applicants have been given the template, adding that the commission still need to meet for final consideration of associations that scaled through.

“The process is on and the number of the associations applying to register as political parties have keep increasing. Perhaps, it’s up to 90. I am sure they are over 90. It is like every day we are getting new applications.

“But you see, there is a template. It’s like the National University Commission (NUC), if you want to get licence for your university, you go there. They will give you what you should pay and if you satisfy all of these things, when you are taking your application, there is a template. When you are bringing your applications,  the first thing for you to do is to look at the template for requirements to be registered and check those things and if you are qualified, you still have to be recommended.”

He, however, said he did not know how long the process is.

Oyekanmi, who also reacted to Wednesday’s court judgement, which found one of the commission’s workers guilty of bribe, said the INEC waits for advice from its legal department.

According to Oyekanmi, “The implication, I really cannot say specifically because you know anything that will happen would have to come from the commission.

“The commission will have to meet and then decide on what to do. The court judgment was given yesterday and I think our legal department will have to get a copy of the judgment and then advise the commission on that. Then the commission will now seat to consider this thing and take the next step.

“But for me, I think at this point, we have to wait for that one to happen.

“Like today, the commission is meeting. I don’t know whether that is on the agenda. But I can assure you that when a decision is taken, we will brief the press on those decisions. “

On transfer of votes, he said the ongoing registration exercise has provided opportunity for those who have relocated to move their vote to their new locations.

He explained that those conducting the exercise have been directed to have a desk to handle the issue of vote transfer, likewise other issues.

But in a case of any complain, Oyekanmi said people were free to contact the commission through the media.

On how to check underage registration, he said the officers have the right to ask question when in doubt.

He said: “They can ask for a form of identification, when you see anybody that seems to be underage. But of course, we have the obligation to ask questions, where we are in doubt.

“To ensure that only those who are qualified are allowed to register, ordinarily, if there is no suspicion, we register you.”

The Nation

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Campaigners Against Human Trafficking And Sexual Exploitation Join Okpekpe 10km Road Race

Campaigners against human trafficking and sexual exploitation have thrown their weight behind the forthcoming Okpekpe 10km Road race to raise awareness for the scourge in Nigeria particularly Edo State where young females fall victims. The effects of human trafficking are debilitating to the individual involved and the society at large. It robs victims of self worth, dignity and pushes them into a life of grime.

The campaigners, Dr Uyi Lawani Oduwa-Malaka, Lady Mechanic, Sandra Aguebor and Social Media influencer, Gloria Adagbon have signed on to run at this month’s Okpekpe international Association of Athletes Federations (IAAF) Bronze Label Okpekpe international 10km road race to raise awareness about human trafficking and sexual exploitation in order to highlight the dangers and plight of young women who are victims and encourage their rehabilitation and support them in skills building and self empowerment.

With this awareness initiative, the campaigners who have international and local links will be engaging victims of trafficking and young vulnerable ones in Edo state initially and Nigeria at large, to support, counsel and teach them self worth, confidence, skills acquisition in partnership with government and non governmental agencies, under the aegis of Women in Governance (WIG)

In Edo state, the Lady Mechanic Initiative (LMI) has embarked on this worthy cause to provide young women with new skills, entrepreneurship abilities, rehabilitation and integration into the world of work successfully. The campaigners saw this incredible impact and how public awareness of human trafficking can help protect vulnerable people and stem the scourge of human trafficking in Edo and neighbouring states.

“We are very excited about the prospects this awareness against human trafficking can have in Edo state especially as most vulnerable young people will benefit from knowing the warning signals of being bandied and trafficked in the guise of seeking greener pastures overseas”

“Awareness will equip our people that they can engage themselves in trade here, work hard and be successful and that in Nigeria and in deed Edo, you can find opportunities and can excel in them.” There is no need to sell yourself into this modern day slavery. We say no to human trafficking and sexual exploitation, we call on all government agencies responsible for this to be alive to their duties and help bring the perpetrators to book” they said.

Other celebrities and /or government institutions who have embraced the Okpekpe platform as a credible and veritable platform to create awareness about their projects include the Federal Road Safety Commission who raised awareness about safer roads and the immediate past First Lady of Edo state, Mrs Iara Oshiomhole whose non-governmental organisation raised awareness and funds for the orphanages.

In this 5th edition of the race, there will be awareness campaign about Orphanages with the Governor of Edo state Godwin Obaseki as the anchor, Cancer being championed by Edo state First Lady and the Deputy Governor Rt Hon. Philip Shaibu; , Anti-Cultism in Schools campaign by Professor Ignatius Onimawo Violence-Free Elections awareness by Dr Mustafa Lecky, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Commissioner for Information Technology representing the South-South region of Nigeria.

The Okpekpe international 10km road race is powered by Pamodzi Sports Marketing, leaders in sports marketing and hospitality business in Nigeria. The race is taking place on May 13th and it is the first and only road race in Nigeria whose race course has been measured by an IAAF/AIMS accredited measurer and has been granted full membership of Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).

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INEC Takes Lead As Nigeria’s Best Performing Public Institution, Poll Result Shows

In the African Leadership Magazine’s on-going online poll, Nigeria’s Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has taken the lead as the best performing public institution in the country with 28.6% of the total vote cast
 
The African Leadership Magazine’s Poll indicates Nigerians faith in INEC to conduct free, fair and credible elections in the country, following the just-concluded Edo state gubernatorial election which has been adjudged as free and fair, as well as the preparations for the forthcoming Ondo state gubernatorial election.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which has in the last one stepped up its efforts in pursuit of its mandate to rid the country of country, sits at the second position with 21.4% of the vote cast.
 
At the third position is the Nigeria Immigration Service, closely trailing the EFCC with 21% of the vote casts, while the Nigeria Communications Commission polled 14.3% as at press time, sitting in the fourth position.
The poll which is tagged: Good Performance Poll for Nigerian Publi Institutions is one of the Magazine’s strategic public engagement tool, aimed at engendering healthy competition, promoting good performance, and fostering excellent service delivery among public institutions in Nigeria. The African Leadership Magazine would recognise and commend the Top Performing Public Institution and its leadership for the outstanding work in fostering growth and development of the country.
In line with one of the terms of the poll that five (5) of the shortlisted institutions with the least vote will be dropped from the poll every 7 days, the African Leadership Magazine has dropped the following institutions from the competition: the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria- FAAN, the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency- NDLEA, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency- NPHCDA, the Nigeria Export Promotion Council- NEPC, and the Nigeria Export Promotion Council- NEPC.
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INEC Declares APC’s Obaseki Winner Of Edo Governorship Election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the Edo State gubernatorial election as the winner of the poll.

Obaseki polled 319,483 to beat his closest rival and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ize-Iyamu who polled 253,173 to come second.

Announcing the result of the election, the returning officer, Professor Kayode Soremekun said a total of 613,244 were recorded at the election, while 30,945 votes were invalid.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party in Edo State has rejected the results of the elections.

The party rejected the results at a press conference addressed by the state party chairman, Dan Orbih, on Thursday in Benin, even when the announcement of results where still ongoing at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Benin.

The press conference was also attended the party’s governorship candidate in the election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

Orbih, alleged that the results were pre-determined and fabricated.

The party and its candidate said they rejected the results because they were “fabricated and a pre-determined” by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Edo Government.

Mr. Orbih said the results as they were being announced by the INEC, were at a complete variance with what the party got from it agents and independent observers.

He said the two-week extension of the poll by the electoral body was to allow for more time to perfect the manipulation of the process.

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Abia INEC REC Returns N20m Election Cash To EFCC

Abia State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC)  Sylvester Ezeani has refunded N20million to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The cash is part of the N23.29billion bribe given to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials to change the results of the 2015 election.

Three RECs have been named in the scandal. One of them is dead.

The EFCC has seized two choice shopping malls from a REC Gesil Khan.

Besides, the account of the REC with about N59million has been frozen by the anti-graft agency.

A retired INEC official, Sani Isa, was questioned for N406,206,000 bribe allegedly collected on behalf of the deceased REC in Kano State, Alhaji Mukaila Abdullahi.

The number of INEC staff invited and questioned by the EFCC has risen to 100.

INEC is awaiting a comprehensive brief from the anti-graft agency on the affected staff, it was learnt that  only President Muhammadu Buhari can determine the fate of the RECs.

Ezeani’s N20million came from the $115m(N23.29billion) which former Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke is said to have provided.

A source in EFCC,  who spoke in confidence, said: “Faced by overwhelming evidence from our team, Ezeani has refunded to the commission N20million, which was traced to him.

“About N241million was allocated to INEC when Ezeani was the REC in Cross River State during the 2015 poll.

“We are working on other INEC staff to refund the cash credited to them from the slush funds. So far, about N503million has been recovered from INEC staff and politicians involved in the poll bribery scandal in Port Harcourt Zone alone.

“We are determined to retrieve a huge chunk of the N23.29billion bribe.”

Meanwhile, the number of INEC staff quizzed by EFCC  on the poll bribery cash has risen to about 100.

A source in INEC said: “At least about 100 staff of this commission have either been invited or interrogated by the EFCC as part of its ongoing investigation. T5he number could be higher than the current figure because investigation is still in progress.

“It is too early to say that these staff have been indicted or not  by the EFCC. We are however awaiting a comprehensive brief from the anti-graft commission on its findings on each of the affected staff.

“Do not forget that some of them even serve as witnesses for EFCC, depending on the circumstances of their postings during the poll.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “Staff found guilty of infractions will be subjected to the civil service rules and regulations on disciplinary action.”

Another INEC source spoke on reports on some RECs but “there is nothing the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu or the management can do.

“The appointment of National Commissioners and RECs is at the behest of President Muhammadu Buhari. What INEC management can do is to forward the EFCC’s report on any REC to the President who has the powers to appoint or remove such officer.

“So, the Presudent will determine the fate of RECs implicated in the scandal if they are found culpable.”

About four oil firms, 14 directors of oil companies, two banks and  100 INEC officials, including RECs are under investigation too.

Some INEC officers already grilled are REC Gesil Khan for collecting  N185, 842,000 out of a N681million bribe deal; Fidelia Omoile( Electoral Officer in Isoko-South Local Government Area of Delta State)—N112,480,000 ; Uluochi Obi Brown( INEC’s Administrative Secretary in Delta State)—N111,500,000; a former Deputy Director  of INEC in Cross River state, Edem Okon Effanga—N241,127,000 and others.

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INEC Must Release Tai Election Results – APC

The Rivers State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, said they have taken notice of a press statement by the Chairman of the Rivers State chapter of Peoples Democratic People (PDP), Felix Obuah, signed by his media aide, Jerry Needam in which reference was made to a petition by the PDP chairman threatening dire consequences should the results of concluded rerun election in Tai Local Government be declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). 

The APC in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Senibo Chris Finebone said the party “feels disturbed that a totally dishonest narrative is being foisted on critical stakeholders and the public by the PDP to the effect that the rerun election in Tai was cancelled and therefore results cannot be released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Indeed, this is far from the truth!” 

For the APC “by INEC guidelines, the Tai election has been concluded and so declared and INEC knows this to be a fact. No amount of threat and intimidation will sustain the injustice of denying Tai people consummation of the franchise they freely expressed on March 19, 2016.”  

Continuing, the party said, “it is very important for INEC to announce the result for Tai because the people of the area are saying it loud and clear that there was an election in Tai and they voted. Therefore, the candidates need to know what they scored so far in the March 19 rerun election before going into another one. “

The APC stated that INEC must correct the injustice to Tai people by releasing results of the March 19 rerun election, for this is the time for INEC to do the right thing, adding that INEC has done more than enough favours to the PDP already including declaring seats for PDP candidates who did not win.

The opposition party in Rivers State enjoined law enforcement agencies to be alive to their responsibilities at all times including before, during and after the conclusion of the rerun elections whenever INEC announces a date to hold it.

The APC insisted that, in line with relevant INEC guidelines, the rerun election in Tai Local Government Area was duly held and people voted, and therefore, it behoves on INEC to release the result prior to rerun election conclusion.

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Disband INEC, Rivers Commissioner Tells FG

Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Dr. Austin Tam- George has called on the federal government to as a matter of urgency disband the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under the leadership of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.

Tam-George, in a statement issued shortly after the cancellation of the rerun election scheduled for July 30 said the state government and the people of the state were shocked by the collusion between INEC and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to prevent the election from taking place.

According to him, the incompetence of INEC and the open partisanship of the electoral body was denying the state full representation in the National Assembly.
“The government of Rivers State and people of Rivers State are shocked by the bare-faced collusion between INEC and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to subvert democracy in the state”.
“It is completely unacceptable that Rivers State would continue to be denied full representation in the National Assembly due to the incompetence and malpractices orchestrated by INEC”.
“We call on the presidency and the National Assembly to act urgently in the national interest to disband INEC as presently constituted, for its incompetence and open partisanship.”

“We call on the international community to initiate and maintain diplomatic pressure on the federal government, which continues to frustrate the independence of INEC, and the evolution of democratic diversity in Nigeria”.

“The people of Rivers state will continue to resist and defeat the medieval authoritarianism of the APC” the statement said .

The Commissioner praised the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, for his courageous insistence that only free and fair elections would be acceptable to the people of Rivers State.

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Edo Governorship: Makarfi, Sherrif Factions Submit Separate Names To INEC

The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party deepened on Monday as two factions in the party claimed that they had submitted names of their respective governorship candidates for the Edo State governorship poll to the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The factions are the one being led by the party’s Chairman, National Caretaker Committee, Ahmed Makarfi, and the other under the factional Chairman of the party, Ali Modu Sheriff.

Both men and their followers are currently locked in a legal battle over the leadership of the opposition party.

The deadline for the submission of names of governorship candidates by political parties for the Edo governorship election, according to the timetable, released by the commission is Tuesday (today).

The election holds on September 10.

The spokesperson for the Makarfi camp, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye, said that the party had done the needful.

He said he was sure that the commission would recognise its candidate, Mr. Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who he said had commenced mobilisation of the voters in the state.

Adeyeye added, “Well, we have met the standard as we have sent the name of our candidate and his running mate to the commission. We are not expecting the commission to deny them recognition. We have nothing to fear. We are already in the field.”

In the same vein, the Sheriff faction said it had sent the name of its candidates for the election to the electoral body.

The Deputy National Chairman of the group, Dr. Cairo Ojugboh, said his faction was relying on the court ruling that ordered that only the Sheriff group should be allowed to submit names of candidates for the Edo and Ondo governorship elections.

He said he was sure that the candidate that emerged at the primary conducted by the Sheriff faction, Mr. Matthew Iduoriyekwemwen, would make the INEC final list.

Ojugboh stated, “We have submitted the name of our governorship candidate for the Edo election based on the ruling of a Federal High Court in Abuja.

“The commission ordered INEC not to accept the lists of our (PDP) governorship candidates for the election in Edo and Ondo states from any other body except from the Sheriff-led leadership of the party.

“It was Justice Okon Abang who said this while delivering ruling in an interlocutory application filed by two governorship aspirants on the platform of the PDP in Edo and Ondo states.

“So, we have abided by the ruling of his lordship and that’s all. Anyone who submits or attempts to submit any other name apart from the name we have submitted is in contempt of the court.”

However, feelers from the commission did not corroborate the claims of the two factions of the former ruling party.

The Deputy Director of the commission’s Publicity and Voter Education, Mr. Nick Dazang, said as of 4.52pm, the PDP was not among the six political parties that had submitted the names of their governorship candidates.

He said, “As of 4.52pm, the PDP was not among the political parties that had submitted their candidates. But the deadline is still tomorrow, which is Tuesday (today). For now, six political parties have submitted the names of their candidates.”

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