INEC Registers 125,481 Eligible Voters In Edo

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said it had registered 125,481 more eligible voters at the end of the third quarter of the 2017 and first quarter of 2018 Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) in Edo.

Mr Obo Effanga, the outgoing Edo Resident Electoral Commissioner, made this disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Sunday.

Effanga explained that the commission registered 40,785 eligible voters in the first and second quarters of 2017, 30,655 and 9,853 voters in the third quarter.

He said the commission also registered 44, 188 eligible voters in the first quarter of 2018, which ended in March.

Effanga further disclosed that Ikpoba-Okha Local government Area had the highest performance with 23,611 new registered voters.

He said Egor had 18, 246, Oredo had 17,605, while Etsako West council area Local had 14,065 among others.


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Alleged 30,000 New Polling Units: You Lied, INEC Tells PDP

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged the public to disregard rumour emanating from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) saying the commission has created 30,000 additional polling units in order to compromise the 2019 general elections.

A statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, on Sunday in Abuja, explained that the commission received 3,789 requests nationwide for the creation of new polling units.

Recall that Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, on Friday alleged that INEC was planning to create 30,000 illegal polling units in some remote areas.

According to Oyekanmi, the commission, after receiving the requests, directed its Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to thoroughly asses and provide it with information on new settlements not served or inadequately served by existing polling units.

“The RECs are also to assess and provide information on areas affected by communal and other conflicts that make voting in existing polling units unsafe for voters,“ he said.

He said that these reports were still being awaited from the various 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.

“Therefore, the 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.”


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Over One Million Unclaimed PVCs In Lagos, Says INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that Lagos State has the highest number of unclaimed Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) with total no at 1,401,390.

The commission disclosed this in a ‘tabular data on consolidated PVCs as at March 22, 2018,’ released to pressmen yesterday in Abuja.

The data showed that 8,271,401 PVCs were yet to be not collected as at 2016.

A breakdown of the uncollected PVCs as at March 2018 also reveals that Oyo State has 647,586 unclaimed PVCs; followed by Edo, 449,001 cards, while Kano has 195,941.

The data also shows Bauchi State with the least number of uncollected PVCs at 15,542, followed by Bayelsa and Plateau 28,533 and 25,300

The commission, however, disclosed that 351,272 PVCs had so far been collected across the 36 states and the FCT between 2015 to March 2018.

The date further showed that 230,175 out of the 351,272 PVCs were collected in 2017 while the remaining 121,097 cards were collected in 2018.

The state with the highest number of PVCs collected, between 2017 and 2018, is Anambra with 102,264 collected cards; with the breakdown of 95,385 and 6,879 cards collected in 2017 and 2018, according to the commission.

Kogi and Lagos followed with 41,174 and 20,002 cards collected, it said.

The data also shows that 15,318 and 25,856 PVCs were collected in Kogi in 2017 and 2018; 14,907 and 5,095 collected in Lagos in the same order.

The states with the least total number of collected PVCs within 2017 and 2018 are: Zamfara with 40; followed by Taraba, 158; and Bauch 558 collected card, according to INEC.

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INEC Rules Against Electronic Voting In 2019

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said there wont be use of electronic voting in the forthcoming 2019 general elections.

Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, said this on Tuesday at the end of the three-day international conference on Opportunities and Challenges in the use of Technology in Elections in Abuja, yesterday.

His words: “Let me categorically say that the commission will not deploy electronic voting in the 2019 general election. However, we will deploy technology for the collation and transmission of electronic result; without prejudice to the manual processes.

“There will be manual processes but, we will deploy technology and by doing so, we will collate, transmit and declare results more speedily and more accurately.

“Let me equally react to the type of technological innovation we are going to introduce in 2019. We have been piloting in several elections now on this idea of electronic transmission of results including the transmission of scanned copies of the EC8As; directly from the polling units.

“However, you know that there are two dimensions to this issue of technology–what the commission can do and what the citizens can do in their own rights, as citizens. We have made it possible now for citizens to be involved in doing what we call Citizens Mandate Protection.

“In addition to all the statutory faults that we issue to all the political parties and their agents at the polling stations, the commission has consistently pasted results at each  polling units nationwide.

“You would have noticed that in the last governorship election in Anambra State, we designed a special poster called EC60E where the results will be entered and even have columns  for the signature by the political party agencies may wish to sign. This us pasted at the 119, 973 polling units nationwide.

 “Citizens can use technology to take picture of the EC60E and if they have their own situation room they can actually collate results. The truth is that increasingly in Africa, elections are going beyond the capacity of the electoral commission to manipulate.

“With technology, elections are in the hands of the people and our commitment at INEC is that only the citizens will determine who wins elections in Nigeria. I want to assure that technology has come to stay in elections especially in the conduct and transmission of the results,” he assured.

“We appreciate the works of technology in this age, we have had so much of it in times especially here in Nigeria. Our task now is how we are going to provide a secured platform that will enable us to transmit election results efficiently and securely. The issues of communication and security were also addressed at this conference.”

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Group Counsels INEC On 2019 Elections

A group, League Of Progressives Ambassadors of Nigeria (LEPAN), has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve more on the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise nationwide so as to ensure a hitch-free elections.

This was contained in a statement signed by the group’s publicity secretary, Seun Okegbemiro today in Lagos.

The group noted that there have been several avoidable logistic failures such as non-functional printers, Direct Data Capture (DDC) machines, and poor staff attitudes toward potential voters and registrants at the ongoing CVR exercise nationwide.

We, therefore, urge INEC to ensure these anomalies are corrected so that more Nigerians can register and participate in the democratic process.” Mr Okegbemiro said.

“On our part” the statement continued “we have offered to get volunteers for INEC if staff shortage is one of the reasons for the seemingly slow registration process which sometimes see a potential registrant spend up to 40 minutes on the average to get registered. This should not be the case in this digital age.” The group said.

The group also admitted that there have been “technical and political improvements” in the electoral process since the 2015 elections.

“We should not forget that there have been some significant technical and political improvements in conducting successful elections under the current INEC management with the conduct of several gubernatorial, National Assembly and state Houses of Assembly by-elections. These elections themselves are not idyllic but simply show we are better than we were about four years ago.” The group noted.

“We on our part will have preferred a situation where INEC should, by now, be thinking of electronic voting since there have been several opportunities for INEC to test this method with the past few elections but unfortunately failed to do so. If those elections have been conducted using the e-Voting, by now, the fears about multiple voting, ballot stuffing, and post-election violence that accompany major elections would have been minimized, if not wiped away by now.” The statement charged.

“Our e-Voting proposal is for people to vote via a prescribed machine and same will record their votes and stored digitally through a safe storage medium before being sent to a centralized location (or database) where tabulation programs compile and tabulate results. We understand past attempts have been marred by technical problems such as electronic fingerprint readers malfunctioning on Election Day. We are also aware that there have been several reports of biometric voter systems failures but we insist these problems account for just a little over 0.25% of, say, card readers malfunctioned if data from INEC are anything to go by.” Okegbemiro said.

On the recently passed #NotTooYoungToRun Bill, Mr Okegbemiro said “The #NotTooYoungToRun Bill has become a national emergency. We are using this medium to plead with President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, to give his assent to the bill in meaningful time. This is because, the youths will be asking some serious questions during next year’s presidential election. We will want to know why, by now, young people who have intentions to contest elective offices cannot do so simply because the president have not given his assent to a Bill that would ordinarily have made them participate actively.”

On the bill, the group said “We have travelled a long route to get this far. We cannot back down at this point when victory is in sight. This is why we are passionately appealing to all well-meaning Nigerian to join us in urging the president to be part of this epoch making event by signing this bill into law.”

“While we wait to see INEC and all other electoral actors demonstrate their lessons learnt from some of these past experiences, we as a responsible and responsive organisation will monitor the process and come out with an elaborate report afterwards. We cannot accept anything short of a free, fair, and transparent process.”

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2019: What We Will Do To Political Parties That Fail To Give Tickets to Winners Of Primaries – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will sanction political parties that deny anyone his/her election after the party primaries.

Prof. Francis Ezeonu, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Imo, said this at a sensitisation meeting of stakeholders with Imo INEC management on Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) held in Mbaitoli and Owerri North local government areas.

Commenting on the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), Ezeonu noted that use of masquerades and any form of weapon, hate speeches, as well as campaigning in Churches, Mosques and public offices will not be tolerated during stipulated campaign period.

The REC further added that the Electoral Act frowned at imposition of candidates, saying “We will monitor political parties to avoid anarchy. If after primaries anyone is denied his/her position, INEC will not be party to it and will intervene. It will also sanction defaulting party.”

Ezeonu said the commission would use Resident Area Camp (RAC) to ensure that election materias were deployed to polling units on time.


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Just In: INEC Fixes Date For Dino’s Recall Process

The Kogi state Independent National Electoral Commission on Wednesday announced dates for the commencement of the recall process of the embattled Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Prof. James Apam, said following the appeal court ruling that INEC can commence the recall process, the commission has fixed the last Saturday of April as the verification date.

INEC also fixed first Saturday in the month of May as the day that a referendum would be conducted in line with the electoral laws.

He said, “On this day, the Commission will endeavour to invite all those who have signed the recall register to come forward and identify their signature.”

According to him, if this process is successful, the Commission will proceed to the next stage where a referendum of all registered voters would be conducted.

“Here, voters will be asked to vote either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the question of whether they want Senator Dino Melaye recalled.

“If the answer meets the constitutional requirements of 51 percent ‘yes,’ the process moves to the next stage; but if it fails, the process stops,” Apam explained.


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2019: INEC Inaugurates Security Committee In Ebonyi

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has inaugurated a 13-member security sub-committee for the 2019 general elections in Ebonyi.

The sub-committee was inaugurated by Mr Titus Sumba-Lamorde, the Commissioner of Police, Ebonyi Command and chairman of the Inter Agency Consultative on Election Security (IACES), on Friday in Abakaliki.

The 13-member sub -committee has the mandate to articulate security strategies ahead of the 2019 general elections in the state.

The sub-committee was made up of representatives from security agencies in IACES, including Police Army, Prisons, Road Safety, Drugs Law Enforcement Agency , Civil Defence, Immigration, among others.

The police boss, represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Samuel Yomi, urged committee members to discharge their duties with diligence.

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Reps Urge INEC To Register Eligible Voters

The House of Representatives has urge the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to adopt all necessary measures to ensure that all eligible voters are registered and issued with Permanent Voter’s Cards, without further delay.
The resolution emanated from a motion unanimously adopted by the House, on the need to ensure all eligible voters are registered.
Sponsor of the motion, Ayeola AbdulKabir, expressed concern over the hardship Nigerians pass through to get their Voter’s Card.
He said: “The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has not been able to effect the transfer of many persons from the places where they were originally registered and given Voter’s Cards to their current places of residence despite having the necessary requirements.”
The lawmakers expressed worry that if the Independent National Electoral Commission does not intensify its efforts to correct all the inadequacies and lapses in the on-going continuous registration of voters, many Nigerians would be disenfranchised during the 2019 General Elections.
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INEC Backs Creation Of Electoral Offences Commission

Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu says the establishment of Electoral Offences Commission was necessary to effectively prosecute violators of the country’s electoral laws.

Professor Yakubu stated this on Monday during a public hearing on a Bill to establish the National Electoral Offences Commission, organised in Abuja by the Senate Committees on INEC and Judiciary.

The Chief electoral umpire said that creating the commission to arrest, investigate and prosecute all violators of electoral laws would go a long way in ensuring that offenders were punished.

He believes that the failure to enforce sanctions encouraged impunity and violence in the country’s electoral process, thereby subverting the will of the people and undermining democracy.

According to him: “While the INEC was saddled with the responsibility to prosecute electoral offences, the process is severely hampered. More so, that some of the offenders may be staff of INEC itself; how do we prosecute ourselves so, the solution will be to have a commission to prosecute violators of Electoral Act. INEC cannot effectively prosecute electoral offenders and at the same time focus on our extensive responsibilities under the constitution and the Electoral Act.”

Professor Yakubu however, said that INEC had successfully prosecuted some electoral offenders in spite of the constraints.

“Arising from the 2015 general election and subsequent bye elections, we received 124 case files from the Nigeria Police but so far we have only succeeded in prosecuting a few of these cases.”

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INEC To Begin Distribution Of Voter Cards In May

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday said it would begin the distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) across the country in May.

Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Abia, Dr Joseph Iloh, said this at the 5th triennial delegates’ congress of Abia council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Umuahia on Friday.

Delivering a lecture on “Voter Registration: Foundation for Credible Election and Good Governance”, Iloh said that PVCs for those who registered before Dec. 31, 2017 had been produced for most states in the federation.

He, however, said that distribution of the cards would commence when production of the cards for the remaining states had been completed.

The REC explained that the delay in the production and distribution of the cards was occasioned by the fact that the job was being handled by one team.

He said that the decision to entrust the job to one team was to avoid a mismanagement of the process by multiple hands.

He appealed to the media and the public to exercise patience with INEC over the distribution of the PVCs.

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2019: INEC Insists Presidential Election Holds First

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted that the presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on the same day while the governorship and state legislative elections will come next.

Recall that the National Assembly had opposed the sequence of the election and amended the Electoral Act such that the National Assembly election would hold first while the presidential election would come last.

However,  at a quarterly consultative meeting with the media in Abuja on Monday, Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission would continue to prepare for elections based on its own schedule since it could not make plans based on speculation.

Yakubu said, “There are many ‘ifs’ but here, we deal with certainty. As far as the commission is concerned, there is no legal lacuna at the moment. What we have done is on the basis of the existing law and nothing has changed.

“If the bill is accented to, we will look at the provisions and inform Nigerians on the next step. But as far as the commission is concerned at the moment, we are operating under the existing law and we have issued a timetable for the activities accordingly.

“If something happens tomorrow, we will examine it and proceed accordingly.”

The INEC boss said the budget for the 2019 elections had been drafted based on its own sequence and timetable.

He said the proposal would soon be transmitted to the National Assembly for approval.

“Right now, the draft is on my table based on the current schedule of activities. Thereafter, we will submit it to the approving authorities,” Yakubu said.

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