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2019 Election: PDP Governors Accuse INEC of Working For APC |RN

Secondus-and-PDP-governors

The PDP governors accused the electoral body of conducting itself as a tool of the APC-led Federal Government

• Pass vote of no confidence on electoral body

• Ruling party, INEC dismiss allegation

Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has claimed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is working for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a communique issued at the end of its emergency meeting in Abuja, yesterday, the PDP governors accused the electoral body of conducting itself as a tool of the APC-led Federal Government and therefore passed a vote of no confidence in the electoral umpire.

According to the communique signed by the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, who is also the chairman of the Forum, the party noted that there was need for INEC to reinvent itself and become a truly independent electoral umpire.

“For now, we have no confidence in INEC. The commission has conducted itself as a tool of the APC-led Federal Government, especially with the roles of the Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, and a National Commissioner, Mrs. Amina Zakari.”

Also, the PDP governors condemned the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Electoral Act amendment bill passed recently by the National Assembly.

According to them, the decision of President Buhari to withhold assent to the new electoral law is an indication that he and the ruling APC were afraid of the introduction of technology into the electoral system.

But in a swift response, the APC dismissed the PDP’s allegation, maintaining that it lacked the credibility and rectitude to question the integrity of INEC.

This is just as the electoral body reaffirmed its determination to conduct a free, fair credible polls.

Spokesperson of the ruling party, Yekini Nabena, challenged the PDP to retrospect on the elections it conducted in the past 16 years it was in charge, arguing that they were riddled with fraud, irregularities and litigations.

He said the statement by the PDP was a confirmation that they were losers.

“PDP knows that it cannot withstand the ruling party in a free and fair poll and that must have informed the recent alarm targeted at discrediting INEC.

“I want to emphasise that APC has confidence in INEC and before PDP can discredit INEC, they should retrospect and appraise the performance of INEC during their 16 years in power and compare it with the performance of INEC now. The PDP knows that it didn’t conduct credible elections while they were in charge.

“In case PDP forgot, let me remind them that almost all the elections INEC conducted under them ended in litigations. They were marred by fraud and irregularities. PDP lacks the moral to criticise INEC. The APC cannot degenerate to level of PDP in discrediting INEC,” he said.

Reacting to the allegation, INEC said it was not bothered about the attack from the PDP since Nigerians were appreciative of the credibility it has recorded so far.

According to Rotimi Oyekanmi, Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu: “Since the inauguration of the current leadership of the INEC in November 2015, the Commission has been putting various measures in place to improve and strengthen the electoral process. And in doing so, the Commission has also carried all stakeholders along.

“Not only that, by putting all cards on the table at all times, INEC has continually demonstrated integrity, transparency and efficiency. The efforts are paying off. Only on August 31, the Commission brought the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) to a close after registering a record 14.5 million voters in 16 months.

“The Commission has also conducted about 190 different types of elections, including six governorship elections, none of which has been overturned. From the feedback we are getting from Nigerians, they are appreciative of our efforts and our pledge is that we will deliver a free, fair and credible 2019 General Elections.”   (The Sun)

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We May Boycott 2019 Elections, Says PDP |The Republican News

Uche-Secondus

National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Uche Secondus

Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party has threatened that it may not participate in the 2019 general elections unless it gets the assurance that what happened in Ekiti State governorship election would not be repeated.

The National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, spoke in Abuja on Thursday when he granted audience to a joint delegation of International Republican Institute and National Democratic Institute at the party’s national headquarters.

Secondus accused the Independent National Electoral Commission and security agencies of being partial during the conduct of the Ekiti governorship election.

He said the main opposition party did not contest against the All Progressives Congress or any other political party in the state but contested against the commission and security agencies.

He said, “Our opinion is that INEC and security agents were directly involved in this manipulation.

“As a matter of fact, we did not contest against the APC; we contested against the security agencies and INEC. Nigerians and the international community are aware of this fact because of what happened in the state.”

Secondus disclosed that the PDP was consulting whether to participate in the 2019 general elections or not, “because you are participating against security agencies and INEC who have colluded to alter the figures even after you have voted. So, we are in a dilemma.”

According to him, if nothing is done to restore the confidence of ordinary Nigerians and other political parties, it may be difficult to accept the results of 2019 general elections, no matter what the outcome may be, noting that such may be a recipe for crisis.

He alleged that the state was militarised before and during the election, alleging that the leaders of the party were harassed and arrested and detained in the state.

He said, “Our members were harassed, arrested and detained overnight.”  (Punch)

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Ekiti Guber: Police Uncover Illegal Election Material Printing Press, Arrest 2 In Lagos

Ekiti-guber

… It’s mere specimen – Gov Fayose

Christopher Oji and Wole Balogun, Ekiti

The Lagos State Police Command has arrested two persons for allegedly printing electoral materials believed to be for Saturday’s governorship poll in Ekiti, at the Gbagada area of the state.

Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, led detectives to the printing press, O’ Naphtali at 13A and 13B, Oguntona Street, Gbagada, allegedly owned by one Eniola Fayose.

It was also learnt that the owner hails from Ikere, in Ekiti state. He was not around when police stormed the place.

As at yesterday evening, the company’s Admin/Human Resources Manager and Graphic Artist were being quizzed by detectives at the Command Headquarters, Ikeja.

At the end of the raid, Edgal told newsmen that, “on July 8, an intelligence report from a credible source was received by the command; that ballot papers meant for the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Ekiti were being printed in a company O’Naphtali Limited located at 13B Oguntona crescent, Gbagada, Lagos.

“The company is owned by one Eniola Fayose. The report further revealed that some of the printed ballot papers were moved to Ekiti in three Hilux vans, on Friday, July 6, while the artworks are still in their graphics computers. Based on the report, I led a contingent of policemen to the location; to verify the information. At the scene, we discovered that the company has two buildings located at number 13A and 13B Oguntona Street, Gbagada Phase 1. It was also discovered that the buildings are being used for general printing/ artwork.”

Edgal said that to ascertain what the houses were being used for, a search warrant was executed on the premises and the following items were recovered: “One HP laptop, one Acer laptop, one Booklet of form EC/ EK 8B Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission (EKSIEC); three EKEC 50 A envelop for miscellaneous materials, two pieces of Ekiti SEC, eight A(1) statement of result, one copy of form Ekiti SEC eight A(1), one income tax clearance certificate of Ekiti state, seven pieces of

Ekiti state Internal revenue motor receipts, one piece of form EC 8A of Ekiti SEC, one piece of Ekiti state Voter’s Card register, Log Book cover for Ado Local Government , one piece of NECO mark/attendance sheet, Ekiti state Ministry of Education Progress Report for secondary school and one colour turn flash drive.”

He added that preliminary enquiry by the detectives led by him revealed that the company is owned by one Eniola and that the company is said to be in a contractual agreement with the Ekiti state Independent Electoral Commission; to print the elections materials found during the search.

Edgar disclosed that the recovered laptops are being scrutinised by police ICT experts; with a view to discovering any incriminating information.

In his reaction to the allegation, Ekiti Governor, Ayodele Fayose said the alleged poll materials were mere ballot paper specimen which his party contracted Eniola to print; so they could be used as voters’ education for illiterates.

“Eniola printed specimen of election materials for voters’ education; for our

people, who are illiterates. The specimen has nothing to show they are authentic INEC materials. APC and INEC printed the same specimen and distributed them publicly.

“We challenge them to show the so-called election materials that they are talking about. They should publish what they have. INEC printed their own specimen and we also printed our own specimen for voters education for our people.

“The specimen is not usable anywhere and not showing anything that appears to be authentic materials. APC did their own specimen for their people and we did that too. This is an attempt to intimidate us. The fact that Eniola bears Fayose does not mean he is my relation.”

Also speaking, Eniola, who showed samples of the ballot paper specimen he was printing for the PDP, said: “I am a registered printer with over 20 years experience.

“These were the samples that I was asked to print for voters education of illiterate electorate. They have no logo or security features on them as they are for mere education for illiterates…”   (The Sun)

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PVC Registration: Charley Boy Leads Protest To INEC Headquarters |RN

charley-boy-protest-PVC-registration

Magnus Eze, Abuja

Popular musician, Charles Oputa (aka Charly Boy) on Monday led his ‘Our Mumu Done Do’ group on a protest to the national headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the handling of the exercise nationwide.

Oputa, who was received by a senior police officer, Paul Odama and Muse Sekpe, Assistant Director, Security Directorate of INEC, said the group came to register its displeasure with the entire process.

He was eventually led into the premises to personally submit the protest letter to INEC authorities.

Oputa expressed the readiness of the group to partner with INEC to coordinate the Continuous Voter’s Registration exercise.   (The Sun)

Details later…

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Our Officials Accepted N3bn Bribe To Rig 2015 Elections, Says INEC

MahmoodYakubu

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

FIdelis Soriwei Abuja

The Indepedent National Electoral Commission has formally suspended 205 personnel of the commission for allegedly receiving part of the N23bn alleged to have been disbursed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, ahead of the 2015 general elections.

A National Commissioner and member of the Information and Voter Education Committee at INEC, Mallam Mohammed Haruna, who briefed journalists after a meeting of the leadership of the commission on Tuesday, said the commission also decided to place the 205 affected officials on half salaries in accordance with the terms and conditions of service of the commission.

Haruna said the commission had referred the cases of a former National Commissioner and five former Resident Electoral Commissioners (one late) to the Presidency and the EFCC for further action and investigation.

According to him, the decision to refer the national commissioner and the RECs to the Presidency and the EFCC was because it was not within the powers of the commission to deal with the cases involving them.

The PUNCH had reported exclusively in its March 26, 2017 edition that the leadership of the commission had placed 202 inducted staff of the commission on suspension and half salary for allegedly receiving part of the N23bn alleged bribe.

Also Sunday PUNCH had reported exclusively that the commission had written the Presidency over the indictment of some RECs in the 2015 electoral bribe scandal in its April 3, 2017 edition which was confirmed in the briefing on Tuesday.

Haruna said, “The commission met today (Tuesday) to consider the report of its expanded Appointment, Promotion and Disciplinary Committee on the EFCC Interim Report on Bribery, Corruption and Money Laundering Charges during the 2015 general elections.

“You may recall that late last year, the commission received an interim report from the EFCC detailing allegations against 202 serving and retired INEC officials and staff in 16 states of the federation.

“In furtherance of its zero tolerance for corruption in the electoral process, the commission ordered a thorough investigation into the allegations to establish the culpability or otherwise of those named in the EFCC report.

“The committee’s work was thorough and painstaking, involving issuance of queries to the 202 officials mentioned in the report and interviewing them individually in accordance with the principle of fair hearing and in consonance with INEC Staff Conditions of Service.

“As a result of the initial findings of the committee, an additional 80 serving officials of the commission, who were not named in the EFCC report but whose names came up in the course of the investigation, were also queried and interviewed.

“The cases of one former National Commissioner, five former Resident Electoral Commissioners (one of them deceased) have been referred to the Presidency and the EFCC for further necessary action.

“Based on their level of involvement, 205 serving INEC staff will be immediately placed on interdiction, which entails suspension from duties and being placed on half salary, pending the final determination of the cases they have with the EFCC.”

Haruna added that a non-governmental organisation identified as West African Network of Election Observers made up of retired INEC officials was used to bribe INEC staff to influence the outcome of the 2015 general elections.

He stated also that the committee was able to establish that INEC staff received N3,046,829,000 in 16 states of the federation to influence the outcome of the election.

“There was a clear attempt to bribe INEC staff to influence the outcome of the 2015 general elections using an NGO, West African Network of Election Observers, made up mainly of retired senior INEC officials.

“Out of over N23bn, which the EFCC report said was used to influence the elections, the committee established that N3,046,829,000 was received by INEC staff in 16 states,” he added

He stressed that a decision was taken to refer the 70 members of staff to the EFCC because of insufficient information on their involvement in the scandal.

However, he refused to mention the names of the retired national commissioner and five RECs alleged to have colluded with the NGO to pull through the bribe.

He explained that the ex-officials of the commission were deemed innocent until after their prosecution.

He restated the commitment of the commission to defending the integrity of the electoral process, stressing that it would not hesitate to take a stern action against officials “who compromise its core values of integrity, transparency and impartiality in the conduct of elections.”

He said the NGO involved in the scandal had been barred from all INEC activities.

… attacks Wike, says he’s not serious

The Independent National Electoral Commission has said preparations towards the 2019 general elections are in top gear, stressing that it would not allow itself to be distracted by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of INEC, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, in a telephone conversation with our correspondent on Monday, urged Nigerians to dismiss the claim by Wike that the commission was not preparing for the next general elections.

Wike had said in an interview with Sunday PUNCH that public institutions like INEC lacked the expected trust, insisting that the commission was only engrossed in a jamboree to deceive Nigerians and to spend money.

The Rivers governor had argued that INEC should use the card reader for all elections rather than use manual accreditation where the card readers failed.

“If we want to get election right in this country, INEC must say where the card readers do not work, elections should be held the next day.

“Nigeria should provide the funds. We should not do the wrong thing because of fund. Some argue that this thing is also done in advanced countries, but they forget that those places have established institutions and there is trust also. Here, there is no institution and there is no trust.

“In 2019, let me tell you, and mark this day, INEC is not prepared for any election. What they are doing is a jamboree to make sure that they are spending money. They can’t deceive me,” Wike had said.

Reacting, however, Oyekanmi said Wike was not someone that could be taken seriously on an issue of national importance.

He said contrary to Wike’s claim, INEC was making preparations for the 2019 elections as shown by the recent validation of its Strategic Plan by stakeholders in the society.

Oyekanmi stated further that as part of the move towards 2019, the Federal Government had appointed 27 Resident Electoral Commissioners while the Senate passed the amendments to the Electoral Act.

He stressed that the commission was focused on its preparations for the conduct of the next governorship election in Anambra State and could not afford to be distracted.

He said, “The Rivers State Governor is entitled to his opinion and I think Nigerians know him too well to take him seriously on any issue of national importance.

“But as far as INEC is concerned, our preparation for the 2019 general elections is on course. Stakeholders have just validated our Strategic Plan. The Federal Government recently appointed 27 Resident Electoral Commissioners and the Senate, thank God, has also just passed the amendments to the Electoral Act.

“We have the Anambra State governorship election to conduct later this year. Besides, the re-organisation of the commission is being carried out. So, we are on course and cannot be distracted.”   (Punchng.com)

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