Friday, 22 March 2019

INEC cancels rerun election in Niger, declares PDP candidate winner

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has announced decision to halt the rerun for the Niger state House Assembly elections in Agaie constituency.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Prof. Sam Egwu, yesterday, issued a press statement declaring the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Yahaya Abdullahi, as winner of the election.

INEC said its decision was sequel to the earlier declaration of the PDP candidate winner of the election by the returning officer, Prof. Musa Kolo.

The REC, in a statement he personally signed, said, “the rerun in two units has been dropped after due consultations with stakeholders.”

However, in a swift reaction, APC chairman, Eng. Mohammed Jibril Imam said the commission’s decision declaring the PDP candidate winner was unacceptable.

He said INEC erred in declaring the PDP candidate winner of the election it earlier said was inconclusive.

“Why should the commission take such critical decision when the votes difference in the results under contention were just 106, while the two units the rerun was billed to take place boast of 1,437 votes.” Imam queried in a chat with reporters.

BREAKING: Tribunal Declares Ademola Adeleke Winner Of Osun Governorship Election

The Osun State Governorship Election Tribunal has declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ademola Adeleke, as the winner of the poll.

The Tribunal made the declaration on Friday after dismissing a preliminary objection against the petition of the PDP and Senator Adeleke, challenging the September 2018 governorship election in the state.

The preliminary objection was filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate in the election, Governor Gboyega Oyetola, as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The three defendants claimed that the petition of the PDP and its candidate was incompetent and the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to hear it.

Delivering a ruling on the preliminary objection, Justice Peter Oni who is a member of the three-man Tribunal held that the petition was competent.

He also stated that the Tribunal has the jurisdiction to hear and determine it.

The judge held that there was merit in the appeal filed by the PDP and Senator Adeleke, adding that the declaration and return of Governor Oyetola by INEC was null and void.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is set to issue certificates of return to Governors-elect across the States of the Federation.

The issuance of the certificates according to a press release issued in Abuja at the early hours of yesterday by the INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, Mr Festus Okoye states that all duly elected individuals in the just concluded March 9, 2019 would be handed over the certificates of return by next week from 27-29 March.

With the recent announcement by the INEC spokesperson, the Governor-elect of Imo State and of the PDP, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha is expected to be one of the recipients.

Trumpeta Newspaper gathered that Ihedioha having been declared winner of the Imo guber election and met the electoral guidelines would return to the State before end of the upcoming week with his certificate, while waiting for the official handover from the incumbent governor, Rochas Okorocha by May 29.

Part of the press statement read, “The winners of the governorship election in various States announced so far would be presented with their certificates of return between March 27 and 29”.

However, Mr Okoye explained that INEC would conduct supplementary election where necessary, and in some constituencies not affected by litigation on April 13.

Afterwards, he said the issuance of all outstanding certificates of return would be concluded on April 19.

Furthermore, he revealed that INEC would deploy national commissioners in various States where supplementary election would take place, to monitor the process and present certificates of return to the winners.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

INEC Gives Certificates Of Return To Governors-Elect March 27, Clarifies Issues On Rivers, Others 21st March 2019

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed 27th 28th and 29th March for the presentation of Certificates of Return to Governors-elect, according to its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Barrister Festus Okoye.

Speaking at a media briefing held at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja, the Federal capital Territory (FCT) earlier today, Okoye said the certificates will be presented by National Commissioners (NCs) supervising the respective states and will be assisted by Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) and Legal Officers of the Commission. But the precise date for the presentation in each state, he added, will be made known by the RECs in consultation with the NCs.
However, the date for the presentation of Certificates of Return to winners of the State Houses of Assembly elections will be announced in due course.

Okoye also informed journalists that the Commission will conduct supplementary elections in 18 States on 23rd March. According to him, security agencies gave the Commission their assurances of adequate security and professional conduct at a meeting between the two parties held on 19th March in Abuja.

He said all observers and media organization already accredited to cover the 2019 general elections are free to observe the elections, and will be given unimpeded access to polling units, collation and material distribution centres.

He said: “The INEC situation room will be activated on Saturday 23rd March. Nigerians can reach the Commission via its social media platforms. The Commission encourages all registered voters in the areas where elections will be conducted to come out and cast their ballots. We also appeal to all stakeholders for continuous support.”

On the pending court cases in Bauchi and Adamawa States, Okoye said: “The Commission has conducted governorship elections in 29 states and returns have been made in 22 states. While the election was suspended in Rivers, it was declared inconclusive in 6 states, namely Bauchi, Adamawa (North East); Benue and Plateau (North Central) and Sokoto and Kano (North West).

“Following the inconclusive governorship elections in the 6 states, the Commission fixed supplementary elections for the 23rd of March 2019.

“The supplementary governorship election earlier scheduled to hold in Bauchi state is now a subject of litigation which was initiated by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Mohammed A. Abubakar. An interlocutory injunction to suspend the process has been served on the Commission by the Federal High Court, Abuja. While the Commission has complied in accordance with its policy to obey all court orders in deference to the rule of law, it has also taken urgent steps to vacate the order and dismiss the action.

“It should however be noted that the litigation and consequential order only affect the collation of results for the governorship election in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area. Consequently, the supplementary elections will proceed as scheduled on Saturday 23rd March in the other 15 Local Government Areas of Bauchi state, as well as the Kirfi State Constituency Supplementary Election in Kirfi Local Government Area.

“Similarly, the Adamawa State High court issued an injunction restraining the Commission from proceeding with the supplementary election following the application by the Movement for the Restoration and Defence of Democracy (MRDD), a registered political party which did not take part in the main election. While the Commission has also complied with the order, it has equally taken steps to vacate it and dismiss the action.

“Notwithstanding the legal action over the Supplementary Governorship election, elections will hold in Nassarawo/Binyeri State Constituency in Mayo – Belwa Local government area where the election had to be countermanded following the death of a candidate before the polls, as well as the supplementary State Constituency election and Uba/Gaya State Constituency in Hong Local Government Area.”

On Rivers, the National Commissioner averred that the Fact-Finding Committee set up by the Commission to visit the state and investigate the circumstances surrounding the violent disruption of the electoral process on 9th and 10th March, which compelled the Commission to suspend activities, submitted its report which established certain facts.

The report, he explained, revealed that “while election could not hold in a few areas, it was successfully concluded in others with the declaration of winners in 21 state constituencies. Collation was (also) ongoing at the time of the suspension of activities.”

To that extent, Okoye announced the activities and timelines lined up for the resumption and conclusion of the process. According to the timetable, separate meetings with the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) and stakeholders have been scheduled for 29th and 30th March respectively in Port Harcourt.

The Commission will issue Guidelines for the resumption of collation of results on 1st of April at its headquarters in Abuja, while the revalidation of polling agents and observers for the collation of results will take place in Abuja and Port Harcourt between 25th and 31st March.

The resumption of collation and announcement of results will take place between 2nd and 5th April. Supplementary election will hold where necessary on 13th April, to be followed by the announcement of results of all supplementary elections between 13th and 15th April. Outstanding Certificates of Results will be issued latest by 19th April.

National Commissioner and Chairman, Information & Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye Esq.

Asset Declaration Trial: Federal govt closes case against Onnoghen

The Nigerian government on Thursday closed its case against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Mr. Onnoghen immediately notified the tribunal that he intends to make a no-case submission.
The prosecution closed its case after calling three witnesses to the stand.

During the session on Thursday, the counsel to the government, Aliyu Umar, said they have closed their case, despite listing six witnesses.
Mr. Umar said the three other witnesses could still be called to the stand if the defense wants to cross-examine them.

“I have called three witnesses. If the defense needs them I can call the other three,” the lawyer said.
Responding, the defense counsel, Adeboyega Awomolo, rejected the offer.
“I don’t want them, I don’t want them,” he said.

Mr. Awomolo then informed the tribunal that the defense intends to file a no-case submission but they would need time to write an address.

“We intend to take advantage of section 303 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 on no-case submission,” he said.

“If your lordship permits me to write a written address, I’m praying to be given proceedings of 18th and today.”

Thereafter, the three-member panel led by the chairman, Danladi Umar, ordered Mr Awomolo to serve his address on the prosecution next week Wednesday.

Mr. Umar then fixed March 29 as the day counsels will adopt their addresses.
Mr. Onnoghen is facing a six-count charge bordering on non-declaration of his asset as required by law.


Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue him with a certificate of return as the Senator- elect for Imo West Senatorial District.
It will be recalled that the electoral body had declined to issue Governor Okorocha with a certificate of return on the grounds that the results were announced by its official under duress.
In the suit marked filed by his lawyer, Kehinde Ogunwumiju, the governor argued that, having been declared winner of the election, INEC has no power to withhold his Certificate of return.

During the court session yesterday, the presiding justice, Taiwo Taiwo said that the Governor Okorocha’s closest rival, Jones Onyereri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in addition to the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the election, Osita Izunaso will be included as the second and third defendants in the suit.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Return My Cars Or Face Police Arrest – Uche Nwosu warns Supporters

The candidate of the Action Alliance in the just concluded General Elections in Imo State Mr Uche Nwosu have called on his supporters who he gave vehicles to for campaign purposes to return the vehicles or face police arrest.

Uche Nwosu who was contesting the victory of Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha allegedly held his coordinators hostage yesterday, at Government House over alleged N10 million given each of them to share at the polling units and demanded they return the money given to them since they failed.

The coordinators claimed they gave the money given to them to the people but the people voted who they wanted and there was no way they could return the money since they used it as they were asked to.

Similar reports have also been heard from the APGA Governorship camp of Senator Ifeanyi Ararume who had even before the election threatened to take back cars he had given to his coordinators and supporters if they failed to deliver their booths.

Uche Nwosu and Ararume have both refused to accept the outcome of the election and are both demanding a total cancellation of the election.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Plateau APC lawmaker dies after winning polls

Mr Ezekiel Afon, a lawmaker representing Pengana Constituency in the Plateau State House of Assembly has died hours after he was re-elected to represent the constituency.

Mr Bashir Sati, the Secretary of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state confirmed the lawmaker’s death to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Jos.

According to Sati, Afon died Sunday afternoon after a brief illness.

“It is unfortunate that we lost Afon, one of the most dedicated members of our party and a committed lawmaker just after he was declared winner to occupy his seat again.

“Though he has been sick for a while but we received the news of his demise with rude shock,” he said.

NAN reports that Afon was first elected into the Assembly under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015, but defected to the ruling APC in 2017. (NAN

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Gunmen kill policeman, NSCDC officer, abduct three INEC staff in Katsina

Katsina State Police Command has confirmed the killing of a policeman and abduction of three INEC adhoc staff during the governorship and state assembly election in the state.
The police also announced the killing of a civil defence officer in separate attack while on election duty.

The Command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Gambo Isa, in two separate statements made available to newsmen on Saturday in Katsina, said the policeman, Cpl Mannir Usman, was killed while on election patrol at Gobirawa Falale, Danmusa Local Government area of the state.

The PPRO said that the gunmen ambushed the police team and shot Usman who was driving the patrol vehicle. He added that the gunmen also abducted three INEC adhoc staff on election duty in the same incident. The police further said that a civil defence officer was shot on the chest at Santar Amadi village polling unit in Kankara Local Government area, in another attack on Saturday.

Isa said the gunmen attacked the village, shooting sporadically and hitting the officer on the chest where he died instantly. (NAN)

Fake Police and Fake Military Officers took over Ideato South.

The March 9th governorship and state house of Assembly elections in Ideato South, the local government of the incumbent governor, Rochas Okorocha were marred by irregularities.

In a bid to rig the election in favor of his son-inlaw, Uche Nwosu, the governorship candidate of Action Alliance, AA and Johnson Duru, Pa Jay, the Imo State House of Assembly candidate for Ideato South, of Action Alliance, AA as governor of Imo State and Ideato South legislator. Rochas and his AA candidates imported thugs to impersonate police officers and military personnel, these thugs were fully armed with uniforms of the Nigeria Police force and of the Nigeria Army.

These fake Police officers and soldiers fully armed with AK47 were moving round Ideato South, moving from polling Unit to polling Unit, harassing and intimidating voters, causing tension, shooting sporadically to disrupt elections in polling Units where the PDP candidate, Comrade Dike Stanley, Ikukuoma is leading with wide margin, snatching of ballot boxes and thumbprinting in the Bush, aiding in the rigging of the election in favour of Action Alliance AA.

We call on INEC to cancel the election of Ideato South due to the fact that the activities of these fake Police and military men made the people run for their dear lives, thereby disenfranchising the people.

We urge the appropriate authorities to reschedule the election of Ideato South to a day were necessary security measures would be taken for a free and fair election.