INEC Hires Over 2,000 Ad-Hoc Staff For Melaye’s Recall

A Federal Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr. Mohammed Haruna, has said that the Commission will be engaging the services of over 2,000 ad hoc staff in the recall process of the senator representing Kogi West in the National Assembly, Dino Melaye.

He also disclosed that appropriate security agencies have been enlisted and have promised to ensure a hitch-free exercise.

Haruna disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting on Wednesday in Lokoja over the commencement of the embattled senator’s recall process.

He explained that the verification exercise would hold in 552 polling units in seven local governments under Kogi West senatorial district.

According to him, the verification will hold from 8 am to 2 pm, using the card reading machines to authenticate the voter cards of those that signed the recall petition.

“Only those who signed the petition are expected to turn up at their polling units for verification,” Haruna said.

Also speaking , the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for the state, Prof. James Apam, said that local observers would be allowed to monitor the exercise.

He explained, however, that the verification exercise will not hold in eight polling units, as no petition was received from them.

The REC said that no party agents would be allowed access to any of the polling units, adding that the result of the exercise will be announced on April 29.

“We have concluded all arrangements in line with our schedule of activities and are set for the exercise.

“The ad hoc staff have been trained at the state and local government levels and materials procured and sent to the registration area centres, ready for movement to the polling units on the day of verification,” Apam explained.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the stakeholders’ meeting was attended by representatives of registered political parties, civil society organisations, media, police, army, civil defence and other paramilitary organisations.

( NAN)

INEC Denies Compromising 2019 Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied making attempts to compromise the 2019 general elections as alleged by the PDP National Publicity Secretary.

Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party`s (PDP), on Friday alleged that INEC was planning to create 30,000 illegal polling units in some remote areas.

A statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, on Sunday in Abuja, urged Nigerians to disregard the allegation.

Oyekanmi explained that the commission received 3,789 requests nationwide for the creation of new polling units.

He said that in response to the requests, the commission 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.

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
He added that the commissioners were also to provide information on areas with natural barriers that hinder access to existing polling units; as well as areas that were distant from

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.

Rotimi Oyekanmi
“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.”

The commission assured the public that its decisions and actions shall always be guided by the provisions of the extant laws and its determination to respond to requests by Nigerians to serve them better.

He said that the creation of more polling units would be done only after full consultation with all stakeholders. (NAN)

450,000 PVCs Yet to be Collected in Edo State

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.

The commissioner also told NAN that about 450,000 Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs were yet to be collected in Edo.

He called on eligible voters to take advantage of the ongoing voters’ registration to collect their PVCs.

“The ongoing registration has given every eligible voter, who has registered and yet to collect their cards the opportunity to go and collect them at the nearest designated registration centres.

“The second quarter of the 2018 CVR is ongoing, it started this month of April and will last for about three months,” he said.

He said that the commission approved 10 additional registration centres in the state to be added to the existing ones for easy accessibility.

NAN reports that Effanga has been transferred by INEC and a new REC is expected to resume duty on April 23 in the state.

INEC To Redistribute 1.4m Unclaimed PVCs In Lagos

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State on Friday said that it was making plans to redistribute the unclaimed 1.4 million Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in the state.

Mr Sam Olumekun, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, disclosed this in a telephone interview with our reporter in Lagos.

“We are actually working out a new strategy,” the INEC boss told NAN, as he explained the commission’s plan to redistribute the permanent voter cards.

Olumekun, who expressed concerned over the number of uncollected PVCs in Lagos state, urged the owners to go to INEC offices in their local government areas for collection.

NAN reports that Lagos state has the highest number of unclaimed PVCs in the country.

INEC had said that it was still in possession of 7,920,129 permanent voter cards yet to be collected from its offices across the nation.

A breakdown of the uncollected PVCs as at March revealed that Lagos had the highest number of 1,401,390 followed by Oyo with 647,586 and Edo which had 449,001 while Kano had 195,941.

The figure also showed Bauchi State as having the least number of uncollected PVCs, 15,542, followed by Bayelsa and Plateau which had 28,533 and 25,300 cards respectively.


Observers Urge INEC To Extend Registration

By Israel Afolabi

One of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) accredited Observers in the state of Osun, Comrade Omirinde Gboyega of Good Governance Concerned, has implored the Commission to extend the date for the continuous voter registration to capture more electorates.

Comrade Omirinde made the appeal during the OSUN DEFENDER visit to some registration centres in Osogbo and its environs to witness the just concluded registration exercise.

He noted that the electorate trooped out enmasse to participate in the registration.

According to him, “the huge turnout of electorate at the wards visited was a strong reason for the Independent National Electoral Commission to extend the exercise by few days”.

The observer noted that since the commencement of the exercise on April 11th, to the last day, he was impressed with the large turnout.

He also added that it would be helpful, if the exercise is extended for more days by INEC to capture more electorate.

At the various places visited in Alekuwodo and Oke-Fia, the people yearned for more extension of the registration exercise.

A community leader in Oke-Fia, PA Isaac Ayoola observed that the electorate came out in large number for registration in the area.

An INEC registration officer at Alekuwodo Mr. Ademola Olusola noted that peoples’ turnout to register for their permanent voters’ card in the unit was impressive.

Another INEC registration officer, Azeez Ayoade want INEC to give more time to attend to electorate who wanted to register for their permanent voters’ cards across the state to enable them participate in the future elections.

INEC Takes PVC’s Campaign To Rural Communities In Jigawa

The Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC ) in Jigawa has taken its campaign on acquisition of Permanent Voters’ Card ( PVC ) to rural communities.

Alhaji Bilal Sabo, the INEC Officer in Gwaram Local Government Area of the state disclosed this at a stakeholders meeting on Wednesday.

He stressed the need for rural dwellers in the state to acquire the PVC to enable them exercise their civic right.

He urged Traditional Rulers in the area to enlighten their subjects on the need to acquire their PVCs ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Sabo was quoted by the council’s Information Officer, Malam Nasiru Yusif, as saying the commission had so far registered 7,650 voters in the area in ongoing nationwide Continues Voters Registration ( CVR ).

“The Gwaram LG INEC office has so far registered 7,650 electorates,’’ he said.


INEC To Employ Ex-Corp Members As Ad-hoc Staff In Sen. Melaye’s Recall

The Independent National Electoral Commission has indicated that former members of National Youth Service Corps will be employed as ADHOC staff to execute the ongoing recall of the senator representing Kogi West senatorial district, Mr. Dino Melaye.

This information was contained in a letter signed by the Kogi State Resident Electoral Commissioner, which was obtained by newsmen.

“As part of preparation for the conduct of signature verification exercise for the recall of Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, there is need to engage interested ex-corpers as AVPOD/RPOS”, the letter partly reads.

The commission further said that the ex-corps members must be those who were discharged from 2015 to date.

As part of requirements, applicants are to attach the photocopy of their NYSC Discharged certificate along with an application letter addressed to the Resident Electoral Commissioner, INEC, Kogi State Headquarters through the Electoral Officer.

According to the letter, the notice of application lasted for just five days, April 11 to April 16, 2018.

It will be recalled that the electoral commission has fixed the last Saturday of April for the commencement of the recall of the Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye after getting a court ruling to carry on with the recall process of Senator Dino Melaye.

INEC Swears In Seven New RECs

Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC ) has sworn in seven new Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) bringing the total number of serving RECs in the commission to 33.

Performing the ceremony on Tuesday in Abuja, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, expressed confidence that the new RECs would contribute to the commission’s determination to make 2019 general elections the best in the country.

He said “with the track records of service in the academia, public service and private sector, it is gratifying to note that the new RECs made positive contributions to the society in various ways.

“I am equally delighted to note that some of you have managed elections at national level as RECs.

“I am confident that you will bring to bear on your new assignments, the experience of the recent past that will contribute to our determination to make the 2019 general elections our best elections in Nigeria.”

Yakubu advised the new commissioners to maintain openness and consultations, as well as be firm and courageous in carrying out their new assignments.

The chairman disclosed that in addition to the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections, the commission would be conducting four bye-elections this year to fill vacancies.

These, according to him, include Takum state constituency in Taraba, Lokoja/Koton-Karfe Federal Constituency in c, Bauchi South Senatorial District, and Kastina North Senatorial District in Kastina State.

The INEC boss reassured newly registered voters in the ongoing nationwide Continuous Voter Registration ( CVR ) of getting their Permanent Voter Cards ( PVCs ) before the 2019 general elections.

He added that “we have consistently reassured the public that for those who registered in 2017, their PVCs would be available for collection in the first week of May 2018.

“Those who registered in the first quarter of this year, that is between January and March, as well as those who are registering right now in the second quarter of this year, would collect their cards thereafter.”

Yakubu also reassured the public and those who applied for replacement of their PVCs that their cards would be available for collection before the 2019 general elections.

Read Also: Wanted: An ‘independent’ INEC

“For those who registered in Ekiti and Osun in 2017 and 2018, priority attention was given to the production of their PVCs, such that all the cards would be available ahead of the July 14 and Sept. 22 governorship elections,’’ he said.

Responding on behalf of the new RECs, Mr Segun Agbaje, representing Ekiti State, pledged the new commissioner’s readiness to justify the confidence reposed in them.

He said “by the grace of God, we shall finish well.”

He expressed confidence in the leadership of Yakubu, saying “with your style of leadership, we would
not be surprised if 2019 elections turned out to be the best elections in the country.”

The new RECs are: Mr Baba Yusuf and Mr Segun Agbaje, representing Borno and Ekiti states for second term.

Others are Dr Uthman Ajidagba, Kwara; Yahaya Bello, Nasarawa State; Dr Emmanuel Hart, Rivers; Mohammed Ibrahim, Gombe and Dr Cyril Omorogbe, Edo.


Fayose Calls For Extension Of Voters Registration Exercise

The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has called for an extension of the Voters Registration Exercise in the state.

The governor after inspection of the just concluded exercise complained about the number of people yet to be registered.

He said, ”I’ve gone round to monitor this exercise and I observed that people came out in large number but unfortunately INEC did not deploy enough personnel and registering systems for this exercise.

“I plead with INEC to add more days so as not to disenfranchise all these people from voting in the July 14 governorship election”.

INEC is, however, saying it cannot extend the exercise as it has to prepare adequately for the July 114 governorship poll.

The spokesperson of INEC in the state, Mr Taiwo Gbadegesin explained that the primary aim of the exercise is to accommodate those who attained the age of eighteen after the last exercise and people who were indisposed while the previous exercise lasted.

The commission believes those who are well above the age of 18 have no excuse not to have registered, adding that multiple registrations will be discovered and discarded.

”Some have lost their cards and are going ahead to register again instead of following the procedure laid down by INEC. But I must say that there is no double or multiple registrations that will scale through” Gbadegesin said.

In its effort to enhance the franchise of eligible voters in the state INEC designated 177 registration centres across the sixteen local government areas of the state for this registration exercise.

Only one person was however assigned to each of the centres to handle the registration.

Mantu’s Confession: Charlyboy Leads Peaceful Protest to INEC

Maverick showbiz star and musician, Charles Oputa, aka Charlyboy, yesterday, led the Ourmumudondo group on a peaceful protest to the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja over Senator Ibrahim Mantu’s alleged poll-rigging confession.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the protest, which took place in Abuja, was to urge the electoral body to prosecute Mantu on electoral malpractices over his recent ‘poll-rigging confession.’

The group said the protest was to remind the INEC that Mantu’s incidence is an opportunity for it to demonstrate its resolve to prosecute electoral offenders and sanitise the electoral system.

Its National Secretary, Raphael Adebayo, alleged that Mantu, a former deputy president of the senate recently revealled how he helped his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to win elections in the past.

“The Ourmumudondo Movement deems it imperative to ask the INEC to immediately initiate the prosecution of Mantu.

“Ibrahim Mantu, who was a senator on the platform of the PDP, recently confessed how he rigged elections during an interview on a live programme aired on a private television channel.

218,000 PVCs Still Not Collected In Ekiti – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC ) in Ekiti on Wednesday said that 218,000 Permanent Voter Cards ( PVCs ) were yet to be collected in the state.

The commission said this just as it formally issued a “Notice of Election”, which stated that the governorship election would hold in the state on July 14.

It said that this was in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Law.

The INEC’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Alhaji Taiwo Gbadegesin, disclosed this at a public enlightenment forum in Ado Ekiti.

He, however, said that not less than 500,000 PVCs had far been collected by their owners.

Gbadegesin advised those who were yet to pick their PVCs to do so, saying that they would be disenfranchised during the forthcoming election without the PVCs.

He said that the 500,000 PVCs already collected by would-be voters did not put an end to those that would be qualified to vote in July.

He said that the PVCs for those that registered between April 2017 and date  were yet to be delivered to the state from its national headquarters in Abuja.

The INEC image-maker said that the cards would be distributed to their owners as soon as they were delivered to the Ekiti State office of INEC.

Gbadegesin said that university students and youth corps members, who had completed their stay in the state and had since left, might be those who had not collected their PVCs.

Alternatively, he said that the commission was also suspecting persons who might have done double registration.

They might be afraid that they could be arrested if they showed-up at the state office of INEC for collection, he said.

Gbadegesin said that the commission would still sensitise would-be voters ahead of the election.

The PRO also called on the various political parties to sensitize their followers and party members on the need for them to collect their PVCs.