INEC official was caught with $10,000 on election day in Nasarawa, Atiku’s witness tells tribunal

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A witness for the petitioners from Nasarawa State,  Peter Alli, Tuesday told the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja,  that an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Abubakar Kaura, was found with a $10,000 on the day of election.

Ali, who said he was the ward collation officer for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), also alleged that the $10,000 was a bribe for the INEC officer to manipulate the outcome of the election results in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Under cross examination by INEC counsel, Yunus Usman (SAN),  Ali admitted he reported the matter to the police which he claimed was later transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Bureau for further investigation.

When asked if he knew whether anyone was charged for the said allegation,  he affirmed he did not know, adding that he does not have any report concerning the outcome of the investigation.

Further, Ali said the claim was not hearsay evidence, saying he personally witnessed the alleged $10,000 found in the custody of the INEC officer.

Also, the INEC counsel asked him if he signed form EC88 under duress. Responding, he said he signed it voluntarily mainly because his party won in the ward.

The witness also asserted that out of the 24 units in the ward, he was only able to receive results of 23 units excluding the unit where the allegation of bribing was allegedly perpetrated.

Other witnesses who testified for the presidential candidate the PDP in the February 23 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, and the party, posited Atiku was bonafide Nigerian.

Leading the team of the witnesses, a retired career diplomat, Ambassador Mabien Zamaki told the tribunal that Atiku was a Nigerian by birth and nationality, and was therefore legally qualified for the presidential … Read More...

Buhari’s victory manipulated by INEC, security agencies in north, Atiku’s witnesses Say

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All the witnesses called by the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and his party at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Abuja, Thursday, rubbished the result that produced President Muhammadu Buhari as winner of the February 23, 2019, election.

They described the return of President Buhari by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC as winner of the election as a big fraud, adding Buhari’s victory was stage-managed and aided by both INEC and security agencies.

The witnesses, who are from the northern party of the country, claimed in their testimonies that the election was poorly conducted with irregularities, cancellations and outright alteration of results in favour of the All Progressives Congress and Buhari.

The witnesses testified that in Kaduna and Borno States, high scores were fraudulently credited by INEC officials to Buhari and APC.

They said for this, some of them refused to sign the result sheets at the polling units, wards, local government and state levels.

The witnesses told the tribunal that in spite of restriction order on the election day people were transported from one place to another unchallenged, to vote for the APC.

They stated that their protests and complains lodged with security agents were ignored, making them to realise that the security agents were compromised.

The witnesses are Major Yahaya Sikko, Jafari Abas Ibrahim, Dr AbdulRaman Usman, Nicholas Msheila, John Makama, Khalid Yelwa Kugo and Adam Ali Sanni.

Sikko in his evidence in Chief on the alleged election malpractices in Kaduna State told the tribunal that wrong figures were accredited to Buhari and APC, making him to refuse to sign the result sheet as required by law.

The witness told the tribunal led by Justice Mohammed Garba that in his presence results were doctored by … Read More...

INEC applauds media coverage of 2019 general elections

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday gave kudos to the media for its extensive coverage of the 2019 general elections.

In an opening address at the ongoing meeting with the media in Lagos to review the 2019 general elections, Mahmud Yakubu, INEC chairman, said courtesy of the media, the 2019 general election was the most extensively reported story this year.
Appreciating the role of the media in the coverage of the elections, Yakubu said the media covered all the activities of the 2019 general elections effectively, from the continuous voter registration exercise to the conduct of party primaries through the build-up to the general elections and beyond. 
“Through the goodwill we enjoyed from the media, the 2019 general elections was the most extensively covered story this year. Even though we are in the middle of the year, I am sure there will be no other event that will be so extensively covered in 2019 like the general elections,” he said.
The review meeting is focusing on key issues and challenges arising from the conduct of the elections, including procedure for accreditation of media organisations/reporters; access to information on INEC and its officials before and on election day, and adequacy and effectiveness of public enlightenment and voter education.
Others areas of focus are conduct and experiences of voters on election day, especially people living with disabilities and other vulnerable persons, voter turnout, and conduct and experiences of party agents, security personnel, candidates and political parties.
Details soon…

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INEC seeks suggestions of EOs on electoral reforms

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called on Local Government Electoral Officers, EOs to make suggestions and give
advise on all the issues relating to the whole gamut of conducting elections to improve future polls.

This according to INEC is because preparation for general elections, movement of staff, opening of polling units, coordination of polling units activities on election day, reverse logistics are heavily dependent on the EOs.

INEC observed that anything that anybody is going to say about the conduct of elections in Nigeria is secondary to the kind of information it will get from EOs who truly conduct elections at the level that matters, which is the polling unit.

Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman gave these indications Monday at the opening of the post 2019 general elections review meeting with 380 EOs from 19 States in Abuja.

Yakubu acknowledged that before the conduct of elections, before the deployment of sensitive materials, before political parties conduct primaries; do their meetings, congresses and conventions, particularly for those who opt for direct primaries, it starts right from the ward level and the EOs will coordinate these for INEC.

He explained that the 380 EOs are first taken for convenience and the next batch would be taken in the next two days as the exercise is for the 774 EOs representing each local government area.

“Anyone who is familiar with elections knows that the work of the Commission at the headquarters is important. But actually equally important is the work of the Commission at the local government level for which the EOs play the most critical roles.
Anyone familiar with the way elections are conducted in Nigeria and has been to the field  will also appreciate what the EOs go through.

“You do a lot … Read More...

2023: INEC not yet decided on electoral reform mode

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it was not yet sure of the mode of electoral reforms it would embark upon ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The commission has continued to receive knocks from local and international observers over lapses which characterised the conduct of the 2019 general election across the country.

In its final report on the conduct of the polls, which it submitted recently, the European Union (EU) revealed that the 2019 election was marred by systemic failure, violence and intimidation of voters.

The report also stated that the low level of voters’ participation called for fundamental electoral reforms, and gave 30 recommendations on how to improve future electoral processes.

Several candidates from opposition parties said the general election was flawed across the country and disputed the results released by INEC.

The main opposition, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, have equally disputed the result of February presidential election, won by incumbent Muhammadu Buhari, and are seeking an upturn of the result at the tribunal.

However, speaking in an interview with BusinessDay, Wednesday, Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and chairman of the commission’s committee on information and voter education, said the commission did not know the mode of electoral reforms to carry out, but would rather wait till it completed its ongoing review of the election and interaction with stakeholders.

He however, admitted that the commission was aware of the need for a holistic reform before the 2023 election and regain the confidence of Nigerians in the electoral process.

“We have not decided what type of reforms we would have before the 2023 election, but we have started a review of the 2019 election. Most of our national officers are in states speaking with our state … Read More...