INEC News Bulletin
CVR: INEC DEBUNKS RUMORS OF EXTORTION
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Enugu state has refuted an allegation that the Commission’s staff were extorting money from citizens to get registered in the on-going Continuous Voter Registration exercise in the state. It advised citizens not to pay money to anyone before and after being registered.
Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Enugu, Emeka Ononamadu, made the clarification, in a statement signed and issued yesterday.
The statement said the Commission’s attention had been draw to a video circulating on social media platforms, suggesting that some registrants were asked to pay money before they were registered – an act it strongly condemned and assured that investigation into the allegation was ongoing.
“INEC Enugu state wishes to dissociate its self from the claim as there was no time or circumstance that could warrant any INEC registration officer or staff to demand from any registrant.
“INEC has taken steps to unravel the allegation and those behind the act by setting up an investigation panel whose outcome and report will be made public immediately it is ready.
‘’INEC would appropriately punish any staff found culpable of extorting registrant because all materials required for a hitch free Continuous Voter Registration have been provided”, the statement explained.
The Commission reassured citizens that the CVR exercise, which includes transfer of voter details, replacement of lost and defaced Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) remain free.
VOTE BUYING: INEC CHAIRMAN WANTS IGP TO CHECK TREND
Concerned about the growing trend of voter inducement by politicians at polling units, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), to check the worrisome practice.
The INEC Chairman made the call when he played host to the IGP and his team, at the INEC Headquarters in Abuja, today.
He said: “there is something that is extremely worrisome to INEC and that is open vote buying at polling units. We have seen that in more recent elections. This is a violation of the electoral act, it is malpractice and you (the Police) have the responsibility to ensure that this practice is stopped forthwith. Our democracy can never be on sale to the highest bidder, ours is a democracy and not a plutocracy for the rich”.
“I would like to appeal to the IGP, as we approach the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections and as we move to the 2019 General Elections to pay particular attention to this disturbing practice. We will be happy if the police will deploy Special Forces beginning with Ekiti and Osun to ensure that what transpires at the polling units is nothing but the will of Nigerians,” he added.
Professor Mahmood expressed optimism that the level of cooperation and synergy between INEC and the Police would help address the issue of voe buying and reiterated that only the votes cast by citizens would determine who wins the elections and not the inducement of citizens by the use of cash at polling units during elections.
The INEC Chairman also disclosed that the Commission would make available to the Police, the locations for the CVR exercise at the Ward Level in Ekiti and Osun states, as well as locations where the Polling Units would be situated in order to enable the Force carry out threat assessments so as to plan adequately to forestall any possible threat to peaceful elections.
He reeled out some of the vital statistics for elections in the two states where governorship elections would be conducted 14th July and 22nd September 2018, respectively. He said: “elections in Ekiti would hold in all the 16 LGAs of the state, across 177 wards and 2,195 Polling Units. In Osun, the elections would hold in each of the 30 LGAs and 332 wards, and 3,010 Polling Units”.
Professor Mahmood recalled some of the key activities contained in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections released since October 2017. “In the case of the Ekiti governorship election, the notice of the election will be posted on the 4th of April 2018 and thereafter, campaigns by Political P arties in Ekiti will commence on the 15thof April, while the Conduct of Party Primaries will take place simultaneously with the commencement of campaigns from the 15th of April to 14th of May”.
“In the case of Osun Governorship election, the notice of election will be pasted on the 23rd of June 2018, campaigns will commence on the 24th of June 2018 while the conduct of party primaries for the selection of candidates by political parties would hold between the 24th of June and the 23rd of July”.
“From the timetable we released, there would be overlaps, while campaign will commence in Ekiti on the 15th of April, campaign in Osun would commence on the 24th of June but the Ekiti election is holding on the 14th of July while the Osun election will hold on the 24th of September,” he added.
Earlier in his remarks, the IGP of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, said the visit was in continuation of the consultation and synergy between the Police force and INEC.
He noted that as the lead agency involved in election security, “We are here as a continuous consultation with INEC in the preparations for the coming elections. I want all of us to be aware that from July and September this year, we are going to conduct some elections in Ekiti and Osun states. Thse consultation will be a continuous exercise till we conduct the 2019 general elections.
KOGI WEST SENATORIAL RECALL VERIFICATION EXERCISE TO HOLD APRIL 28
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has scheduled the Verification exercise for the Recall of the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Dino Melaye for April 28, 2018.
This was carried in the Timetable and Schedule of Activates for the Recall exercise contained in a statement signed and issued by the Secretary to the Commission, Mrs Augusta C. Ogakwu.
The recall process began yesterday, the 27th of March, 2018 with the posting of the Notice of Verification at the Commission’s Local Government Area office in Lokoja.
According to the Commission, the last day for the submission of application by interested observers for the exercise is slated for the 4th of April 2018.
The Commission also scheduled 20th of April 2018 for the last day for the submission of names of verification agents for the member sought to be recalled and the petitioners, while a Stakeholders’ Forum would be convened on the 25th of April 2018 at the INEC state office in Lokoja.
The Commission said the declaration of the outcome of the verification exercise would take place at INEC Local Government Area office in Lokoja on the 29th of April 2018.
The Timetable and Schedule of Activities was released by the Commission following a Judgment by the Appellate Court in Abuja delivered on the 16th of March 2018.
2019: INEC PLEDGES TO MAKE PARTY MANIFESTOS PUBLIC…TASKS MEDIA ON EQUAL ACCESS FOR POLITICAL PARTIES
As the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) pledged to make public the manifestos of all political parties ahead 2019 General Elections, the Commission appealed to media to provide a level field for political parties and encourage issue-based campaigns.
Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, made the appeal when he paid a courtesy visit to the Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Mallam Yakubu Ibn-Mohammed, in Abuja, Yesterday.
The INEC Chairman said: “as a body saddled with the responsibility of registering and regulating Political Parties, we would like equal access for all political parties in Nigeria. As far as the commission is concerned, all political parties are of equal standing with the Commission. We will continue to encourage NTA to continue to provide a level playing field for all political parties in Nigeria.
He stressed that as opinion molders, the media should focus on issue-based engagements with political parties and candidates rather than focus on personalities and platforms, in order to enable citizens to make informed decisions.
The INEC Chairman hinted that the Commission would soon upload Manifestoes of parties on its website to further assist the media in engaging parties on what they plan to offer Nigerians. “The Commission will very soon put up the manifestos of all political parties on our website, so you have access to manifestos in engaging with the political parties and candidates, ask them questions around what they want to offer the country rather than mundane issues.
“This we believe will also help convey the message of what distinguishes one political party from another and will also help us to focus more on issues rather than personalities,” he added.
The Chairman also spoke of the revamping the National Inter-agency Committee on Voter Education and Publicity (NICVEP) ahead the General Elections. He noted that the collaboration with the Media in the past on Voter Education and Publicity had greatly impacted on the success of elections and sought for deeper collaboration.
“As we approach the 2019 General Elections we also need to engage big time with the media so that we will all continue to be partners in the business of Voter Education and Publicity. The Commission is determined to activate what we call the NICVEP (National Inter-agency Committee on Vote Education and Publicity) which the NTA, other media organizations and professional media bodies are part of”, the Chairman said.
Professor Yakubu reiterated the Commission’s commitment towards ensuring that only votes cast by Nigerians would determine who wins in the 2019 general elections adding that the media has a role in entrenching the culture of free and fair election.
He commended the NTA for its fair and balanced coverage of the electoral process and urged the station to support INEC in engaging citizens to make informed choices during elections.
In his response, the DG, NTA, Mallam Ibn-Mohammed, assured of his organizations readiness to collaborate with INEC in deepening democracy. He said:” we are ready to partner with INEC, because for us in NTA, we have responsibility to ensure that every political party is given a level playing ground to participate and the voters are given the opportunity to make the right choices and the only way we can make this happen is for NTA to deal with political parties by stressing issues rather than on the personalities involved”.
He continued: “INEC has taken a very positive step towards making this possible for us by pledging to make available the manifestos all the registered political parties (to NTA). Once we have these manifestos, we will be able to know what each political party stands for and we will be able to question and take them to task on the issues contained in their manifestos rather than the personalities around which the parties are made”.
CVR: INEC TO DISPLAY LIST OF REGISTERED VOTERS MARCH 26TH
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would in accordance with Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) procedures, commence the display of list of citizens captured in the first quarter of 2018 of the exercise on the 26 of March 2018.
The 5-day display exercise which would end on the 20th of March marks the end of the first quarter of the CVR exercise in 2018; while the second quarter resumes in April.
The Display is aimed at giving citizens who registered from the 8th of January 2018 to the 23rd of March 2018, the opportunity to cross-check their registration details for possible corrections.
Chairman of the Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, made the disclosure when he paid a courtesy visit to the National Television Authority (NTA), Director General, Mallam Yakubu Ibn-Mohammed in Abuja, Yesterday.
He appealed to citizens to make good use to the opportunity to verify the details of their registration
“We hope that citizens will avail themselves of the opportunity to help us look at the register and draw the attention of the Commission to the presence of any ineligible persons so that we continue to tidy up the register,” he said.
The second quarter of the CVR exercise for 2018 would commence on the 3rd of April 2018.
EKITI AND OSUN GOVERNORSHIP ELECTIONS: INEC SET TO DEVOLVE CVR TO REGISTRATION AREA LEVEL
In conformity with its tradition of bringing the CVR exercise closer to citizens in states preparing for end-of-tenure Governorship elections, INEC would devolve the CVR exercise in Ekiti and Osun states to the Registration Area from Wednesday11th, April to Monday16th, April 2018.
The six-day exercise would afford more citizens the opportunity to get registered in both states, ahead of governorship elections in July and September 2018 in the respective states.
The Commission would then display the register of citizens captured within the 6 day period from Tuesday 17th April to Saturday 21st April 2018.