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INEC retrieves, re-issues over 70 certificates of return

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday said it had withdrawn and re-issued over 70 certificates of return after the 2019 general elections.

Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner, Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, said this at an electoral reform round-table organised by the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room and the Kofi Annan Foundation in Abuja.

Okoye said that one of the biggest challenges facing the commission is the large number of pre-election matters that are still pending in various courts of law.

“As at today, the commission has a total of 809 pre-election matters while we have just 800 post-election matters, so the implication is that we have more pre-election matters than post-election.

“As at yesterday, the commission has withdrawn and reissued over 70 certificates of return that were previously issued to those who were elected into the various states and national assembly positions.

“There are more that we are still withdrawing and more that we are still re-issuing, some of these things arose from the not too transparent party primary elections that were conducted by the various political parties.

“It is really a source of concern that up till today, there are still a number of cases arising from pre-election matters in courts,’’he said.

Okoye said that one of the things the commission is looking at is whether the fourth alteration to the Constitution of Nigeria would properly address the issue of pre-election matters.

He said this is because the fourth alteration, gave the court of first instance a total of 180 days within which to determine cases and issues arising from pre-election matters.

“But 180 days from the period of the conduct of party primary elections and the end of substitution period dovetailed into the conduct of elections and even beyond.

“This more or less distorts what the commission’s activities and also puts it on edge in terms of knowing which political parties would be on the ballot and which would not,” he said.

He said that the commission is looking at a situation where it could shorten the regime of the determination of pre-election matters to make it possible for it to have some level of sanity before going into any major election.

Okoye said that the issue of the number of political parties is also a challenge because the ballot papers are getting longer and the result sheets are getting bigger and creating a big challenge for the voters.

He said that the number of political associations waiting to be registered are more than the existing ones adding that if they are registered Nigeria would have over 200 parties in 2023 elections.

“So I think we need to have a national conversation to see whether we really need the number of political parties in existence in the country or not,’’Okoye said

He called for the necessary reforms to be put in place.

The European Union Ambasador, Mr Ketil Karlsen said that the union made recommendations from its election observations not to castigate Nigeria but to instigate reforms to strengthen the electoral process.

Karlsen said that four years is not a long time to begin electoral reforms and urged the nation to consider a wider form of reform to enhance inclusiveness especially of women.

“We will partner together with all stakeholders for the purpose of improving our laws, we will begin now and not wait till the end of our tenure to start it,’’ Wase said.

Edited by Ali Baba-Inuwa

 

 

Politics

Kogi: Aspirant tells APC to conduct fair primary

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Mr Mohammed Audu, a governorship aspirant in Koginon the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged the National Working Committee of the party to conduct a fair process of selecting its candidate for the Nov. 16 Kogi governorship election.

Audu, son of former governor of Kogi,  Abubakar Audu, gave the advice while speaking with journalists in Abuja on Monday.

Nigeria News Agency   reports that the National Working Committee of the party had on July 5, 2019 approved indirect primary to elect the party’s candidate for the election.

The party’s primary is slated for Aug. 29,2019 in Kogi and Bayelsa.

According to Audu, if the party carries out transparent,  free and fair process of selecting its candidate,  it stands a chance of victory in the  Nov. 16 Kogi governorship election.

The aspirant, who said that the party  had a factional and paralleled executives in Kogi, said that direct primary would address the issue of paralleled executives because it would allow every card-carrying member to participate in the primaries.

“I can assure you that if there is free, tranparent and fair primary, the outcome of the Nov. 16 governorship election will be acceptable,” he said.

ADA/KAY

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Edited by Kayode Olaitan

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Politics

Lagos Assembly rejects 3 Sanwo-Olu’s cabinet nominees, confirms 35

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The Lagos State House of Assembly, on Monday, confirmed 35 out of the 38 nominees of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for appointment as Commissioners and Special Advisers in the state.

The House rejected three of the nominees, Ms Adekemi Ajayi-Bembe, Mr Obafemi George and Prince Olanrewaju Sanusi, during the confirmation at its plenary.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the confirmation followed the presentation, debate and adoption of the report of the House’s 16-man ad hoc committee for the screening of the nominees.

NAN also reports that the report was laid and presented by the Chairman of the committee, Mr Rotimi Abiru, the Chief Whip of the House.

The committee had, on Aug. 1, commenced the screening of the first batch of the cabinet list comprising 25 nominees and concluded the exercise on Aug. 3.

The committee also resumed the screening of the second batch of the nominees on Aug. 15 and completed the exercise on Aug. 16.

The confirmed nominees were Mr Tunji Bello, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, Dr Wale Ahmed, Mrs Lola Akande, Prince Olanrewaju Elegushi, Mr Hakeem Fahm, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, Mr Afolabi Ayantayo and Mr Samuel Egube.

Others were Mrs Bolaji Dada, Mr Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, Mr Olusegun Dawodu, Mrs Solape Hammond, Arch. Kabiru Abdullahi, Mr Olalere Odusote and Mr Aramide Adeyoye.

Dr Frederick Oladeinde, Mr Olatunbosun Alake, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), Prof. Akin Abayomi, Dr Rabiu Olowo, Dr Idris Salako, Mr Bonu Solomon Saanu, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, and Mr Oluwatoyin Fayinka were also confirmed.

Others included Princess Aderemi Adebowale, Mrs Shulamite Adebolu, Mrs Toke Benson-Awoyinka, Mr Adetokunbo Wahab, Mrs Ajibola Ponnle, Mrs Yetunde Arobieke, and Ms Ruth Olusanya.

The remaining confirmed nominees were Mr Gbenga Omotoso, Mr Oladele Ajayi, Mr Joe Igbokwe.

Before their confirmation by the House, the Speaker, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, invited each nominee for brief introduction during plenary.

During the exercise, the nominees promised to serve the state conscientiously in whichever portfolio assigned to them by the governor.

After a voice vote on each nominee by the Speaker, the House confirmed 35 out of the 38 nominees as commissioners and special advisers-designate.

Obasa said: “In pursuant to the Section 192 subsection 2 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the House now confirms the appointment of the following governor’s nominees.”

The speaker directed the Clerk of the House, Mr Sanni Azeez, to forward the list of the confirmed nominees to Gov. Sanwo-Olu.

He said that the governor could still re-nominate those rejected by the House, if he so desired.

The House adjourned plenary until Aug. 27.

Edited by Tayo Ikujuni and ‘Wale Sadeeq

 

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Monach advises APC on choice of candidate for Kogi gov poll

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The Ohinoyi Ebira, Alhaji Ado Ibrahim has advised the All Progressives Congress (APC) to let the interest of the peope guide its choice of candidate for the Nov. 16 governorship election.

He made the charge in Okene on Monday while receiving retired Admiral Usman Jibrin, a governorship aspirant of the party in his palace.

Ibrahim also warned the party to guide against in fighting, saying it would amount to self destruction.

“The APC hierarchy should come together, resolve the differences among members and righteously come out with the most credible candidate to represent the party at the polls.

“APC should avoid in fighting, sit down and resolve the problem. Be righteous in your choice, for righteousness exalt a nation. You should ask for nothing but the best for the state,” he said.

Ohinoyi lauded Jibrin for his love for the state and the citizens, saying that he came from a disciplined professional background where nothing but the best was accepted and celebrated as the norm.

“Many of the ex-military officers holding brief on different assignments are doing their best in the country. This is because in military, best is meant for the best, ” he said.

He implored the APC aspirant to be positive, decisive and prayerful and not to see other aspirants as enemies but as brothers.

Earlier, the APC governorship aspirant had told the monarch that he joined the race in response to many distress calls from different parts of the state.

”Distress calls by the people on the challenges bedevilling the state forced me out of retirement to embark on this rescue mission.

“My people have suffered enough, I came from a profession that detest non-payment of salary. It’s only in Kogi that payment of salary is seen as an achievement.

“The Federal Government has been releasing funds to the state in different ways, besides the statutory funds, but unfortunately nothimg on ground to reflect this,” he said.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the APC primary election to decide the party’s standard bearer in Nov. 16, guber poll is slated for Aug. 29.

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Bayelsa election: PDP has no preferred aspirant — Makinde

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Aspirant

Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Screening Committee for Bayelsa and governor of Oyo State  Mr Seyi Makinde, says  the party has no preferred aspirant for its primary election in Bayelsa.

Makinde said this while speaking at the screening of PDP aspirants for Bayelsa on Monday at Wadata Plaza, Abuja.

Makinde  noted that the  committee  would be fair to all governorship aspirants from the state to ensure that the party went into proper election strong and united.

“We don’t want a situation whereby our party will go into the election with a divided house.

“We want to go into the election as one big family that we are, with a view to retaining the state,” Makinde said.

He expressed  optimism that PDP would continue to remain a strong and united party, even after the primaries.

A governorship aspirant, Mr Timi Alaibe speaking with newsmen at the venue of the exercise, called on party  delegates in the state to think deeply while making  decision on aspirants to cast their votes for.

“Delegates should be clear in the decision to ensure that they vote for who will understand the need of the people.

“Those who have experience, those who have capacity,” he said.

Another aspirant and  incumbent Deputy Governor of Baylesa,  retiref Rear Admiral John Jonah, expressed satisfaction and confidence in the  committee.

“I have the confidence that they will deliver. I am sure of clinching the ticket,” he said.

Mr Joseph Erico, governorship aspirant from Kogi, alsonexpressed confidence in the committee and the outcome.

Asked if he was sure of successful passing through the exercise, Erico said if it was to go by merit he would be the party’s candidate.

Another aspirant in Kogi, Mr Musa Wada, said that from the screening, there was clear indication that PDP had changed.

Wada said if elected,  he would change the narrative of governance in Kogi.

The only female aspirant from Kogi, Grace Adejo, who commended the process, said that being the only female aspirant gave her more motivation in the process.

“I never see myself as a lady, the most important this is to dislodge the incumbent.

“The woman angle is an added advantage. I have the education, the experience and qualification to bring development to Kogi.

Adejo pledged to create jobs, promote women empowerment and unity within the state.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the exercise was being held at two separate venues simultaneously.

Aspirants from Bayelsa were undergoing screening at the party’s National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza, Wuse zone 5; while aspirants from Kogi were being screened at Legacy House, the party’s presidential campaign office in Maitama.

The Chairman of the Screening Committee for Kogi is the Governor of Taraba, Darius Ishaku.

As at the time of filing this report, other governorship aspirants were still undergoing screening at both venue.

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I’m contesting to redefine governance in Bayelsa, says aspirant

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Mr Preye  Aganaba, a Bayelsa governorship aspirant on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) says he is contesting to redefine governance in Bayelsa.

Aganaba said this on Monday at a news conference shortly after submitting his expression of interest and nomination forms at APC National Secretariat in Abuja.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the ruling party would hold primaries to select its flag bearer on Aug. 29.

Aganaba, who said that any mode of primaries adopted by the national leadership of the party would be accepted by him, observed that direct primary would clear the doubt for everyone.

He expressed confidence that the party would conduct free and fair primary election.

Aganaba said that in respect to the principle of power rotation in the state, should be the turn of Bayelsa Central to produce the next governor of the state.

Asked if a former Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr Heineken Lokpobiri, is a threat to his gubernatorial ambition, Aganaba said he could not a threat.

“We need somebody that anybody can work with; the reality is that we are on ground, Bayelsa wants a fresh face across party lines, someone without baggage,” he said.

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