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We’ll never compromise the integrity of our elections – INEC *No supplementary elections



It will be against the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 to conduct supplementary elections in areas where violence did not substantially affect the final result of an election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said on Monday.

Reacting to the widespread violence reported in states like Lagos, Rivers and Delta, where thugs disrupted the process and destroyed electoral materials, the commission said the law provided that a review be carried out to ascertain the level of damage of the incidents to the final outcome.

Festus Okoye, spokesman of the commission, who gave the explanation, also said that INEC had started releasing accreditation data contained in the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) from the Presidential and National Assembly elections to political parties and other Nigerians who may be interested in them.

Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education, informed that the accreditation data had been stored in the Commission’s back end before the BVAS machines were reconfigured for last Saturday’s governorship election.

In an update of the conduct of the two sets of elections starting with the presidential and National Assembly on February 25 and the governorship and Houses of Assembly edition on March 18, Okoye, told reporters how one of its officers was killed during the governorship elections, but failed to give further details, except that a number of other INEC personnel were either abducted, harassed or being intimidated.

“We are still collating the data on the number of staff of the commission that were abducted. But we know that in two or three states of the federation, some staff of the commission were abducted. Some of them have been released; some of them are still facing various degree of threats. I am sure that by the time the collation of results ends, we will have a complete picture of the number of staff abducted and those facing one form of harassment or intimidation.”

Stressing on the supplementary elections, he added: “By the provisions of the Constitution, the Electoral Act and our rules and guidelines, there are various steps to be taken when certain things did not work right. For instance, Section 65 of the Electoral Act gives the Commission the power to review declarations and reports made if in the commission’s view, the declaration were made under duress or made in fragrant violation of the electoral act, the constitution and our guidelines.

“The commission can go back and conduct a supplementary election in an area if the commission did not mobilise to that location. If during the conduct of an election, the process was disrupted in certain places, the law says that if our processes and procedures are disrupted or resistance to the use of the BVAS, the Commission can give 0 score to that polling unit.

“In some cases, if results are cancelled in some polling units and during collation, we discovered that the margin of lead could affect the outcome of the election, we can go back and conduct supplementary election in those places. Whether we conduct supplementary election in an area is within the purview of the returning officer in that area.”

He said the commission had not completed uploading all the results of the Presidential and National Assembly elections on the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IREV), because it did not mobilise to men and materials to some areas because there were no registered voters in such pilling units, adding that out of the 176,606 polling units where elections were scheduled to place, some areas did not witness deployment and therefore results ought not be expected from them.

He also spoke of how the commission stored all the data before it reconfigured the BVAS, for the governorship and Assembly elections, saying: “We made sure that every data that was left behind in the BVAS relating to the Presidential and National Assembly elections was pushed to the back end for the purposes of giving those who want to go to court the opportunity of having the data of the back end of the commission relating to those that were accredited during the Presidential and National Assembly election.

“So, we don’t have any data remaining in the BVAS as at today relating to the Presidential and National Assembly election. Every data has been pushed to the back end and political parties and candidates have been applying for it and the Commission has been making it available to all those who are interested.”

Defending the commission’s conduct so far, Okoye further spoke on the general elections, saying: “In the fullness of time, we will still sit down to do both internal and external review and there is a possibility that we may come up with more measures to be taken to ensure that the type of glitches we experienced during the Presidential and National Assembly election does not repeat itself.

“We have left no stone unturned as far as the processes and procedures under the control of the Commission were concerned. However, for difficult and unforeseen circumstances outside the Commission’s control, we did our best to respond, especially where processes were disrupted by actors over whom we have little or no control.

“Such diabolical behaviour did not only affect citizens but also impacted on the Commission’s officials and processes. INEC staff, both regular and ad hoc were victims of violence. Some of our staff were abducted, harassed, intimidated, hospitalised and in one case killed. Nevertheless, where we could not deploy to enable citizens to vote, the Commission took the decision to remobilise to such places to enable citizens to exercise their franchise.

“Unfortunately, we could not extend the same to areas where voting was disrupted, and election materials destroyed. We are keeping our eyes on those areas and would not hesitate to remobilise where the outcome of the election is affected. At the moment, collation of results and declaration of winners for the 28 governorship and 993 State Assembly elections are ongoing nationwide. We are committed to the sanctity of the process and will not hesitate to take drastic measures against proven irregularities. Allegations of voter inducement, harassment and manipulation of results will be reviewed and addressed.

“Earlier today (yesterday), the Commission alerted the nation to the invasion of our Obingwa Local Government Area Office in Abia State by thugs during the collation of results for the governorship and State Assembly elections. In contention was the collated result from the Registration Areas for the governorship election in that Local Government Area.

“The intention was to force the collation of these contentious results. The behaviour of these thugs is unacceptable and there will be a thorough review of the results. The Commission does not take the patience of citizens for granted and will continue to take steps to protect the integrity of the vote and consolidate the progress made so far in the electoral process.”


BREAKING: All clear for Tinubu! S’Court dismisses PDP’s double nomination suit *Says, PDP a busy-body



For being a meddlesome interloper and a busy-body in bringing a case that was none of its business, the Supreme Court, on Friday slammed a N2million fine on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), over its suit demanding that the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 25 presidential election be vitiated.

The main opposition party, had claimed that Kashim Shettima, being a candidate in a Senatorial election in Borno and as well as the running mate to Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate in the election, amounted to  double Nomination, which is forbidden by the law.

Based on that, the prayed the apex court to declare the ticket null and void and the votes recorded for it in the election, through which they were declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), wasted, a prayer, which if it had succeeded, would pave the way for Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the party in the election to take over from Tinubu as the 16th President on Monday, when he is due to be inaugurated.

But the court, while dismissing the prayers, which originated from the Federal High Court Abuja, and travelled through the Court of Appeal, before it,  agreeing with the positions of the lower courts which dismissed them on the ground of lacking in locus standi to institute the case.

But, Justice Adamu Jauro who read the Judgement, not only held that the PDP acted as meddlesome Interloper and a busy body as it is an internal affair of the APC, ordered the main opposition party to pay N2milllion, for its troubles, after establishing that its arguments tended to misleading the court, which was “sad”.

The court, which said it was aware of the case of Uche Nwosu, former governorship candidate in Imo State, the court, held that it did not applay in the instant case, as it agreed that Shettima withdrew his senate nomination on 6th July 2022 and was subsequently replaced and therefore, was no longer a candidate for the Senate before he picked up the running mate ticket, thus, making the allegation of multiple nomination untenable.

On the other hand, the court, held that Nwosu in his case, got nominated by two political parties for different positions, and having not being on all fours, PDP suit, was bound to fail right from the trial court, to the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court.

Accusing the PDP of attempts to use the social media to set a trap for the apex court to blackmail it, which he said was “painful, unfortunate and uncalled for,” the court said a political party had no right to challenge the action of another party, or the decision of INEC, in respect of another party, adding that for a person to have locus standi to challenge the nomination process of a political party, the person must be a neutral person and an aspirant to that position, and a member of the party.

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Nigerians must allow the love they share abroad resonate at home – Obasanjo



Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is worried that the level of love Nigerians abroad share among themselves is not replicated at home, adding that a situation where they are quick to become friends outside and enemies at home, must be stop. The former President, who acknowledged how Nigerians in the diaspora were making the country proud in their different areas of endeavour, told participants at an evening reception held at New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA, that Nigerians in the diaspora must conduct themselves as good citizens wherever they domiciled.

Obasanjo, whose views were captured in a statement by, Kehinde Akinyemi, his spokesman, expressed satisfaction over the unity exhibited among Nigerians in the United States of America, urging them to reciprocate such togetherness when they are back home.

The former President, said to have spoken on behalf of a delegation of eminent traditional leaders and academics that included the Olowu of Owu Kingdom, Oba Saka Matemilola, was quoted as saying: “Nigerian nationals are often very united when they are abroad, but something else when they return to the country, therefore, I want to urge all to be good citizens, not only where you are, but when also you come home to Nigeria.”

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Uproar, social media exchange of fire, over Ooni’s handshake with Pete Edochie, KOK



The exchange of handshakes between veteran actors Pete Edochie and Kanayo O. Kanayo with Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyey Ogunwusi Enitan, has spurred a flurry of reactions on social media, The Nation, is reporting.

The paper, which reviewed the viral video shared on Thursday, where Edochie and Kanayo approached Ooni’s table at Elizabeth Jack Rich’s 40th birthday party on Tuesday and exchanged Igbo “cultural” handshakes with the monarch, acknowledged the different meanings being read into it.

Social media users on Twitter took to the comment section of the video with some knocking the actors for disrespecting the tradition by exchanging handshakes with the monarch, while others praised Ooni for showing respect to the Igbo culture.

Man of Letters said: “Igbakeji Oorisa?! It’s acceptable that he received the  cross-culture respect handshake with Pete Edochie because the man Pete carry, but what’s his excuse for doing it with Kanayo O Kanayo??”

Kelvin Odanz said. “Is this ceremony holding in the Ooni palace? I mean, if an Igbo man (from a culture that doesn’t bow to another man) meets the Ooni in the UK for instance, is it disrespectful if he chooses to greet the respected Oba in a way he was brought up to respect dignitaries?”

Another user Onyemauchi tweeted: “This man supposed be King for him community”

Another tweep tracesorba wrote: “Igbos don’t bow down to any man, An evolved or wise man is their our own Chi.”

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