The Federal High Court, Abuja, will, on Jan. 20, 2020, deliver judgment in the suit seeking Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi’s disqualification over alleged double registration as a voter.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, who fixed the date after taking the arguments of all the parties in the matter, said there was the need to give it accelerated hearing.
Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello, on Friday, told the Federal High Court, Abuja, that he was ready to defend himself in the allegation of double registration framed against him by Natasha Akpoti.
Nigeria News Agency reports that Natasha Akpoti, Social Democratic Party (SDP)’s candidate in the Nov. 16 governorship election in Kogi, had filed the suit, seeking the court’s determination on the eligibility of Bello in the last election, having allegedly involved in double registration as a voter.
While Akpoti is the plaintiff, the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Governor Bello are 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively.
NAN recalls that the suit, dated Oct. 10 and marked: /1221/2019, was filed by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, on Akpoti’s behalf.
Edited & Vetted By: Sadiya Hamza
Edo election: Why collation is delayed — INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says that delay in the receipt of collated results of the governorship election from local government areas in Edo has delayed the collation at the state level.
INEC National Commissioner May Agbamuche-Mbu announced this on Sunday in Benin.
Agbamuche-Mbu, INEC commissioner incharge of Edo, Bayelsa and Rivers, is the commissioner overseeing the Edo election.
Addressing newsmen and party agents at the state collation centre, INEC headquarters, Benin, she said that results were still being expected from the 18 local government areas of the state.
She said: “This is to inform you all that we are still waiting for results from the local government areas.
“I am sorry we have to wait before we start collation. Only one local government has arrived in the centre.
“We are going to wait until at least, when results from seven local government areas arrive in the centre before we start.
“We do not want anybody to cast aspersions on us. So we are going to wait,”.
Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Kayode Olaitan
Edo 2020: Group commends INEC on equal access for PWDs
Mr David Anyaele, the Chairman of the group, said this on Saturday in its preliminary statement on the conduct of the election.
Anyaele however, said that although priority voting was given to the PWDs, the elderly and pregnant women, other disability support aids where missing at polling units which hindered full participation of the PWDs.
“EVA4PWDs is impressed to observe that marginalised sects such as the aged, nursing mothers and pregnant women and PWDs generally were offered priority voting in most of the polling units observed.
“However, we are disappointed that INEC displayed minimal commitment to the implementation of the framework on access and participation of PWDs in the electoral process, as provided in the National Disability Act, 2018.
“The promised Braille voters’ guide and Braille ballot paper by INEC for easy access of election day instructions, guidelines and ballot paper for Blind voters were scarcely available.
“Where it was available, many INEC ad hoc staff did not understand its usage but got assistance from observers on how to use the Braille materials.
“This was the case in Polling Unit 003, Car Park Ward 1, Oredo LGA, where an observer assisted in locating the Braille material.
“There was absence of magnified lens at the Polling Units, INEC ad hoc staff who claimed to have at some polling units were unable to neither display it for observation and usage,” he said.
An Observer said that other observers reported that the Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials such as Election Day instructions and guidelines to assist the deaf or persons with hearing impairment were also unavailable at majority of the PU’s visited.
Anyaele also said that reports showed that a large numbers of the PUs were not accessible to physically-challenged persons as they were sited at buildings without ramps and handrail, across gutters, and over staircases.
He noted that INEC Covid-19 guidelines were not adhered to in majority of the Polling Units visited due to uncontrolled large crowds.
“We have reports from areas like Greater Tomorrow High School, Oredo Ward 1, Ramat Park at Ikpoba/Okha, Oredo LGA, among other Polling Units, where the crowds were uncontrollably large,” he said.
Anyaele, however, urged INEC to address the major barriers identified in the Edo elections and make necessary provisions ahead of the Ondo State Governorship election slated for Oct. 10.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the group, in collaboration with the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), an NGO, trained and deployed INEC accredited observers to the three senatorial zones of the Edo State.
The observers focused on equal voting access for persons with disabilities and monitored the provisions made by INEC for PWDs. .
Edited By: Idonije Obakhedo
Edo Poll: PDP alleges move to replace election results in Edo North
The party in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja on Saturday alerted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Department of State Services (DSS) on the allegation.
Ologbondiyan said that the PDP urged its members to remain vigilant and follow their results to all the collation centers.
He also said that it cautioned the security agencies against being used to replace results already being declared at the respective polling units.
“Already, we are aware that results are being manufactured in Kogi state to be used as replacements for already declared results, particularly in Edo North.
“We draw the attention of INEC to such results being bandied by the APC, including the fake result claimed to have emanated from Etsako West, where a vote of 914 was allocated to the APC, as against the genuine declaration at the polling units.
“Whereas polling unit results are identified as Form EC8A, the results being paraded by the APC carry a fake identification number of Form EC60E.
He said that the PDP was alarmed by the report that the development had led to avoidable post-election violence, including reported killing of innocent Edo citizens.
He alleged that the victims had come out to perform their civic responsibilities as the police allegedly withdrew their men in certain collation centres.
Ologbondiyan called on the Inspector-General of Police to protect innocent Nigerians from the violent act.
“We charge the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to ensure that his officials are not compromised to replace results.
“The people of Edo state have spoken loud and clear with their votes in their respective units, and they are already aware of the authentic results,” Ologbondiyan said.
Reacting to the statement, Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, told the News Agency of Nigeria , that INEC was committed to following through its processes and procedures for a successful and credible election.
Okoye said that INEC officers were uploading the results on the commission’s Result Viewing Portal.
“The Commission is irrevocably committed to following through its processes and procedures.
“As at 18.49p.m. 702 results have been uploaded in the INEC Result Viewing Portal.
“Our Presiding Officers are uploading Form EC8A which is the Polling Unit Result.
“Presiding Officers must complete Form EC 60E (The People’s Result Sheet), and paste at the polling unit.
“We understand the challenges posed by poor network in some of our communities and our Registration Area Technical Assistants are working hard at overcoming the challenges.
“The Commission is focused on completing the process. The Commission is not interested in the outcome but focused on the processes and procedures,” Okoye said.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Donald Ugwu
Youth hold key to sustainable democracy – Ekiti APC chieftain
Captain Sunday Adebomi, a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Saturday said that the youth are critical toward achieving the desired democracy in the country.
Adebomi, an an ex-governorship aspirant in Ekiti, made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital.
He urged the youth to be more interested in active politics, remain focused, determined and ready to sacrifice to take their rightful positions politically.
Adebomi, who said that he joined politics to promote active youth involvement, noted that it was high time Nigeria youth shunned being blind followers to politicians.
“I found myself in politics and what really motivated me to go into politics was about the youth, our generation.
“Like I said, I have tasted a lot of things but to me, it’s like our youth can’t see clearly beyond their nose.
“They have been following politicians blindly without asking for what rightfully belong to them.
“Instead, they are praise singing politicians all because of little money they are getting from them.
“The younger generation should know that this is the time to stand up, time to be actively involved in politics.
“Time to prove that they can do better than our leaders if given the opportunity to serve.
“Our media houses misquoted President Mohammadu Bihari when he said that Nigerian youths are lazy.
“What he was only trying to say was that the youth were not standing up for their right.
“They are not fighting for what rightly belongs to them. He was trying to tell them that when he was like they he knew what he had done.
“All they need is courage, motivation, determination and prayers,” he said.
The Ise-Ekiti born APC Chieftain, urged the people of Ekiti to give Gov Kayode Fayemi-led administration the necessary support in order to consolidate on the achievements recorded and to further entrench good governance in the state.
He called on the aggrieved party members in the state to calm down, sheath their swords and reconcile their differences for future benefits.
“The only thing I am planning now is for Governor Fayemi and our Party, APC to succeed and the party to stabilise
“This is because it is only when the party stabilises, and the government succeeds, that anybody can plan anything.
“The only plan I have is to plead to whoever that is aggrieved, that feels ignored, to calm down,” Adebomi pleaded.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Donald Ugwu