The highest number of people who took part in the Continuous Voter Registration between the months of April and September 2017 was recorded in the South-South geopolitical zone.
This is according to the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who also disclosed that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was already probing the commission’s officials in 20 states over alleged electoral fraud.
He said this during a quarterly consultative meeting with journalists in Abuja on Tuesday.
Regarding the prosecution and probe of 205 of its officials for allegedly receiving part of the N23bn reportedly disbursed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani-Alison Madueke, the INEC boss said he would continue to cooperate with the EFCC.
Yakubu said the last report given to him by the EFCC involved 16 states. He said the EFCC was already probing INEC officials in 20 other states
He said, “I want to say that this is the first time in the history of our elections that in one fell swoop, 205 officials were disciplined based on the interim report we received from the EFCC covering 16 states.
“Under the terms and conditions of service what we can do is to interdict them which means placing them on half salary and suspending them from work until their innocence or guilt is established. The last report covered 16 states and only last week I heard they had started prosecuting them.
“However, after receiving the report, we had a discussion with the EFCC and told them that for the outstanding 20 states, they should not submit any interim report to INEC but just prosecute them.
“Once they are taken to court, we activate the provisions of the terms and conditions of service. Whatever we need to do we will do even if it means getting rid of everybody in the commission and recruiting afresh for the purpose of the 2019 elections. We are committed to doing so.”
Giving a breakdown of the Continuous Voter Registration conducted between April and September 2017, the INEC boss said about 667, 103 persons registered to vote in the South-South geopolitical zone. The zone comprises Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers states.
The South-West came in second with 532,172 persons registered to vote while the North-West, which has seven states, had a combined 477, 056 registered voters.
The North-Central came in fourth with 374, 923 while the South-East which has five states recorded 352,942 voters.
In the North-East, 350,398 registered within the same period.
Rivers State recorded the highest number of registered voters at 151, 398 while Lagos came second with 144, 076. Ondo recorded the lowest number with 29, 766.
In total, about 2, 786, 405 persons registered to vote between April and September. However, only 108, 752 had come forward to claim their cards.
Yakubu said eight million voter cards remain unclaimed.
Yakubu lamented that out of the eight million PVCs were unclaimed nationwide, Lagos accounted for about one million.
He said, “Some of you will also recall that Lagos has recorded the least collection of PVCs not in terms of numbers but in relation to the numbers that registered. Out of the eight plus million PVCs still uncollected nationwide, over a million are uncollected in Lagos.”
The INEC boss said the voter apathy in Lagos was worrisome as various strategies employed by INEC seemed not to be working.
He said the last two by-elections in Lagos had recorded very low turnout.
The INEC chairman said the commission was ready for the Anambra governorship election which comes up next month.
He said over 6,000 smartcard readers would be used for the election
The INEC boss said the commission would not be discouraged by the legal obstacles it was facing in the process of recalling the Kogi-West lawmaker, Senator Dino Melaye.
Yakubu said constituents had the right to recall anybody they wanted to in a democracy.
The INEC boss also warned politicians seeking to run in 2018 and 2019 to stop campaigning as this was in contravention of the Electoral Act.
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )
Address Nigerians over #EndSARS protests – Senate urges Buhari
The Nigerian Senate has called on President Buhari to urgently address the nation so as to douse the tension in the country.
This comes as hoodlums continue to carry out various attacks on #EndSARS protesters and others in some parts of the country.
The Senators made the call for President Buhari to speak to the Nation after a motion was moved by Senator Biodun Olujimi and co-sponsored by all Senators on the ongoing nationwide protests believed to have been hijacked by hoodlums.
Part of the resolution of the Senators after deliberation include:
-Urge all tiers of government to put in place and sustain policies of social economic reforms that raise the standard of lives of our people;
-Call upon the Police to operate strictly in accordance with the rules of engagement appropriate in a democratic environment;
-Urge the Inspector General of Police to ensure a holistic comprehensive reforms of the police to increase the overall welfare including training and medical insurance of all members of the Nigeria Police Force
-Appeal to all Nigerians to resort to use of legal institutions to resolve disputes and conflicts;
-Urge the Nigerian youths and the Nigerian citizens to approach the National Assembly Committees Constitution and Reforms in order to secure far-reaching holistic amendments that are vital to the restructuring of our federation
-Urge the Federal Government to faithfully and comprehensively implement all the five demands of the #EndSARS movement and protesters with necessary timelines to rekindle confidence in government
-Appeal to #EndSARS movement and protesters to kindly in the interest of everyone stop their actions and embrace genuine dialogue; 7. Urge Mr. President to address the nation as soon as possible on these issues.
-Police should make it a duty to accompany protesters and should be involved in protecting genuine protesters.
IGP Deploys Personnel Over Attacks On Police Stations
With the rising violence in the country, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu has ordered the immediate deployment of anti-riot police personnel from the Police Mobile Force (PMF).
This is a move to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians and secure critical national infrastructure across the country.
The IGP’s order was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Force spokesman, Frank Mba.
Mba said the IGP also “ordered massive deployment of Police operatives to strengthen the security around Correctional facilities nationwide.”
“The orders are coming on the heels of increasing attacks including acts of arson and malicious damage to public and private facilities as recorded in some states of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).”
#EndSARS: Address Nigerians Now – Senate Tells Buhari
The Nigeria Senate has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately address Nigerians on the ongoing #EndSARS protest rocking most parts of the country.
The Senate gave the directive during its plenary on Tuesday.
The lawmakers also ordered the Nigerian police to protect all #EndSARS protesters to prevent hoodlums from hijacking their genuine action.
The Senate also urged #EndSARS protesters to halt their march to enable the federal government to meet their demands.
The Senate asked President Buhari to set up a judicial panel of inquiry made up of eminent Nigerians that would be respected by the youths to identify the notorious SARS operatives and ensure their arrest and prosecution.
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