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Ekweremadu canvasses for early primary to avoid the impasse in Imo by-election

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Ekweremadu canvasses for early primary to avoid the impasse in Imo by-election

The impasse in the recently conducted Imo North senatorial by-election whereby the candidate that won the election is not known even though INEC declared APC winner is an anomally that the new electoral act ammendment and the constitution review should take care of, former deputy senate president Ike Ekweremadu has said.
Speaking at the joint public hearing on the bill for an act to repeal the electoral Act No. 6, 2010 (as ammended) and Enact the Independent National Electoral Commission Act, 2020, he said, “Election took place in Imo State in one senatorial district, as we speak now nobody is sure who won the election. INEC just said APC won. The matter is still controversial because of last minute primary and the litigation that dragged on till election.
“The other issue is about early primary some of the problem today is that INEC is overburdened at the time of election.
“If we allow the political parties to do their primary a year or six months before the election. It will give INEC enough time to plan.”
He said some of the issues being raised have been there since 2007 adding that they are essentially not new. The electoral process is as dynamic as the society itself.”
On the issue of electronics voting and transmission of results he said, “This has been a reoccurring request from the public but we have been very circumspect in dealing with this issue since the 6th National Assembly.
“For some reason I will like to share with you so that as we finalise this work on this we would be informed about some of the concerns regarding this. “One is that as an inflating economy we believe that it doesn’t make sense to have too many bureaucracies and that there are existing bureaucracies that can deal with certain circumstances without over burdening the economy itself.
“Some of our suggestion is to ammend the constitution to accommodate electoral offences under the jurisdiction of the Federal High court by ammending section 251 of the constitution to include electoral offences as part of the powers or jurisdiction of the Federal high court.
“The essence of doing that is that we will not be creating additional bureaucracy. Secondly it confers some confidentiality on the commission because when you get the commission we have seen sometimes its abuse by the Government in power because it may be answerable or considerate on the Government of the day and it becomes a tool in the hands of the Government against the opposition.
“So the essence is to allow the Federal High Court to have jurisdiction to try elwctoralnoffences and they will make provision for time lines within which those offences must be concluded.
“The other issue is the issue of section 252 regarding electronics voting. The history of the section is with the 6th Assembly as well, in 2008 they started working on the electoral act and it was passed eventually in 2010.
“At that point I recalled we worked with the civil society to insist that INEC is given some powers to try electronic voting when this was included at section 52 of the electoral act 2010 when the matter came to the senate there was so much agitation from our colleagues against that provision.
“Our colleagues said we should include that the use of electronics voting is prohibited.
“If you see the original content of the section 52(2) of the 2010 electoral act it is bold and clear that the use of electronic means is hereby prohibited. ‘Five years later we had a few converts and five week to the election we were able to pass an ammendment section 52(2) empowering INEC to use electronics means where possible.
“I believe what we have in the present effort is what we have in the ammendment in 2015. I think I will like to see that provision made more comprehensive to give INEC more powers this will include the verification of voters, the voting and then transmission.”
He said he was in Edo state during the last election and one of the things that helped the election was the issue of the electronics transmission of results whic everybody applauded including the President.
“So I will like to see section 52(2) be ammended further to allow INEC do it not just in voting but also in transmission of results.
“I believe that is exactly what Nigerians will like to see and if not we will miss it in a long time. I believe the committees in the senate and the house with INEC and the civil society we will get it right in the present effort
“If you look at some of the provisions some of them have challenges when you juxtapose them against the contritution. “There should be a technical session between INEc the committees and civil society to interrogate some of these provisions against the provision in the constitution so that the courts will not have any reason to alter any of the provision when eventually passed.
“Again, some of the provisions should be left as guidelines for INEC otherwise we will overburden our constitution and the electoral act.
“I dont see any reason why the oath of confidentiality should be part of our law. This should be in INEC guideline. Whether he is adhoc or permanent it is not supposed to be part of electoral law.
“Already we have the law of affidavit so if you default you will be committed to perjury. There is no need again making the provision in the electoral act to accommodate this issue.” 

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2023 election: Group asks Tinubu to declare his presidential interest

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2023 election: Group asks Tinubu to declare his presidential interest

***offers N10M to support purchase of Tinubu nomination form

By Doris Ferdinand

A group under the aegis of Tinubulate Nigeria Agenda (TINA) is urging Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to as a matter of urgency declare for 2023 presidential election.

Director General -TINA, Alamoh Kehinde Samuel disclosed this in an inaugural world press conference held at Tinubu Support Group Office in Abuja on Saturday.

Kehinde said after much consultation, the group decided to throw their weight behind Bola Ahmed Tinubu and give their unrelenting support to him because they are convinced that he is competent to actualize the Nigeria of their dream.

The group further offered a dummy cheque of N10,000,000 to support Asiwaju’s purchase of presidential nomination form.

“Our group has concluded plans to present a cheque to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as support for the purchase of the expression of interest and nomination forms to run for the presidency, when the party commences the sales of form.”Kehinde said.

“As a show of our commitment, we wish to present to Nigerians, a dummy cheque of N10,000,000 as support in the purchase of Asiwaju presidential nomination form immediately the APC commences sale of forms, this is to demonstrate our commitment to this course which is critical to the development and progress of our dear country.

“Again, we are convinced beyond every reasonable doubt that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu possesses all the qualities, competence, capability, capacity and experience needed to actualize the Nigeria of our dream.” Kehinde added.

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INEC schedules Aba North/South Federal Constituency for Saturday 27th March 2021

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INEC schedules Aba North/South Federal Constituency for Saturday 27th March 2021

By Janet Samuel

The Independent National Electoral Commission has fixed Saturday 27th March 2021 for the conduct of the bye-election to fill the vacant seat for the Aba North/South Federal Constituency of Abia State.
Thia was contained in a statement that was issued by National Commissioner & Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.
The vacancy he said arose as a result of the death of Hon. Ossy Prestige, member representing Aba North/South Federal Constituency of Abia State in the House of Representatives and the subsequent declaration of vacancy for the Federal Constituency by the National Assembly.

He pointed out that the official notification for the election the commission said will be published on Monday 1st March 2021.
“Political Parties shall conduct their primaries between 4th and 10th March 2021 while the last day for submission of list of nominated candidates is at 6pm on the 16th March 2021.

“Political Parties shall submit the names of their Polling Agents for the election to the Electoral Officers of the respective Local Governments on or before 19th March 2021 and campaigns by political parties shall stop on 25th March 2021.

“The Access Code for the nomination forms shall be available for collection from 10th March 2021 at the Commission’s headquarters.

“Political parties fielding candidates for the bye-election should pay close attention to the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the conduct of the bye-election and conduct transparent and valid party primaries in line with the dictates of Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (As amended).

“We enjoin political parties to note that under section 31(8) of the Electoral Act, a political party which presents to the Commission the name of a candidate who does not meet the qualifications stipulated in the Constitution and the Electoral Act shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a maximum fine of N500, 000.00

“The detailed Timetable and Schedule of activities has been uploaded on the Commission’s website and social media platforms.”

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Secondus to APC: Fix the country rather than waste energy pestering Fani-Kayode, others to join your fold

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Secondus to APC: Fix the country rather than waste energy pestering Fani-Kayode, others to join your fold


Ahead of 2023, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Uche Secondus, has challenged the All Progressives Congress, (APC) to face the task of fixing the broken economy and insecurity of the country rather than the current illegal hunt for its members.

He spoke during a meeting between former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode and the party’s National Working Committee, NWC, in Abuja.

In his words, “We advise our brothers on the other side, especially some of these governors and leaders of APC that they should face the business of governance.

“Jumping around and looking for critical stakeholders of our party to poach will not resolve the issue of security or economy.

“They are aware that security has broken down, the economy has broken down. They should face that business for which they were elected.

“Our brother is firm and a man of his word. There is no amount of trick that will make him sway otherwise. He is firm with PDP and we are back to business while we prepare for 2023.

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