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National assembly blocks electronic transmission of election results

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National assembly blocks electronic transmission of election results
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The national assembly leadership has blocked the proposed electronic transmission of election results in Nigeria,CHRYSORA MEDIA learned

The lawmakers are set to pass the electoral act amendment bill, but the amendment dashes the hopes of key reforms that would come with the proposed law, according to a copy of the final bill obtained by TheCable.

The bill which seeks to repeal and re-enact the 2010 electoral act has been under consideration for years.

In 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari refused to sign it into law after arguing that it would disrupt the conduct of the 2019 elections.

Amid efforts to pass the bill early enough for the next round of general elections in 2023, the joint committees of the senate (INEC) and the house of representatives (electoral matters) set up a technical committee to work on the proposed amendment.

Among the committee’s resolutions is that voting in an election and transmission of results under the act shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

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But the provision, contained in section 50 (2) of the bill, was modified by the leadership of both chambers in the approved version to read: “Voting in an election under this Bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the Commission, which may include electronic voting, PROVIDED that the Commission shall not transmit results of elections by electronic means.”

INEC CAN’T NULLIFY ‘FORCED’ DECLARATION

Despite several complaints by INEC over its lack of power to withhold certificates of return for candidates declared election winners under duress, the national assembly removed a recommendation that empowers the commission to do so.

In 2019, the electoral umpire withheld the certificate of return of Rochas Okorocha, who it claimed was declared winner of the Imo west senatorial election under duress, but an Abuja court ruled that the electoral body has no such powers.

INEC subsequently asked the national assembly to grant it such powers in the amended electoral act, arguing that “declarations and returns must be made voluntarily and not through duress and other unwholesome practices”.

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The power was granted with an additional provision in the proposed amendment — only that the provision did not make it to the final version obtained by TheCable.

National assembly blocks electronic transmission of election results

Section 65 (1) of the proposed amended act states that the decision of the returning officer shall be final on any question arising from declaration of scores of candidates and return of a candidate “provided that the Commission hall have the power within seven days to review the declaration and return where the commission determines that the said declaration and return was not made voluntarily or was made contrary to the provision of the Law, Regulation and Guidelines, and Manual for the election”.

However, the provision was deleted in the final version of the bill, effectively stripping the commission of powers to refuse to issue a certificate of return to a candidate where the returning officer was forced to declare him or her the winner.

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LIMIT ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION EXPENSES TRIPPLED

Despite public outcry on the need to regulate election expenses to give room for candidates and political parties with little financial strength, the federal lawmakers decided to jack up the expenses for a presidential candidate by 200 percent.

Section 88 of the proposed amendment had put a limit of N5 billion and N1 billion for expenses to be incurred by a presidential and governorship candidate respectively.

Senatorial and house of representatives candidates also had a spending limit of N100 million and N70 million respectively.

But the approved version to be passed by the lawmakers raised the limit of election expenses for a presidential candidate to N15 billion while that of a governor was raised to N5 billion.

Senators and house members were also restricted to N1.5 billion and N500 million expenses respectively.

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2023: Fashola Debunks Rumor Of His Presidential Ambition

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2023: Fashola Debunks Rumor Of His Presidential Ambition
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2023: Fashola Debunks Rumor Of His Presidential Ambition

Speaking at the inauguration of a 969-metre `Rebisi’ dual carriage flyover in Port Harcourt, on Saturday, Minister of Works and Housing, by Mr Babatunde Fashola, who made the pronouncement also said that the Federal Government “is not in competition with any state’’ of the federation over project implementation.

The Media Office of the Hon. Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has urged well-meaning people to disregard the invitation of some Groups, operating under The Nigeria Project 2023, purportedly to the inauguration of a Support Group for the Minister and the Governor of Borno State over the 2023 elections.

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The social media was awash at the weekend with a poster from the Group allegedly presenting the Honorable Minister and the Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum as Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates respectively of an unnamed political party.

According to the statement issued by the Minister’s media office “Ordinarily, the poster and the various social media reports almost instantly orchestrated on its account would have been ignored as the handiwork of mischief-makers. However, it became necessary to issue this disclaimer for two key reasons”.

“The first of such was to answer with a strong negative to the numerous inquiries from right thinking and well-meaning Nigerians on whether the Honorable Minister had been contacted or if the Groups had his consent in issuing the invitation”.

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2023: Fashola Debunks Rumor Of His Presidential Ambition

Without equivocation, no individual or group has contacted the Honorable Minister for or on behalf of The Nigeria Project 2023. As Honorable Minister, Mr Fashola is currently focused on leading his dedicated Team in the Ministry of Works and Housing to deliver on the mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari for an expanded and upgraded road transport infrastructure; and affordable Housing nationwide in order to achieve economic growth and prosperity for the citizenry.

Secondly, is the fact that entities unknown to a political party cannot present candidates on behalf of such a political party. As a ranking and loyal member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the individual and groups cited as promoters of The Nigeria Project 2023 are unknown to the APC and the Honorable Minister.

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Against the backdrop of the foregoing, the Honorable Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN urges members of the public to be wary of the antics of unsolicited individuals and Support Groups whose real intentions remain questionable. Every support possible should be given to the efforts of the current administration under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to deliver a better nation for all.

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Buhari, APC Campaign Insincerity Produced Insecurity – Lamido

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Buhari, APC Campaign Insincerity Produced Insecurity - Lamido
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Buhari, APC Campaign Insincerity Produced Insecurity – Lamido

A former Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, has blamed the growing insecurity, especially in the northern part of Nigeria on the failure of the regime led by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and the ruling All Progressives Congresses, to fulfil their campaign promises.

According to Lamido, Buhari and the APC allegedly lied to raise the hopes of Nigerian youths and take power from the Peoples Democratic Party.

He said failure to meet their aspirations is a major cause of restiveness in the country.

Lamido spoke while featuring on Sunday Politics, a current affairs programme on Channels Television.

He said, “What is the root causes of the security problems in Nigeria? Why are our own children – children who are under 25 – taking arms against their own kits and kin, going to villages to harass them, take over their livestock, burn their houses and even rape their women? What is the problem? This cannot alone be moral decadence? What has gone wrong?”

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The ex-governor partly added, “Above everything else, it is about leadership. Leadership is very important. On the issue of Zamfara, why is the state becoming the hub of terrorism in Nigeria. Why?”

Responding to a question on the similarities between the terrorists in the North-East and bandits in the North-West, Lamido stated that crime was crime no matter the location or those involved.

Buhari, APC Campaign Insincerity Produced Insecurity – Lamido

He added, “The issue is that the government must be held accountable and I don’t want to sound too political, it is a matter of life. Attaining political power, the process must be very credible; it must be very transparent. A leader should be able to say, ‘I want to be in government because I will do this, this and that.’ When you ignore this and begin to tell lies and malign and blackmail others…

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“When it was their time to get power in Nigeria in 2014 (ahead of the 2015 elections) and (they came up with) their ‘Change’ mantra … They knew they were telling lies. But for then, it was about getting the power. If they get the power, then they begin to ask, ‘what do we do?’ So, the process and the platform must be very honest; it must be very credible.

“It is this character of telling lies to the young generation. When you raise their hopes in trying to get government, and you are in government, by the time you fail to fulfil their needs, of course, there will be problems. So, these are simply the political consequences if telling lies in campaigns.”

ALSO READ:  INEC's Position On Electronic Transmission Of Election Results In Nigeria

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INEC Worries About IPOB “No Election” Order In The Southeast

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INEC Worries About IPOB “No Election” Order In The Southeast
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INEC Worries About IPOB “No Election” Order In The Southeast

….Says if there is no election, there will be constitutional crisis

The Independent National Electoral Commission says it is “deeply concerned” about the situation in the South-East especially as it concerns threats to disrupt the elections in the zone.

INEC also explained that there could be constitutional crisis if it (commission) was unable to conduct general elections in the region.

It said it was clear that election would not be organised under chaotic conditions.

The Chief Press Secretary to the commission’s chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, disclosed this in an interview with our correspondent on Friday.

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The proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra had threatened that no election would hold in the entire South-East zone (Imo, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi and Abia states) till it achieved its agitation for secession from the Nigerian state.

Simon Ekpa, a self-acclaimed disciple of Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB leader, had also said the governorship election in Anambra State slated for November 6, 2021, would not hold.

Ekpa, in a tweet on his Twitter page, said a no-election order would be activated by members of IPOB.

Oyekanmi, however, said INEC had been engaging with security agencies on the platform of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security.

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He said the commission and the security agencies had been discussing and comparing notes on the security situation across the country generally.

As regards the South-East and particularly Anambra State, he expressed the hope that through collaboration, the security situation in the region would be brought under control.

Oyekanmi said, “The commission is deeply concerned about the security situation in the South-East. It is an established fact that INEC cannot carry out electoral activities under chaotic conditions.

“God forbid that INEC is unable to conduct such elections at the appointed time because this will lead to a constitutional crisis. The constitution did not envisage that such elections will not hold.

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“With regard to the Anambra governorship election scheduled for November 6, we are aware of the various efforts by the security agencies on the one hand, and all the men and women of goodwill in the region on the other, to calm things down.”

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