INEC may start e-voting with Anambra governorship election 2021 – Newstrends
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INEC may start e-voting with Anambra governorship election 2021

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The Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu on Wednesday hinted the much totuted Electronic voting in the country may begin from the Anambra State gubernatorial election slated next year.

Prof. Yakubu dropped the hint while speaking with newsmen shortly after 2021 budget defence session before the House Committee on Electoral Matters.

He stated that about 40 companies had demonstrated on e-voting to the commission but a decision was yet to be reached.

He said, “They have demonstrated. The next stage is for the commission to decide. So, its too early to tell you the cost or when the process will be concluded.

“But we’re determined, we are going to deploy electronic voting machines, or electronic ballot machines in elections, possibly we commence with the Anambra Governorship elections next year. ”

The INEC boss, however, declined to speak on what the country is to expect from him as the INEC boss during his second tenure saying “I have not been confirmed by the Senate yet, wait till I’m confirmed, then I will tell you what to expect from the Commission.”

There was however some bickering on as the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, made to present its 2021 budget proposal to the House Committee on Electoral Matters.

Immediately after the Chairperson, Hon. Aisha Dukku, delivered her opening address, the Chairman of INEC made to commence the outlay of the 2021 proposal, but a lawmaker, Solomon Bob, (Rivers) under a point of order noted that it would be pointless and counterproductive to do such.

According to him, the 2020 budget performance is the real kernel of the matter.

He recalled that throughout 2020, there was no oversight of the INEC due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, he said it was imperative to know how the appropriation given was utilized before other funds would be given.

But the Chairperson of the Committee, Aisha Dukku, ruled him out of order, saying as the chairperson of the committee, she had the prerogative to structure the order of events.

But after the presentation of the 2021 proposal, Uzoma Abonta (Abia PDP) and Yusuf Tajudeen (Kogi PDP) insisted on asking questions on the 2020 budget performance of the organisation.

They said if the INEC was not comfortable with discussing issues in the open, they should go into a closed door session.

The Chairperson capitulated and all the commissioners, directors, the Permanent Secretary, journalists and aides to lawmakers in the committee room were asked to leave, with only the INEC chairman and the lawmakers remaining.

One of the national commissioners who were asked to stay outside, Mr Festus Okoye, however, told journalists that there was nothing strange about the committee opting to meet with only Yakubu behind closed doors.

He said, “They have their own rules; they set their own rules so we have to comply. They can invite only the chairman for a meeting, so there is nothing strange in what is happening now.”

The INEC boss had earlier informed the committee that the commission had to revert to its special fund, created under section three of the Electoral Act, in order to meet its mandates, due to a drastic reduction of its budget after the review.

According to him, its initial budget of N40bn was reduced to N36bn, when the commission was already in the middle of implementation, and so had to draw N5.2bn from the INEC Fund in order to deliver on its mandate.

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Court stops Rivers PDP From holding state congress

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Court stops Rivers PDP From holding state congress

A Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt has issued an injunction preventing the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from conducting its state congress in Rivers State.

The court’s decision effectively bars the PDP from holding the congress, pending further proceedings.

The court issued the order in response to a lawsuit filed by a group of plaintiffs, including Hon. David Chiinedu Omereji, Hon. Prince Solomon Eke, Isodoye Tobin, Goddy Manfred Pepple, Okiah Precious Chigozirim, Hon. Orolosama Peter Amachree, Goodfriday Nweke, Alfred Letam, Hon. Wechie Ndubisi Raymond, Mrs. Erebie Michael, and Hon. Ogenma Idalunimulu, against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its national officials, namely; National Chairman; National Financial Secretary, and National Organising Secretary.

The lawsuit, with the suit number PHC/2282/CS/2024, was filed at the Rivers State High Court.

Justice Sobere Biambo, the trial judge, heard the application for an interim injunction filed by the aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on July 15, 2024.

The applicants, represented by Eberechi Adiele (SAN) and S.O. Orlu, Esq., sought to restrain the defendants, including the PDP national officials, from conducting the party’s congress in Rivers State, scheduled for today.

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After considering the submissions of the learned counsel for the claimants/applicants, Justice Biambo is set to determine the application.

The hearing took place at High Court 13, Port Harcourt, with the judge carefully reviewing the arguments presented.

“IT IS ORDERED: That an order of interim injunction is hereby issued restraining the defendants and each of them, either by themselves servant, agents, assigns or otherwise however from holding or carrying out the People Democratic Party (PDP) Congress in Rivers or be rescheduled to be held on any other date or any other location.

“That an order interim is hereby issued stopping or suspending the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Congress in Rivers State scheduled to be held in Rivers State on the 27th of July, 2024 or to be held on any other date or any other location pending the determination of the motion on notice already filed.

“That an order interim is hereby issued restraining the defendants by themselves, servants, agents or otherwise howsoever, from taking any decision or giving any directive to further extend howsoever the already expired tenure of the last State, Local Government and Ward Executive Officers of the People Democratic Party(PDP) in Rivers State.

The Court adjourned till the 19th of July, for the motion on notice already filed.

Court stops Rivers PDP From holding state congress

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Intervene in APC chairmanship tussle, group tells Tinubu

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Intervene in APC chairmanship tussle, group tells Tinubu

A pressure group within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to intervene in the party’s ongoing chairmanship dispute. This comes amid renewed pressure from North Central stakeholders seeking to reclaim the party’s chairmanship position.

The North Central Reality Movement (NCRM), led by its national chairman, Ibrahim Muhammad Rabiu, expressed these concerns during a press briefing. Rabiu highlighted that the insistence on Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje as chairman erodes grassroots support in the North Central Zone.

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Rabiu warned that this issue could negatively impact the party’s performance in the 2027 general election. He pointed out that internal party crises, particularly in Zamfara, result from the current national leadership’s inability to resolve disputes effectively.

He cited the example of the South-South zone, which replaced Dr Betta Edu as a Women’s Leader, and questioned why the North Central zone was not given a similar opportunity when the former chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, resigned.

“We are appealing to the president to stabilise the party by ensuring the North Central reclaims its leadership position. This will help resolve the ongoing crises before the 2027 elections. As we speak, if not for FCT Minister Nyesom Wike, who was even appointed from a different party, none of our appointed APC leaders have given us infrastructural campaign tools for 2027,” Rabiu added.

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LP warns NLC to stop demarketing Peter Obi

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Peter Obi

LP warns NLC to stop demarketing Peter Obi

The Labour Party (LP) Directorate on Mobilization and Integration has cautioned the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) National Transition Committee (NTC) to cease undermining the party and its 2023 presidential candidate, Peter Obi.

The Directorate reaffirmed Julius Abure as the legitimate National Chairman of the LP, as confirmed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the party’s highest decision-making body. They urged the NLC NTC to respect the reconciliation efforts initiated by Obi or to seek legal redress if they have any grievances.

This response comes after an unsigned statement allegedly released by the NLC NTC, which described Abure as the former National Chairman of the Labour Party and instructed party stakeholders to boycott planned congresses in Anambra, Imo, Delta, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

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In a statement on Monday, Marcel Ngogbehei, the Director General of the LP Directorate on Mobilization and Integration, criticized the NTC’s statement as “childish, malicious, and misleading.” Ngogbehei emphasized that the NLC has no authority to establish a transition committee for any political party in the country, calling their actions alien to the law and suggesting they test their constitutionality in court.

The Directorate highlighted the NTC’s divisive nature and urged Labour Party supporters to ignore their tactics. Ngogbehei encouraged LP stakeholders to remain focused and attend the upcoming party congresses as announced by the Abure-led National Working Committee (NWC).

The Labour Party also accused the NLC NTC of collaborating with the government to weaken opposition parties like the Labour Party and prevent them from holding the government accountable. The statement said, “NTC has become a destructive agent seemingly working for the government to eliminate any perceived opposition structures in the country; the citizens are groaning under government policies that have left Nigerian workers poorer. Rather than the current NLC learning from the Oshiomole years of courageous leadership and engaging the government to protect the interests of Nigerian workers and citizens, they are busy meddling in political party affairs, attempting to demarket the only true opposition party in the country.”

LP warns NLC to stop demarketing Peter Obi

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