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Many Shut Out As INEC Ends Voters’ Registration

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Nigerians waiting at one of the INEC centres

Despite spirited efforts, many Nigerians were unable to register for Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) as the exercise ended yesterday.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had ruled out the possibility of extending the exercise, saying it needs time to scrutinise the voters’ register to clean up possible incidents of double registration, print permanent voters’ cards (PVC), among others.

Some state governments had declared work-free days to enable residents to complete their voter registration exercise before the July 31 deadline.

However, our correspondents, who visited different registration areas yesterday, reported that many centres were crowded with many waiting in queue as of 6:00pm.

In the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), one of our correspondents, who monitored the exercise in Bwari, Dutse and some parts of Kubwa as well as Garki Area 10 in the city centre, reported that several people were unable to register as of 4pm yesterday.

Mr Martins Abah, a teacher in one of the secondary schools in Bwari, said if the electoral body stood by its July 31 deadline, many willing residents would not be able to exercise their civic right.

He appealed for the extension of the exercise.

Another resident in Kubwa, Mohammed Isah, said he came to the registration centre around 10am thinking many people might have gone to church but to his surprise, there were close to 300 people in queue when he arrived.

“I have been here since then, this is 2:17pm now and not more than 20 people have been attended to,” he said.

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But a man, who said he was attended to at Area 10 in Garki, blamed Nigerians for their rush hours attitude, adding that even if they extend the exercise, many will still complain.

Traditional rulers in the FCT had, at the weekend, pleaded for the extension of the exercise, claiming that many rural dwellers in the territory had not been captured.

Kaduna

Usman Suleiman, a resident of Kinkinau, Kaduna lamented that he couldn’t find a registration centre in the whole of Sabon Gari ward, which made him to give up.

Zayyana Surajo, a fairly-used cloth dealer at Sabon Garin Tudun Wada in Kaduna South local government area, said he was not happy that the exercise ended without him getting registered.

Muhammad Shehu Bakura, another resident, said: “I went to two centres at LEA Tudun Wada and Kaduna Polytechnic on Friday but nobody was there to attend to us.” 

Khadija Shehu Kakura said the crowd at some of the centres visited discouraged her from registering.

Kano

In Kano, many prospective registrants were still in the queue as of the time our reporter visited one of the registration centres at Tarauni Local Government Area of the state.

Many of those spoken to, however, expressed doubt that they would be able to register before the close of the registration.

At the Tarauni Local Government INEC office, Daily Trust observed that hundreds of people were still in the queue in anticipation to get registered.

It was the same situation at other registration centres in Kano metropolitan areas.

Prospective registrants said based on the pace of the exercise, it was practically impossible to register more than 10% of those still in the queue before sunset.

Speaking shortly after his registration, Abdulrahman Bala Kawu, said he was able to register after six hours of waiting in the queue. 

Amina Ibrahim, who was still waiting to register, said she had spent three days in a row without success.

A group of young women, who spoke to our reporter, complained that the process they went through was tedious.

“This is the fifth day we have been here, spending the whole day. We have gone to different registration centres. In some places, security men even beat us and shot teargas at us. We spent N500 everyday each for transport to come here. Honestly, we have really suffered and we still may end up not getting registered,” one of them said.

Lagos

Visit to some centres in Lagos revealed that party chieftains hijacked the process as they colluded with some INEC staff to manipulate the process.

At Oluwole centre in Ogba, Ikeja local government area, it was gathered that party chieftains gave out numbers to people.

A prospective registrant, Oreoluwa Phillip, who visited the centre on Friday, said she left in annoyance owing to the manipulation.

“I got there as early as 6:32am but I was given number 107 while some people who just arrived got number 5. We learnt that party members have taken the number 1-100, so we were left with numbers from 101. Sadly, there is only one computer and the process was slow,” she said.

Daily Trust gathered that some of the approved centres in Lagos were not open to the public yesterday.

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When our correspondent visited one of the centres on Agu-Are street, Ijanikin, INEC staff were not on ground.

Hundreds of people, who stormed the place with the hope to beat the deadline, were disappointed and went back home disappointed.

One of the residents, who identified himself as Emeka said: “No INEC staff was on ground to attend to people. Ago-Are is among centres approved by INEC for PVC registration.”

Imo

In Owerri Municipal Council, many prospective registrants forgo their church services as they thronged registration centres as early as 5am.

Ngozi Nweke, a resident, said she had been visiting the centre since last Monday, but had not been able to get registered.

In Nwangele local government area, a staff of INEC, who spoke anonymously, blamed the slow pace of the exercise on network failure.

He said, “Another problem is that most people who are here don’t have any business being here. They would’ve done theirs online, especially those who want to change registration points or areas.”

Residents of Port Harcourt in Rivers State also expressed concern over their inability to register for PVC.

A Port Harcourt resident, Chuks Nwama, told our reporter that all efforts to obtain the voters’ card were unsuccessful.

“Since last week, I have been making efforts to obtain the card but it was very difficult. On Monday and Tuesday, I left my house about 5.00am to the INEC office located at Aba Road. I was there from 5.am to 5.00pm, I couldn’t get registered,” he said.

Another resident, Pastor Emmanuel Chukwu, said he could not stand the pressure of standing in a long queue to obtain the card.

A public affairs analyst, Toyin Ajayi, reminded Nigerians that INEC has to work with its scheduled time table for proper planning, adding that frequent extension of such exercise might interrupt the arrangement.

He advised INEC to assess their schedule time table and take appropriate decisions regarding the requested extension by some Nigerians in the overall interest of the country.

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Court to hear ‘certificate forgery’ suit against Tinubu Sept 7

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A federal high court in Abuja has fixed September 7 for the hearing in a suit seeking the disqualification of the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, from contesting in the 2023 elections.

The plaintiffs, four APC chieftains, are asking the court to rule that Tinubu is ineligible to run for president in the 2023 presidential election as the party’s candidate because he allegedly submitted false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In a 33-paragraph affidavit in support of the suit deposed to by one Ibiang Miko Ibiang, the plaintiffs averred that Tinubu falsely swore to an affidavit in 1999 in which he claimed to have attended St Paul Aroloya Children Home School, Ibadan -1958-64, and Government College, Ibadan -1965-68 and presented the same to INEC.

Tlaintiffs said the deposition was untrue. They claimed in his INEC form for the 2023 elections that Tinubu refused to include any information about his primary and secondary schools in order to hide the alleged false information he gave INEC.

The plaintiffs are praying the court to determine “Whether having regard to the provision of sections 1 (3); 4(1)and 2; 14(1),(2)(a), and (c)and 42(1)(a)and (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the provision of section 29(5)of the Electoral Act, 2022 as enacted by the 4th defendant which modified the provision section 31(5) of the Electoral Act,2010(as amended) is not ultra vires the 4th Defendant and therefore unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatever.

“Whether having regard to the decision of the supreme court in the case Modibbo Vs Usman (2020) 3 NWLR(PT.1712)470 and the provision of section 137(1)(j) the 3rd defendant has not presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the 1st defendant and thereby disqualified from participating in the forthcoming 2023 presidential general election,” they said.

Upon the favourable determination of the questions, the plaintiffs are asking for “a declaration that the 3rd defendant (Tinubu) has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the purpose of seeking to be elected into the office of president of the federal republic of Nigeria”.

“A declaration that the 3rd defendant stands disqualified from participating in the 2023 presidential election as a candidate of the 2nd defendant has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the purpose of seeking to be elected into the office of the president of the federal republic of Nigeria.

“An order disqualifying the 3rd Defendant from contesting or participating in the forthcoming 2023 presidential general election as a candidate of the 2nd defendant.

Ruling on an ex parte application, Ahmed Mohammed, the judge, granted an order for substituted service on Tinubu after the plaintiffs’ counsel, Goddy Uche, told the court that substituted service has become necessary because all attempts to serve the presidential candidate proved abortive.

The court ordered that court processes should be served on the national secretariat of the APC and that such service shall be deemed as having been properly served on Tinubu.

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I Left APC Because My Rival At Primaries Abused My Father – Buhari’s Nephew

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President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, Fatuhu Muhammad

Honorable Fatuhu Muhammed, a nephew to President Muhammadu Buhari, says he dumped the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) because his rival abused his father.

Daily Trust had reported how Muhammed, son of Buhari’s elder brother, exited the ruling party.

The lawmaker, who represents Daura/Mai’Adua/Sandamu Federal Constituency of Katsina State in the National Assembly, failed to secure his re-election ticket after polling 30 votes, while Aminu Jamo, his rival secured 117 votes.

Since the primaries, there have been clashes between the camps of Fatuhu and Jamo.

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Speaking with one of our correspondents last night, Muhammed said he left APC because his rival abused his father.

“I received an audio recording where their candidate (Jamo) called my father, Alhaji Mamman Dan Baffalo, by name and abused him. Alhaji Mamman Dan Baffallo and President Buhari are of the same father and mother.”

“Out of the 26 children born by their father, they are the only males that are from the same father and mother. So, abusing my father is abusing the president.

“So, I said since the issue has gone beyond politics to denigrating the dignity of my parents, I cannot take it any longer, and it is not binding on me to stay in the party, so I decided to leave,” he said.

Daily Trust

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APC Denounces ‘Vote-manufacturing’, Unveils Omo-Agege’s Running Mate

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Deputy Senate President and Delta APC Governorship candidate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege

PA chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Hon Victor Ochei, has said that the era when politicians and political parties could speak authoritatively about winning a coming election was over due to the reforms in the electoral process, particularly by the new Electoral Act in the country.

Ochei, executive director at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said the new electoral law would prevent the “manufacturing of votes” by political parties.

The former speaker of the Delta legislature stated this while fielding questions from journalists in Asaba shortly after formally unveiling the APC 2023 deputy governorship candidate, Hon Friday Osanebi, before the leaders of the party in Delta North senatorial district at a meeting held in Asaba on Saturday.

 On APC’s taking over Delta from the PDP in 2023, the former speaker said, “Well, at the end of the day, Deltans will decide. I’m not sounding boastful because there are no longer times when a political party can beat its chest and say it will win an election; because with the new Electoral Act, it’s one-man-one-vote. You don’t have votes being manufactured anywhere like it was in the past.”

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He added, “Having said that, I do know that Deltans have a choice – they will have a choice in 2023 – and they will definitely vote for the APC.”
The meeting, attended by various party leaders, also had in attendance candidates for national and state assemblies positions in the 2023 general election.

Before proceeding to a closed-door session, the party leaders stated that “the real game” had just begun as the APC was “on a rescue mission” in Delta, which the PDP allegedly mismanaged since the return to democracy in 1999.

Ex-Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and the Director-General of Delta State APC 2023 Governorship Campaign Organisation, Godsday Orubebe, assured that the APC would the victory of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege in the 2023 governorship election.

Orubebe lamented although he was “one of the most loyal members of the PDP,” he was not accorded much respect, especially with the refusal of the party to zone the 2023 governorship to Delta South senatorial district before the gubernatorial primary election.

Thisday

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