Zakari’s appointment as INEC Collation Officer, a moral burden on Buhari, APC – Fayose


The immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has faulted the appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari as head of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC’s) Collation Centre for the general elections as a moral burden on President Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and INEC.

Since the appointment was announced, many Nigerians, especially the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have raised objection alleging that Zakari could use her position to favour the president and his party in the election, after it was being alleged that she is a niece to Mr. Buhari.

Though, the presidency had issued a statement to deny any blood relationship between the INEC officer and the president, PDP had openly doubted the integrity of the election if the woman remain with commission, and then called on the National Assembly to relieve her of her position as an INEC Commissioner.

That was also the position Fayose reinforced in his statement released on Saturday.

He disagreed with presidency and INEC on their defence of the controversial appointment, describing the efforts as further prove for alleged desperation to rig the February 16 presidential election for the president despite his alleged rejection by Nigerians.

“Even if Amina Zakari can be as impartial as she can be, now that Nigerians are thinking that there is a real likelihood of her being biased, she should excuse herself. More so that she is not the only National Commissioner in INEC,” Fayose stated.

The former governor also said though it is true that Zakari was originally appointed to the commission by the former President Goodluck Jonathan, the appointment did not take place when President Buhari was a candidate in an election.

“In fact, the President had even vowed never to run for the Presidency after the 2011 election. Now that he is a candidate and also a sitting President, fairness and equity demands that she should step aside from playing any role in this election”.

“Certain things can be good, but might not be morally right. This issue of Amina Zakari, a known relation of the APC presidential candidate, functioning as INEC head of collation centre is morally wrong.

“Therefore, the Presidency and INEC have the moral burden to prove to Nigerians that they are not in any way out to shortchange them.”

How I compromised elections for PDP – Mantu

A former deputy president of the Nigerian Senate, Ibrahim Mantu, has offered a vivid description of how he had in the past helped to compromise elections in favour of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Mantu, who was a guest on a Channels Television interview programme, Hard Copy, aired on Friday, said he was making the revelations to ‘confess the truth’.
The modus operandi, according to him, was to make money available for electoral officials, security agents and party officials assigned to monitor the elections, and let them be aware of what your interests are.
“I don’t have to go and change election (results) but when you provide money, you give money to INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) boys that if they see any chance they should favour you, you provide money to the security (personnel); I tell you it’s not necessarily when I am contesting election but when my party sponsors a candidate, I will like that candidate to win election,” he explained.
The PDP stalwart, who professed to be a born again politician in 2017, added that apart from ‘settling’ designated government officials at the election scene, he also gave out money to representatives of other political parties monitoring the elections to ensure that all loose ends were tightened up in case of any legal implications for the dastardly act.
He, however, opined that the forthcoming general elections in Nigeria could be free of fraud if people of his kind would decide to be ‘born again’ like him and be ready to shun election malpractices.
“We need good governance and good governance can only be provided by good people; good people who are truly repentant, who are concerned about the well-being of the people,” he said as he urged Nigerians to ensure they voted wisely in 2019 and support leaders who would make the welfare of the people a top priority of their administration.

INEC to create polling booths in prisons


The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission is working towards creating polling booths in prisons across the country to enable inmates cast their votes in the next general elections.

Yakubu made the disclosure in Abuja on Tuesday during a session with the Nigerian Civil Society Room Dialogue, a coalition of over 70 civil societies organisations across the country.

Though the INEC boss noted that not all the inmates will be allowed to participate in the exercise, he said the commission is already making arrangements with prisons authorities to ensure that those who meet the laid-down criteria were part of the 2019 elections.

“We have already engaged the Comptroller-General of Prisons and we have statistics on the number of prisoners nationwide and the number of inmates that are registered. We are looking at the possibility of creating polling units in the prisons and to enable some categories of prisoners to vote.

“Ghana does it but there are some categories of prisoners who by the nature of crimes committed lose the right to vote. Whatever we can do to open up the process to ensure that as much as possible Nigerians are given the opportunity to vote, will be done,” he said.

On the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State, Yakubu vowed that the commission would ensure everything within its powers to ensure that it is not inconclusive.

While making his remarks at the event, the Executive Director, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, and Convener of Situation Room, Clement Nwankwo, said the event was designed to determine the level of preparedness of INEC for Anambra State governorship poll and get the updates on other elections.

‘INEC not aware of move to recall Melaye’

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is not aware of any moves to recall Sen. Dino Malaye, representing Kogi West Senatorial District.
INEC Director of Voter Education and Publicity (VEP), Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, said this in an interview on Thursday in Abuja.
Explaining the processes involved in recalling an elected lawmaker, Osaze-Uzzi said that a petition signed by at least 50 per cent of the registered voters in that senatorial district must be submitted to the commission.
“It is only when the petitioners get 50 per cent of the registered voters that they can submit a recall petition to the commission.
“That is when INEC can commence the recall process, but we have not received such petition.’’
Osaze-Uzzi said that upon the receipt of such petition, the commission would also embark on a verification, to ascertain whether the recall petition was actually signed by registered voters in that senatorial district.
He said that in conducting the verification of the signatures, the commission would also need to inform the senator involved and the petitioner, to set a date for agents from both sides to be involved in the exercise.
“It is only when we are satisfied with that, we now go for a referendum. That is what the constitution states.
“For now, we don’t know if anybody is trying to recall him until a petition is submitted to the commission.’’
The director further said that the commission would notify the public if anybody or group was able to mobilise the required number of signatures and send a petition to the commission.
Meanwhile, Melaye had alleged that Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi had released N200 million for the reported ongoing moves to recall him.