The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, plan to speak very soon on the server controversy trailing the conduct and outcome of the 2019 general elections. Yakubu said since the server matter was an issue before the Presidential Elections Tribunal, he will speak after the final judgment on all petitions.
He, however, asked interested Nigerians to go and read the statements on oath by the petitioners and the defendants to have a full grasp of the issues surrounding the controversial server.
But INEC plans to create more Polling Units (PUs) for accessibility to make voting faster and easier for the electorate.
Yakubu said the swing in the nation’s demography has led to a population surge in some cities.
He said while the Federal Capital Territory has had 562 Polling Units since its creation, the population of FCT has doubled over the years.
The nation presently boasts of 119, 973 PUs in 8,809 wards in a country with 84,004, 084 registered voters.
Apart from Polling Units, the INEC chairman said delimitation of constituencies has become imperative.
Yakubu spoke at the conclusion of a session on the review of the 2019 General Elections with the media in Abuja.
Responding to a question, he said: “In our jurisprudence, you cannot comment on a live matter in court. The matter is subjudice but after the judgment, I will speak on the server issue.
“There are a lot of documents you have not got. There are statements on oath by the petitioners and the defendants. Go and read these statements on oath. It is actually prudent to go back and read the statements.”
n Yakubu’s view, trust in the electoral process is more important than technology.
He added: “In some countries, they will be campaigning till the election day because there is trust. But in Nigeria, we print ballot papers, entrust these ballot papers with the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) and distribution is always done with heavy security. So, here, it is a question of trust.
“Remember, some people attacked INEC offices in some states during the last elections because of ballot papers and other sensitive materials. Trust is key in any electoral process. The major difference between us and other countries is trust.
“I cannot remember any country in Europe that does electronic voting; they still engage in the manual process. Holland tried electronic voting but after 20 years, they reverted to ballot papers.”
Supreme Court rejects Zamfara APC request
The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a request by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to review its judgment in which it voided the participation of its candidates in the last elections in Zamfara State.
A five-man panel of the court, led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, in a ruling early on Monday, struck out the application marked: SC/377/2019 filed by the APC, seeking a review of the judgment.
The court rejected the effort by the lawyer to the APC, Robert Clarke (SAN), to take a second look at the decision given earlier this year.
BREAKING: Fashola, Amaechi, 41 others make ministerial list
President Muhammadu Buhari has finally forwarded the list of ministerial nominees to Senate for confirmation. There are 43 nominees by the President.
On the list announced by Senate President Ahmed Lawan are former ministers Babatunde Fashola, Rotimi Amaechi, Ogbonnaya Onu, Adamu Adamu(Bauchi), Senator Chris Ngige(Anambra).
Also on the list are former Governors Rauf Aregbesola(Osun) George Akume(Benue) Timipre Sylva(Bayelsa), Adeniyi Adebayo(Ekiti).
Some of the newcomers are Senator Godswill Akpabio(Akwa Ibom), Sunday Dare(Oyo), Festus Keyamo(Delta), Sharon Ikeazor(Anambra), Senator Tayo Alasoadura(Ondo) and Olorunnibe Mamora(Lagos).
Lawan said screening of the nominees commences tomorrow.
Northerners tolerates bad governance because of Buhari – Sen. Shehu
Senator representing Kaduna Central in the 8th Senate, Comrade Shehu Sani, has said that the North is tolerating bad governance, because one of their own, President Muhammadu Buhari is in power.
Sani who was the guest speaker at a conference held to prepare emerging leaders in Kaduna on Monday said, the North had failed to hold President Buhari accountable, despite the unabated killings and destruction of property in the region.
The senator who expressed worry over the high rate of poverty and educational backwardness in the North, asked President Buhari to do something urgent to tackle the socio-economic issues, as the region is under time bomb.
He also tasked President Buhari to come out with sound policies to address high-level poverty and educational challenges in the region and the country at large.
Sani said: “The North is tolerant of bad government because Buhari is in government and he is from the North.
When powers move to the South, the North is good at holding leaders to account but when it moves to the North, we keep silent. We are shy; we are cautious; we are afraid of telling our own that the road in the North is bad. We are more courageous, to tell the truth to power when the president doesn’t come from our region.
“Questioning President Buhari is more sympathetic when people are killed in the South West than in the North and this is because the(South) are holding him to account. Here in the North, you don’t because they are shy. They believe he is infallible and that he cannot be called to question.
“If 50 people were killed in Katsina and representative of the state is not ready to stand up in the Senate to talk about his people being killed, then it will go on and nobody will know. But if Fasoranti’s daughter is killed and a representative from Fasoranti stands up and says I senator blaa… blaa… stand up to outrightly condemn the murder, the nations, and the world will know.
“But if your people are dying here and the people you elected are afraid of being embarrassed and they don’t want to be categorised as being disloyal and be seen in the bad book, they will kill as many as possible and the perception of people outside is that all is well. So, the North must not be docile because one of their own is in office.
He further noted, “Northern leaders have failed to use the opportunity of office to upgrade the North and the country, to industrialise the region and to build a foundation for the generation of people like you. How do you solve the problem of poverty when the three most industrialised state in the North, Kaduna, Plateau and Kano – 80 per cent of their industries are closed down?
“For this country to survive, President Buhari must listen to the voices of reason. You may not like the face of Wole Soyinka, Balarabe Musa, and Obasanjo but read through the content of what they have written and see where adjustment can be made.
“He (Buhari) must be interested in his legacy and he has only four years. In any government after two years there will be heat and once the heat starts , you will not be able to concentrate and do your work.”
While urging youths across the country to always tell truth to power, the senator urged them to revolt against divisive elements trying to sow discord by using religion or ethnicity.
“You must revolt against leaders and elders who are fanning the embers of discord and against people who will generalise one ethnic group or the other and say they are criminals.”
$1bn ECA Fund: We Paid $490m For Tukano Jets – Presidency
The Presidency on Sunday said that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was under socio-emotional distress by alleging that the $1 billion approved from the Excess Crude Account for security was used by the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the 2019 elections.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in a statement in Abuja on Sunday said that the government under the leadership of President Buharj made an advanced payment of $490million for a dozen Super Tukano fighter aircraft in a direct transaction with the American government.
The clarification was in reaction to a call on President Buhari to account for the $1billion drawn from the ECA.
Shehu who accused the PDP of profligacy while incharge of government at the centre, said the transaction was also on a no contractor and no commission basis.
According to the presidential spokesman, the balance of expenditure from the transaction currently stands at $880million.
He explained that ”It’s on record that the Buhari administration paid about USD 490 million for a dozen Super Tucano fighter aircraft in a direct, government-to-government (no Contractors or Commission Agents) transaction with government of the United State.
“Various other military procurements have been made. Balance of expenditure stands at about USD 880 million or so.”
Garba however accused the PDP of spending Defence procurement funds on their failed 2015 political campaigns as proven in court.
He said ”The PDP spent Defence procurement funds on their failed 2015 political campaigns as proven in court. That is not to say every succeeding government, more so one led by a Buhari will do the same.”
“The PDP is under a socioemotional distress. They think that all governments in the world run on the basis of freewheeling looting as they did their own, ” the presidential aide noted.