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You Can’t Remain Analogue, INEC Chairman Tells Staff

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The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, says no staff of the commission should remain analogue and manual mode but all should adapt to technological innovations and creativity.
Yakubu gave the charge on Monday in Lagos at the opening ceremony of a-four-day capacity building for INEC’s Heads of Voter Education and Publicity (VEP) and Public Affairs Officers (PAOs) in the southern states.
The Tide reports that the workshop tagged “Capacity Building on Effective Communication for Continuous Voter Education and New Polling Units for INEC’s Head of Voter Education and Public Affairs Officers’’, was organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Yakubu, who was represented by Mr Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, said that staff of the commission must adapt quickly to the new technological realities aimed at deepening electoral process.
The INEC chairman said that the commission was dealing with complex issues, diverse constituencies, intense fight for power and dangerous geographical terrains, hence the need for innovations and creativities.
Yakubu said: “Staff for the commission must adapt quickly to the new technological reality occasioned by advances in technology, the global health pandemic, challenge of best practices in election administration and management.
“The staff of the commission in general and information managers in particular cannot afford to remain analogue and on manual mode when a new generation of Nigerians is migrating steadily to the digital world.
“We must at all times strive to show the way in moving the country toward a direction that will lead to better elections, even as the commission has demonstrated capacity, creativity and innovation in times of great changes, difficulties and challenges.”
According to him, at the height of the pandemic and when many advanced countries suspended or called off their elections, INEC developed an electoral continuity plan and strategy and conducted two constitutionally-circumscribed governorship elections.
He said that INEC policy on conducting elections in the context of COVID-19 pandemic received global and international acclaim and became a standard for so many African countries.
Yakubu said that within the same period, the commission designed a Candidate Nomination Portal through which political parties uploaded the personal particulars and list of their nominated candidates.
He said that the commission also developed a portal for domestic election observers and the media through which they applied for accreditation.
“Within the same period too, the commission developed and deployed INEC Result Viewing Portal (IREV) through which the commission uploaded polling unit results for public view.
“These are innovations and developments all HODs, VEP and PAOs must be abreast of and relay to the public at necessary junctures,” Yakubu said.
He urged all HODs VEP and PAOs to read widely, broadly and be on top of information as well as knowing how to work on different social media platforms so as not to be impediments to INEC’s progress.
The INEC chairman said that the CVR online pre-registration exercise as well as biometric and physical capturing exercises which commenced on June 28 and July 26 respectively nation-wide, had seen more Nigerians embrace technologies.
“The commission is introducing technology in the country’s electoral process to aid efficiency and make the conduct of elections less cumbersome, more transparent and more engaging.
“Considering the complex geographical terrain of the country, the commission believes that deepening the use of technology will assist it organise elections efficiently and declare results in record time,” he said..
According to him, the commission believes that deepening the use of technology in electoral process “will limit prospects of pernicious and malicious interference in the electoral process and election outcomes”.
Yakubu said that the duality of quality control and due diligence would eliminate as much as possible, the anxiety of moving results from the polling units to the collation centres.
“Technology will also enhance and domicile the processes of the commission within the commission and enhance monitoring and compliance.
“Within the context of a global pandemic, technology is the oxygen for electoral continuity.
“The commission is committed to ensuring that all Nigerians, with no legal disability, who desire to vote, must vote no matter their station in spite of their location.
“Technology holds the key to the actualisation of this goal. The commission will, therefore, call-in aid, technology to obviate some of the challenges of manual processes and procedures,” Yakubu said.
He expressed INEC’s determination to enhance the power and value of vote and enable eligible Nigerians to vote in a safe and peaceful environment.
The INEC chairman said that the commission would continue to deepen partnership with the judiciary and other stakeholders in its efforts to improve on the integrity of elections.
He solicited the understanding of the judiciary to interpret the constitution and the law more purposefully and enhance, guarantee, protect and secure the power, prestige and independence of INEC.
Yakubu commended the UNDP and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for making the capacity building programme possible.
Also speaking, Mr Nick Dazang, Director of Voter Education and Publicity, said that voter registration remained crucial to INEC’s work and mandate to organise and conduct elections.
Dazang said that without a credible register, election could not be credible.
He noted that since 2007, the commission had begun using technology to register voters with the introduction of Direct Data Capturing Machine.
He said that staff must the brought to speed in all novel technologies.
Earlier in his welcome address, Mr Sam Olumekun, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Lagos State, said that the workshop was apt now that the commission had embarked on dual online pre-registration and physical biometric capturing.
Olumekun, who was represented by Mrs Ijeoma Okey-Igbokwe, Head of Department, General Administration and Procurement, said that the workshop was an evidence of INEC’s determination to improve on its performance in the conduct of flawless election in 2023.
sinbajo’s Directives -Malami

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Court Restrains Oyo Assembly From Impeaching Makinde’s Deputy

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The Oyo State High Court presided over by Justice Oladiran Akintola on Wednesday restrained the House of Assembly from further continuing with the impeachment process against the Deputy Governor, Engr. Raufu Olaniyan.
According to the court, the status quo must be maintained, pending the hearing of the application for interlocutory injunction before it.
The House of Assembly was billed to read Olaniyan’s reply to their allegation on Wednesday morning but the court placed hold on further process regarding the impeachment. The court adjourned the matter till Tuesday, July 5, 2022 for continuation of hearing.
The adjournment was to allow the Assembly to file its reply to that of Olaniyan at the court. Director of Legal Services, Olabanji, represented the Assembly, while Chief Afolabi Fashanu (SAN), led Olaniyan’s legal team.
Olaniyan had dragged the parties to court to seek an injunction to stop what he described as “faulty process” of his impeachment.
Twenty-three lawmakers, who are members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had earlier accused the deputy governor of gross misconduct, abuse of office, financial recklessness, among other allegations.
In a petition entitled, ‘Petition and Notice of Allegations against the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, His Excellency Engineer Rauf Olaniyan’, he was accused of gross misconduct, abuse of office, financial recklessness, abandonment of office and official duties and insubordination.
“This is in accordance with section 188 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended)”, the petition read in part.
The lawmakers gave the deputy governor seven days to respond to the allegations.
The lawmakers who signed the petition included: Fadeyi Muhammed (Ona Ara), Onaolapo Sanjo (Ogbomosho South), Babalola Olasunkanmi (Egbeda), Adebisi Yussuf (Ibadan South-West I), Okedoyin Julius (Saki West), and Adebayo Babajide (Ibadan North II).
Others were: Kehinde Olatunde (Akinyele II), Olajide Akintunde (Lagelu), Mustapha Akeem (Kajola), Popoola Ademola (Ibadan South-East II), Owolabi Olusola (Ibadan North-East II), Olayanji Kazeem (Irepo/Olorunsogo) and Ojedokun Peter (Ibarapa North).
The remaining lawmakers were: Dele Adeola (Iseyin, Itesiwaju) Gbadamosi Saminu (Saki East/Atisbo), Mabaje Adekunle (Ido), Oluwafowokanmi Oluwafemi (Ibadan South-West II), Akeem Adedibu (Iwajowa), Fatokun Ayo (Akinyele I), Rasak Ademola (Ibadan South-East I), Obadara Akeem (Ibadan North-West), Oyekunle Fola (Ibadan North I) and Adetunji Francis (Oluyole).

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Lawyers Ask Court To Disqualify Atiku, Tinubu, Obi Over Running Mates

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Three lawyers have filed a suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking the disqualification of Bola Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, as presidential candidates.
The plaintiffs want the court to issue an order restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising Tinubu, Abubakar and Obi as presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP), respectively, in the 2023 elections.
According to the motion filed on Wednesday, the plaintiffs said the presidential candidates breached laws guiding the process for election by contesting their parties’ tickets without running mates.
In the suit dated June 29, the plaintiffs — identified as Ataguba Aboje, Oghenovo Otemu and Ahmed Yusuf — said the decision of the presidential candidates to contest the primaries without running mates, goes contrary to the constitution.
INEC, the attorney-general of the federation (AGF), APC, PDP and LP are listed as first to fifth defendants, respectively.
In the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1004/2022, the plaintiffs want the court to determine whether the constitutional qualification for the office of the president is equally applicable to the office of the vice-president.

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PDP Govs Boycott Osun Campaign Council Inauguration As VP Slot Crisis Rages

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Only two out of the 13 governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were present at the inauguration of the party’s campaign council for Osun State governorship election.
Although all the governors were listed as members of the campaign council, only Governors Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and Ishaku Darius of Taraba State attended the event held at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
National chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu and the party’s presidential candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, were also absent, but their absence was however unavoidable, as Atiku  is currently in Dubai where he had travelled to some days earlier, while Ayu is on a two-week vacation.
The absence of the PDP governors comes amid concerns about frictions within the party over the way the choice of the presidential running mate was handled.
Atiku had settled for Delta State governor, Sen-Ifeanyi Okowa, despite Governor Nyesom Wike’s emergence as the candidate of a 17-member advisory committee.
Although efforts are being made to appease Wike over the matter, the Rivers State governor, who is in Turkey for vacation with his Abia State counterpart, Okezie Ikpeazu, had played host to leaders of opposition parties, fueling insinuations that he might dump PDP.
While Benue State governor Samuel Ortom was a guest on Arise TV from his state, other governors who were absent did not give any explanation for their absence.
Speaking at the inauguration, Okowa who admitted that there was so much work to be done ahead of the Osun election, said, “Osun state obviously is a PDP states. We have great leaders who have a very clear understanding of the politics in that states.
“I want to urge all our leaders and our followers in the state to please quickly bridge the gaps of divide that is amongst us, because victory stares us right in the face, God has gone ahead of us. It is for us to follow the wish of God and to deliver the state to the PDP.
“There is a lot of work to be done. It is not a fun fare, And I believe that the membership of the campaign counselors inaugurated today are capable enough to truly go out there to deliver the state to the PDP
“ I want to make an appeal to the campaign Council. It is not about being inaugurated in Abuja. The work to be done is in Osun state.

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