August 9, 2022

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Osun July 16 governorship ballot: INEC warns on vote-buying, insists on Electoral Offences Fee, Tribunal

INEC chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

The Unbiased Nationwide Electoral Fee (INEC) has cautioned towards vote-buying and referred to as for the institution of the Electoral Offences Fee and Tribunal as really helpful by the Uwais Committee in 2009, bolstered by the Lemu Committee in 2011 and the Nnamani Committee in 2017. 

The fee expressed delight that the Electoral Offences Fee and Tribunal Invoice is into account by the Nationwide Meeting, saying “INEC helps this initiative and appeals to the Nationwide Meeting for a speedy conclusion and passage of the Invoice into regulation.”

INEC Chairman Professor Yakubu Mahmood acknowledged this on the stakeholders’ assembly in Osogbo Tuesday preparatory to the governorship election.

He assured the state that the fee was taking severely the problems of inclusivity, transparency, credibility and safety within the conduct of the July 16 governorship elections.

Yakubu mentioned the selection of who turns into the subsequent governor within the state is totally within the arms of Osun state voters. 

To this finish, the fee mentioned political events and their candidates would signal the Peace Accord at present (Wednesday) to be chaired by the previous Head of State, Basic Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).

“I want to seize this chance to ask you all to the signing of the Peace Accord by events and candidates beneath the auspices of the Nationwide Peace Committee chaired by our revered former Head of State, Basic Abdulsalami Abubakar GCFR. The event is holding on this corridor at 10am tomorrow Wednesday thirteenth July 2022,” he mentioned.

On inclusive election, the INEC boss mentioned: “To underscore our dedication to an inclusive, credible and clear electoral course of, the fee is deploying assistive units for Individuals with Disabilities (PwDs) to have a extra nice voting expertise on election day.

“Magnifying glasses, Braille Poll Information and Posters for voters with onerous of listening to situations shall be deployed at polling unit degree in areas of want primarily based on knowledge collected in collaboration with the PwD group. 

“Equally, our revised laws and pointers present for precedence to be accorded at polling items to PwDs with out ready in lengthy queues throughout voting as is the case with aged folks, pregnant ladies and nursing moms.

“Past these measures, we additionally need to make PwDs to get extra concerned in election administration like everybody else. On this regard, the 2022 Osun state governorship election may even make historical past, being the primary election by which INEC is deploying PwDs as advert hoc employees. 

“Thirty-five (35) serving NYSC members with one type of incapacity or one other have been recognized, skilled and engaged as advert hoc employees at polling unit degree. I enchantment to all stakeholders to cooperate with, and shield them, in addition to all different advert hoc employees, in our effort to make our electoral course of extra inclusive and participatory.

“For us in INEC, let me reassure political events, candidates and the citizens that the selection of who turns into the subsequent Governor of Osun State is totally within the arms of voters. As I’ve repeatedly mentioned in earlier engagements with stakeholders, INEC won’t take any motion to the benefit or drawback of any political occasion or candidate. 

“Our focus is on the processes and procedures as supplied by regulation. To date, we now have efficiently applied 12 out of 14 actions contained within the Timetable and Schedule of Actions for the election. The one two excellent actions are the final day of marketing campaign by political events which ends at midnight on Thursday 14th July 2022 and Election Day actions on Saturday sixteenth July 2022.” 

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On the preparations made for the July 16 election, Yakubu mentioned: “The fee has taken each step and made each association for the profitable conduct of the Governorship election this weekend. 

“We held consultative conferences with political events and their candidates. We had a number of engagements with the safety businesses at nationwide, state and Native Authorities ranges. We consulted with stakeholders. We searched for, and acquired, the blessings of Royal Fathers and non secular leaders. 

“We’ve recruited, skilled and punctiliously screened all classes of ad-hoc employees to be deployed to the sector. All non-sensitive supplies for the election have been delivered to all our 30 Native Authorities Space workplaces throughout the state.” 

The chairman additionally acknowledged that “voter training and sensitisation is ongoing. We’ve made preparations for the transportation of personnel and supplies to make sure that polling items open on schedule on election day. 

“For a simpler supervision of the method, we’re deploying 5 Nationwide Commissioners, twelve Resident Electoral Commissioners and lots of senior officers to assist our State workplace right here in Osun to ship credible elections.

On voter registration, the chairman mentioned, “Voter registration was carried out all around the state, together with the devolution of the train to the 332 Wards throughout the State. 

“We’ve printed and delivered the Everlasting Voters’ Playing cards (PVCs) for assortment by all legitimate registrants within the State. Once we visited Osun final week to evaluate our readiness for the election, issues had been expressed in regards to the availability of the PVCs particularly for many who utilized for switch of their registration to Osun State or to new places throughout the State. 

“I’m glad to report that we now have delivered the PVCs for contemporary registrants, transfers and requests for alternative of playing cards on account of loss, injury or incorrect private particulars equivalent to names, dates of beginning and so forth. as supplied by regulation.”

“In our effort to make sure that extra voters acquire their PVCs earlier than the election the fee “devolved the gathering of PVCs from our 30 Native Authorities workplaces to every of the 332 Wards throughout the State, thereby growing the variety of assortment centres and bringing the method nearer to voters,” the INEC boss additional mentioned.

Different steps taken by the fee, he mentioned, included “working all days of the week, together with the weekend and public holidays to serve voters; and “extending the final date for the gathering of PVCs to Thursday14th July 2022 i.e. 24 hours to the election.”

He appealed to all registered voters which are but to gather their PVCs to grab the chance of the extra measures to take action. 

“Lots of the PVCs have already been collected by residents. Of the 1,955,657 registered voters in Osun State, 1,479,595 (or 76%) have collected their playing cards as at Sunday tenth July 2022. 

“We’re additionally updating our information to offer detailed breakdown of PVCs collected by polling items. This shall be concluded and made accessible on Friday fifteenth July 2022. 

“That is essential as a result of the full variety of PVCs collected shall be used to find out the margin of lead precept, as towards the full variety of registered voters according to our Rules and Tips for the Conduct of Elections 2022 derived from the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022,” he additional added.

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On the deployment of expertise, the INEC boss mentioned, “the Fee continues to deploy expertise within the electoral course of each as a matter of follow and a requirement of the regulation. The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) shall be deployed for voter accreditation and importing of election outcomes on the INEC Consequence Viewing (IReV) portal on Election Day. 

“Steps have been taken to make sure that the BVAS machines perform optimally throughout voter accreditation primarily based on classes learnt from the conduct of current elections. A couple of weeks in the past, mock accreditation train was performed in polling items throughout the State. 

“I personally noticed the train in Osogbo and Boripe LGAs in Osun Central in addition to Ede South and Egbedore LGAs in Osun West Senatorial Districts. I additionally visited our Ife Central, Ife East and Ife North LGA workplaces in Osun East Senatorial District. 

“We’re inspired by the profitable end result of the mock train and the extent of preparations by our workplaces. We’ve additionally skilled sufficient Registration Space Technical Assist Employees (RATECHs) and made enough transportation preparations for his or her speedy response within the occasion of reported glitches on election day.

“The Fee has accredited Polling Brokers nominated by political events for the three,763 polling items, 332 Ward collation centres, 30 Native Authorities Space collation centres and the State Collation Centre the place the ultimate declaration of outcome shall be made. 

“As a sign of the extreme nationwide and worldwide curiosity within the 2022 Osun state governorship election, 87 Observer teams (79 home and eight worldwide) deploying a complete of seven,790 discipline observers have been accredited for the election.

 “Equally, 94 media organisations (92 nationwide and a pair of worldwide) deploying 624 journalists have been accredited to cowl the election.

“On election day, the nationwide headquarters of INEC in Abuja will monitor the election all through the State. Our Zoom Scenario Room shall be activated. We’re working to make sure that accredited observers and the media are invited to affix us at intervals to offer reside experiences from the sector. 

“On the identical time, residents can contact us on our numerous platforms such because the toll-free INEC Residents Contact Centre (ICCC) phone line along with our Twitter, Fb and Instagram accounts.”

 Vote-buying

He additionally spoke on vote-buying. “I can not conclude my remarks with out addressing a matter of great concern to our elections. Right here, I’m referring to sundry violations of our electoral regulation, together with the diabolical follow of vote shopping for by which voters are financially induced to vote a technique or one other. 

“It’s apparent that the extra the fee and different stakeholders work onerous to progressively enhance the standard of nationwide elections in Nigeria, the extra some retrogressive components attempt to undermine the method. 

“Whereas we’ll proceed to work with the safety and anti-corruption businesses to confront this problem, our effort shall be given a lift by the institution of the Electoral Offences Fee and Tribunal as really helpful by the Uwais Committee in 2009, bolstered by the Lemu Committee in 2011 and the Nnamani Committee in 2017. 

“Fortunately, the Electoral Offences Fee and Tribunal Invoice is into account of the Nationwide Meeting. INEC helps this initiative and appeals to the Nationwide Meeting for a speedy conclusion and passage of the Invoice into regulation.”

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Utomi, Falana, others warning
in a associated improvement, a number of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) beneath the aegis of Civil Society Committee for Anti-Fraud Election Safety(CISCAES), have arrange an anti-rigging battle room to observe, observe and counter any fraudulent practices on the forthcoming governorship election in Osun state on Saturday, July 16, 2022.

Talking at a press convention in Lagos Monday, one of many leaders of the group, Prof Pat Utomi mentioned the initiative was a part of an effort at guaranteeing a free and truthful election into Osun and by extension Nigeria in 2023.

 Utomi who’s the chairman of the Nationwide Consultative Entrance(NCF), mentioned if the Osun governorship ballot will not be free and truthful, it could finally impose an enormous risk on the anticipated credibility of the 2023 normal elections.

“The direct fast consequence would change into “voter apathy” in 2023 for insecurity within the capability of the Unbiased Nationwide Electoral Fee (INEC) to conduct clear, truthful and credible 2023 polls,” they mentioned.

Additionally talking, human rights lawyer, Barrister Femi Falana (SAN), defined that the anti-rigging electoral “Conflict Room”, would assist observe, determine and dismantle the already present vote-rigging mechanism.

In line with him, the measure which turns into totally operational  Wednesday July 13, would  assist monitor, observe and counter the continuing fraudulent practices, each earlier than and throughout the election.

“The place circumstances of fraud or vote-rigging are recognized, such shall be rightly reported to our personal CSO-driven anti-rigging Conflict Room (Scenario Room) for fast and needful interventions.

“The arraignment of the Electoral offenders will function a deterrent to all electoral offenders and forestall any type of impunity within the Osun State gubernatorial election fastened for July 16, 2022,” he mentioned

Additionally talking,  Comrade Kennedy Iyere, who’s the founding father of CISCAES and Youth Off The Road Initiative, defined that the group would  additionally organise and lead a pre-election “Poll Safety Solidarity March” to INEC Workplace in Osogbo to attract the eye of most of the people to the crucial want for a reputable “Osun 2022 Guber-Ballot.”

He additionally added that CISCAES and its allies will sensitize, prepare, recruit, mobilize and deploy youths as volunteers for “ward-2-ward” and “Polling Unit-2-Polling Unit” anti-rigging poll monitoring train.

“That is designed to implement poll policing by youth voters and different electorates at their numerous wards and Polling items.

“This intervention shall compel poll safety and surveillance which can make it too tough or unattainable for INEC to both manipulate the BVAS or impact different technical vote-rigging measures,” he added.

Different members of the group embody: Emmanuel Ijewere, President of Agribusiness group; Ambassador Sylvester Okoduwa, Regional Coordinator of Transition Monitoring Group; Dr. Tanko Yunusa, spokesperson of the Nationwide Consultative Entrance (NCF);  Funke Awolowo, Steering Committee Member of the Nationwide Consultative Entrance (NCF); Comrade Abdulazeez Ismail Abiodun, Chairman of Osun State Chapter of the Nationwide Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN).

Others are: Barrister Christian Wogu, President, Schechinal Legislation Home; Olawale Okunniyi, DG,  Nationwide Consultative Entrance (NCFront); Comrade Oloye Adegboyega Adeniji, Lagos State Chairman and Nationwide Coordinator of Peace Motion Transformation (PACT); Alhaji Waheed Lawan, Chairman of Osun State Community of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Comrade Michael Ebofin, President of Community of NGOs in Osun State (NETNOS).