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2019 election: INEC speaks on fire outbreak in its offices, reveals number of PVCs burnt

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said 8,966 Permanent Voters’ Cards and other materials were among the things destroyed by the fire that engulfed its offices in Abia and Plateau states in the past seven days.

INEC in a statement on Sunday signed by Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, said the Smart Card Readers were not affected in both incidents, which happened within one week.

The Commission however assured Nigerians that it will not succumb to the antics of arsonists whose motive might be to create fear in the minds of voters and sabotage the conduct of the 2019 general elections.

Meanwhile, the commission has urged all relevant security agencies to arrest and bring to justice, persons or groups involved in the attacks on the offices of the Commission.

The statement reads “The fire incident that occurred at the Qua’an Pan Local Government office of the Commission in Plateau State on Saturday 9th February 2019 is the second of such incidents in less than a week. The first incident occurred in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government office of the Commission in Abia State on Saturday 2nd February.

”Some of the items destroyed in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government include 2979 Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) and other materials. At the Qua’an Pan office, items destroyed include 5987 uncollected Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs), 380 Voting Cubicles, 755 ballot boxes, 14 generators, election forms and official stamps.

”The Commission has notified the Acting Inspector General of Police of the emerging trend of the burning of the Local Government Offices of the Commission close to the conduct of the elections and at a period when the Commission is engaged in the massive movement of election related materials nationwide.

”In view of these developments, the Commission has taken the following steps: “Notified the Inspector General of Police of this new trend and requested that additional security measures be provided to enhance security around INEC Offices and other critical structures of the Commission.

“Directed the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Plateau State to open a register for all those in the affected Local Government Area who approach the Commission to collect their PVCs within the specified period. The Commission will print the PVCs and make them available for collection in good time before the elections.

“Reprinted and delivered the Permanent Voters’ Cards of the affected registered voters in Isiala Ngwa South in Abia State.

“Made temporary arrangements for the relocation of the burnt offices of the Commission. The said offices will be ready for the conduct of the February 16 and March 2, 2019 elections.

“The Commission will proceed as planned in the affected Local Government Areas and all the burnt materials will be replaced in good time and as such will not affect the conduct of the elections.

“All relevant security agencies have been requested to arrest and bring to justice, persons or groups involved in the attacks on the offices of the Commission.

“The two fire incidents did not affect the Smart Card Readers that are presently being configured in the respective state offices of the Commission.

“The Commission wishes to assure all Nigerians that it will not succumb to the antics of arsonists whose motive might be to create fear in the minds of voters and sabotage the conduct of the 2019 general elections.“

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Court refuses Senator Nwaoboshi’s request to stop INEC from issuing Ned Nwoko Certificate of Return

A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja has refused to hear the application brought by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, for an order restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from issuing Certificate of Return to Prince Ned Nwoko in respect of Delta North senatorial district.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed in a short ruling yesterday refused to hear Nwaoboshi’s motion on the grounds that the court lacked the jurisdiction to do so.

According to him, the Court of Appeal had already taken seize of the matter.

Recall that Justice Mohammed had on April 3, 2019 sacked Nwaoboshi as Senator-elect representing Delta North senatorial district.

In sacking the senator, the court had held that Nwaoboshi was not the winner of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary held on October 2, 2018, conducted to nominate its senatorial candidate for Delta North district in the 2019 general election.

Consequently, Justice Mohammed ordered INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued Nwaoboshi as winner of the Delta North senatorial district election held on February 23 and issue Nwoko with a new certificate of return.

The court in addition, ordered INEC to immediately publish the name of Nwoko as the rightful candidate of the PDP, having established the fact before the court that Nwoko scored a majority of the lawful votes in the primary.

He also ordered Senator Nwaoboshi to stop parading himself as the candidate of the PDP for the Delta North senatorial district.

Not satisfied with the decision of Justice Mohammed, the senator approached the Court of Appeal in Abuja to upturn the judgement.

Nwaoboshi, also in an application urged Justice Mohammed to stay the execution of its earlier order sacking him as senator-elect representing Delta North senatorial district.

However, Justice Mohammed in a short ruling held that since defendants in the suit had appealed his judgement in the substantive suit, he would be transferring the motion together with the entire case file to the appellate court.

“This court has no further jurisdiction on the matter. In view of this, the first defendant’s (Nwaoboshi) motion filed before this court for stay of execution is hereby transmitted to the Court of Appeal,” Justice Mohammed said.

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Provide evidence that you defeated me in presidential election – Buhari challenges Atiku

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and winner of the February 2019 election, Muhammadu Buhari, has faulted claim by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar that they won the election.

President Buhari told the Presidential Election Tribunal that, by the result announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, he (Buhari) and his party, were victorious in the last election.

The APC candidate also told the Tribunal that the claim by Atiku and the PDP that the tradermoni policy of the government was a vote-buying measure was not true.

According to Buhari, the policy formed one of the many social intervention policies his government had put in place, directed at alleviating the suffering of the masses.

Buhari asked the Tribunal to ignore the claim by the petitioners that they won by results they obtained from a purported INEC server because it lacked legal basis.

Buhari further challenged Atiku and PDP to show evidence that their votes were depleted and manipulated.

This was contained in a preliminary objection filed by his group of lawyers in response to Atiku’s petition.

President Buhari also faulted the petitioners’ allegations of vote manipulation made against some security personnel, some named private individuals and organisations, without making them parties to the petition.

Buhari asked the Tribunal to throw aside Atiku, PDP’s petition on the grounds that the reliefs sought by the petitioners were frivolous.

He added that “The entire reliefs are not justifiable, as the petitioners, who claim to have scored majority of lawful votes insubstantial number of states, are also questioning their own return in those states.

“The petitioners cannot act as petitioners and respondents in the same petition.

“The alternative relief sought is self-defeating, apart from being frivolous.

“The election to the office of President on 23rd F February, 2019, was conducted in substantial compliance with the provision of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended),” he said.

Buhari, challenged the petitioners to produce “specifics of website: www.factsdontlien .com, including its domain owner, proprietor, lessee, lessor; etc., pleaded in paragraph 29 of the petition.

“Details of the electronic data on the servers of the 1st respondent (INEC), including the time, the details were downloaded, the person who downloaded them and the means of downloading (paragraph 29 of the petition).

“The documents from the 1st respondent, publishing the registered voters in Nigeria, as 84, 004, 084 and the number of PVCs collected as 72,775,502 (paragraph 30 of the petition).

“Details and documents, showing a breakdown of the electronically collated votes of 664, 659, allegedly cast for the petitioners in Abia State (paragraph 34 of the petition).

“Documents showing the published registered voters in Bauchi State, as pleaded in paragraph 41 of the petition.

“Details of the electronically collated 332,618 votes in Bayelsa State (paragraph 42).

“Documents showing how petitioners’ votes were depleted by 173,153, in Benue State (paragraph 44).

“Details of how petitioners’ votes were depleted by 210,109 in Bomo State (paragraph 46 of the petition).”

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EPL: Mohamed Salah in shock Liverpool exit after heated discussion with Klopp

Liverpool star man, Mohamed Salah has made a shock request to leave the club, according to AS.
The Egyptian has reportedly told Liverpool he wants to leave after heated discussion with manager, Jurgen Klopp.
Salah has become a hero at the club since joining them nearly two years ago.

However, Spanish outlet AS, reports that the player is now determined to force his way out of the club this summer.

According to the report, Salah has asked the club to sanction his sale at the end of the season.

The paper said this decision comes as a result of a series of heated discussions with Klopp.

The Egyptian is even willing to hand in a transfer request to force through a move.

Salah penned a new bumper five-year contract with the Reds last summer on the back of a record-breaking season at the club.

Salah scored last night as Liverpool defeated Porto 4-1 and book their place in a successive Champions League semi-final.

Liverpool will be hoping on the player as they face Lionel Messi and his Barcelona side in the semi-finals of the competition later this month.

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