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Manual Transmission Of Election Result is Full Of Fraud – Jega



Manual Transmission Of Election Result is Full Of Fraud - Jega

Prof. Attahiru Jega, a former Chairman of the Independent National Election Commission (INEC), says the electoral transmission of results will reduce the rate of election fraud in Nigeria.

He said this in an interview with newsmen on the sideline of the ongoing ECOWAS Parliament’s High-level Seminar on Thursday in Winneba, Ghana.

The Seminar themed “Two Decades of Democratic Elections in the ECOWAS Member States: Achievements, Challenges, Challenges and the Way Forward” seeks to proffer solutions to electoral inconsistencies in the Member States.

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Jega, who commended the passage of the bill by the National Assembly which now gives INEC power to transmit results electronically, said it was a positive development ahead of the 2023 elections.

He stated that it was one of the legal frameworks that would guarantee credible elections in the country.

“I have no doubt that Nigeria has the competence and capacity to deeply electronic transmission of the result.

“Since 2012, INEC has been piloting an electronic transmission of result system with robust software, with robust security, and they have piloted it in many elections.

“I am happy now that the National Assembly has agreed for this to be done and has created the legal framework.

“One of the major areas where fraud takes place in the elections of Nigeria is in the transmission of results manually.

“From the polling units to the ward level, to the constituency level, electronic transmission of results will wipe this out,” Jega said.

Jega also urged Nigerians to trust the new process, adding that it is wrong to assume that results will not be accurately transmitted without 100 percent network coverage.

He said that even in developed countries, they are sometimes confronted with the challenge of poor network, but once 70 percent of results can be transmitted electronically, it is a pass.

“It is wrong to assume that if you cannot have 100 percent coverage internet coverage then you cannot do electronic transmission of results, who says so?

“If you can do it in 80 percent of the polling units, or even 70 percent, it is still an A and you will have eliminated fraud in 70 percent or 80 percent of the polling units in terms of transmission.

“Even in developed countries, there are still areas where you can have challenges of internet connectivity.

“We have to accept that in these modern times, we can use technology to improve the integrity of elections and it is the only way to go,” Jega added.

Jega also urged the National Assembly to review the draft bill that allows the trend of extreme monetization of politics in Nigeria which allows only the rich to participate in politics.

“There are other things in the draft bill, for example, monetization of politics, they have increased the threshold.

“They said to be a president, you can spend up to N2 billion in campaigns, to be a governor you can spend up to N1 billion, to be senator you can spend up to N500 million and this is extreme monetization of politics.

“These are other provisions that the members of the National Assembly need to consider and drastically reduce otherwise, or they will turn our democracy to plutocracy, which is government for the rich.

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JUST IN: PDP Leaders Hold Closed-door Meeting With Orji Kalu



JUST IN: PDP Leaders Hold Closed-door Meeting With Orji Kalu

The Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Kalu, on Thursday, December 2, 2021, received newly elected officials of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in his Aso Rock, Abuja residence.

The team was led by the National Secretary of the PDP, Senator Samuel Anyanwu alongside other newly elected officials of the party.

Anyanwu, a former Senator, and other newly elected officials of the PDP arrived at the residence of the Senator representing Abia North Senatorial District.

Anyanwu who wore a navy blue native attire was welcomed by Kalu’s associates and then led straight with his executives to meet the principal officer of the upper chamber.

On sighting one another, both men engaged in pleasantries and embraced each other then proceeded for an indoor meeting.

As the meeting progressed, other executives of the party arrived in turns at Kalu’s residence to join the meeting.

The visit comes amidst strong talks that the former Abia State governor was being positioned for the 2023 presidency to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.

Kalu, a founding member of the PDP, formally joined the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), In 2016

He contested and won the 2019 Senatorial election.

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Court Strikes Out Case Against Soludo’s Election



Court Strikes Out Case Against Soludo's Election

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed the case against the election of Prof. Charles Soludo as the Governor-elect of Anambra State.

In a judgment delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, the dismissed suit sought to nullify Soludo’s election on the allegation that he presented false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during registration.

The plaintiffs, Adindu Valentine, and Egwudike Chukwuebuka, had in their suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/711/2021, alleged that Soludo lied in the affidavit (Form EC9), which he submitted to INEC.

INEC, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Soludo, and the Deputy Governor-elect, Dr. Onyeka Ibezim, were cited as defendants in the suit.

The plaintiffs claimed that Soludo and his running mate had filled in different elective positions in their nomination forms.

The parties claimed the governor-elect stated that he was contesting the Aguata II Constituency seat, while the deputy governor-elect stated that he was contending for the Awka II Constituency seat in the forms they submitted to INEC.

The court also awarded a sum of N2 million against the plaintiffs, in favour of the APGA, Soludo, and Ibezim.

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Buhari Writes INEC Over Direct Primaries, Others



Buhari Writes INEC Over Direct Primaries, Others

President Muhammadu Buhari has written a letter to the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, seeking comments from INEC over the Electoral Act amendment bill which was passed by the National Assembly on November 9, 2021.

Buhari, who received the bill on November 19, has until December 19 to sign it or communicate to the National Assembly his feelings and comments about the bill.

But if after 30 days, the President refuses to sign the bill and the National Assembly is not in support of the President’s amendments, the Senate and the House of Representatives can recall the bill and pass it. If the bill is passed in the form it was sent to the President by two-thirds majority votes in both chambers, the bill automatically becomes a law even without the signature of the President.

However, top sources familiar with the matter said so far, the President saw no problem with the bill but was seeking advice from INEC and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN).

A top INEC source said, “We received a letter from the President last week regarding INEC’s position on the Electoral Act amendment especially as regards the controversial direct primaries which many governors have kicked against. We are supposed to respond within seven days. I know that a response will be sent to the President anytime from now.”

When asked if INEC would endorse the direct primaries, the source said the commission would only indicate its position on the merits and demerits of the bill and let the President decide.

Another INEC official said the National Assembly never discussed the issue of direct primaries with the commission but the only electronic transmission of results and other issues.

During the amendment of the Electoral Act, we met with the National Assembly but the issue of direct primary was never discussed. We discussed electronic transmission of results, electronic voting, Diaspora voting and other issues. It was at the point of the adoption of the report that the direct primary was added to the bill.

So, INEC was never given a chance to present its position. What the President has done now is to get our position on the matter. The truth is that if INEC cannot undertake the direct primaries, it will make the law useless,” he said.

When contacted on the matter, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the President would continue to consult with relevant stakeholders on the matter before the bill is signed.

On whom the President would meet as part of consultations on the bill, Shehu said, “The President will consult with those who he believes are important to his decision and who can advise him on the Electoral Act. And he will meet them. But I cannot draw boundaries or name specifics and say this is who the President might meet. He ultimately decides.”

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