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INEC Warns Political Parties Against Frequent Changes in Primary Election Dates

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) cautioned political parties against the frequent changing of primary election dates, citing disruptions and costs incurred. INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, emphasized the need for parties to adhere to proposed dates and modes of primaries for optimal resource deployment.

The warning came during the first regular quarterly consultative meeting with political parties in Abuja. Yakubu highlighted the upcoming Ondo State governorship primary elections, urging parties to maintain consistency to ensure certainty and efficiency in the electoral process.

He also addressed issues of acrimonious primaries and the emergence of multiple candidates, stressing the need for parties to avoid unnecessary litigations and disruptions. Additionally, INEC revealed that only six out of 16 political parties interested in the Edo governorship election had uploaded candidate details, urging parties to adhere to the Commission’s schedule to avoid last-minute rush and ensure successful nomination of candidates.

In his address during the first regular quarterly consultative meeting with political parties in Abuja, INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, expressed concern over the recent trend of frequent changes in primary election dates by political parties.

He emphasized the disruptive and costly nature of such changes and urged parties to adhere to their proposed dates and modes of primaries to ensure efficiency and optimal resource deployment. Yakubu specifically referred to the upcoming Ondo State governorship primary elections scheduled to commence on April 6, 2024, cautioning against last-minute adjustments that could undermine the electoral process.

Yakubu highlighted the need for political parties to conduct primaries without acrimony and avoid the emergence of multiple candidates, which often lead to unnecessary litigations and disputes. He urged parties to find solutions to these challenges to streamline the electoral process and minimize disruptions.

Moreover, Yakubu addressed the issue of parties granting waivers to candidates who recently defected from other political parties, leading to conflicts and legal disputes. He emphasized the need for parties to adhere to the rules and regulations governing candidate nominations to prevent unnecessary legal battles that drain resources and time.

Regarding the Edo State governorship election scheduled for September 21, 2024, INEC revealed that only six out of 16 political parties that expressed interest had uploaded details of their candidates on the Commission’s portal. Yakubu urged parties to adhere to the Commission’s schedule and avoid last-minute rush to ensure successful nomination of candidates within the stipulated timeframe.

Overall, INEC’s message underscored the importance of stability and adherence to electoral timelines by political parties to enhance the integrity and efficiency of the electoral process.

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INEC Presents Documents Against SDP at Kogi Gov Tribunal

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) tendered electoral documents against the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its candidate, Murtala Ajaka, on Monday at the Kogi State Governorship Petition Tribunal in Abuja.

Challenging INEC’s declaration of incumbent governor and All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Usman Ododo, as the winner of the November 11, 2023, governorship election, the SDP and its candidate have contested the results.

Ododo emerged victorious in the election with 446,237 votes, defeating his closest rival, Ajaka of the SDP, who scored 259,052 votes.

Having closed their case on April 6, 2024, after calling 25 witnesses, the petitioners awaited INEC’s response.

During Monday’s proceedings, INEC initiated their case by submitting various documents before a three-member panel of justices, led by Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu.

Documents presented by INEC’s lawyer, Uchenna Njoku, included the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of the Election, INEC Manuals for Electoral Officers, and several other forms and lists related to the election process.

Justice Birnin-Kudu admitted the documents into evidence and marked them as exhibits after their submission.

INEC’s counsel then requested an adjournment to allow the electoral body to present its witnesses on the next scheduled hearing date.

Consequently, the judge adjourned the matter until April 16 for the continuation of the hearing.

Earlier, Justice Birnin-Kudu noted that the SDP’s petition would expire on May 29, and consequently reduced the number of days for respondents to present their cases and file final written addresses from 10 to five days. However, he assured parties that if five days proved insufficient, the panel would consider granting additional time.

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Aliko Dangote Foundation Distributes Rice to 17 States Across Nigeria

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The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) has commenced the distribution of over one million 10kg bags of rice to local governments across Nigeria, with 17 states already receiving their allocations.

Zouera Youssoufou, the Managing Director and CEO of ADF, affirmed the Foundation’s commitment to ensuring that all local governments in Nigeria receive their share of rice before the end of the Ramadan period.

Collaborating with reputable NGOs, civil societies, and religious organizations, the Foundation aims to distribute donations to the most vulnerable individuals in every state and local government across Nigeria.

Guided by a vision of empowering Africans to achieve self-actualization and full potential, the Foundation believes in providing opportunities for individuals to thrive regardless of their circumstances.

Recently, the ADF flagged off the distribution of rice in Kano and Lagos, with President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, emphasizing his dedication to assisting all tiers of government in poverty alleviation efforts.

The food intervention program reflects the Foundation’s commitment to compassion and solidarity, addressing the economic challenges faced by Nigeria.

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State commended Aliko Dangote’s philanthropy and urged other wealthy Nigerians to support government efforts in providing palliatives to mitigate economic hardships.

Similarly, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State lauded the Foundation’s distribution of 80,000 bags of rice, highlighting its focus on people’s welfare over profit.

Fatima Aliko-Dangote, Group Executive Director of Commercial Operations at Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), highlighted the Foundation’s additional initiatives, including daily bread distribution and investments in women’s businesses.

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PRESS RELEASE: Publication of Personal Particulars of Candidates for the Edo State Governorship Election

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Following the conclusion of party primaries, seventeen (17) Political parties have uploaded their candidates’ nomination forms for the Edo State Governorship Election by the deadline of 6.00pm on 24th March 2024 when the dedicated portal automatically shut down.

The personal particulars of the Governorship candidates and their running mates will be published on Saturday 30th March 2024, a week from the last date for the submission of nominations as provided in Section 29(3) of the Electoral Act 2022.

The Commission shall publish the personal particulars by displaying copies of Form EC9 along with all academic credentials and other documents submitted by each candidate at the State Headquarters and the 18 Local Government offices across Edo State.

We appeal to Nigerians to scrutinize the documents. Any aspirant who participated in his/her party primaries with reasonable grounds to believe that the information provided by the candidate is false can challenge the nomination in a Federal High Court as provided in section 29 (5) of the Electoral Act 2022

The Edo State Governorship Election is scheduled to hold on Saturday 21st September 2024

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