- Ondo Election: Akeredolu, Jegede, Oke Lead in Strongholds
The leading candidates in yesterday’s governorship election in Ondo State retained their traditional strongholds in the three senatorial districts of the state, as early results showed them scoring victories in the areas where they hail from.
The All Progressives Congress candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu, maintained a comfortable lead in many of the polling units in his native Owo, in Ondo North senatorial zone, just like the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Eyitayo Jegede, in Akure, Ondo Central. The candidate of the Alliance for Democracy, Oluwole Oke, equally won in majority of the polling units in Ilaje and Okitipupa areas, Ondo South senatorial district, where he comes from.
The election was largely peaceful across the state. There was virtually no major security breach, contrary to fears that the widespread pre-election tensions might give rise to violence in many areas.
Voting started as early as 8am in many polling units and electoral materials got to the polling centres early. However, what looked like an impressive turn-out of voters in many places in the early hours of the day did not translate to massive votes in the results released after the completion of voting in many of the polling units.
There were isolated reports of card reader malfunction in some units, including the unit where the state governor, Olusegun Mimiko, voted. The card reader deployed to Unit 20 Ward 7, Ondo West Local Government Area, could not recognise Mimiko’s fingerprint. He was consequently given the incident form, which he completed before he was allowed to cast his vote about 11.30am.
The governor lamented the failure of the card reader.
Mimiko also alleged monetary inducement of voters, saying the people of the state would resist any manipulation of the electoral process.
In Ondo South, there were reports that the card readers in some communities were not functioning well, particularly in Ilaje Local Government Area. It was gathered that the machine in some instances started counting from 200 or 300, instead of counting from 001, an indication that such numbers of people had voted. This case was said to have occurred mainly at Constituency II in Ilaje Local Government Area.
The matter was reported by the candidate of AD, Oke, who quickly called on the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, to intervene. Oke alleged that the card readers were preloaded to give the impression that some people had voted at Alagbon, Idi Ogba Ode Ugbo, and some other places in the constituency.
Jegede also said card readers deployed to some units in Akure South malfunctioned.
A major feature of the election was allegations of financial inducement of voters by some candidates. It was gathered that each voter was given as much as N6,000 while about 450,000 was said to have been given to units in some senatorial districts. THISDAY gathered that some governors and a minister had been in the state since four days before the poll to help their party’s candidate.
AD alleged that both the APC and PDP had engaged in rigging through intimidation, heavy monetisation and outright manipulation of the ballot materials in a bid to win the election at all costs. Spokesperson of the Olusola Oke campaign organisation, Mr Bisi Kolawole, said in a release that it was unfortunate that the APC had become an instrument of corruption, despite its change slogan.
Kolawole stated, “They have threatened to win this election at all cost and today they have demonstrated their willingness to make their prediction come true. Our leaders were brutalised and hounded out of their homes in order to scare them and their supporters from the polling booths. They have brought in loads and loads of money to buy votes due to the pangs of hunger which they brought unto the people.
“Yet, they say they are fighting corruption. Again, the PDP too have been attacking us, including our candidate, Chief Olusola Oke. They are now buying votes in the full glare of all shamelessly to continue pillaging the state.
“From all over the state reports have it that cases of electoral manipulations are on-going. The PVC card readers are not functioning properly and appear to have been compromised as they show figures different from what were usually recorded in the accreditation exercise.”
Meanwhile, according to the results from some polling units, at Unit 20 Ward 7, where Mimiko voted, the PDP scored 176 votes against 40 and 25 scored by APC and AD, respectively. Also at Unit 021 in the same ward, PDP polled 92 votes as against the 31 and 23 scored by AD and APC, respectively.
The PDP candidate, Jegede, won at his Unit 009 located at Sacred Heart School, Akure. The results indicated that PDP polled 184 votes, APC got 77, and AD polled 32.
Akeredolu won at his Unit 6 Ward 5 at Oke Ijebu Owo. He polled 413 votes; PDP scored 13 votes, and AD got four votes. He was leading other candidates in the entire local government, which has 83, 639 voters with permanent voter cards.
The Secretary to the State Government, Aderotimi Adelola, lost his own unit to APC at Unit 007, Ayesan Ward, located at St Peter’s Primary School, Araromi Obu, Odigbo Local Government Area. The APC got 113 votes, AD had 79, and PDP had 73 votes.
But PDP alleged that it observed early irregularities in the conduct of the election and poor preparation on the part of the Independent National Electoral Commission and the security agencies. A statement by the party’s spokesman, Dayo Adeyeye, Saturday morning also alleged widespread card reader failure.
According to PDP, “Despite the fact that INEC owns more units of card readers, in several locations there are no back up card readers. As such, many voters are already being deprived of the right to cast a vote for the candidate of their choice.
“For instance, the polling unit of Governor Olusegun Mimiko suffered card reader failure at Ward 7 Unit 20, Ondo West Local Government Area – that has prevented voters from casting their votes.
“In Ward 2 of Akure South Local Government Area, Tunji Light-Ariyo, a known chieftain of the All Progressives Congress was recorded campaigning on behalf of and canvassing for votes for the APC candidate, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu, at PUs 28, 29, and 30, in spite of the prohibition of such actions by the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).”
PDP said the police and other security agencies did nothing to stop the alleged breach of the electoral law. “We view these incidents for what they are – violations of the law and evidence of the plots to rig the elections in favour of Chief Rotimi Akeredolu. We reiterate our earlier warnings that we will not stand by and watch anyone tamper with the democratic process and subvert the will of the Ondo people,” PDP stated.
As at 2am today, reporters gathered at the INEC headquarters in Akure for the announcement of the official results by the commission, but the exercise was yet to begin at the time of filing this report. Many of the results were still being awaited from the various local government areas.
ICPC Declares Buhari’s Son-In-Law, Two Others Wanted For $65M Fraud
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission (ICPC) has declared Gimba Kumo, a son-in-law of President Muhammadu Buhari, and two others wanted over alleged misappropriation of $65 million National Housing Funds.
Mr. Kumo, a former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, had in 2016 married Fatima, the president’s daughter, in Daura, Katsina State.
The ICPC in its list of wanted persons declared Mr. Kumo wanted alongside Tarry Rufus and Bola Ogunsola over the alleged fraud.
In the notice signed by its spokesperson Azuka Ogugua, the ICPC urged the public to provide information about the whereabouts of the wanted persons.
“The persons whose pictures appear above, Mr. Tarry Rufus, Mr. Gimba Yau Kumo, and Mr. Bola Ogunsola, are hereby declared WANTED by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in connection with issues bordering on misappropriation of National Housing Funds and diversion of the sum of Sixty Five Million dollars ($65,000,000).
“Anyone who has useful information on their whereabouts should report to ICPC Headquarters Abuja, any of the ICPC State Offices, or the nearest police station” the notice read.
In April, the senate committee on public accounts had summoned Mr. Kumo to explain the alleged irregular award of N3 billion contract when he was still at the bank.
The committee issued the summons following a query raised in a 2015-2018 report by the office of the auditor-general of the federation (AuGF) against the FMBN.
According to the report, the contract was awarded in four phases and was overpaid to the tune of N3,045,391,531.97.
Lagos State Moves to Completely Ban Okada, Keke, Introduces Minibuses
The Lagos State Government on Monday announced plans to completely ban the use of motorcycles (okada) and tricycles (Keke) due to rising crime and lawlessness across the state.
The announcement was made after a stakeholders’ meeting held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja.
In the meeting attended by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa; the Chief Judge, Kazeem Alogba; the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, traditional and religious leaders and members of the civil society, among others, the governor said the string of lawlessness daily witnessed from the confrontation between commercial motorcyclists and law enforcement agencies required urgent action.
“Based on all that we have seen and experienced in the past couple of weeks, as well as the increasing threat posed by the activities of commercial motorcycle operators to the safety and security of lives, we will be announcing further changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations in the state in the coming days. No society can make progress amid such a haughty display of lawlessness and criminality,” he added.
Sanwo-Olu said from next week, the state would be inaugurating the First and Last Mile buses next week, which would take the routes the motorcycles were plying.
The state Commissioner of Police, Odumosu, raised the alarm over rising security breaches from the menace of okada operations in the state.
He said between January and early this month, 320 commercial motorcycles were impounded in 218 cases of criminal incidents in which 78 suspects were detained and 480 ammunition recovered.
In the same period, the Lagos police boss said Okada accounted for 83 per cent of 385 cases of avoidable fatal vehicular accidents in Lagos.
At the end of the meeting, a 12-point resolution was reached, among which was a ban on Okada “as a means of transportation in the state.”
2023 Voter’s Registration Will Be Online, Biometric To Be Captured Physically- INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday unfolded plans to allow online filing during the continuous voter registration for the 2023 general election.
The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Mr. Festus Okoye, however, said only the biometric would be captured physically by INEC officials.
But the commission suffered another setback yesterday as arsonists torched its office in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State.
Okoye, during a stakeholders’ meeting on expanding voter access to polling units in Kano yesterday, said: “On June 28, the voter registration exercise for those above 18 years and those who have not registered before will commence with two new innovations. Those versatile with computer can register online and only visit a registration centre to capture their biometrics.”
Okoye stated that the online registration would be introduced to reduce crowd at registration centres in line with COVID-19 protocols.
The commission called on citizens, especially those willing to contest elections, whose voter cards have been defaced, whose names were wrongly spelt or addresses and locations wrongly captured to present themselves for authentication or correction.
INEC also called for valid data of all those with disabilities or physical challenges to be captured during the continuous registration for proper projections ahead of the 2023 general election.
INEC also warned political parties and politicians who have started campaigning to desist from doing so.
Okoye said: “There is a ban on political campaigns which has not been lifted yet. And I find it necessary to draw your attention for you to understand the legal implication of violating this ban.
“I have listened to comments on radio stations, which are capable of heating the polity. Media organisations should avoid providing platforms for such comments. The media should try to curtail such tensions.
“Political parties, politicians and their supporters should understand there is a legal framework for campaigns and it has not commenced yet.”
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