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INEC Clears Tinubu, Atiku, Obi, 15 Others For 2023 Presidential Election

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday released the final list of the presidential candidates it cleared to contest the 25 February election.

The FidelinfoNews reports that among those cleared are the candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso.

The names of their running mates were also listed.

The names were contained in a list sent to media organisations.

Also released were the names and particulars of the candidates for the senatorial election and the House of Representatives. Elections into the two chambers hold the same day as the presidential election.

Other information provided in the list are their age, gender and academic qualifications.

The electoral body had in June published a temporary list of the candidates in line with the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 polls.

Meanwhile, a statement also issued Tuesday by INEC spokesperson, Festus Okoye, said the 18 registered political parties fielded candidates for the presidential election.

He also said 1,101 candidates are vying for the 109 senatorial seats while 3,122 candidates are vying for the 360 seats in the House of Representatives.

“In summary, all the 18 political parties have fielded candidates and their running mates for the Presidential election.

“For legislative elections, 1,101 candidates are vying for 109 Senatorial seats and 3,122 candidates for Federal Constituencies i.e. House of Representatives seats, making a total of 4,223 candidates contesting for 469 legislative positions.

“In terms of gender distribution, 3,875 candidates are male, made up of 35 for Presidential and Vice Presidential, 1,008 for Senate and 2,832 for House of Representatives.

“Similarly, 381 females comprising 1 for Presidential, 92 for Senate, and 288 for House of Representatives are contesting. There are also 11 Persons with Disability (PWDs) in the race,” the statement said.

Mr Okoye said not all political parties conducted primaries in all the constituencies, submitted the particulars of candidates that emerged from valid primaries or substituted their candidates after fresh primaries within 14 days as provided by the Electoral Act.

He appealed to all parties to channel any observations on the list of candidates to the Commission and such must be signed by the national chairman and secretary of the political party and supported with an affidavit as provided in section 32(2) of the Electoral Act 2022.

Read the full statement below:

INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION

PRESS RELEASE

PUBLICATION OF FINAL LIST OF CANDIDATES FOR NATIONAL ELECTIONS

At its regular weekly meeting held today Tuesday 20th September 2022, the Commission approved the final list of candidates for national elections (Presidential, Senatorial and Federal Constituencies) pursuant to section 32(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 and item 8 of the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election.

The publication of the full names and addresses of all nominated candidates follows the political parties’ conduct of primaries and completion of the nomination exercise. Nigerians may recall that at end of the process, the personal particulars of all nominated candidates were displayed in their constituencies nationwide as provided by section 29(3) of the Electoral Act.

Subsequently, validly nominated candidates had the opportunity to voluntarily withdraw their candidature by notice in writing and personally deliver such notice to the political party that nominated them for the election. Thereafter, political parties substituted such candidates under section 31 of the Electoral Act for which the last day was 15th July 2022 for national elections and 12th August 2022 for State elections as clearly provided in item 6 of the Commission’s Timetable and Schedule of Activities. Thereafter, no withdrawal or substitution of candidates is allowed except in the event of death as provided in section 34(1) of the Electoral Act or pursuant to an order of a Court of competent jurisdiction.

The list published today contains the names of candidates validly nominated for national elections at the close of party primaries and the period earmarked for withdrawal and substitution of candidates. The final list of candidates for State elections (Governorship and State Constituencies) will be published on 4th October 2022 as already indicated on the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election.

We note the fact that not all the political parties conducted primaries in all the constituencies, submitted the particulars of candidates that emerged from valid primaries or substituted their candidates after fresh primaries within 14 days as provided in section 33 of the Electoral Act. This has led to numerous litigations, some of which are ongoing. Where the Commission was served with Court orders by aggrieved aspirants or candidates before the publication of this list, these have been indicated under the remark column.

In summary, all the 18 political parties have fielded candidates and their running mates for the Presidential election. For legislative elections, 1,101 candidates are vying for 109 Senatorial seats and 3,122 candidates for Federal Constituencies i.e. House of Representatives seats, making a total of 4,223 candidates contesting for 469 legislative positions. In terms of gender distribution, 3,875 candidates are male, made up of 35 for Presidential and Vice Presidential, 1,008 for Senate and 2,832 for House of Representatives. Similarly, 381 females comprising 1 for the Presidential, 92 for the Senate, and 288 for the House of Representatives are contesting. There are also 11 Persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the race.

The list for specific constituencies is published in each State where they are located while the comprehensive nationwide list has been uploaded to the Commission’s website.

We appeal to all political parties to channel any observations on the list of candidates to the Commission and such must be signed by the National Chairman and Secretary of the political party and supported with an affidavit as provided in section 32(2) of the Electoral Act 2022.

Festus Okoye Esq
National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee
Tuesday 20th September 2022.

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Again, Saraki Thugs Vandalise Campaign Posters In Kwara

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Thugs loyal to the Kwara State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have vandalised campaign posters belonging to candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ode Alausa, Ilorin, the state capital.

Fidel Info reports that the thugs who went on rampage were said to be sponsored by two PDP chieftains Dr Giwa Lukman and one other simply identified as Alhaji Uthman.

Both of them are loyalists of former Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki who is the leader of the party in Kwara.

The thugs razed down all the APC billboards and pounced on passersby and innocent residents, leaving many people with varying degrees of injuries.

Our sources told us that many of the victims are hospitalised after suffering damages to their bodies.

Meanwhile, this is not the first time hooligans loyal to the opposition PDP in the state would be destroying billboards belonging to the APC.

They also orchestrated the destruction of APC billboards in Ubandawaki in Ilorin few months ago.

People have attributed these developments to acceptance of defeat by the opposition who are overwhelmed by the popularity of APC in the state.

They condemned PDP for resorting to violence which they said is a characteristic of their era, urging security agencies to step up their game in containing these notorious elements that want to destabilise the peace and harmony of the state.

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Kwara 2023:Scores Join APC In Oke-Ero LG

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Hundreds of defectors across  opposition parties in Kwara State have joined the ruling All Progressives Congress in Oke-Ero Local Government Area of the state.

Fidel Info Reports That The massive defections happened today on an open field during the local government APC General Ward Meeting in Idofin Igbana community.

The decampees claimed that, what is happening in other political parties are nothing to hold by but Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s APC has done so much for them in the local government and in the state at large.

Speaking for the Hausa Community, Mallam Abila Danlami said himself and his people residing in Oke-Ero has never had it so good and has no choice than to join APC and support Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s reelection for their personal and general benefits.

Welcoming the decampees into the APC fold, the Commissioner for Finance, Hon. Oyeyemi Olasunbo Florence, said the defectors are from all the 10 wards of the local government having witnessed different developmental projects in their various localities.

The Commissioner who is a daughter of the soil also said several groups were represented such as, Fulani Community, Hausa Community including the plantation farmers from Ado-Ashe, all from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and other opposition parties in the state.

According to the Commissioner, the defectors realized, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has the excellence and has proven the worth, so the people see it as a must to join hands with him and ensure victory of the party from the Presidency down to the House of Assembly levels.

She said all wards in the local government are fully represented to throw weight behind the governor’s reelection bid and charge the environment while showing strong support.

She however thanked the governor for counting the local government worthy of the massive development it has experienced since the beginning of his administration.

Also, the Commissioner for Youth Development, Hon. George Olabode Towoju hailed the governor for the recognition and support he is giving the indigenes and residents of the local government.

Hon. Towoju said there is hardly any ward in the local government that you won’t see at least one political office holder or the other. He revealed that, Oke-Ero is one of the few local governments in the state that produce two commissioners.

He said with the feat, “our people are totally committed to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s project  for him to win his reelection come 2023 for the continuity of the good governance Kwarans have always been yearning for.

Some of the achievements of the governor in the local government are as follows;

*Construction of four class rooms at Iloffa Grammar School with three offices.

*Construction of 3 blocks of classroom with two offices at St Pete Primary School, Iloffa.

*ICT Centre at St. John Primary School Iloffa.

*Construction of 3 classrooms at Jamat Primary School Iloffa.

*Reconstruction and rehabilitation of Oko – Idofin Igbana Road to Odo-Ashe ongoing

*Reconstruction and rehabilitation of blocks 10 classroom at St. Paul Primary School, Idofin-Igbana Ward l

*Reconstruction and rehabilitation of blocks of 4 classrooms at Idofin High School, Idofin Ward II

*Rehabilitation and refurbishment of Model Health Centres at Omi-Egun Road, Idofin Ward II.

*Construction of Oko – Idofin Igbana – Odo Ashe Road.

*Construction of Omi Ayin Bridge along Idofin Ayekale Road.

Building of two blocks of classroom at United Primary School, Ekan and rehabilitation of Obaji Comprehensive Secondary School, Ekan.

Building of six blocks of class room in Odo Ashe.

Construction of two new classrooms and renovation of another 4 classrooms with furniture at Muslim Primary School, Ayedun.

Construction of two blocks of classroom at Imode/Egosi Ward and many more projects yet to be captured.

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Osun Tribunal: Drama As INEC Produces Blank Documents As Adeleke’s Certificates

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There was a mild drama at the sitting of the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal on Thursday, as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) produced blank documents as the Secondary School Certificate and Testimonial of the newly sworn-in Governor of the State, Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Fidel Info reports that this is just as the tribunal threatened to invoke its Coercive Power on INEC if it fails to produce a clear and legible documents on Saturday December 3, 2022.

The tribunal during its last sitting had ordered the Chief National Electoral Commissioner of INEC to produce Adeleke’s Nomination Form and credentials used in the Osun 2018 governorship election.

The order followed the failure of the electoral body to comply with the first order to produce the documents on the ground that it was not in the custody of the Osun Resident Electoral Commissioner who was subpoeaned to produce same.

At the resumed hearing of the petition on Thursday, one Mrs Joan Arams, who represented INEC produced the said blank documents.

While perusing the documents, counsel to Mr Adegboyega Oyetola and the APC, Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) informed the tribunal that the pages containing the Secondary School Certificate and Testimonial of Adeleke were not legible at all.

He said: “The first document in question has the heading ‘West Africa Examination Council, General Certificate in Education’. Apart from the heading, all the contents therein are blank. The second one is the School Testimonial of Ede Muslim Grammar School and the contents there too are not legible.

“My Lords, before the INEC can be discharged, we must be clear that the appropriate documents have been produced,” Fagbemi stressed.

When called by the tribunal for his reaction, Counsel to INEC, Professor Paul Ananaba, SAN said, since the documents had been produced, the INEC representative should be asked to leave.

Pressed further on the said unclear certificate of Adeleke, Ananaba said he was not a witness in the matter and could not speak on the said documents.

Counsel for Adeleke, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, SAN also agreed that the secondary school certificate of his client was not clear to read, saying, “I can confirm truly that the documents is faint.”

He then argued that since the petitioners already had a copy of the certificate, the witness whose testimony was based on the said documents should be called to make use of the one in the petitioners’ custody.

Also, counsel for PDP, Alex Izinyon (SAN) argued that the documents, though faint, could still be admitted in evidence and the petitioners would make reference to it in their final address.

Responding again, Fagbemi said, “My Lord, if somebody writes exams, his scores will be in the result, in this one being produced here, those scores are not showing.

“Before your Lordships adjourned the last time we came here, we had the understanding that somebody will produce a clean and legible documents and that was why the respondents pleaded that we come today.

“Now, they are saying we should manage this one. We are not managing, afterall, we have paid N305,000 for the production of the documents.

“For instance, my Lords, my learned friends are saying they can see Ede Grammar School on the testimonial, but the address underneath is not showing. My Lords need to see all these, because they are very germane to our case,” Fagbemi argued.

While ruling on the arguments of the counsel, the tribunal contended that the said certificate of Adeleke was truly blank, saying neither the name of the writer of the exam nor the result was showing on the said documents.

The tribunal Chairman said: ” We have also looked at the said documents. The document headed and quote: West African Examinations Council does not contain the name of the person who took the examination. The subjects engrained and contained there, those material facts are blank and vacant, the evidential value of the said documents will be difficult to determine in the event that the document is put in evidence.

“Similarly, the location of Ede Muslim Grammar School quote and unquote doesn’t appear in the said document. So, the first respondent has not complied in full with the order of this tribunal in producing the document legible enough for the purposes of evidence of the witness whose evidence is dependent on the said documents”, the panel ruled.

It was after the ruling that the Counsel for INEC pleaded that the tribunal could stand down the case for one hour for a clearer documents in question to be produced.

Returning from the break, counsel for INEC told the tribunal that despite the efforts made, his client could not get a clearer certificate of Adeleke in his custody, saying the only way forward was to bring the original file containing the documents in question.

He then appealed that if the Petitioners have a better copy, they should produce it and it will not be objected to.

Counsel for Adeleke and PDP, respectively said, the “INEC can’t give what they don’t have” saying what they produce was the best they had.

In line with his arguments, the tribunal asked the INEC counsel to choose a date not beyond Saturday, December 3 for the production of the file containing the documents or a clearer documents in question.

The panel again was forced to stand down for another 10 minutes for the INEC counsel to make contact and give a date that the clearer documents would be produced.

When the panel returned, the INEC counsel then applied for adjournment till Wednesday 7th December to bring the documents in question to which he said he was ready to lose one day of his day during defence.

While ruling, the tribunal described the application for adjournment as unfortunate, saying “the case is reluctantly adjourned to 3rd December, 2022 for the production of eligible copies of the pages of the said documents, failing which coercive power of this tribunal will be invoked.

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