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Anambra Central senatorial re-run poll holds Jan 13 – INEC



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), is insisting that the Anambra Central senatorial district rerun election will hold as scheduled, on January 13.

This was against the backdrop of a Federal High Court judgment asking INEC to issue the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mr. Obiora Okonkwo, a certificate of return and, also, for him to be sworn in by the Senate president.

Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC)  in the state, Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji, who made the disclosure, said the commission had commenced training of ad hoc personnel in that respect.

Nkwachukwu said its legal department had studied the judgement and asked it to go ahead with the election as ordered by the Court of Appeal. “We’re going ahead with the election as scheduled. We’ve started training ad hoc personnel in that respect. Our legal department has asked us to go ahead and obey the Court of Appeal order against the Federal High Court judgement.

“So, we are going ahead to conduct the election on January 13,” he  stated.

Anambra Central Senatorial District had been without a senator since 2015, when a Court of Appeal, Enugu Division, sacked the occupant of the position, Uche Ekwunife.

In disqualifying Ekwunife and her political party, PDP, from participating in the rerun, the court asked INEC to conduct a rerun in the district within 90 days,

The PDP then challenged its exclusion in the rerun at the Federal High Court, Abuja, with the court granting judgment in its favour.

The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, and APGA had contended that PDP should not field a candidate in the rerun, since it was at its instance that the election was nullified on December 7, 2015.

On Monday, November 20, 2017, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja delivered a judgment in favour of Umeh, in which it ordered INEC to conduct the rerun election within 90 days of the judgment, excluding the PDP from contesting.

Following this, INEC fixed the rerun for January 13, 2018.

Meanwhile, a Federal High Court in Abuja has summoned INEC to appear before it and show cause why it should not be restrained from conducting the scheduled rerun election.

Also summoned by the court are 28 others, including  Chief Victor Umeh, APGA; Flint Ikechukwu Obiekwe; United Progressive Party (UPP); Senator Chris Ngige; All Progressives Congress (APC); Oyeh Mercy Uche; Accord (A);  Oby Kate Okafor; Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD); Chief Anayo Nweke; African Democratic Congress (ADC); Christopher Chukwendu; Citizens Popular Party (CPP); Okafor Ikechukwu; Independent Democrats (ID); Chief Dennis Oguguo; Kowa Party (KP) and Kingsley Nwafor.

The rest are Ekweozoh Nkem; Mega Progressive Peoples Party (MPPP); Ubakamma Ikenna; National Conscience Party (NCP); Rev. Charles Ekwueme; People For Democratic Change (PDC); Igwilo Michael and Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA).

They are to appear in court on Wednesday, January 10, for the definite hearing of the suit brought by the candidate of PDP for Anambra Central Senatorial District , Dr. Obiora Okonkwo.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suits.

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12m ladies turn out to be youngster brides yearly – UNICEF



An estimated 12 million ladies underneath 18 years of age are getting married yearly globally, in response to new knowledge from UNICEF launched on Tuesday.

The newly collated figures sign a 15 per cent drop within the final decade, from one in 4 to roughly one in 5 ladies.

File; Baby-marriage

UNICEF warned that if youngster marriage continues on the present fee, greater than 150 million ladies the world over will marry earlier than their 18th birthdays by 2030.

“When a lady is pressured to marry as a toddler, she faces fast and lifelong penalties.

“Her odds of ending faculty lower whereas her odds of being abused by her husband and struggling issues throughout being pregnant enhance,” Anju Malhotra, UNICEF’s principal gender adviser, stated in an announcement.

In South Asia, there was a lower within the prevalence of kid brides from 50 per cent ten years in the past to 30 per cent at this time.

In sub-Saharan Africa, there has additionally been a decline, with 43 per cent of ladies married in childhood ten years in the past in comparison with 38 per cent at this time.

UNICEF stated there has additionally been a shift in the place the best variety of youngster brides are positioned, with near one-third of all probably the most not too long ago married youngster brides globally now in sub-Saharan Africa, in comparison with one in 5 a decade in the past.

Based on UNICEF, an estimated 650 million girls alive at this time have been married as youngsters.

The UN Sustainable Improvement Targets units out plans to finish youngster marriage by 2030.



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Kenya Supreme Court Annuls Presidential Election




Kenya’s Supreme Court has annulled the result of last month’s presidential election, citing irregularities, and ordered a new one within 60 days.

The ruling makes Kenya the first African country to have a presidential poll invalidated by a court.

The election commission had declared incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta the winner by a margin of 1.4 million votes.

But the opposition argued that the commission’s IT system had been hacked to manipulate the results.

Chief Justice David Maraga said the 8 August election had not been “conducted in accordance with the constitution” and declared it “invalid, null and void”.

He said the verdict was backed by four of the six Supreme Court judges.

The announcement drew cheers from opposition supporters both inside and outside the courtroom.

Justice Maraga said the election commission had failed “to conduct the presidential election in a manner consistent with the dictates of the constitution”.

He did not elaborate on any irregularities, but said the court would provide details in a full judgment within 21 days.

Dissenting judges said that the Nasa opposition alliance – which had petitioned the Supreme Court – failed to prove claims that the polls had been rigged.

International election monitors from the EU, the African Union and the US said there had been no major fraud on election day and urged opposition candidate Raila Odinga to concede.

The election sparked days of sporadic protests, in which at least 28 people were killed. The vote had raised fears of major political violence – as was the case after a disputed poll in 2007.

Mr Odinga said the ruling marked “a historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension for the people of the continent of Africa”.

He added that he had “no faith at all in the electoral commission as currently constituted” and called for the prosecution of its members.

A lawyer for President Kenyatta said the decision had been “very political” but had to be respected.



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INEC Approves September 30th For Eti-Osa Assembly Bye-Election




The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday said the bye-election to fill the vacant Eti-Osa Constituency I seat in the Lagos State House of Assembly would be held on Sept. 30.

Mr Sam Olumekun, INEC’s new Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Lagos State, announced the date at a stakeholders meeting attended by party leaders at the Lagos headquarters of the commission.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bye-election is coming up following the July 18 death of Mr Kazeem Alimi of the All Progressives Congress, who occupied the seat.

He succumbed to a brief illness at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, two weeks after celebrating his 50th birthday.

Dr Mudashiru Mustapha, INEC Administrative Secretary in Lagos State, had on Aug. 11 said Sept. 16 was being considered for the election.

He had, however, said it was tentative had yet to be approved by the national headquarters of INEC.

The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), after Mustapha’s disclosure, urged the electoral body to shift the proposed date for the bye-election by two weeks.

The group appealed to INEC to consider Sept 30, stressing that they just finished a local government election in the state.

They said this would give the parties more time to be able to sensitise and mobilise their people ahead of the election.

Olumekun, the new Lagos REC, told the stakeholders at his maiden meeting with them that Sept. 30 had been approved by the INEC national headquarters after considering the recommendations by party leaders.

”This meeting is an opportunity for me formally introduce myself to stakeholders in the state and discuss the modalities for the forthcoming Eti-Osa I bye-election that has been slated for Sept 30.

”Time table has been drawn and we have given them out to the parties. The commission will monitor these activities.

”INEC is taking the management of elections to higher level. Since 2011, we have progressively improved on our performance.

”We have designed new tools which we are going to work with to conduct a very fair, credible, peaceful and conclusive election,” he said.

Olumekun urged political parties to conduct their activities peacefully and partner with the commission in the areas of voter registration and education.

”Voters’ education is very key to the growth of democracy and INEC alone cannot educate and mobilise the citizens to perform their civic responsibilities.

”We have about 1.4 million Permanent Voter Cards that are yet to be collected. We are appealing to political parties to help mobilise and encourage the people in this regard, and be part of the voter registration,” Olumekun said.

Reading out the timetable for the forthcoming bye-election, Mr Oladosu Balogun, Head of Department, Electoral Operations, INEC-Lagos, said the conduct of primaries by political parties was from Aug. 26 to Sept. 5.

”Forms should be collected from Abuja and the last day for submission of Forms CF001, CF002 and nomination form at INEC headquarters in Abuja is Sept. 7, while the last day for the publication of list of nominated candidates will be Sept. 14.

”Sept. 23 is for the submission of names and addresses of party agents to electoral officers. Campaigns have started and the last day for campaigns is on Sept.28. Election will then take place on Sept. 30, ” Balogun said.

Reacting, Mr Charles Odugbesi, a representative of the Lagos State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), suggested that the collection and submission of forms should be done in Lagos and not Abuja to save cost and time.

Also Mr Shola Omolola, Lagos State Chairman, Action Alliance (AA) said that the timing for the primaries was short and appealed for an extension of the date to allow political parties conduct their primaries adequately.

Mr Kola Ajayi, State Chairman, IPAC, urged the commission to make the form available online. (NAN)


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