Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

INEC Still Relies On Court Of Appeal Order To Conduct Re -run Elections In Plateau, Feb 3

By Joseph Edegbo

The INEC Resident Commissioner in Plateau State, Dr Oliver Tersoo Agundu says arrangements have been concluded to conduct court ordered re-run election into Plateau North Senatorial district and Jos North) Bassa Federal constituency on February  3rd  2024

The Resident Electoral Commissioner announced this at a news briefing in Jos despite Supreme Court judgement against the miscarriage of justice by the lower court in respect of the initial elections in Plateau State.

He emphatically stated that the Ordered Re-run election is NOT based on the failure on the Part of INEC to do a good job in the first instance but strictly on the premise that a party in the contest failed to obey a court order and had no structure at the time of the election.

Here Under Full Text Of The Press Briefing.

AN ADDRESS BY THE HON. RESIDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER, PLATEAU STATE, DR OLIVER TERSOO AGUNDU ON THE OCCASION OF PRESS CONFERENCE IN PREPARATION FOR THE COURT ORDERED RE-RUN IN PLATEAU NORTH SENATORIAL DISTRICT AND JOS NORTH /BASSA FEDERAL HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES SCHEDULED FOR THE 3RD FEBRUARY, 2024 AT INEC STATE OFFICE, MIANGO ROAD, JOS, PLATEAU STATE.

Protocol Let me specially welcome all of you to this very Special Press briefing and interaction which is the first in the New Year 2024 and the first since after the 2023 General election. As we return thanks to almighty God for the successes of the 2023 General Elections especially here in Plateau State under my Leadership we wish to express our deepest appreciation to all of you and your various organisations for the immense support you gave us towards the successes and achievements we recorded.Let me at this point put on record the Commission’s appreciation of the support the media gave us especially for the fair and balanced reportage as well as the escalation of our activities to the Public.

I wish to assure all of you of our cooperation in the discharge of your constitutional duties to our people.

We are also hopeful that we can enjoy from all of you the same cooperation we have promised to extend to you.

The purpose of this meeting is to officially inform all of you about the Court Ordered Re-run Senatorial Election in Plateau North and the Federal House of Representative Election in Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency and to invite you all to once again to inform the general public about the election and the imperative of their active participation and orderly conducts so that we can have a peaceful election come 3rd of February, 2024. But let me be on record that this Court Ordered Re-run election is NOT based on the failure on the Part of INEC to do a good job in the first instance but strictly on the premise that a party in the contest failed to obey a court order and had no structure at the time of the election.

But as of today all of you in the media are aware of the position of the highest Court in our Country on the matter too.This election is going to be conducted in six (6) Local Government Areas of Plateau North namely; i) Barkin Ladi, ii) Bassa, iii) Jos East, iv) Jos North, V) Jos South and xi) Riyom

. These six (6) Local Government Areas of the constituency together have Seventy Three (73) Registration Areas (RAs), Two Thousand Two Hundred and Sixty Six ( 2266) Polling Units (PUs) with a total of One Million Two Hundred and Thirty Four Thousand, Seven Hundred and Sixty One (1,234,761) Registered Voters out of which One Million Six Hundred and Seven Thousand, One (1,167,001) have collected their PVCs. It is to be noted that the Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency is within the same Plateau North Senatorial District comprising of Two Local Government Areas of Jos North and Bassa with Thirty (30) Registration Areas (RAs), One Thousand, Two Hundred and nine (1209) Polling Units (PUs). The total Registered Voters are Six Hundred and Fourty Seven Thousand, Four Hundred and Nine (647,409) with a total PVC Collection of Six Hundred and Fourteen Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty Five (614,956). From the data above it is obvious that this is a huge exercise that is almost like a governorship election in some States. We are expecting to recruit and deploy over Eleven thousand (11,000) Ad-hoc personnel exclusive of the Security personnel that will be equally deployed. I therefore request members to appreciate the magnitude of the work at hand so that we can collectively develop modalities to ensure that we will have a fair reportage of our activities and the people are properly and timely informed of their responsibilities in ensuring a transparent, fair and inclusive election .

For us as a Commission charged with the constitutional responsibility of conducting elections I wish to inform you and once again assure all of you that despites very obvious challenges we are poised to proceed with this election as scheduled and eagerly anticipated by many in the affected constituencies.

Like I did emphasized in the last General Election of 2023, the operational principles are still the same as well as the basic procedure and requirements. Therefore I wish to reiterate once again that ONLY people with PVCs will be allowed to vote and accreditation MUST be with the use of BVAS as enunciated in the Electoral Act security agencies are hereby charged to ensure compliance to this legal provision. For the purpose of clarity Section 47, sub-section 1 of the Electoral Act clearly states that “A person intending to Vote in an election shall present himself with his voter’s card to a “presiding Officer for accreditation at the polling Unit in the constituency in which his name is registered”.

Like I did informed you last time the implication of the above provision is that only those with PVCs should come forward on Election Day to cast their votes.

No one should insist to vote without PVC and anyone who fails accreditation by BVAS should respectfully give way for others because any attempt to bypass BVAS is likely to result into over voting in which case Section 51 of Electoral Act will applyLet me also inform all of you that almost all non-sensitive materials of different categories are already in the concerned Local Governments except very few shortfalls but we are expecting full compliments from the Headquarters any from today and we are ready to deploy them immediately to the Six (6) LGAs as they arrive.

The Electoral Officers (EOs) have been directed to ensure full activation of the RACS at all the Six (6) LGAs of the Plateau North Senatorial except where expressly stated otherwise especially for Security Reasons.

In terms of Sensitive Materials, they are likely to arrive the state any moment from next week and as usual we shall invite all of you for inspection at the Central Bank before deployment to the LGAs few days to the election.

The over three thousand (3000) BVAS expected to be deployed in this coming Re-run elections have been fully charged and are currently being purged of the previous data ready for configuration and subsequent deployment. I wish to report that we have planned to deploy BVAS to specific Polling Units, RAs/Wards and LGAs during election with the right quantity of the Back-up ready for any eventuality.

Let me also reiterate the earlier information that I escalated from our Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu the last time we met before the General Elections precisely that elections is not going to hold in some Polling Units across the Nation for some reasons which resulted in zero Registration.

I wish to inform you that Plateau North Senatorial District also have a share of such Units in Two(2 ) LGAs namely Bassa (1) and Jos North (3) totalling Four (4) Polling Units.

Once again all Political Parties, Security Agencies and other stakeholders should take note and act accordingly by not deploying agents or personnel in those places on the 3rd February, 2024 It is also pertinent to inform you that we are currently shortlisting the names of Ad-hoc for training, recruitment and deployment of Ad-Hoc Staff especially SPOS, POs and APOs. The training of RACTechs will soon be activated and the Commission will ensure that only qualified persons will eventually be shortlisted to participate in election. For the purposes of inclusivity INEC in line with the provisions of the Law has also given special consideration to People living with Disability and other vulnerable groups so that they too can have equal opportunity to participate in this forthcoming Re-Run Election.

I wish to reiterate the call that security personnel should at all times help to protect the Vulnerable so that they too can perform their duties as enshrined in our laws especially the Electoral Act.

By way of conclusion, I wish to once again express determination to once again conduct a free, fair, transparent and inclusive elections but this can only be possible in an atmosphere of peace which can only be maintained and guaranteed by the security agencies and fair reportage by the media. I wish to once again plead that we all do everything we can to ensure that this coming Re-run election too is conducted in an ambient of peace, serenity, decorum and patriotism to our fatherland in accordance with the global best democratic principles Thank you All and May God bless All of Us

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