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Ex-INEC chairman Jega rejects Buhari’s aide Onochie as Commissioner

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National Assembly notorious for bribery –Jega

Former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor  Attahiru Jega has kicked against the nomination of Lauretta Onochie, as National Commissioner for the electoral umpire.

Jega during an interview with Channels TV said that there are many other eligible women for the job.

He urged President Buhari to withdraw Onochie’s nomination and replace her with another female from her state.

He noted that controversies around the nomination of the former aide to the president could have been avoided.

“This kind of controversy is really avoidable.

“Any person who generated such a controversy, the appointing authorities should be careful because you don’t want to appoint anybody that can raise suspicions or doubts or can lead to a loss of trust on the electoral management body,” Jega said.

Multiple controversies have greeted the nomination and screening of Onochie as commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Many claimed that Onochie is a member of the ruling APC and should never be involved in affairs of the commission in charge of the election.

However, Onochie on Thursday during her screening with the senate said she stopped being an APC member in 2019.

Ms Onochie, who said she is out of politics, described herself as “Madam Due Process.”

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POLITICS

Reps committee to meet INEC Chairman over direct primaries

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The fight over the direct primaries provision in the electoral amendment bill has been moved to the doorstep of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

On Thursday, the House of Representatives directed the House Committees on Electoral Matters and Appropriations to meet with Yakubu Mahmood, the INEC Chairman.

The resolution followed a motion of urgent public importance moved by Leke Abejide at plenary.

The summoning by the green chamber is coming some days after President Muhammadu Buhari wrote INEC to get advice on the electoral bill which has been passed and awaiting assent.

It would be recalled that the direct primaries provision in the bill has pitched the lawmakers against the governors who rejected the bill.

The governors have argued that the cost implication for INEC will be huge. In addition, the governors said the bill will infringe on the rights of political parties to determine the process of selecting candidates.

According to Abejide, the meeting between INEC Chairman and the Committee will allow Nigerians to get the true cost of direct primaries.

The motion was passed unanimously by the lawmakers when it was put to vote.

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Resign before December 18, Fayemi tells appointees nursing gov ambition

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Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Wednesday directed those serving in his government who would like to contest the governorship primaries to tender their resignation latest by December 18.

The directive was contained in a statement signed by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, in Ado Ekiti, titled, “Ekiti 2022: Fayemi gives Dec. 18 deadline to governorship aspirants to resign position.”

Oyebode stated that the development “became imperative in order to ensure cohesion and excellent service delivery – two major hallmarks of the administration – remain uncompromised.

“In compliance with directives of the Independent National Electoral Commission, the ruling All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State has slated the governorship primaries for January, ahead of the June 2022 governorship election.”

Among those in the Fayemi government believed to be interested in the contest are the Secretary to the State Government, Biodun Oyebanji; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Biodun Omoleye; Commissioner for Public Utilities, Bamidele Faparusi; and Special Adviser to the Governor, Prof Bolaji Aluko, among others.

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Buni C’ttee rejects plans for a parallel convention

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The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) took a different dimension on Monday as youths in the party announced the ‘dissolution’ of the party’s national caretaker committee led by Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni, and inaugurated a new one.

The youths, under the aegis of Progressive Youth Movement (PYM), at a press conference in Abuja, fixed February 26, 2021, for the party’s national convention.

But in a swift reaction, the top echelon of the ruling party said the Buni-led committee remained sacrosanct, adding that the youths were not members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and lacked the power to dissolve the committee.

The Buni-led committee was inaugurated in June 2020 saddled with the responsibility of organising a national convention, among others, following the dissolution of the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC), over alleged abuse of office.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, chairman of the new caretaker committee, Prince Mustapha Audu, who is the son of former Kogi State governor, Abubakar Audu, explained that they were out to “rescue the party from total collapse.”

Other committee members inaugurated at the event were the Vice Chair (North), Tukur Tukur Buratai; Vice Chair (South), Busayo Akinnadeju; South West representative, Hon. Omowunmi Ogungbaibi; South East representative, Barr Nonso Nwaebili and South South representative, Prince Godswill Edward.

Others are North Central representative, Dr Ibrahim Abdul; North East representative, Hon. Ibrahim A. Waziri; North West representative, Bello Bala Shagari; Senate representative, Sen. Ahmed Lawan; House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and Physically Challenged, Sajo Xcarfini.

Reacting, the APC deputy national publicity secretary, Yekini Nabena, said the youths lacked the power to dissolve the Buni-led committee, as they are not members of the National Executive Committee (NEC).

Similarly, Secretary of the APC Caretaker Committee, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, said the youths were unknown to the party.

He said, “The purported group and its membership are unknown to the party. Hence, we completely disown them and cannot account for their activities or join issues with them.”

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