You can’t dictate to us on re-run – INEC tells Senate

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According to reports, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday said that the Senate couldn’t dictate to them on when re-run elections will hold in Rivers and Anambra states.

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The Senate had, on Wednesday, threatened to suspend sitting indefinitely if the electoral body did not conduct rerun elections in Rivers and Anambra states before December 10.

Speaking in Abuja at the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room organised by Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), INEC National Commissioner, Prince Shoyebi said that the commission would not surrender its responsibility to any organisation.

He, however, stated that all is set for the rerun elections in Rivers State.

He noted that it was not because of the threat by the Senate, but that the commission had put everything in place before the Senate acted.

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“We have put a lot of things in place for the Rivers elections. We gave them five conditions to be met before we will conduct the elections. Part of the condition was that all cases in court should be withdrawn. They have met all our conditions. By today, the new date will be confirmed.

“We will not surrender our responsibility to anybody. We are not moved by the Senate’s threat. The date did not have anything to do with the order of the Senate; it is purely done on the basis of our own responsibility.

“We took our time because Rivers election is not done by ballot paper alone, but by guns. We cannot expose other people’s children and our workers to danger, hence the need for us to tidy up,” he stated.

Speaking on the forthcoming Ondo election, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for the state, Olusegun Agbaje, said that the commission is fully prepared for the November 26 governorship elections.

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This was just as he denied the allegations by the standard bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Jimoh Ibrahim, that INEC official requested bribe from him.

Agbaje said he had never seen Ibrahim before.

“I have not met Jimoh Ibrahim before in my life, I have not spoken to him in my life. Ibrahim sent somebody to bring money to our office; I turned the person down very politely. I told him I was not going to see Jimoh Ibrahim. I was surprised when I read what Jimoh Ibrahim said about me in the newspapers.

“I have made presentation on it to the chairman of INEC, with two prayers; to address the media and go to court. I have never met Jimoh Ibrahim before, all the allegations are false”, he added.

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Agbaje said that the commission is working round the clock to make the Ondo guber elections one of the freest and fairest.

“Any party can win the election. The election is not pre-determined. We will make sure that it is the Ondo people that determines who they want as governor through their vote,” he said.

Given statistics of voters, Agbaje noted that 1,659,186 people registered, out of which 1,201,553 had collected their PVCs, leaving a total of 330,218 PVCs yet to be collected.

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