The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) on Friday submitted its findings and recommendations on the 2019 general elections to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
EU Chief Observer, Maria Arena, while submitting the report to INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu in Abuja, said that the union would on Saturday make public the report of its monitoring of the elections.
Arena who did not disclose the content of the report, said that the submission would be made open to journalists and members of the public to seek clarifications on the issues raised in the report.
The EU chief observer said that the union had been part of Nigeria’s electoral process since 1999.
The union deployed 73 observers to 223 polling units and 81 collation centres in 22 states for the 2019 general elections.
Receiving the report, INEC chairman also noted that EU had been part of Nigeria’s steady progress towards democratic consolidation since 1999.
Yakubu said that the commission had adopted the EU recommendations on previous elections.
He said the recommendations included simultaneous accreditation and voting processes on election day, adding that it was first used for the 2015 Bayelsa governorship election and subsequent elections in the country.
He said the observations and recommendations of the EU election observation mission to the 2015 general elections were particularly useful.
Yakubu said the recommendations were used for the design of some important proposals for reforming the electoral legal framework and in improving the electoral processes and procedures.
The INEC chairman pledged that the commission would look into the recommendations of the report.
He gave the assurance that the recommendations on 2019 elections would form the benchmarks in the reform to be submitted to the National Assembly.
“Every election in any democracy around the world is work in progress. We therefore look forward to the full EU EOM report and recommendations on the elections.
“We are confident that there will be useful lessons for the commission as we prepare for future elections.
“Indeed, the report is coming at the right time as it will feed into our ongoing review of the conduct of the elections.
“Let me assure you that the commission will again quickly focus attention on the electoral legal framework in addition to several other areas of reform.
“We will study in detail all your recommendations as part of our ongoing internal review of the 2019 general elections which we hope to conclude in the next two months,” he added.
Yakubu commended the EU for its interest in Nigeria’s democratic processes.
Meanwhile, INEC on Thursday, June 13, claimed that it does not have a server where results of the February 23 presidential election were uploaded.
INEC made this known at the ongoing presidential election petitions tribunal in Abuja.
Ben Bruce Hails Buhari’s ‘No Visa Policy’
A former lawmaker representing Bayelsa East in the National Assembly, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for allowing all Africans to come to Nigeria without Visa from January 2020.
President Buhari while attending a peace and development summit in Egypt, announced the country will begin issuing visas on arrival for all African nationals.
If this policy comes into effect it would be a major boon for the continent-wide push to ensure freer movement of Africans.
Reacting to the No Visa Policy on Thursday, Murray-Bruce urged Buhari to extend ‘no visa policy’ to all people of Black African origin in the Diaspora.
In a tweet on his official Twitter page on Monday, Ben Bruce wrote: “I commend President
@MBuhari for his visa free policy to all citizens of African Union member nations. I first suggested this in my Right of Return Bill. I urge the President to go the whole hog and extend this to all people of Black African origin in the Diaspora.”
I commend President @MBuhari for his visa free policy to all citizens of African Union member nations. I first suggested this in my Right of Return Bill. I urge the President to go the whole hog and extend this to all people of Black African origin in the Diaspora.
— Ben Murray-Bruce (@benmurraybruce) December 12, 2019
BREAKING: Senate Probes DSS Invasion Of Court, Rearrest Of Sowore
The Senate has begun probe into the action of the operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS following the rearrest of pro-democracy campaigner and journalist, Omoyele Sowore, at the premises of a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Consequently, the Senate on Thursday mandated its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters chaired by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, All Progressives Congress, APC, Ekiti Central to carry out a holistic investigation into the matter and report back in one week.
Resolution of the Senate was sequel to a point of Order on the issue raised by Senator Bamidele on the invasion.
Bamidele came under Order 43 of the Senate Standing Orders as Amended that did not allow for contributions from other Senators.
Sowore: Nigeria Is Not Answerable To US, UK, EU — Femi Adesina
The Special Adviser on Media Affairs and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Adesina has stated that Nigeria is a sovereign nation therefore not answerable to the US, UK or EU regarding cases of human rights abuses.
This statement was uttered by Femi Adesina when he appeared on Channels TV on Wednesday night, December 11th as a guest.
The statement he made was in reference to comments from the EU, UK and the US on the invasion of the Federal High Court Abuja by men of the Department of State Services to re-arrest the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore.
Adesina said: “We are not answerable to the US, the UK or the EU. We are Nigeria, a sovereign country. Those countries and entities have issues of their own. Let them deal with their issues. Let Nigeria also deal with her internal issues. We are not answerable to them.”
He went on to speak about Wole Soyinka’s criticisms against the regime of the President, stating that the Nobel laureate was free to express his opinion.
“We respect Prof. Soyinka. You don’t have too many of them in the country or even on the continent. He is an avatar and he is well respected but his opinion will remain his opinion. It will be considered and if there are things to act on, we will act on them,” he said.
When asked to comment on the recent attack on his senior colleague, Garba Shehu by the first lady, Aisha Buhari, Adesina said he will not be able to comment as he is not the person that was attacked by the first lady. He went on to add that the President’s family is off limits except the President directs him speak on the issue.