INEC Makes U-turn, Admits Ownership of Server
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Monday, 17th June, 2019 admitted ownership of a sever,
maintaining however, that the results of the 2019 general elections were not transmitted electronically
to its server but that the Commission only experimented the technology during some staggered
elections held in 2018.
The Commission said that the clarification was necessary because of rising controversies on the
transmission of 2019 Presidential Election results from states to the INEC server.
At the resumed sitting of the Presidential Election tribunal last week, the Peoples’ Democratic Party
(PDP) and its candidate in the presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, had prayed the tribunal to
give it permission to inspect other electronic gadgets used by INEC in February 23 election.
In their petition before the tribunal, the PDP and Atiku are claiming that they won the presidential
election based on results fed into INEC’s server.
However, speaking during the Post Election Retreat organised by the Commission for its staff and ad hoc
staff engaged for the last general elections in Osun State, INEC National Commissioner, Solomon Soyebi,
said many factors forced the Commission to drop the idea of electronic transmission of the results to a
Soyebi said INEC experimented with electronic transmission of results during Anambra, Sokoto and Osun
elections held before 2019 elections but the Commission did not sustain the use of the technology
during the 2019 general elections.
He said the late release of INEC’S budget for the 2019 elections and controversies over the Electoral Act,
among others reasons, forced the Commission to jettison the idea of using the technology to transmit
results to the central server.
“We piloted the use of transmission of election results electronically in Sokoto, in Anambra, even in
Osun. What happened was that we were trying to pilot to see the desirability of such technology in our
“First, our budget came out very late, there was also issue (with) the Electoral Act. For these and some
other reasons, the Commission did not adopt that option. 2019 elections were conducted according to
“We used the Constitution of the Federal Republic; we used the Electoral Act and our guidelines for
2019 elections. If you look at the three instruments carefully, the issue of server was not highlighted.
“Once in a while, you will see an experiment going on but we have to pilot it before we will deploy
wholesale for election. We did not use it because of circumstances beyond the control of the
Commission,” Soyebi said.
Meanwhile, the call for the resignation of the chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has heightened.
Yesterday, the Concerned Nigerians Group said Yakubu should honourably resign, as the final report of
the European Union(EU) EOM which was made public over the weekend was an indictment on INEC’s
incompetence in handling the 2019 general elections.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Monday on behalf of the group, Mr. Dare Ariyo, said the Chairman of
the electoral umpire has no moral right to remain in the office having been indicted by the report of the
Ariyo said: “Since INEC has denied that they have no server in the court of lied on oath and we must
know. That is why I also support the fact that the INEC Chairman should step aside to allow thorough
investigation and we believe if the executive is not willing to do that, we are calling on national assembly
who approved the budget to demand the INEC chairman to step down.”
“The Concerned Nigerians Group is particularly satisfied with the ‘audacious and grand’ final report of the EU EOM which was made public over the weekend and contained 30 recommendations to improve
future electoral processes. The EU EOM has done a good job and we laud its positive impacts on our
“We believe that the reports by EU EOM, other partners, and our own recommendations should provide
sufficient information to guide the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in developing a
far-reaching framework for fundamental electoral reforms.”
He said the controversy over INEC server has lingered for so long in the public space and is gradually
eroding the confidence of Nigerians in the electoral body as an institution that has sincerity of purpose
in conducting free, fair and credible elections.
Also speaking, a human right activist, Deji Adeyanju, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to
expedite action and sign the electoral act into law to ensuring credibility and transparency of the
The European Union Election Observation Mission on Friday released its report on the just concluded
general elections where the flaws and shortcomings of the process were highlighted.
FEC Approves N24.2bn for Free Internet in 20 Airports, Varsities, Markets
By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
The Federal Government has approved two contracts worth N24.20 billion for the provision of broadband for free internet in 75 public places, including 20 airports, tertiary institutions and markets across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
Briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Pantami, disclosed that an aggregate sum of N209.
Giving a breakdown of his own approvals, Professor Pantami said his two memoranda were related since they both were focused on providing free internet connectivity services, explaining further that the second one was complementary to a similar approval last year.
“So both memos, you will discover that they will provide broadband to these institutions at the price of approximately N24.20 billion and the project is going to be implemented by the Nigerian Communications Commission.
“The duration for the project is four months minimum and a maximum of five months and there is a budgetary provision for that. Also, the fund to sponsor the implementation has been secured by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR.
“For universities, it’s because we have learned bitter and better lessons during the COVID-19, so we don’t want to go back to that, we want to ensure that students and staff benefit from unlimited internet. For airports, we know the difficulty when you land without any connectivity. So it will even at least make our airports more lively if there is at least internet connectivity that is for free.
“Thirdly for the market, it’s to support innovation-driven enterprises that are being championed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where we try to give global visibility to our innovators, to our micro, small, and medium enterprises, so that their market is not going to be narrowed and restricted only to our local communities”, he explained.
The council also approved two major contracts for the construction of a Centre of Excellence for environmental restoration Wiiyaakara in the Kana council area of Rivers State and a 100-bed specialist hospital in Ogoni.
Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, said these projects are aimed at facilitating efficient and cost-effective approaches to contamination management and environmental restoration while supporting the well-being and welfare of the people who have been impacted by the negative effects of contamination in those areas.
“On behalf of the Ministry of Environment, HYPREP Project Office, I presented two memos one for the award of contract for the construction of Centre of Excellence for environmental restoration at Wiiyaakara, Bori in, in Khana local government area of River State, in favour of CCECC Nigeria Limited, in the sum of N41,472,263,848.60, with a completion period of 24 months.
“The second memo, which is equally approved, and is also in line with the UNEP Report on the level components, is the contract for the construction of Ogoni 100-bed specialist hospital in favour of Messrs Tannit Medical Engineering Limited, in the sum of N18,308,463,225.37, plus 7.5% of VAT, with a delivery period of 24 months”, Abdullahi said.
Moreso, the Ministry of Works and Housing received what seemed to be the biggest approval at the Council meeting as the Minister of State for the ministry, Umar El-Yakub, disclosed that for his two memoranda, FEC approved the sum of N95.98 billion.
He said the first memorandum was “for the award of contract for the dualization of the Akure/Ita Ogbolu –Iju/Ado Ekiti state border, on the Ondo Stateside, in favour of Messrs Samchez Nigeria Limited and Messrs Horizon Construction Company Limited, in the sum of N46,684,481,745.44, with a completion period of 24 months
“Section two of that road was awarded to Messrs Kopek Construction Limited at the cost of N49,295,088,593.98, with a completion period of 30 months. So, one is doing it from the Ekiti State border and the other one is on the Ondo Stateside. That’s the two sections of the contract was awarded”, he said.
Again, the Minister of Transportation, Muazu Jaji Sambo, who also spoke at the briefing, said his two memoranda; the first being for the renewal of a management contract for the management ports facilities and the second for procurement of two tugboats for operations at the Lekki Deep Seaport, pooled an aggregate of N26.77 billion.
“The first memo was the renewal of the management contract for the management of Tugs, Pilot Cutters, or Mooring Launches within the limits of the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports complex.
“This management contract was signed between Nigerian Ports Authority and Messrs LTT Coastal and Marine Services Limited, initially in April 2007, for 15 years, which therefore meant the agreement had expired in March last year.
“The purpose of the memorandum is to seek Council’s approval to renew the management contract, as provided in the management agreement and endorsed by the Bureau of Public Procurement, in favour of Messrs LTT Coastal and Marine Services Limited, for the sum of $29,871,615.22, which is an equivalent of N12,440,332,875.44, inclusive of 7.5% VAT, at an exchange rate of one US dollar to N416.46
“The second memorandum that was considered by Council and approved is in respect of a contract for the design, construction, and supply of two 80 tons … marine tugboats to support the operations of the newly commissioned Lekki Deep Seaport in Lagos.
“The contract was awarded to Messrs the De Pasa Marine International Nigeria Limited for €30,183,540.20, which is an equivalent of N14,330,329,389.75 at the CBN prevailing exchange rate at the time of payment, inclusive of seven and 7.5% VAT and with a completion period of 15 months,” he said.
Also, the Ministry of Aviation got approval for the construction of 150 room capacity hostel for over N2 billion, according to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who briefed on behalf of the Minister, Hadi Sirika.
“On behalf of the Minister of Aviation, who presented a memo to Council today, seeking Council’s consideration and approval for the award of contract for the construction of a 150-room capacity female hostel, at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria in favour of Messrs Best Homes Construction Limited, in the sum of N2,244,713,424.56, inclusive of 7.5% VAT with a completion period of 12 months.
The Federal Minister of Information and Culture also presented a memo to the Council, which was approved today, for the procurement of 13 operational vehicles for the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria for the sum of N383,968,500, in favour of Kaura Motors, with a completion period of three weeks.
“The operational vehicles will be used for the day-to-day operations of the FRCN and in particular, they will be used to report, and gather news, concerning the various tribunal cases and also for the National Population Commission Census coming up sometime in May. Thank you very much,” Mohammed said.
DSS Confirms ‘Entrenched Interests’ Plot to Install Interim Government
By Gom Mirian, Abuja
The Department of State Services (DSS), yesterday said it has confirmed a plot “by some key players” to install an interim government and stop Bola Ahmed Tinubu from being inaugurated as president.
The plot includes embarking on violent protests nationwide to engineer the declaration of a state of emergency as well as securing frivolous court injunctions to stall the inauguration, the DSS said.
In a statement yesterday, the Public Relations Officer of the secret police, Peter Afunanya, said: “The Department of State Services (DSS) has identified some key players in the plot for an Interim Government in Nigeria.
“The Service considers the plot, being pursued by these entrenched interests, as not only an aberration but a mischievous way to set aside the constitution and undermine civil rule as well as plunge the country into an avoidable crisis.
“The illegality is totally unacceptable in a democracy and to the peace loving Nigerians. This is even more so that the machination is taking place after the peaceful conduct of the elections in most parts of the country.”
There have been agitations for Tinubu, the president-elect, not to be inaugurated on May 29, 2023 based on complaints by his opponents on the presidential election.
Datti Baba-Ahmed, the vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), specifically called on President Muhammadu Buhari and Olukayode Ariwoola, the chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), not to inaugurate Tinubu, tagging it an “illegality”.
Some demonstrators also went to the defence headquarters building in Abuja on Tuesday to protest the outcome of the presidential election in what might be understood as an invitation for military intervention.
Afunanya alleged that some protests are being sponsored.
“The planners, in their many meetings, have weighed various options, which include, among others, to sponsor endless violent mass protests in major cities to warrant a declaration of State of Emergency. Another is to obtain frivolous court injunctions to forestall the inauguration of new executive administrations and legislative houses at the Federal and State levels,” he said.
“The DSS supports the President and Commander-in-Chief in his avowed commitment to a hitch-free handover and will assiduously work in this direction. It also supports the Presidential Transition Council and such other related bodies in the States. It will collaborate with them and sister security and law enforcement agencies to ensure seamless inaugurations come 29th May, 2023.
“Consequently, the Service strongly warns those organising to thwart democracy in the country to retract from their devious schemes and orchestrations.
“Stakeholders, notably judicial authorities, media and the Civil Society, are enjoined to be watchful and cautious to avoid being used as instruments to subvert peace and stability of the nation. While its monitoring continues, the DSS will not hesitate to take decisive and necessary legal steps against these misguided elements to frustrate their obnoxious intentions.”
IPOB Denies Plan to Print Biafra Currency, Form Govt
The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Wednesday said it has no plans to print Biafra currency and operate a government in exile.
IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, warned those he described as autopilot to desist from such a move.
In a statement he signed, Powerful distanced IPOB from the autopilot group, stressing that the group has no faction.
Powerful, who distanced IPOB from those operating Radio Biafra in the United States, noted that those operating under the guise of the Directorate of State are not members of IPOB.
“We the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under the command and leadership of the great liberator Nnamdi Kanu once again reiterate that IPOB is not part of the formation of Biafra government in exile anywhere.
“The people behind the shambolic Radio Biafra government in exile in the USA are not IPOB members, and they should stop linking themselves to us.
“Those piloting government in exile in the USA are not IPOB members, and they don’t mean well for Biafra freedom and restoration.
“IPOB has no plan to print Biafra currency, stamps, and other important state documents because we are not yet a sovereign nation. If we print currencies now, where can they be used as legal tender,” the statement read in parts.
Oando Grows 2021 Revenue to N722bn
Oando Plc has announced an increase of more than a half in turnover for 2021, according to its unaudited earnings report issued yesterday.
The increase helped the oil driller halt its two-year run of losses that began in 2019, the report showed.
Shares in the company had gained nearly 10 per cent, the upper daily limit allowed by the Nigerian Exchange, as of 10:14 WAT in Lagos after the news hit the market.
A messy shareholder dispute involving an indirect shareholder, Ansbury Investment Inc, had prompted the Securities and Exchange Commission to bar the firm from holding annual general meetings, making it impossible to release its financials for three years until last June.
At the heart of the conflict were loans granted to the shareholder, which forced Oando to make a huge impairment allowance that tipped the company into a loss after tax of N207.1 billion in 2019 and N140.7 billion in 2020.
Revenue for 2021 grew to N722.4 billion from N477.1 billion, while other operating income slowed to N36.7 billion from N43.6 billion as the company recorded a loss on fair value on commodity options in contrast to a gain one year earlier.
Oando earned N112.1 billion from reversal of impairment of financial assets, where a loss in the sum of N62.9 billion was posted a year ago, boosting operating profit.
Finance income expanded by almost fivefold to N44.1 billion, helping cushion the hit of net finance cost on profit.
Pre-tax profit stood at N48.4 billion compared to a loss before tax of N134.3 billion in 2020, while profit for the period came to N34.7 billion relative to a loss after tax of N140.7 billion one year prior.
Earnings-per-share was N3.04 compared to a loss per share of N9.05 in 2020.
“Bullish oil prices throughout the year saw us record a 105% increase in average realized oil sale price whilst a surge in militancy and sabotage across the Niger Delta resulted in a 40% decline in average hydrocarbon production compared to 2020,” said CEO Wale Tinubu.
“Despite the challenges, a strong revenue performance, coupled with the refund of a longstanding receivable contributed to a Net Profit of N34.7 billion,” he added.
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