•Restores Odii as Ebonyi PDP guber candidate, replaces Igariwey 

From Scholastica Onyeka, Makurdi, Abel Leonard, Lafia, and  Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Benue State said it has taken delivery of sensitive and non-sensitive materials ahead of the February 25 elections. 

The state INEC Public Affairs Officers, Terkaa Andyar, disclosed this on phone, while speaking to our correspondent in Makurdi, yesterday.

Andyar could not say exactly when the distribution would commence but confirmed the commission has received non-sensitive and some of the sensitive materials.

He said: “We have received ballot boxes and sleeping mats which will be used in registration area centres (RACs).

“We have also received the voting cubicles and other consumable, including ink pads, stamps, calculators among others.”

For the sensitive materials, the Public Affairs Officer also said: “We have received the Biomodal Voter Accreditation System (BIVAS) and other forms that will be use before and on election days,” he said.

He stated that the items have just been received and plans are on the way to distribute them to the 23 local government areas of the state.

Also, distribution of non-sensitive materials to all the 13 local government areas of Nasarawa State has commenced.

Nasarawa State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Uthman Ajidagba, while inspecting the vehicles hired for conveying the materials from INEC headquarters in Lafia, said the items were expected to arrive at the local government offices of the commission early enough before the elections.

Ajidagba said the deployment of the non-sensitive materials which is the second level, was to allow timely distribution to RACs as well as electoral wards across the state.

He noted that as the general election inches closer, INEC had stepped up preparations to ensure hitch free exercise in all the polling units.

The INEC commissioner pointed out that the non-sensitive materials include mats, ballot boxes, voters cubicles and election bags.

Daily Sun gathered that over 9,710 permanent voter cards are yet to be collected, adding that the figure is out of the total number of 122,697 PVCs meant for distribution to eligible voters in the state for the 2023 general election.

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Meanwhile,  INEC, yesterday, restored Dr. Ifeanyi  Odii as governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi State for the March 11 general election.

The Commission in an amendment list of candidates number 3, issued on Monday, January 30, 2023 cited court orders for the restoration of Mr Odii’s name.

Daily Sun had previously reported how INEC in its amendment number two issued on December 22, 2022 delisted the name of Mr Odii and his Deputy Governorship Candidate, Senator Igwe Nwagu from the list of candidates also citing court order.

In that second amendment in December, INEC had also named one Henry Chima Udeh as the Ebonyi South Senatorial candidate of the Labour Party also citing court order.

It also delisted the names of all National Assembly candidates of the PDP for all the constituencies in the state except one.

However, in the third amendment released yesterday and signed by its Secretary, Rose Oriaran-Anthony , the electoral umpire named Mr Linus Okorie, a former Member of the House of Representatives as the Senatorial candidate of the Labour Party for Ebonyi South zone.

INEC in the third amendment also listed one Mr Irem Ibom Oka, a former House of Representatives member, as candidate of the party for Afikpo North/South Federal constituency.

The name of the present occupant of the seat, Mr Iduma Igariwey was listed as the candidate of the party in the original list released on September 20, 2022.

INEC also listed the name of the Member Representing Ezza North/Ishielu Federal Constituency, Anayo Edwin as the All Progressive Grand Alliance(APGA) candidate for the constituency in place of Mr Joseph Nwobashi who was listed earlier.

The Commission in an explanatory statement accompanying the list said the third amendment became necessary due to various court orders it was served.

INEC also explained that some amendments became necessary to correct errors made by Political Parties while uploading the names of their candidates on its portal.

“By virtue of the provision of Section 287 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the Commission is bound to enforce the Orders of Court on the Nomination of candidates by Political Parties in the affected Constituencies”.

“Whereas the Commission published the details of Candidates as submitted by political parties on the INEC Candidates Nomination Portal (ICNP), some political parties forwarded complaints seeking correction of error made in the details of their candidates”.

“Consequent upon the above, the lists of candidates in respect of the attached Senatorial Districts and Federal Constituencies, Governorship and State House of Assembly elections are amended and published as Amendment No. 3 pursuant to the Orders of Court served on the Commission as at 30th January, 2023, Deaths and requests for correction of candidates’ details by political parties,”, the commission said.