How INEC’s Grossly Compromised Ballot Papers & Result Sheets Will Produce Makeshift & Pre-determined Presidential Poll Verdict For PMB
Prof Mahmood Yakubu
Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
INEC National Headquarters, Plot 436 Zambezi Crescent, Maitama District
FCT, Abuja, Nigeria
(ii) All the INEC National Commissioners
(iii) All the 36 States & the FCT Resident Electoral Commissioners
Communication Mode: Open & Email: [email protected]
Dear National Chairman & Ors
How INEC’s Grossly Compromised Ballot Papers & Result Sheets Will Produce Makeshift & Pre-determined Presidential Poll Verdict For PMB
Above subject matter refers.
(Onitsha Nigeria: 20th Feb 2019): TheSoutheast Based Coalition of Human Rights & Democracy Organizations (a coalition of 22 human rights & democracy organizations)are deeply worried and concerned over the above subject matter. With several years in representative capacity, of experience in election advocacy, the Coalition is in serious doubt over the capacity of your Commission to conduct open, credible, widely participatory, free and fair Presidential and National Assembly Polls this Saturday, 23rdFeb 2019.
The refusal or failure of INEC to invalidate or cancel all the ballot papers and result sheets deployed for the last Saturday’s botched Poll and have them replaced with fresh ones is a clear indication of the fact that the Commission is grossly compromised and bent on returning the desperate central incumbent against the wishes of most Nigerians. The zeal and vigor with which Nigerians traveled and readied to vote last weekend is further a clear case in point; which was why INEC and the central Government of Nigeria hurriedly put off the Poll for seven days so as to dampen the moral and enthusiasm of tens of millions of Nigerian voters and perfect their mass rigging strategies.
It is most likely, too, that the Brigade of Riggers apparently dominated by members of the central incumbent in Nigeria have cashed in on the seven days shift in the date of the said Poll to scientifically and widely manipulate the Poll and are merely waiting for this Saturday to cement a robotic return to the country’s Presidency. This is more so when INEC has refused to do the needful, but chosen to rigmarole in frivolities and absurdities.
It is an established fact that new engine oil of a car is never mixed with rotten or used one and if done, the entire engine oil is compromised; capable of crashing the car engine or causing serious damages in the car. Such is the case with sensitive voting materials distributed across the country by the Commission prior to sudden and eleventh hour shift in the date of the botched Poll. Today, the sensitive voting materials particularly the card readers, result sheets and ballot papers are so compromised that there have been torrential or widespread reports of their missing or being found in countless wrong hands and places including politicians, party agents and thugs; religious and youth leaders, security personnel and communities and possibly in sacred places of worship.
Specifically, Nigerian media has been awash with widespread reports of missing or burning/destruction or resurfacing of, or compromised or tempered or thumb printed card readers, result sheets and ballot papers in not less than two thirds of the country’s 36 States and the FCT. Several instances abound.
In Anambra State, there was reported mass thumb printing across the State including Ogbaru LGA, of ballot papers and filling of result sheets in the late night of Friday, Feb 15. The accusing fingers have been strongly pointed in the direction of the agents of the State ruling party and its gubernatorial seat. The reported widespread thumb printing was targeted or done to favor the central incumbent and its candidate as well as the State ruling party’s National Assembly candidates.
In Enugu West and other parts of the State, result sheets had gone missing. The privileged alarm was raised some days ago by Deputy Senate President, Barr Ike Ekweremadu. In Kano, between 14 and 17 sacks of thumb printed INEC ballot papers were busted and discovered few days to the botched Poll. In Awka, Anambra State, over 4,900 card readers were suspiciously set ablaze few days to the botched Poll and according to closed quarter sources, out of five persons arrested, three were linked to the ICT department of the Commission in the State while two others are reported to have “an unfinished business with the Government of Anambra State” over the plotted inferno.
In Pan LGA of Plateau State and Isiala-Ngwa in Abia State as well as some locations in the FCT, thousands of sensitive INEC materials including ethnically marked PVCs were set ablaze. Reports of tempering with or missing or resurfacing of ballot papers and result sheets in wrong hands including thumb printing of ballot papers and filling of result sheets have also been reported in Abia, Niger Delta areas, Benue and other parts of the Middle Belt, Northwest , Northeast and Southwest regions of Nigeria.
These damnable reports are coming against the backdrop of INEC’s claims that “it had successfully retrieved all the sensitive electoral materials” including result sheets, ballot papers and card readers “from all over Nigeria and will start moving them back to the field from today, 20thFeb 2019”; ahead of their use in three days time or on the rescheduled Feb 23rdPresidential and National Assembly Polls.
The Coalition therefore makes bold to say that it does not have an atom of conviction over the safety, intactness and authenticity of these sensitive materials. It is our strong suspicion that the rescheduled Polls particularly the Presidential Poll has been grossly compromised in favor of desperate central incumbent who also deliberately created structural lapses or hiccups and the seven days sudden shift so as to perfect its rigging plans. It is most likely that the coming Saturday Poll is a formality or a central executive procured makeshift.
By the existing convention, INEC should have invalidated the entire ballot papers and result sheets deployed or programmed for the botched Polls which are now grossly tempered or compromised with their temporary residency presently located in wrong hands from where they will be moved, if not already moved to INEC strong rooms under the cover of the country’s grossly compromised and lopsidedly composed security agencies; through the watchful eyes of compromised substantive and ad hoc senior staff of the Commission.
Conversely, INEC has, till today, failed or refused to do the needful or reverse itself over the above; raising serious concerns over its readiness, willingness, capacity, credibility and competence to conduct and ensure credibility of the Poll this coming Saturday. Going ahead with the grossly compromised or tainted ballot papers, result sheets and card readers without having them replaced and re-securitized or re-initialed by the CBN and the Commission is nothing short of conducting a pre determined Presidential Poll and ors to massively favor the central incumbent and its presidential candidate.
This is more so when by contingency or “Plan B” arrangement, INEC, with tens of billions of naira budgeted and released; should have spare sets of sensitive ballot materials for each of the Polls so as not to be caught unawares. But in the instant case, your Commission has deliberately wobbled and fumbled, all geared towards returning the central ruling party and its Government at all costs and against the sacred electoral wishes of the Nigerian People.
Other fundamentally unresolved issues affecting INEC and its contract with Nigerians; already programmed to substantially affect the credibility of the 2019 Polls particularly the Presidential Poll are: widespread registration of underage citizens and aliens as voters, multiple voter registration and voting; and burning and destruction of ethically marked PVCs; all reportedly done with rampant alacrity in Northern Nigeria. Others are INEC’s spearheading of lopsided or skewed registration of voters and issuance of PVCs,especially along North-South and Muslim-Christian lines, denial of PVCs to citizens of Christian and other non Muslim faith in Northern Nigeria as well as the home and pastoral (those residing in the North and Southwest) citizens of Southeast and South-south.
There are also issues of lopsided composition of INEC and assignment of duties, rampant recruitment of card carrying members of leading political parties as returning officers and collation agents or as INEC commissioners; indiscriminate award of INEC contracts for the production or supply of sensitive electoral materials (i.e. card readers, PVCs, ballot papers and result sheets) to members and candidates of political parties such as the APC Senatorial Candidate for the Niger East in Niger State; as well as insistence of the Commission to conduct the rescheduled Presidential Poll with grossly compromised or tempered sensitive polling materials, etc.
The Coalition has identified four major sources within INEC through which poll processes and results are compromised. They are INEC’s ICT department (for purpose of scientific rigging), the Commission’s ad hoc field workers/compromised substantive staff, its collation and returning officers at ward, LGA, District and State levels as well as compromised security agencies and INEC polling officers, etc.
While corrupt security personnel/chiefs externally work with corrupt INEC ad hoc field staff (i.e. POs, AOs, etc) by providing them with security cover including delivery of compromised ballot papers and result sheets to politicians; the corrupt members of INEC’s ICT department and returning officers work in hand in hand internally to manipulate, inflate or mangle figures in favor of their political paymasters. Totality of these is majorly expected to play out this Saturday during the widely expected makeshift Poll.
The above is a further attestation of concerns widely raised and still raised by Nigerians over the safety of the referenced INEC sensitive materials once they are moved out of INEC and CBN facilities. It is our further discovery that most, if not all criminal thumb printing and writing of fake results are done in the dead of the night between few days to the election and on the eve of same. It can safely be asserted conclusively that the coming Saturday’s rescheduled Poll is a cementation of what has already been started or designed to “cover the areas not yet compromised through polling booth vote buying or off polling booth thumb printing and writing of results and smuggling of same into the INEC’s strong rooms”.
Desperation Of Surrogated Parties & Politicians To Rig For PMB: A Case Of Anambra State
As mentioned above and according to closed quarter sources, thumb printing of ballot papers and filling of result sheets were widely reported to have taken place in Anambra State in the late night of Friday, Feb 15, few hours before the sudden shift in the date of the botched Poll. The electoral roguery was reportedly perpetrated by the agents of the State ruling party and its gubernatorial seat in favor of the central incumbent and its presidential candidate as well as for the State party’s National Assembly candidates.
Governor William Obiano, who has reportedly sworn to “deliver” PMB in Anambra State at all costs is further reported by our independent intelligence as having given all his commissioners and other political aides and PGs of town unions and markets a matching order to manipulate and “deliver” their areas. He reportedly assured them of “adequate cash” and “security protection”. The Gov was recently said to have received from the Buhari Administration a promissory note of N10b as part of the federal road reconstruction debt refund to the State. Closed sources added that the refund deal was to “halve the fund and sink it into PMB vote delivery project; through “vote buying” and sinister ors.
As if that was not enough, the Coalition is in receipt of the Gov’s red signal sent yesterday, Feb 19, 2019 to all the school principals through the State PPSSC (post primary schools’ service commission) and ZDE (zonal directors of education). The Gov’s red signal was an order to all government teachers in the State Schools. The Gov also ordered the PPSSC and ZDE in the State’s five zones of Awka, Onitsha, Otuocha, Nnewi, Ogidi and Aguata to ensure that their teachers fully complied with the order before the end of work today.
The Gov’s order is reproduced below as forwarded: “Pls submit details of staff in your school to Admin Dept PPSSC Awka Zonal office as directed by the Executive Gov of Anambra State. 1. Name, 2. Voting Ward, 3. Polling Unit. Return to be submitted before the close of work 2moro 20/02/19 (today). Pls acknowledge the receipt of this info. ZDE”. The Coalition understands, too, that similar gubernatorial order was issued to other categories of staff in the State Civil Service. The Gov’s latest desperate and dictatorial conduct and others highlighted above are a clear case of how the sacred electoral wishes of Nigerians are going to be brutally subverted and suppressed this coming Saturday.
We hereby call on your Commission to take analytical notice of the critical issues highlighted above and publicly address all Nigerians, foreign poll observers and members of the international community on magic the Commission intends to perform, in the midst of the above, to give Nigerians a presidential poll verdict, truly reflective of living and non-robotic electoral wishes of most Nigerian voters.
The Commission must also tell the Coalition and the rest of Nigerians why it refused or failed to invalidate the grossly compromised ballot papers, result sheets and card readers and conduct the rescheduled Poll with fresh ones. We also wish to be told by the Commission how it is going to neutralize the venomous desperation of the likes of Govs Obiano and Nasiru el-Rufai to scuttle their plans to subvert the sacred electoral wishes of the Nigerian voters across the country or in their respective States.
For: Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights & Democracy Organizations (SBCHROs)
· Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Emeka Umeagbalasi & Chinwe Umeche, Esquire)
· CLO, Southeast Zone (Comrade Aloysius Emeka Attah)
· CLO, Anambra State Branch (Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme & Comrade Chidi Mbah)
· Forum for Promotion of National Ethos & Values (FPNEV: Prince Emeka Onyesoh)
· Igbo Ekunie Initiative (Tochukwu Ezeoke, UK)
· Int’l Solidarity for Peace & Human Rights Initiative (ISPHRI: Jerry Chidozie Chukwuokoro, PhD)
· Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy & Dev (FENRAD: Comrade Nnana Nelson Nwafor)
· Society for Economic Rights & Social Justice (SERSj: Andy Ndukwe)
· Human Rights Organization of Nigeria (HRON: Comrade Samuel Njoku
· Center for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy (CHRPA: Comrade Peter Onyegiri)
· Southeast Good Governance Forum (SEGGF: Alex Olisa)
· Society Watch & Advocacy Project (of Intersociety)-WASP (Comrade Chike Umeosonwunne)
· Initiative for Ideal Dev & Emancipatory Leadership in Nigeria (IDEAL: Comrade Nwokocha Anozie Innocent)
· Igbo National Council (INC) (Comrade Chilos A.C. Godsent & Comrade Zulu Ofoelue)
· Anambra Human Rights Forum (ANHRF: Obianuju Igboeli, Esquire)
· Voice of the Voiceless Int’l (VOVI) (Violet Umenwofor-Ezekwike, Esquire)
· Easy Life Initiative for Rural Youths (ELIRY: Comrade Emeku Uche)
· Community Empowerment Network (Rep)
· Southeast Movement against Transactional Politics & Profligacy (Comrade Bright Obidike)
· Prof Justice Chidi (Academia)
-Neighborhood Environmental Watch Foundation (Okezie Kelechi)
Special Contact Persons:
· Emeka Umeagbalasi-08174090052
· Aloysius Attah-08035090548
· Jerry Chukwuokoro, PhD- 08035372962
· Prof Justice Chidi-Chidi-08039100804