2011 ELECTIONS: GROUP WARNS INEC OVER FAKE OBSERVERS, ACTIVISTS
A pressure group, the Elections Transparency Group (ETG) has warned
the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the dangers
of involving fake or partisan observers and activists in the 2011
general elections, saying; “many of those presenting themselves as
independent election observers are agents of political parties,
especially those in the opposition.”
ETG, in a release signed by its Coordinator, Dr. Kazeem Adekunle said
INEC must take the issue of observers and self-appointed activists
serious this time so as to prevent the commission from being
hoodwinked into acting on fake reports.
The group said from reports available to it, most of the fake
observers used by opposition politicians during the 2007 elections are
now being assembled for the next general elections.
“As the general elections draw near, we are compelled by experiences
of the past to alert INEC on the danger inherent in the involvement of
fake or partisan election observers and activists in the monitoring of
“For instance, one Dr. Azeez Olaniyan, one of those who paraded
themselves as independent observers during the 2009 rerun governorship
election in Ekiti State has now been appointed as Caretaker Chairman
of Ekiti Southwest Local Government by the Governor Kayode Fayemi-led
Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) government in the State.
“It is also on record that the said Dr. Olaniyan, presenting himself
as an observer, witnessed against the conduct of the election as
Prosecution Witness (PW38) at the tribunal and his evidence was part
of the reasons the election was nullified.
“However, with his appointment as a council chairman, it must be now
be clear to INEC and the general public that he (Olaniyan) was an
agent of the ACN, who has been rewarded for a job well done, and INEC
must avoid this kind of pitfall this time around.
“Also, we are aware that another witness of the ACN in the Ekiti
election case, Issa Raimi Oladimeji, who was PW10 was INEC
Registration Officer (RO1) for Ado Grammar School polling unit,
Ado-Ekiti during the just concluded voters registration exercise.
“Again, Mr. Femi Falana, who is one of the INEC legal counsel is as at
today the National President of the National Conscience Party (NCP).
“Also, he is a known sympathiser of the ACN and was part of the
party's electioneering campaigns during the 2009 rerun governorship
election in Ekiti State.
“It was on the basis of his sympathy for the ACN that he, alongside
others invaded the INEC Collation Centre, Ado-Ekiti on May 5, 2009 and
caused breakdown of law and order at the centre. The show of shame at
the centre was shown on NTA live.
“How an INEC that parades ACN agents as 'independent observers' and a
known partisan person as Falana as legal counsel can act objectively
during and after the elections is a question that Nigerians want