UDUAGHAN RIGGING MACHINERY AND INEC COMPLICITY EXPOSED
Liberate – Delta People's Movement has gained access to forensic report presented to the Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting at Asaba, in respect of the April 26, 2011 Delta State Governorship Election. The Forensic Report, produced by Clifford Kokogho, a forensic expert; confirms what the vast majority of Delta citizens and members of Liberate have always believed; that Uduaghan rigged the election and that the INEC REC for the State, Dr. Gabriel Ada must have co-conspired in that plot to deny the people of Delta State their legitimate right under the Constitution of the Federation. Without a doubt, INEC has failed the people of Delta State, continuing to defy Court Orders to produced electoral materials for vetting and lack of cooperation with the Tribunal.
Liberate – Delta People's Movement, a group representing more than 10,800 citizens of the State have consistently raised their concerns about how the election was and was not conducted in their areas, with many members having personally witnessed ballot box snatching, electoral violence and numerous places where elections simply did not take place. The group secured the Forensic Report earlier this week and have been studying its implications.
Mr Clifford Kokogho's report is based on the outcome of the physical inspection and observation of electoral materials used for the April 26, 2011 Delta State Governorship Election. It was carried out pursuant to the May 13 and 24, 2011 orders of the Delta State Governorship Election Tribunal and was carried out in collaboration with the forensic consultants, accountant assistants and technical personnel representing the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) and jointly with representatives of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the INEC State Headquarters in Asaba. The examination took place between June 3 to July 22, 2011 in the presence of INEC Officials and government security agencies. During the process, the experts had the opportunity to physically examine materials from polling units where results declared by INEC are in dispute. These polling units were in Warri North, Burutu, Bomadi and parts of Warri South, Ethiope West and Warri South West Local Government Areas. In addition to the primary process of physical inspection and observation of the electoral materials produced by INEC; the experts also took copies of inspected ballot papers using digital scanners and computers for further detailed inspection.
The experts inspected the following materials produced by INEC in respect of the election: Ballot Papers, Manual for Election Officials 2011, Guide for Training Poll Workers 2011, Form EC. 25B (Electoral Material Receipt), Form EC. 40A (Ballot Paper Account and Verification Statement), Form EC. 40C (Statement of Unused and Spoilt Ballot Papers), Form EC 17 (Oath/Affirmation of Neutrality), Voters Registers (without thumbprints), Form EC 8A (Statement of Result of Poll from Polling Stations), Form EC 8B (Summary of Result From Polling Units), Form EC 8C (Summary of Results from Registration Areas) and Form EC 60E (Result of Poll Poster); these materials examined are highly significant as they are the actual determinant of voting and the voting patterns and are central to success or failure of any electoral processes. These forms include Form EC 25B which serves as the electoral material receipt; all materials used in an election are recorded on this form and they must be used in all elections. There is also Form EC40A which records the amount of ballot papers used in an election, verifying also, statements made by electoral officers. Form EC 40C records numbers of unused and damaged ballot papers while Form EC17 contains the oath and affirmation of neutrality by the electoral officers. There is also the voters register as well as the all-important forms EC 8 A-C. Form EC8A contains results of polls from polling stations while Form EC8 B gives the summary of results from polling units. Form EC 8C, the third of the three recording forms, details results from registration areas. And finally, Form EC60E which records results of polls posted.
The process has thrown up significant questions not just for Uduaghan but for INEC, challenging the declaration of Uduaghan as duly elected as it appears that INEC had no basis on which to make that declaration. INEC has not produced necessary documents including Forms EC 40A, EC25B and EC60E. There was no receipt of critical electoral materials as INEC has not produced Forms EC 25B which should contain this necessary information. INEC has not disclosed necessary audit trail information of serialised materials such as ballot papers and Form EC 8A on Form EC25B. The failure of INEC to produce this necessary and important information has serious implications for the veracity of its declaration on April 27th 2011 and confirms that it was complicit in the rigging by relying on a large scale of illegal votes in its declaration.
The failure of INEC to produce Form EC 40 A which would account for used ballot papers means no one can confirm that a total of 316,606 ballots papers were received or certified used by Presiding Officers in 730 out of 820 Polling Units where results declared by INEC are in dispute across the six Local Government Areas. Form EC 40A is a critical accounting and audit document in the electoral process, its absence therefore poses a direct challenge to INEC and confirms that election could not have been duly conducted in these units, with a total of 316,606 votes. The failure of INEC to produce Forms EC 25B which is the electoral material receipts, means that it cannot be confirmed that 101,545 ballot papers and other electoral materials were received in 245 Polling Units across the six Local Government Areas. The failure of INEC to Produce Forms EC 25B, confirms that elections could not have been conducted in these units with a total of 101,545 votes.
The report also details a range of other anomalies with INEC's declaration including the fact that there was no voters' registers in 243 polling units across the disputed territories; that the serial numbers of ballot papers used in the election were not disclosed by INEC on Form EC 25B produced for 486 Polling Units; that the quantities of ballot papers used for the election in the disputed areas are not disclosed on Forms EC 25B produced for 416 Polling Units; that names and addresses of persons issuing electoral materials on Form EC 25B for the purpose of the election were not disclosed on Forms EC 25B produced for 568 Polling Units in order to verify whether authorised INEC personnel actually issued electoral materials to these units; that Form EC60E which is the notice of result of poll posters, were not received in 520 Polling Units, without which results of election could not have been publicly published at these units.
Delta citizens are shocked by these revelations and indeed how they have been treated by INEC. Liberate Delta People's Movement had previously called on the INEC Chairman, Professor Jega and President Goodluck to pay particular attention to Delta State following the Election Re-run in January where Professor Jega personally witnessed election malpractices in the State. Liberate had also called for the dismissal of the Delta State INEC REC, Gabriel Ada when it learned of significant failings in relation to that election and the charade surrounding the April elections result declaration. We now call again for Professor Jega and president Goodluck to ensure that rights of Deltans under the Constitution are respected.
Deltans are hopeful that the Election Petition Tribunal sitting at Asaba, due to rule on this case on Friday 11th November 2011, will take the bold steps necessary to restore the people's mandate, restore faith in the judiciary, rule of law and justice. The group's spokes person, Mr. Cadre Drake said that,
'Uduaghan has boasted that no court sitting in Delta State can remove him from office, this and historical cases give us reasons to be concerned but the evidence of the Forensic Report is incontrovertible and we believe that this time justice will prevail. We are saddened that the hard work of Jega to guarantee all Nigerian's that their votes will count is sadly not true for us in Delta State. We deserve the same rights afforded to all Nigerians and we are hopeful that the Tribunal will do what is right.'