Revealed!How Attahiru Jega Plotted April 4th False Start
Nigerians who had registered to vote went to the polls, Saturday with the hope of electing those who will run their affairs at the National Assembly for the next four years but were shocked to find out that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was not ready to conduct elections as widely publicized. Huhuonline.com understands that INEC's inability to conduct saturday`s elections was not as a result of lack of effort but lack of planning and understanding the enormity of the assignment.
Our check reveals that whereas Prof. Jega led INEC did not award contract for the printing of the sensitive electoral materials until March 2011; doyens in electoral matters who pleaded anonymity aver that they told Prof. Attahiru Jega severally that if he did not get these materials by January 2011, he would likely face dismal polls.
But the INEC chairman did not heed their advice, rather than focusing on getting the materials needed, he embarked on a Jamboree to the United States and only did inspection of printers' factories in December 2010, five months after he was appointed. Sources privy to the reports of the factory inspections told huhuonline.com that many of the printers visited, stated that INEC had inadequate time for the amount of work it needed.
Huhuonline.com findings reveal that INEC did not award contract for the printing of over five hundred million copies of the sensitive electoral material, until three weeks ago, specifically, 10th March, 2011. However, INEC insiders reveal to huhuonline.com that for an election scheduled for April, the printing of the elections materials ought to have been in the final stages as at January.
Our checks reveal that all the printing were done overseas, hence the mandatory vetting procedures required in printing such sensitive materials were not followed, due to lack of time. Hence the absence logo of some of the political parties.
In the words of a printing contractor, who is privy to dealings in INEC, when contract is awarded for a printing job, the printer would prepare the artwork, and return it to the owner, in this case INEC, who will then study the artwork to see if it met the desired specification, such as presence of security features, presence of appropriate logo, and colours etc., after which the artwork is approved and only then can the printer return to their factory for mass production. But none of this was done by INEC, the source affirmed.
Sources reveal that another flaw in Prof. Jega`s preparation was that some of the contractors who were competent and had excellent track record of delivering were dropped by because of the federal character. Finding shows that ¾ of the contractors hired by INEC were from the North.
Specifically, One Alhaji Musa a very close ally of Attahiru Jega`s benefactor, received a chunk of the printing job. Huhuonline.com findings shows that the total sum of printing contract awarded to Musa was one hundred and fifty million naira (N150, 000,000.00), which he subsequently subcontracted to UK based Graphic Inline.
Our checks reveal that Musa was first given a work order for Seventy five million naira, and later another Seventy five million naira work order was signed off for him, after a leading printing company (name withheld), rejected the job, because they were over booked. The other two local contractors are Alhaji Sanni and Alhaji Yerima, who represents Aeroprint and Aero Vote Limited respectively. Aero Vote Limited is a security printing company, based in Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom, and attempt to contact was unsuccefull as call went directly to their voicemail.
A day before the elections, Prof Attahiru Jega, whom huhuonline.com learnt was being economical with words, issued a statement, stating 'the elections we are about to commence tomorrow, Saturday 2 April, provide the chance for us as a nation to get it right'. However, huhuonline.com finding reveals that the activist lecturer, turned INEC czar, did not have his commission in order, as INEC had not received all the requisite materials for the nationwide polls. Yet Attahiru Jega insisted that INEC was very determined to make sure that it mitigate factors that would prevent Nigerian citizens from exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote.
Besides the material for the National Assembly elections, Huhuonline.com understands that material for the presidential election, originally scheduled for April 9th, but rescheduled to April 16 th are not ready.
However INEC has already printed all the materials for the Presidential runoff elections, which simply amount to a case of putting the cart before the horse.