Tag Archives: INEC

Former INEC Chairman, Jega Deregistered PRP, Disobeyed Court Judgement – Balarabe Musa

A former governor of Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa has said the the former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega refused to obey court judgement ordering the reinstatement of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) after it was deregistered by INEC under his watch.

Musa, the chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of the PRP disclosed this in Kaduna on Monday when he fielded questions from journalists in his residence. He said the party then had to sue Jega for contempt of court. The BOT chairman said he learnt about Jega’s entry into the party in the media.

He said the former INEC chairman is welcomed to the party but called called for caution from party members.

“We have to exercise care and caution because who is Prof. Attahiru Jega? Prof.Jega was the INEC chairman, and under his chairmanship, PRP was deregistered. It became a big struggle for us.

“We approached the court, and the court restated the party. But we have to sue the INEC chairman for contempt of court because when the court gave the judgement that our party should be restated, he refused to give us the recognition.

“The same person is coming to the party he once deregistered. He is welcome because we cannot reject him and since our party is a public property and open to everyone, he is welcome” he said.

Jega had two weeks ago announced his membership of the PRP.

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Former INEC Chairman, Jega Joins Partisan Politics 

Former National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega has joined the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP). 

Jega was named as the chairman of the party’s SWOT analysis committee. According to a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of PRP, Abdul Gombe on Friday in Kaduna, the SWOT Committee was tasked with the responsibility of examining the party’s strengths, weaknesses as well as threats to its existence and to explore available opportunities ahead of the 2023 general elections. 

The statement said: “The PRP at its 62nd National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held on June 22nd in Kaduna decided to set up three committees  to review the performance of the party in the 2019 general election with a view to repositioning the party for better performance in facing new challenges of Nigerian politics.

“On the basis of a critical analysis of these, the committee made up of some of the best intellectuals in Nigeria will recommend to the party, strategies to adopt for its survival and growth.

“The three committees are The SWOT Analysis Committee, Mobilisation Committee, Finance and Funding Committee.

“Membership of the mobilisation committee chaired by a person who has been in the PRP for 41 years is to examine and advise the party on how best to grow its membership using the best available methods bearing in mind current voters demography in Nigeria.

“Finance and funding committee whose membership has business persons will examine the current financial status of the PRP and existing funding methodologies as put in the party’s constitution and suggest how best to make the methodologies work as well as new ways of raising funds to make it a financially- stable party with a sustainable operation.”

Other members that made up the three committees include the publisher and chairman of the Trust newspapers, Malam Kabiru A. Yusuf, Prof. Momodu Kashim Momodu, Dr. George Kwanashie, Comrade Ayo Sando, Dr. Obi Osisiogwu, and Prof. Nath Abraham.

Others are Alhaji Sule Mohammed, Alhaji Abdul Gombe, Comrade Olajideh Wolimoh, Alhaji Musa Maigari, Rev. Emmanuel Aniebet, Mr. Malu Timothy Terzungine, and Alhaji Mohammed Bulama.

The rest committee members are Alhaji Falalu Bello, Barrister Hajiya Aisha Dankani, Mr James Magit, Alhaji Haruna Buhari, Mr. Jag Mulya, Alhaji Rabi’u Garba and Alhaji Umar Chikere.

2019 Polls Several Steps Down From 2015 – Atiku 

Former Vice President and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections, Atiku Abubakar has described the 2019 general elections as a several steps down from the 2015 elections. 

Atiku in a personally signed press statement issued on Monday titled,“Towards Credible Elections: The Role of the Judiciary”, said the lack of credibility of the 2019 polls was the reason he is challenging the outcome in court. 

The former Vice President, as a panacea for credible future polls, called for the implementation of some of the recommendations of the Justice Mohammed Lawal Uwais National Electoral Reform Committee (NERC) set up by the late president Umaru Yar’adua administration. Among the recommendations according to him is for the appointment of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the creation of Electoral Crimes Commission to investigate and prosecute electoral crimes.

Atiku said: “Obviously, the 2019 elections were several steps down from the 2015 elections in terms of credibility, and as a democrat, I am challenging that election in the right arena, the courts. However, leadership does not just entail getting justice for the past. A real leader knows that in terms of justice, prevention is better than cure. I have been pondering on the question, how Nigeria can have credible elections. Our electoral system needs not just to be brought up to date, by the acceptance of the amendments to the Electoral Act passed by the eight National Assembly, we also need to be up to tomorrow, by taking steps today to ensure that the lapses that made it possible for the 2019 elections to be manipulated or rigged are addressed. One way of addressing these lapses is to implement the salient recommendations of the National Electoral Reform Committee (NERC) headed by former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mohammed Lawal Uwais.

“The second is the creation of Electoral Crimes Commission. One of such recommendations, which will enhance the independence of the supposedly Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), is the recommendation that the power to appoint the Chairman and board of the INEC be taken away from the President and given to the Judiciary. Of all three arms of government, the Judiciary is the least affected by elections, meaning that it has the highest objectivity in matters relating to the INEC. It is therefore in the best position of the three arms, to appoint a Chairman and board members for the electoral body that are impartial, competent and patriotic. This recommendation may seem like a small change, but my experience in life has taught me never to underestimate the big difference small changes can make.

“Nigeria today faces a lot of challenges, chief of which are security and economic revival. To effectively tackle these problems, a government must have an honest and indisputable mandate.

“Where you have an administration whose mandate is considered tainted, such a government will lack sufficient moral authority to tackle the myriad of problems this great nation currently faces.

“I conclude by saying that I do not believe in blaming. Leadership must be solution-oriented, not blame focused. This is why I proffer this patriotic advice. Nigeria must be great again and all hands must be on deck to achieve that.”

Jonathan Wants Independent Body to Appoint INEC Chairman, Others

Former president Goodluck Jonathan has called for a review of the process of appointing the chairman and other members of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Jonathan made the call on Thursday in Lagos, at the launch of Senator Femi Okurounmu’s memoir, titled ‘The Dream’. The former president said the review is necessary to make the electoral body truly independent of the president in order to achieve credible elections in the country. 

He said, “Democracy is a process of daily conversation with people, irrespective of their faith, colour or status.
“In this journey, we should endeavour to make adequate arrangements to ensure that the support and confidence of the people must not wane and, to achieve that, the electoral process is critical.

“How you consitute the electoral body, in this case, INEC, is critical. Different countries have different ways of setting up their electoral bodies. In Nigeria, we adopted the military style because when the military head of state wants to hand over to civilians, because they don’t see themselves as politicians, they are the ones that appoint all members of the electoral body. But now that politicians are heads of state, is it still proper for a powerful politician to be the person that will appoint all members of INEC?

“No matter how you compose INEC, people will always raise issues. So, the best thing to do in order for citizens to have confidence in the electoral body is to move that responsibility or shift it a little.

“In Nigeria, the president single handedly appoints the INEC chairman and its members. I also did so.

“I am not talking about the current president, I am speaking in the interest of the country so that when our electoral laws are being amended, the procedure for constituting INEC should be reviewed. Some countries have constituional courts and some set up election tribunals which are controlled by judicial officers who are expected to do the right thing. But, from my experience, no one can confidently say that the judges are politcally innate. So, in constituting these bodies that will look into our election, it will be better to have a separate institution to do that, than for it to lie in the hands of one powerful individual.”

Okurounmu who expressed concerns over incessant herders attacks on farmers, said the federal government’s policy of Ruga settlement or similar policy will threaten the country’s development. He said restructuring the country is the only way forward. 

“When one ethnic group has unquenchable territorial ambitions over the lands of others and seeks to appropriate those lands for the benefit of local and diaspora members of its ethnic stock, carrying out genocidal attacks on indigenous populations in the process, it is clear indication of an inherently unstable polity that will put the country’s growth in reverse gear.

“Our country is now declining rapidly and our people are moving deeper into the cesspit of humanity. The only way forward is to restructure the polity and revert very quickly to the federal constitution under which Nigeria became independent,” he said.

How Election Results Were Doctored- Atiku, PDP Witnesses 

Witnesses called by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) , Atiku Abubakar on Thursday told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal how election results were doctored in the favour of President Muhammadu Buhari and All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 23, 2019 presidential election in Kaduna state. 
One of the witnesses, Yahaya Shiko, a retired Major who served as the agent for the PDP in Kaduna south local government said the election in his area was marred by over-voting and fraudulent allocation of figures to parties. 
Shiko during cross examination by the counsel of the APC ,Charles Edosomwan (SAN), said the results were doctored in his presence.
He said, “My statement was based on the reports I received from the polling unit agents and what I saw on the result sheets which were forwarded to the Local Government collation centre.

“There were cases of overvoting, and allocation of figures.
“These were what were carried to the Local Government collation centre.
“In my presence, the results were doctored.”
He said he protested against the act by refusing to sign the results. 
“At the collation centre, I made complaints when the results were announced and I protested by refusing to append my signature to the result sheets” he said. 

Another witness, Mr. John Makama who testified before the Tribunal said he was the PDP collation agent in Sanga Local Government of Kaduna state and election results in the strongholds of the PDP were cancelled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) collation officer in the local government. 

‎He said, “It is an aberration that results from wards and polling units were cancelled.
“The election held at the polling units, but the cancellations happened at the local government collation centre.
“The results from the petitioners’ stronghold were illegally cancelled.
“It is an open fact that political parties have stronghold where they are dominant.”

PDP, Atiku Witnesses Say Results Were Transmitted To INEC’s Server

Two witnesses of the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in the panel hearing petition against the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), sitting in Abuja that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) indeed has a server and that results from the presidential poll were transmitted into it.

The two witnesses were part of the six witnesses called by the petitioners to prove their petition against Buhari’s election in the February 23, 2019, general election, wherein Atiku and PDP are calling for the nullification of the election.

One of the witnesses, Ijeoma Obi, an Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) expert, told the tribunal that election results were transmitted from polling units to INEC server.

Obi told the tribunal that he was trained by INEC as a Registration Area Technician and was shortlisted by INEC for the purpose of 2019 Election result transmission.

“I am an ICT expert who transmitted election results to INEC server. I was trained by INEC as a Registration Area Technician for the transmission of election results,” he said.

In his own testimony, the second witness, Adejuyitan Olalekan, admitted transmitting election results to INEC server. He said that the INEC server is automatic and is embedded in the smart card reader.

“I personally transmitted election results to INEC server through the code provided by INEC,” he said and added that, “there was no instruction from INEC to us to allow election manually in case the card reader refuses to function.”

Olalekan, however, said the card reader in his area worked perfectly and he transmitted results to it.

Reacting to a question, the witness said the INEC server is connected to the card reader.

Under cross-examination by counsel to the All Progressive Congress (APC), the third respondent in the petition, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), the witness admitted not serving as Presiding Officer for INEC but was shortlisted by the electoral body.

Adedokun Adeoye, the 4th petitioners’ witness in his testimony also alluded to the fact that election results were transmitted to INEC server.

Adeoye who claimed to be an Assistant Presiding Officer of INEC told the tribunal that he also transmitted election results to the INEC server.

He could not answer the question posed to him on whether, as an assistant Presiding Officer (1) he was authorised to conduct elections and transmit results personally to the server?

He, however, said that the INEC guidelines did not show him anything to that effect and he was unable to give the code number and the server from which the results were transmitted.

Away from the server issue, the 5th petitioners’ witness, one Mohammed Tata, in his own evidence alleged that elections were not conducted in his polling unit.

Tata, an agent of the PDP in the February 23 presidential election said he was pained and unhappy with what he described as a great injustice to the people and country as a whole.

He said he was deployed to cover elections in a polling unit within Jigawa State but unfortunately no election took place in his unit, but a concocted result was announced by INEC.

“I am a true Muslim, I believe in destiny, I am not bordered with who wins the poll, whether APC or PDP, all I want in my country is justice. I am not happy with what happened. There was no election in my area,” he had insisted.

Similarly, the 6th witness Mustapha Bello, also a PDP agent in Jigawa State alleged voter intimidation, harassment amongst others, but under cross-examination, he confirmed that he voted during the poll.

Earlier, the first witness to be called by the petitioners, Buba Galadima adopted his statement on oath in the petition.

Galadima said that he supported Atiku in the 2019 election because he was a better candidate who is educated, God-fearing and capable of providing good governance in the country.

He denied parting ways with Buhari because he was not been favoured by the administration and added that, he withdrew his support from Buhari because the president failed to protect life and property of citizens and did not allow the rule of law to prevail.

Under cross-examination by the APC counsel, Galadima further told the tribunal that he was not a member of the PDP and that his party – Reformed All Progressives Congress (RAPC), had a memorandum of understanding with Atiku and PDP on how to make life bearable for Nigerians, ensure security of life and property and allow the rule of law to prevail.

Apart from the witnesses called by the petitioners at Monday’s proceedings, more documents numbering 6, 806, mainly election result sheets from Kano and Zamfara States were tendered and admitted as exhibits by the tribunal.

The respondents equally indicated their objection to their admissibility.

Among the documents objected to by Buhari’s lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), is the President’s form CF001 submitted to INEC for the purpose of contesting February 23, presidential election.

The form CF001 contains personal and educational qualification of Buhari as supplied.

The documents form part of the evidence the petitioners seek to prove that Buhari did not possess the requisite academic qualification for the last presidential election.

However, when lead counsel to the petitioners, Dr Levy Uzoukwu (SAN) sought to tender them before the tribunal, the respondents indicated their objections.

However, the respondents did not object to the tendering of the final result of the election signed by professor Yakubu Mahmood which the tribunal admitted as exhibit.

Also tendered and admitted as an exhibit are documents containing a total number of voters in the INEC register and the number of collected Permanent Voters Card (PVC) for the elections.

The petitioners, in addition, tendered six newspapers publications and ten press statements issued by INEC in respect of the election.

Meanwhile, hearing in the petition continues Tuesday with the petitioners calling more from the 400 witnesses lined up to prove their case against the outcome of the February 23 presidential election.

PDP Says EU’s Report on 2019 Election Vindicated Party, Demands Prosecution Of INEC Chairman, Others

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says that the fresh revelation in the European Union (EU) report has further vindicated the PDP and millions of Nigerians, in our position that the February 23 Presidential election was rigged to favour President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The party notes that the revelations of manipulations as detailed in the EU report further validates queries by majority of Nigerians that President Buhari was not validly returned for a second term in office. 
The world can now see that the PDP has not been crying wolf in insisting that the election was outrightly rigged with the cancellation of millions of PDP votes, alteration of results and allocation of fictitious votes to the APC.
Nigerians are still in shock over the revelations by EU of how about 2.8 million votes were deliberately “cancelled without sufficient accountability” and how several returning officers gave no reason for the cancellations.
More shocking is the iniquity committed at the national collation center, headed by the INEC Chairman, where the EU report exposed inconsistent numbers, distortions and “a large discrepancy of “1.66 million more registered voters, as announced by INEC on 14 January, compared to those announced by state returning officers during the collation of presidential results. 
Nigerians witnessed, on national TV, how professors and returning officers were unable to reconcile result figures due to heavy manipulations upon which INEC declared the APC winner. 
The EU report has further exposed the iniquity committed by the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC by listing how ballot boxes were compromised, how essential materials were missing, how “voter register was not always ticked as required” and how “manual authentication procedures were not correctly followed”.
The report also bared how figures on result forms did not reconcile, how result forms were not publicly posted, how “result forms and smart card readers were not packed in tamper-evident envelops as required”, in addition to how the APC administration used security forces to intimidate voters, aid violence against our members and muscled votes for the APC
The PDP therefore commends the EU for the courage in exposing the evils committed by the APC and INEC in the 2019 general elections.
Moreover, the report has further reinforced the confidence of millions of Nigerians in our collective expectation of justice in the quest to retrieve our stolen Presidential mandate at the tribunal.
The PDP insists that those in INEC, who perpetrated such crime against our nation, in sabotaging the sanctity of our electoral processes to frustrate the choice of Nigerians in a presidential election, must be brought to book and made to face the wrath of the law.
Our party therefore urges Nigerians to remain calm as the truth about the election continues to unfold while justice takes its course on the matter.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan

National Publicity Secretary