Election Documents Forged In 12 States

No Comments » November 22nd, 2007 posted by // Categories: Electoral Reform Project



 

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Election Documents Forged In 12 States–INEC  • Buhari demands apology

Chuks Ohuegbe

An entirely new and revealing chapter was introduced to the conduct of the last general elections yesterday as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) insisted that some of the results were forged in no fewer than 12 states of the federation.

This confirmation by INEC is coming on the heels of mounting agitation by a cross-section of the public that the board of the commission be dissolved over the conduct and outcome of the last April elections.

The INEC’s revelation has also received flak from the presidential candidate of the opposition party, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) as he demanded an unreserved apology from the commission. failure to do so would attract a legal action, he said.

The ANPP presidential Campaign Organisation in a statement yesterday signed by its publicity secretary, Osita Okechukwu, quoted the INEC national commissioner for public affairs, Mr. Philip Umeadi Jr, as saying, “We have since discovered that from the duplicates and triplicates in our custody, the dates affixed on the documents we inadvertently certified had been mutilated and changed and it is our intention to pursue this mater to its logical conclusions legally.”

The ANPP presidential campaign organisation, however, condemned in its entirety what it referred to as “the false allegation from INEC that we forged documents tendered at the presidential election petition tribunal.”

Reacting to this development, Mr. Umeadi Jr admitted in the affirmative that the commission’s documents were tampered with in 12 states.

His words: “for sure our documents were tampered with in 12 states of the federation. This we discovered by our legal document. We stand by our position. Indeed, INEC documents were tampered with.

“I did not mention the name of the political party or candidate that did it. But when we get to the court, let the court decide who tampered with INEC documents. For all I know INEC documents were forged in 12 states. When we open our defence, all would be brought to the fore, for Nigerians to see.”

The ANPP presidential Campaign Organisation in its statement had noted thus: “We view this allegation as a desperate antic and orchestration of deception designed to deceive the honourable justices, unsuspecting public, cause confusion and deny us victory.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we did not mutilate or change any document. We wish to state that INEC at the inception of the tribunal was hostile, non-cooperative and not only evaded court service, but frustrated our efforts.

“It is also worthy to note that when INEC finally agreed to obey the court order by allowing us to inspect its document, INEC officials, mainly lawyers, guided our inspectors at every angle.

“Secondly, we made all the photocopies of INEC documents in the presence of INEC officials.

“Although we paid for every copy made, INEC officials were the custodians of all documents throughout the exercise and until delivered to our lawyers in September and October 2007, had conveyed the documents from point A to B.

“As a result, what could have been completed in a record time of two weeks, took months and we waited patiently until INEC officials duly certified the documents.

“Consequently, we are at a loss of when and how we mutilated and changed the documents; for this contraption, we ask the following questions:

• Did we forge the chairman of INEC, Professor Maurice Iwu’s or any other INEC official’s signature?

• Did we duplicate copies of result sheets or any other document?

• Did we affix, predate or undate any document?

• Did we delete or create blank spaces on voter’s registers?

• Did we forge documents to wipe out polling agents signatures?

• Did we add or subtract figures for INEC?

• Did we create the yawning gap between result sheets from the units and the centre?

• Did we engineer INEC’s extreme ineptitude and scant regard for due process?

“Finally, we demand as a matter of urgent national importance, unreserved public apology from INEC, for mischievously misinforming the honourable justices, the unsuspecting public and cruelly tarnishing the image of our presidential candidate, and lead counsel, whose unique selling point is integrity and transparency.

“We warn that failure to publicly apologise boldly in national newspapers, radios and televisions; shall consequently attract attention.”

 

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