SATURDAY ESSAY – Why Nigeria's 2007 Presidential Election will be Canceled on Super-Tuesday

No Comments » February 23rd, 2008 posted by // Categories: Essays



 

 

 

 

By

 

Mobolaji E. Aluko, PhD

alukome@gmail.com

 

Saturday February 23, 2008

 

 

Introduction

I start this long essay with an admission, namely partisanship as a card-carrying member of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and Action Congress (AC).  Nevertheless I will not allow those affiliations to becloud my objectivity.  It is also nothing personal, and I write within the limits of my not being a lawyer, not to talk of not being a judge.

Moving on….

The subject matter at hand is the consolidated presidential petitions of Muhammadu Buhari of the ANPP and Atiku Abubakar of the AC (as main petitioners) against Umar Musa Yar’adua of the PDP and Maurice Iwu of INEC (as main respondents) in the Abuja-based Election Petition Court of Appeal chaired by Judge James Ogenyi Ogebe (soon to be a Supreme Court Justice) and four other eminent judges [ Raphael Chikwe Agbo; John Afolabi Fabiyi; Abubakar Abdulkadir Jega; and Umani Abaji ] over the April 21 presidential elections in Nigeria.  Arguments by all the SAN-ed and un-SAN-ed counsels of the various parties involved [lead SAN counsels Mike Ahamba for Buhari, Ricky Tarfa for Atiku, Wole Olanipekun for Yar’Adua; and Kanu Agabi for INEC] are now in.  After an initial sine die adjournment,  the long-awaited judgment has now been suddenly reserved for next Tuesday, February 26 – a Super-Tuesday of sorts.

It is interesting and rather surprising to note that one of the thirteen SAN solicitors originally listed in Atiku Abubakar’s petition is none other than the controversial Mike Aondoakaa, present Attorney-General of Umar Musa Yar’Adua’s government.

See list in:  https://www.nigerianmuse.com/important_documents/Atiku_Presidential_Petition_Text_Filed_May_22_2007.pdf

The fludity with which members of our Bar in Nigeria have moved around the country and cashed in on all political sides in these electoral contests in a troubling and almost un-ethical manner – pleading for an ANPP candidate against PDP in this state, for AC against ANPP in another, and for PDP against AC in yet another, all by the same lawyer, for example – is the subject of another later discourse.

Moving on…

The facts of the April 21 presidential contest are rather fairly simple: twenty-five candidates representing their various political parties contested for president – along with their vice-presidential partners – and certain results were declared by INEC.  One candidate in particular –  Atiku Abubakar – was allowed to contest ONLY after protracted and determined exclusion by Iwu’s INEC, using a justification that Atiku had been previously indited by an administrative panel, working at the behest of the Presidency and the EFCC,  with the inditement having been officially gazetted. After almost endless legal tangles, the inclusion was only after the Supreme Court belatedly ruled on April 16 that INEC had no right to exclude Atiku in the first instance, not to talk of the illegality of the administrative panel itself.  INEC then scrambled over a mere five-day period to print at least 65 million new ballot papers that would include the symbol of the Action Congress and the name of Atiku Abubakar, but not his picture.   Whether some or all of the new ballot papers were printed in Nigeria (as first thought) or in South Africa (as later reported and confirmed by INEC); whether some, all or any of those ballot papers printed in South Africa were delivered in time to  Nigeria for the elections;  whether some or all of the ballot papers that were delivered to Nigeria [the last batch arrived, according to INEC, at 10 pm the day before the election April 20 after international (South-Africa/Nigerian governmnent), and our Navy and Army interventions] got  delivered to the 120,000 polling stations in our infrastructure-challenged Nigeria in time for voting across the big country to begin uniformly and promptly; are all substantive parts of the contention in the consolidated petition.

By the way, Umar Musa Yar’Adua was declared winner of the presidential contest by INEC’s Iwu, winning with 24,638,063 votes, with 6,605,299  recorded for Buhari and a mere 2,637,848 for Atiku, for a total of  35,397,517 for all twenty-five candidates.  [See Appendix I.]

 

Basis of Election Petitions

 
On what basis would a petitioner question the results of the elections, and hence on what basis would the expected judgment of Tuesday, February 26 be reached?  Just four as outlined in the Electoral Law section 145(1) (a)-(d):

 
QUOTE

145.(1)An election may be questioned on any of the following grounds, that is to say:

(a)that a person whose election is questioned was, at the time of the election, not qualified to contest the election;

(b)that the election was invalid by reason of corrupt practices or non-compliance   with the provisions of this Act;

(c)that the respondent was not duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast at the election; or

(d)that the petitioner or its candidate was validly nominated but was unlawfully excluded from the election.

 

UNQUOTE

 

Buhari pleaded 145(a) – (c), while Atiku concentrated on 145(b) – (d) – and in particular (d). 

I submit that Pleading (a) is a spurious one:  Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan, President Obasanjo and twenty-one others were hurriedly indicted in an “administrative tribunal” kangaroo court set up by Governor Orji Kalu in Abia in February 2007,  just two months before the elections. 

   See:  https://www.nigerianmuse.com/nigeriawatch/2007/April_polls_Buhari_presents_gazette_disqualifying_Yar_Adua

              April polls – Buhari presents gazette disqualifying Yar’Adua

 

 

For example, Section 137 (1)(i)of the 1999 constitution reads:

QUOTE

137.  A person shall not be qualified for election to the office of President if……

(i) he has been indicted for embezzlement or fraud by a Judicial Commission of Inquiry or an Administrative Panel of Inquiry or a Tribunal set up under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act, a Tribunals of Inquiry Law or any other law by the Federal or State Government which indictment has been accepted by the Federal or State Government, respectively;

UNQUOTE

However, Orji’s administrative tribunal was no more kangaroo than the one set up by Obasanjo to indict several people including Atiku (and Orji Kalu himself) and to disqualify Atiku and others from the presidential and other  contests – but let us agree to discountenance that charge against Yar’Adua and his Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan.

Buhari in particular has made a serious run at proving Pleading (c) – but my understanding is that his lawyers have not put too much effort in showing discrepances in EVERY state in the country, rather just to show a pattern existed using a sample of four states – so Buhari’s legal team  was unlikely to sustain its full case on this particular score.

 We are therefore left with only Pleading (b) – particularly “non compliance with the provisions of this Act” –  and Pleading (d), which only Atiku can argue, namely exclusion from the election.

 

Substantial Non-Compliance with the Provisions of the Electoral Act

 
Two issues that elicit the charge of substantial non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act are  due to:

(i)            the lack of serial numbers in the presidential ballot papers;

(ii)           the (effective) exclusion of a candidate that was validly nominated in an election from participating in the election

  

Lack of Serial Numbers in Ballot Papers

 
Section 45 (1) – (2) of the Electoral Act 2006 clearly states that:

 

QUOTE

45. (1)The Commission shall prescribe the format of the ballot papers which shall include the symbol adopted by the Political Party of the candidate and such other information as it may require.

(2)The ballot papers shall be bound in booklets and numbered serially with differentiating colours for each office being contested.

UNQUOTE

Note that nowhere in the Electoral law is it stipulated that pictures or even names of candidates should be included, only that at the very minimum,  the party symbol is mandated, as well as bound, color-coded and serially-numbered booklets of ballot papers.  However up UNTIL Atiku Abubakar was required to be included in the list of candidates, INEC’s Iwu had indicated that names and pictures of ALL candidates were to be included in the ballot, ONLY for him to drop the pictures requirement  when Atiku came on board by the “grace” of the Supreme Court.

So, under clear hand-written instructions (tendered in court) from Inec’s Iwu,  serial numbers (together with perforations and photographs) were expressly allowed to be excluded from the  ballot papers in order to save time of printing.  In fact, it appears that the printers – whether the Nigerian Mint or its agents in South Africa – demanded these omissions as pre-conditions for accepting the job, and hence they promptly “complied” with the Iwu order. 

This Section 45 of the Electoral Law 2006 was therefore not complied with at all.

Elections are a game of numbers – who won more and where.  For the Nigerian presidency, Section 134 of the 1999 Constitution states that:

 

QUOTE

Section 134

(2) A candidate for an election to the office of President shall be deemed to have been duly elected where, there being more than two candidates for the election-

(a) he has the highest number of votes cast at the election;

and

(b) he has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election each of at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

UNQUOTE

Without these crucial serial numbers, the burning questions were how was INEC to determine and be accountable for:

–         What polling station in which states received certain ballot papers?

–         How many were used for the elections?

–         How many were not used, and how you could track them down?

–         Which of these ballot papers were printed in Nigeria by the Mint?  In South Africa on behalf of the Mint?   

–      Which of these ballot papers arrived on June 1, 2007 forty days after the election according to a document requesting payment, a document which was submitted in court by the Atiku team?

Consequently, the argument of the petitioners was that without serial numbers on the ballot papers, there could not be “substantial compliance” in an election that involved as many as 65 million ballot papers.  They further argued that the integrity of the votes announced for each candidate –  24,638,063 for Yar’Adua, 6,605,299  for Buhari and a mere 2,637,848 for Atiku, for a total of  35,397,517 for all candidates (see Appendix I) –  was therefore unverifiable and hence questionable, and amounted therefore to arbitrary allocation of votes.  How can you determine the person who was “duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast at the election”, when you do not know the “lawful votes cast at the election?”

The 27 interrogatories issued by the Atiku lawyers (see Appendix II) to Iwu brought the above issues into strong relief.  After first being refused by the Election Court of Appeal Tribunal, Atiku headed to the Supreme Court, which in a unanimous ruling of January 25, 2008 read by Justice Nikki Tobi compelled Iwu to respond – which he did in writing on January 29, 2008.  Contrary to attempts by some in the Press – and Yar’Adua/INEC lawyers – to spin Iwu’s evasive responses as “brilliant” and “coffin-nailing” to Atiku’s case, in fact the responses of Iwu re-emphasised the seamy suspicions of less-than-truthful circumstances surrounding the printing of the ballot papers.

Perhaps one of the most interesting observations to make here is that in “The Official Report of the 2007 General Elections” recently published by INEC, not a SINGLE PAGE features numerical figures revealing what each presidential candidate won on an aggregate basis, not to talk of a state-by-state itemization.  Bland statements that Yar’Adua won the election were merely made in one or two places in the document.  State-by-state itemizations of the presidential vote are also not available on INEC’s website (www.inecnigeria.org) up until today – almost one year AFTER the elections!

 To this writer, that is strange.

 

Exclusion of Atiku’s Candidacy

The candidacy   – or effective lack thereof – of Atiku Abubakar in the April 21 elections is far more problematic and a hard nut to crack, either for INEC or for the Election Tribunal.  The inability to justify compliance of the Supreme Court mandate for Atiku’s candidacy by itself should lead to a technical knock-out of INEC  once again – in a manner reminiscent of what happened in Rivers, Kogi, Kebbi, Adamawa and Anambra.

The germane question is this:  what does the Electoral Act 2006 stipulate for someone to REALLY be a candidate?

Section 35 of the Electoral Act 2006 for example states:

QUOTE

35. The Commission shall, at least thirty (30) days before the day of the election publish by displaying or causing to be displayed at the place or places appointed for the delivery of nomination paper and such other places as it deems fit, a statement of the full names of all candidates standing nominated.

 

UNQUOTE

 With respect to Atiku, this Section was NOT complied with at all.  At no time up until the Supreme Court ruling of April 16 was Atiku EVER acknowledged publicly by INEC and in its official documents as a “a candidate standing nominated”. In fact, INEC’s constant public statement was that Atiku was EXCLUDED due to an Obasanjo-induced Administrative Panel inditement, and that any attempt to compel INEC to include his name would be fought all the way to the Supreme Court. 

Now, after that April 16 date, where was the Section complied with?  Absolutely not.  There is not a single official and dated document of INEC in which Atiku is acknowledged as a candidate for the April 21 election.  At least INEC was not able to show a single such document in court when it was demanded.  In fact, even up until TODAY, if you go to INEC’s website, and view this URl:

 
http://www.inecnigeria.org/uploaddocs/Copy%20of%20PRESIDENTIAL.pdf

 
you will still see only 24 candidates listed on the electronic document dated March 20, 2007 – with Atiku’s name omitted.  It is ONLY in INEC results’ table that Atiku’s name features on the website and in later announcements:

 
http://www.inecnigeria.org/election/show_result.php?catagory=Presidential

Even for  a while, this very file had Atiku’s “allocated” figures in the appropriate column – but with Atiku’s name completely omitted. Atiku lawyers submitted just such a missing-name page in his petition.  Finally, the URL just referred to above OMITS Pat Utomi’s name in the list of candidates with results – yet he was a candidate!

Such incompetence!

In any case, from April 16 to April 21 is NOT thirty days – unless a different numbering base was now being used by INEC.  In fact, if Atiku had WON this presidential election, the violation of this section alone might have been used by his opponents – successfully, I believe – as sufficient grounds to annul the elections since somebody who should NOT have been a candidate and who  did not pass the Time Test – had gotten victory.

 
Of course, INEC could argue that it was merely OBEYING the Supreme Court ruling of April 16 that Atiku had to be included, but that Supreme Court ruling did NOT ask INEC to disobey its own Electoral Act 2006 with respect to Section 35, since that  same Act (through its Sections 26 and 27) gave INEC powers to postpone the elections – for example by 25 days in a manner to fulfil the 30-days minimum – in the event of a “national emergency” as the Atiku debacle had proven to be.

 
QUOTE

26. Elections into the offices of the President and Vice-President, the Governor and Deputy Governor of a State, and to the Membership of the Senate, the House of Representatives and the House of Assembly of each State of the Federation and Chairman and Vice-Chairman and Membership of an Area Council shall be held on the dates to be appointed by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Days for elections.

27.  (1)   Where a date has been appointed for the holding of an election, and there is reason to believe that a serious breach of the peace is likely to occur if the election is proceeded with on that date or it is impossible to conduct the elections as a result of natural disasters or other emergencies, the Commission may postpone the election and shall in respect of the area, or areas concerned, appoint another date for the holding of the postponed election.

(2)   Where an election is postponed under this Act on or after the last date for the delivery of nomination papers, and a poll has to be taken between the candidates then nominated, the Electoral Officer shall, on a new date being appointed for the election, proceed as if the date appointed were the date for the taking of the poll between the candidates.

(3)   Where the Commission appoints a substituted date in accordance with subsections (1) and (2) of this section, there shall be no return for the election until polling has taken place in the area or areas affected.

(4)   Notwithstanding the provision of subsection (3) of this section, the Commission may, if satisfied that the result of the election will not be affected by voting in the area or areas in respect of which substituted dates have been appointed, direct that a return of the election be made.

(5)   The decision of the Commission under subsection (4) may be challenged by any of the contestants at a Court of Law or Tribunal of competent jurisdiction and on such challenge, the decision shall be suspended until the matter is determined.

UNQUOTE

 
Another violation and lack of substantial compliance is as follows:  It is interesting to note that immediately the Supreme Court verdict was read on Monday, April 16, the then Inspector General of Police Ehindero, on Wednesday April 18 CLAMPED a “no-public-rally” order on the nation for “security reasons”, thereby denying Atiku an opportunity that ALL the other presidential candidates had had up until that date:  ability to campaign and press flesh as a BONAFIDE Inec-approved candidate.

 

   https://www.nigerianmuse.com/nigeriawatch/2007/Ehindero_bans_rallies_procession_Atiku_Protests

    Ehindero bans rallies, procession; Atiku Protests

 

 

In the light of all the above, the question could be asked:  what does it mean to be a candidate in an election? Is the candidate that person whose name and/or party symbol MERELY shows up on a ballot on Election Day, but whose presence in the nomination process is completely HIDDEN or HAMPERED by various political and/or legal circumstances?  Would that not be a bad-faith or sham candidacy?  Could the candidate not argue extreme unfairness and malice – or both? If, for example, a court rules that a student should be admitted into a university, and the authorities say that they comply by adding his name to the roll of admitted students, yet deny him residency in the halls, refuse to register him in classes, prevent him from taking exams,  and at the end of the semester or course indicate that he failed his exams, can the student be deemed to have indeed been a student?

So, was Atiku REALLY a candidate in the April 21 presidential elections in Nigeria by all legal standards – or was it a 4-1-9 obedience of the Supreme Court ruling foisted on the Nigerian people by Iwu’s INEC?

That is the question that inquiring minds want to know, and which I predict that the Presidential Elections Appeal Court  of Justice Ogebe will, come Super-Tuesday February 26,  answer with a resounding “No!”
 

Prognosis – and where do we go from here?

 
I strongly believe that the impending annulment of the presidential election will turn on this technical issue of exclusion of Atiku from the election – and to a lesser extent on lack of clarity of the lawful votes – rather than any other reason.  It is a compelling reason that I do not see the Judges of the Appeal Court hearing the consolidated petition ignoring without it becoming a howler.

Yar’Adua might appeal any judgement against him, but he will surely lose at the Supreme Court by May 29, 2008– which will mean that a new acting President would be required to serve for three months up until August 2008, since Yar’Adua would have to take his joint ticket-holder Vice-President Jonathan away with him. 

No constitutional crisis should be envisaged.  Yar’Adua’s job would normally fall on the Senate President according to Section 146 of the 1999 Constitution:

 
QUOTE

 
146. (1) The Vice-President shall hold the office of President if the office of President becomes vacant by reason of death or resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or the removal of the President from office for any other reason in accordance with section 143 of this Constitution.

(2) Where any vacancy occurs in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (1) of this section during a period when the office of Vice-President is also vacant, the President of the Senate shall hold the office of President for a period of not more than three months, during which there shall be an election of a new President, who shall hold office for the unexpired term of office of the last holder of the office.

 
UNQUOTE

However, despite all his best attempts to obfuscate the matter, current Senate President Senator David Mark’s own election in Benue State has today Saturday February 23 NOW been annulled [STOP PRESS!], joining the other two annulled Senators (Akume and Akaagerger) of his state, with elections ordered to be re-run in two constituencies (Agatu and Okpokwu LGAs) in sixty days.  David Mark will also most likely appeal, but he too will almost certainly lose.  Consequently, we might soon have current Senate Deputy President Ike Ekwerenmadu of Enugu State step in first as Acting Senate President – unless the zoning of the Senate Presidency to the Middle Belt is again invoked –  and then as Acting President – the first Igbo civilian Executive President in Nigeria’s history!

It will be under the tenure of the Acting President that new presidential elections will be held. No problem….

Final point:  what is Prof. Maurice Iwu still doing as INEC Chairman? With the No. 3 person’s election now annulled, with six governors’ elections already rubbished, and  at least four to six more to go and countless legislators under hammer, surely eventually adding on the Presidential cancellation should wipe the self-adulation off Iwu’s face. Surely, there must be somebody who loves him enough who can tell him that his continued presence as Chairman is dishonorable, and that he should resign, failing which the Presidency and the National Assembly should really move to shove him aside?  He should not be allowed to sit over a single new election following all of these annulments.  He should not even be allowed to sit one more day beyond today as Chairman of INEC.

Only in Nigeria would such a sit-tight and incompetent public official remain in his position.

Anyway, we await all the political fireworks of the coming weeks and months.

 


 

APPENDIX I

NIGERIA‘S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION – APRIL 21, 2008

Results At a Glance as Announced by INEC in April 2007

S/N

Candidate

Party

Votes Announced

By

Iwu

Results currently on

Inec’s website

Difference

(3-4)

 

1

2

3

4

5

1

Umaru Musa Yar’Adua

PDP

24,638,063

24,784,227

-148,164

2

Muhammadu Buhari

ANPP

6,605,299

6,607,419

-2,120

3

Atiku Abubakar

AC

2,637,848

2,567,798

70,050

4

Orji Uzor Kalu

PPA

608,803

608,833

-30

5

Attahiru Bafarawa

DPP

289,224

289,324

-100

6

Chukwuemeka Ojukwu

APGA

155,947

155,947

0

7

Pere Ajuwa

AD

89,241

89,511

-270

8

Rev. Chris Okotie

FP

74,049

74,049

0

9

Patrick Utomi

ADC

50,849

n.a.

n.a.

10

Asakarawon Olaghere

NPC

33,771

33,771

0

11

Ambrose Owuru

HDP

28,519

28,518

1

12

Arthur Nwankwo

PNP

24,164

24,164

0

13

Emmanuel Okereke

ALP

22,677

22,592

85

14

Lawrence Adedoyin

APS

22,409

22,459

-50

15

Aliyu Habu Fari

NDP

21,974

21,974

0

16

Galadima Liman

NNPP

21,665

21,665

0

17

Maxi Okwu

CPP

14,027

14,027

0

18

Sunny Okogwu

RPN

13,566

13,566

0

19

Goodswill Nnaji

BNPP

11,705

11,705

0

20

Osagie Obayuwana

NCP

8,229

8,229

0

21

Olapade Agoro

NAC

5,752

5,692

60

22

Abone Solomon

NMDP

5,664

5,666

-2

23

Isa Odidi

ND

5,408

5,408

0

24

Aminu Gambari Abubakar

NUP

4,355

4,355

0

25

Mojisola Obasanjo

MMN

4,309

4,309

0

 

TOTAL

 

35,397,517

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX II

1. That the question was put to me: Did you award a fresh contract for printing of ballot papers for the presidential election less than 5 days to the date of election?

That in answer to the above question I say that: The Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (INEC) first awarded contracts for the April 14th and 21st 2007 general elections to the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company. Following the judgment of the Supreme Court on the 16th day of April, 2007, a fresh contract was awarded to the same organisation for the printing of the ballot papers for the presidential election on the 17th day of April 2007. The letter of awards is here shown to me and marked exhibit MI1.

2. That the question was put to me: If, yes, did you not award the said contract to a company in South Africa after the company originally contracted, declined on the ground that the delivery deadline was unrealistic if the ballot must carry serial numbers, and in booklet forms with counterfoils?

That in answer to the above question I say that: As indicated in the answer to question 1 above, the Commission did not award any such contract and no such discussion with any company in South Africa ever occurred.

3. That the question was put to me: If you deny that the contract was re-awarded to a different company less than 5 days to the election for reasons stated in question No.2, what was the reason for re-awarding the printing contract less than 5 days to the date of the presidential election?

That in answer to the above question I say that: There was no re-award of the contract as alleged. The contract to the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company arose as aforesaid from the need to comply with the judgment of the Supreme Court delivered on the 16th day of April, 2007

4. That the question was put to me: Did you not agree with the second company that printed the ballot papers less than five days to the election to print same without serial numbers and booklet forms with counterfoils?

That in answer to the above question I say that: There was no such agreement in the light of the answers to the earlier questions.

5. That the question was put to me: If you answer No to question number 4, have you annexed to the said answer your contract documents evidencing the terms on which the ballot papers were to be printed?

That in answer to the above question I say that: No such contract exists between the Commission and any South African firm and therefore I have not attached the terms of a non-existent contract.

6. That the question was put to me: When (date and time of arrival) were the ballot papers air-freighted to Nigeria, on which airline and in what quantity?

That in answer to the above question I say that: Based on the answer to question 1 above, since the event described earlier did not occur, the question does not apply. The contract was awarded to a Nigerian company.

7. That the question was put to me: Did you obtain a destination inspection report before taking delivery of the ballot papers?

That in answer to the above question I say that: Based on the answer to question 1 above, since the event described earlier did not occur, question No. 7 does not apply.

8. That the question was put to me: Have you annexed copies of the destination inspection report of each such delivery to your answer?

That in answer to the above question I say that: Based on the answer to question 1 above, since the event described earlier did not occur, question No. 8 does not apply.

9. That the question was put to me: How many days did it take INEC to take full delivery of the ballot papers from the airport?

That in answer to the above question I say that: Based on the answer to question 1 above, since the event described earlier did not occur, question No.9 does not apply.

10. That the question was put to me: By what means did you ascertain the total number of ballot papers supplied by the contractor in South Africa?

That in answer to the above question 1 say that: Based on the answer to question 1 above, since the event described earlier did not occur, question No. 10 does not apply.

11. That the question was put to me: Did the ballot papers used in the presidential election of 21st April 2007, have serial numbers, or counterfoils and made in booklet forms?

That in answer to the above question I say that: The initial ballot papers printed to be used for the presidential election of 21st April 2007 were serially numbered, with counterfoils and in booklets. However, following the Supreme Court judgment of April 16th, the Commission produced a second batch of ballot papers which were not serially numbered because of the extremely limited time for their printing, but were packed in bundles of equal quantity so that the quantity delivered could be easily ascertained.

12. That the question was put to me: How many ballot papers did you supply to each of the Resident Electoral Commissioners in each of the following states for the conduct of the presidential election, namely: Anambra, Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Cross River, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Osun and Zamfara.

That in answer to the above question I say that: The INEC National Commissioner in charge of logistics supervised the distribution of ballot papers according to the number of registered voters in each state.

13. That the question was put to me: If you indicate the figures of ballot papers supplied to each Resident Electoral Commissioner in respect of the states listed in question No. 10, above, have you supplied the form EC. 40 duly signed by the commissioners and/or witnessed by party agents in respect of the supply of such ballot papers to each state?

That in answer to the above question I say that: Ballot papers for the elections are usually delivered to the relevant INEC officers in the states through the Central Bank of Nigeria but for the April 21, 2007 presidential election, the materials were collected by the state officers of INEC at designated airports.

14. That the question was put to me: Do you have record of true identity by name of the Electoral Officers who received the ballot papers, the quantity received by the electoral officer and the time of receipt, as well as evidence that such receipt was witnessed by party agents other than the agents of the People’s Democratic Party?

That in answer to the above question I say that: Yes.

15. That the question was put to me: If you answer yes, can you give, and if so have you supplied, the names of the other party agents and their parties apart from PDP who witnessed the distribution and delivery of the said ballot papers in each local government area of the states listed, in question N0. 10 above?

That in answer to the above question I say that: Party agents observed the distribution of ballot papers and other electoral materials. The names of such agents are not usually registered and no such provision is made in the 2006 electoral act.

16.That the question was put to me: If you answer yes to any of the sub-questions in twelve (12) and thirteen (13) above, have you annexed to your answer the documents evidencing the record, in respect of each of the local government areas?

That in answer to the above question I say that: No. The ballot papers and other electoral materials were distributed to the local governments by the Resident Electoral Commissioners in each state.

17 That the question was put to me: Did you publish list of candidates standing nominated to contest the presidential election of 21st April, 2007 as mandatorily required in the Electoral Act?

That in answer to the above question I say that: Yes.

18. That the question was put to me: If yes, on what date was the publication and have you annexed a certified true copy of same to your answer?

That in answer to the above question f say that: The list was first published on February 23rd, 2007. Following the judgment of the Supreme Court on April, 16, 2007 another list was published a copy of which is here shown to me and marked exhibit M12. As can be seen, the names of the Petitioners, ALHAJI ATIKU ABUBAKAR and SENATOR BEN OBI appeared on the list.

19.That the question was put to me: Did you communicate to the petitioners or to the public, the fact that the name of 1st and 2nd Petitioners had been restored to the list of candidates after the judgment of the Supreme Court delivered on Tuesday 16th April, 2007?

That in answer to the above question I say that: Yes, After the judgment of the Supreme Court of April 16, 2007, I as the Chief Electoral Officer and Chairman of INEC, and the Independent National Electoral Commission as a body communicated to the public (on April 16:” and thereafter) that the Commission had obeyed the Supreme Court decision concerning the candidature of the petitioner.

20.That the question was put to me: If you answer question 16, yes, on what date did you publish a fresh list of candidates standing nominated to contest the presidential election inclusive of 1 Petitioner?

That in answer to the above question I say that: The Amended list was published 01 April 16, 2007.

21.That the question was put to me: On what date did you display the voters registers used for the presidential election and up till what date did you sustain the display?

That in answer to the above question I say that: The voters list for the presidel1tial election was the same list used for other elections as produced and displayed by the Independent National Electoral Commission. INEC

Displayed the voters list for purposes of public scrutiny from Saturday February 5th 2007 to February 10 in the first instance for corrections and objections. Additional display was made from March 30 and sustained throughout to election period to guide vioters to the polling units.

22. That the question was put to me: Was there objection to the list, and if so, did you indicate in your, answer the correction made to the list, in respect of each of the state listed in question no. 10.

That in answer to the above question I say that: To the best of my knowledge, claims and objections were handled at the various state and local government offices of INEC and corrections made as necessary.

23. That the question was put to me: Did you award, or authorize the award of a contract for the erection of voting cubicles to be used for thumb-printing ballot papers in secret before dropping same in the ballot boxes in the open, in any of the polling stations during the presidential election?

That in answer to the above question I say that: To the best of my knowledge, the independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria did not award any contract for “the erection of voting cubicles.” INEC awarded contracts for the supply of mobile or collapsible cubicles for the 2007 elections.

24. That the question was put to me: How much was the contract, and to whom was the contract awarded?

That in the answer to the above question I say that: Following my answer to question 23 above, no answer is available for this question since no such contract was awarded.

25. That the question was put to me: Was the contract executed?

That in answer to the above question I say that: As indicated in my answer to question 23 above, no such contract as described in question 23 exists.

26. That the question was put to me: If yes, can you list the locations of the polling units in each of the states mentioned in question No. 10 where such voting cubicles were erected?

That in answer to the above question I say that: As indicated in my answer to question 23 above, no such contract as described in question 23 exists.

27. That the question was put to me: Have you annexed to your answer the certificate of completion issued to the said contractor showing that it had performed the contract?

Following my answer to question 23 above, no answer is available for this question since no such contract as described in question 23 exists.

 

 

 

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