Tuesday, 21 April 2015
No Evidence Of Electoral Fraud In Rivers – Jega
— Apr 21, 2015,
The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega has said there was no evidence of electoral fraud Rivers State before the commision.
He also said the commission lacked the power to cancel results of elections after they had been announced.
The commission’s chairman, who spoke at the Civil Rights Situation Room held in Abuja stated that the Commission after getting the petition of irregularities in Rivers State sent three national Commissioners to investigate it.
According to him, the reports submitted by the team did show any irregularities in the election.
“We have no power to cancel elections results once returns have been made. On the petition against election irregularities in Rivers State, the commission sent three national commissioners to the state to investigate it and found no irregularities in the election in the report. Some people don’t want elections to hold, they are the ones calling for cancellation.
“We investigate the allegation of fake result sheets in Rivers and our reports showed that there was nothing like that,” he stated.
While answering question on whether he would accept the offer, if he is re-appointed as INEC boss, Jega stressed that he would not accept it as he would want to do something else with his life.
The INEC boss further stated that the commission was already in partnership with the police and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to prosecute electoral offenders.
He noted that one offender had already been prosecuted in Adamawa state by being sentenced to six months imprisonment for being in illegal possession of permanent voter cards.
He, however, called on anyone with evidence as it related to electoral offences to bring such to the commission, with a promise that such would be investigated and consequently tried in court.
On the planned supplementary elections in Abia State, Jega said that the elections would hold only in the wards where election was cancelled and not in the entire three local government areas.
Jega further revealed about 20,000 permanent voters card were not produced before the election was conducted because the producer was arrested by the police over the allegation that he gave the password to a political party.
“Evidently, some people did not want us to use the card reader machine. That was why we allowed manual election in some few places where the card reader did not function well during the presidential election.
“Some people had already said that we deliberately deployed card reader machine that would not in some zones and to prove them wrong, we instructed that manual voting should take place in such places. But some people want to take the advantage of that.
“But during governorship elections, we ensured that all the card reader machines worked. We had earlier sent warning to all the RECs that they would be held responsible for any card reader that did not work properly,” he stated.
Earlier, the convener of the Situation Room and Executive Director of Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre PLAC, Clement Nwankwo had on behalf of the Civil Societies congratulated Jega and INEC over the success of the elections.
He, however, noted that Situation Room had raised concern over Rivers, Abia and Akwa – Ibom elections.
He also noted that there were complaints about some of the State Resident Electoral Commissioners as it relates to their relationship with politicians in their various states.