INEC AS A ROGUE INSTITUTION: ENUGU STATE IN FOCUS (Part 1)
DR JUDE SOPULU ENEH
Leon Acton “Lynn” Westmoreland, American politician and member of the Republican Party was once quoted as saying that the greatest threat to constitutional right to vote is voter fraud. More than coup d’états and all the factors we reel out as dangers to democracy, none is more dangerous that voter fraud. One can steal money and be caught by the law but when an institution steals the mandate freely given to a candidate in election and give to the loser, that institution has stolen the freedom and destiny of the people. That is what INEC has done in the 2023 general elections in Nigeria particularly in Enugu State.
INEC has left no one in doubt that it is a rogue institution; an institution that changes the goal post at the middle of the game; an institution that has no regards for rule of law and for its own rules and guidelines. Prof. Mahmood Yakubu’s INEC has perpetrated the greatest electoral fraud in Nigeria; not even the pyrotechnics of Maurice Iwuh can be compared with it in its barefaced electoral criminality. INEC disgusts me and I dare say that by its criminality and thievery, it has set Nigeria on the path of perdition.
How can this shameless robbery in Enugu state stand? This was an election that the Labour Party was coasting home to victory until the Nkanu-East vote-manufacturing factory came to the scene. Apart from the widespread rigging, voter intimidation and suppression as well as manipulation of results, the case of Nkanu-East stood out in its stark absurdity. Incidentally, this is the LG of the PDP candidate, Peter Mbah.
Perhaps it is important to examine, however briefly, the context of the fraud committed in Nkanu-East LG. This LG has a registered voting population of 80,000plus. The number of voters that collected their PVCs is 27,000 for this LG. On the Election Day, the total number of accredited voters was 17,000. However, the Collation Officer for the LG, a certain Nnaemeka Ogbene, with maternal roots in the LG, and noted for his low morals and proclivity for greed, turned in results showing the PDP scoring 30,350 and the LP with a meager 1,855 votes.
The agents of LP and APGA, on the spot, called the attention of the REC, Dr. Chukwuemeka Chukwu to this anomaly and informed the collation officer that BVAS was by-passed in Nkanu-East. Even the INEC officers that covered Nkanu-East LG admitted that BVAS were not used because they didn’t function. In a polling unit at Community Secondary School Owo, only 200 voters were accredited but the INEC officers changed it to 800 when that polling unit has only 700 registered voters. These figures were obviously manipulated by Nnaemeka Ogbene at the LG Collation Centre because even the results on INEC IRev portal indicated huge discrepancies.
These discrepancies provided the background for the suspension of the Nkanu-East result by the State collation officer, Prof. Iwe who pushed for a review. Just before then, the PDP agents also queried Nsukka results. Both Nkanu-East and Nsukka results were taken to INEC headquarters in Abuja for forensic analysis. The comprehensive forensic analysis for Nkanu-East showed that actually, the total number of accredited voters for the entire Nkanu-East was about 17,000. Of this number, the PDP allocated to itself about 10,000 votes and the LP 1,855 votes.
Even with this number, the LP would have won convincingly. But at Abuja, the PDP openly bribed Mr. Festus Okoye, the INEC Director for Voter Education who was saddled with the review. Beyond the purview of his mandate, Okoye arrogated to himself the duty to add votes to the PDP. The position of the Electoral Act is very clear on this: Where BVAS is by-passed or where there is evidence of over-voting, such result should be cancelled. That is the position of the law. Ignoring its own guidelines and the Electoral Act, INEC went ahead to add 6,000 votes to PDP and only 9votes to the LP in Nkanu-East LG.
By the time the review team came back to Enugu, PDP had scored 16,000plus votes. Where is this done? Festus Okoye, at the sight of money, threw INEC’s rules over board. He generously manufactured 6000 illegal votes for his financiers and gave the Returning Officer a marching order to go and execute this illegality. Meanwhile, the PDP had mobilized its killing machine and laid siege on INEC office in Enugu with an apparent threat that the RO will not return home alive if dared declare Chijioke Edeoga the winner.
Thus, listening to Prof. Iwe painfully narrate that he was merely carrying out an order from the Authority in announcing the Governorship Election Result for Enugu state, I felt great pity for him. Here was man reputed for his belief in truth and godliness capitulating to the whims and caprices of the merchants of evil and occultism in Enugu state. No wonder Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, former Minister of Education described the Enugu Guber election and result as a “massive mess”; and even accused governor Ugwuanyi of conniving with INEC officials to truncate the will of the people of Enugu State.
This travesty and pervasion of the people’s will not go unchallenged. For those who are rejoicing now, let me shock you! Your rejoicing shall not tarry because even in your laughter, there is emptiness and heaviness of heart. Zophar, the Naamathite reminded Job that the triumphing of the wicked is short and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment; though his excellency mount up to the heavens and his head reach unto the clouds, yet he shall perish forever, like his own dung; those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’
Like a dream he flies away, no more to be found, banished like a vision of the night and the eye that saw him will not see him again; his place will look on him no more. That is God’s judgment on vote fraudsters in Enugu State. Whether you like it or not, Enugu State must be liberated from the yoke of PDP. The day of redemption is upon us. Do not be deceived because *PDP lakooo!!!*
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