The Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) mechanism for election results management is still weak which is one of the major reasons candidates and parties often seek redress at the tribunal and courts, having believed they were rigged out of the exercise that was meant to be open, free and fair, a professor of History in the Department of History and International Studies, Osun State University, Siyan Oyeweso has said.
Speaking at a Policy Dialogue on Osun State Governorship Election tagged: “Critical Factors and What INEC should do to ensure successful polls,” Oyeweso said the collation system, since it is carried out manually or manually transmitted, has every tendency to be manipulated not only at the polling units, but during collation at the collation centres.
“It appears that the tendency to manipulate results at these different stages have the backing of a number of forces,” Oyeweso said, adding that it is also clear that the capacity to commit this act is not unconnected with the lax attitude of security personnel deployed to man the units and centres.
The professor said for the Osun election to be adjudged free and fair, INEC should employ the use of innovative electronic collation and results transmission system to obviate the regular manual collation system which is open to fraud and malpractices.
“A test run should be carried out in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Osun State to see its possibility in the 2019 general elections,” Oyeweso advised.
“Results of all elections in each polling unit should be recorded into an electronic platform developed for this purpose via the smart card readers. Results should thereafter be transmitted to a central network which are collected automatically and viewed at the ward level while all forms could be scanned automatically by any voter or interested persons,” Oyeweso said.
While urging INEC and the security personnel to be mindful of some hot spots in Osun State during the forth-coming election, Oyeweso, also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the amendment bill sent to him by the National Assembly.
The professor said the new bill, if passed, would empower INEC to do their work effectively.
“INEC cannot perform beyond its mandate,” Oyeweso said adding, “If the new bill is passed, it will empower INEC to do their work effectively.”
“2019 is close and all the technicalities must be addressed and President Muhammadu Buhari should find a way of assenting to the bill,” Oyeweso added.
The chairman, Board of Electoral Institute (BEI), Abuja, Prof Okechukwu Ibeanu said the dialogue was important adding that the Osun State governorship election was very crucial to them.
N1.6bn Fraud: Dudafa Denies Any Transactions With ONSA, CBN
The Senior Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, yesterday, denied having any transaction with the Office of National Security Adviser or Central Bank of Nigeria.
Dudafa made the statement before a Federal High Court, Lagos, during his examination-in-chief.
He was led in evidence by his counsel, Mr Gboyega Oyewole (SAN).
Dudafa was arraigned alongside a banker, Joseph Iwejuo, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on June 11, 2016 on a 23-count charge bordering on money laundering and conspiracy to conceal proceeds of crime worth N1.6 billion.
He said he had no relationship whatsoever with any government official during his tenure as the former president’s aide.
“I only looked after the residence of the former president and ran errands for him,” Dudafa said.
The former president’s aide said his failure to fill the assets declaration form while in EFCC detention was due to the commission’s refusal to state the nature of his offences and the denial of his right to a lawyer.
He added that he did not fill the asset declaration form because he was not a public officer as he was not paid salary from the public accounts.
He told the court that the payments in his accounts was part of the donations made by Prince Arthur Eze to Otueke Anglican Communion for the building of Saint Stephen Deaconry and Youth Development Centre in Bayelsa State.
Dudafa claimed that between 2005 and 2011, he made between N5 million and N7 million as daily turnover from his fast food business, De Jakes Fast Food, before his appointment by the former president.
However, during cross-examination by EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, Dudafa confirmed that he received a cumulative sum of $10 million from Prince Eze, in the presence of the former president between 2013 and 2015.
He insisted that the proceeds of the donations for the church projects were paid into his private companies’ accounts.
The defendant denied knowing anyone called Jide Ofor, who was alleged to have paid the sum of N41.85 million into his account.
When also asked of his relationship with some companies that made payments for his house at Chevron Estate, Lekki, Dudafa denied having any house in Lekki.
He said that the only house he had in Lagos was at Sangotedo, at Lekki-Ajah axis of the state.
The defendant told the court that the statements he made while in custody of the anti-graft agency were made under duress.
Dudafa said that he was made to understand that making the statements would be the only option to guaranty his freedom.
Justice Mohammed Idris, adjourned further hearing until Sept. 7 for continuation of cross-examination.
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