The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu has been compromised.
The PDP, in a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, also accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of bribing Yakubu.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had earlier cast doubt on INEC’s ability to hold transparent and credible elections.
Juicy appointments and property
The PDP alleged that the INEC boss was also offered choice properties in and outside Nigeria, plus juicy appointments for his family members.
The statement reads: "This scenario is also feared to be the reason INEC is succumbing to pressure by the Buhari Presidency to retain Mrs. Amina Zakari, President Buhari’s relation by marriage, as head of the collation center, where she is being positioned to alter genuine results and allocate fictitious figures in favour of President Buhari.
“We already have information that the geo-spatial centers created by the INEC Chairman in the six geo-political zones have also been dubiously duplicated by Mrs. Amina Zakari in all the zones from where APC and Buhari Presidency intend to assemble fictitious votes and transmit same to INEC’s data base and situation room.
“We are also aware that the process of employing Ad-hoc staff that will function as electoral officers, particularly in the Presidential election have already been compromised to favour the APC under Mahmood Yakubu’s watch to manipulate the process.
“Presently, more than half of the card readers to be used in the elections have been rendered obsolete and non-functional. We have less that 30 days to the elections and these card readers have not been upgraded. We have it on good authority that these will be used to create confusion on election days and facilitate the use of incident form, which will hamper transparency.
“The PDP, therefore, in the strongest terms, charges Mahmood Yakubu to demonstrate his credibility and ability to conduct free, fair and transparent elections by taking urgent and decisive steps to show that he has not been compromised by the APC and the Buhari Presidency.
“To do this, we demand that Prof. Mahmood Yakubu immediately rejig the electoral guidelines in a way that accreditation must be first concluded, number of accredited voters ascertained and openly announced before actual voting. Anything short of this will only validate the position of Nigerians that INEC has been compromised by the APC.
“Similarly, Prof. Yakubu cannot claim to be committed to a credible election with the continued stay of Amina Zakari as head of the collation center, in spite of manifest conflict of interest. Prof. Yakubu must without further delay remove Amina Zakari from this sensitive position, if he indeed intends to conduct a credible collation of Presidential results.
“Furthermore, to hedge any infraction from the dubious duplication of the geo-spatial centers by Amina Zakari, the PDP insists that INEC’s final collation center must be made open to agents of all the Presidential candidates as well as representatives of national and international observers.
“While we note that President Buhari has bowed to pressure by Nigerians and eased out Ibrahim Idris as Inspector General of Police, we urge him to also lend credence to the electoral process by easing out his relation by marriage, Amina Zakari, from INEC.
“We are aware that Amina Zakari has since taken over the duties of the INEC Chairman on the behest of the Buhari Presidency. Today, the world has turned our nation to a mockery and they are aghast as how a sitting President can be insisting that his relation must be the retuning officer in an election in which he is going to participate.
“In the same vein, following revelations that the process of recruiting INEC Ad-hoc staff has been compromised to favour the APC, the PDP insists that Prof. Yakubu must publish the names of all the ad-hoc staff that have been recruited, in their respective constituencies, to enable voters in those areas to assess the independence and integrity of such electoral officers.
“We charge Prof. Yakubu to note that this election is very crucial to the survival of our nation and that he is now at the epicenter of the future of our country. He must therefore rise above offers of compromises surrounding him.
“We believe that Prof. Yakubu has a name to protect. He must know that there is a life after office. We hope and pray that he will not end up like the disgraced last Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Kpotum Idris. Prof. Yakubu should know that Nigerians will hold him directly responsible if the 2019 general election is derailed.”
INEC boss reacts
The chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu dismissed the allegations while speaking to newsmen on Monday, January 21, 2019.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Yakubu said that the commission is not under pressure to compromise.