Observers demand RECs prosecution for alleged sabotage

The Centre for Transparency and Advocacy, a pro-democracy organization, has demanded that Resident Electoral Commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission in the last presidential election be investigated for alleged partisanship and collusion with politicians to sabotage and derail the exercise.

The organization also demanded that INEC investigate its officials, particularly some RECs, local government electoral officers, Supervisory Presiding Officers, and dubious ad hoc staff, and that all those involved in electoral malpractices be arrested, prosecuted, and adequately punished to serve as a deterrent to others.

Faith Nwadishi, Executive Director of CTA, stated this in Abuja while reporting on the group's observations during the presidential and National Assembly elections.

"The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" was the title of the organization's report.

Nwadishi said, "INEC officials on the field claimed they had no codes to transmit the results, while in a statement issued by INEC, it said that there were technical glitches. These explanations did not dissuade Nigerians from believing that some of the electoral umpire's staff were corrupt. Some of the uploaded results were mutilated or contained people's photographs, rendering them unreadable."

Under the heading, 'Sabotage by some INEC field officers and electoral officers at the local government areas,' the group said, "These set of Nigerians have always set the clock of democracy back due to their fraudulent activities in connivance with dubious politicians.

"The role of Resident Electoral Commissioners at this time should be interrogated as some of them are alleged to be partisan and in connivance with politicians to derail due process.

"You may recall that CTA and other Civil Society Organizations criticized the appointment of some partisan Resident Electoral Commissioners in the run-up to the election. It appears that these INEC officials routinely work against set guidelines and orders from INEC headquarters. It was claimed that they hoarded result sheets and sold them to the highest bidders, who allegedly used the result sheets to tamper with actual polling unit results.

"It was also alleged that these same group of INEC staff hoarded the codes and access to the BVAS hence the non-transmission of results from the polling units as stipulated by law. This is unacceptably dangerous and should be avoided.

"INEC should as a matter of priority, set up an enquiry to investigate its staff, especially some Resident Electoral Commissioners, the Electoral Officers at the LGAs, supervisory presiding officers and dubious adhoc staff. We demand that all those involved in electoral fraud be arrested, prosecuted, and adequately punished. This will be a deterrent.

"INEC should have the political will to cleanse itself of these putrid impurities that has cast doubts to its integrity and neutrality. The use of BVAS for uploading polling unit results should be used in the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections on March 11, 2023."

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