Abubakar Yunusa, Abuja
With the twist and turns emanating from INEC in recent time regarding the 2023 general elections and the development from Ekiti and Osun State gubernatorial pools, the Human & Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has expressed concern over INEC’s ability to deliver free, fair and credible elections.
In a statement delivered by the chairman of HEDA, Olarenwaju Suraju, the civil group maintained that INEC’s inconsistency regarding the issuance of a Certified True Copies (CTC) of the BVAS deployed in Osun State gubernatorial election to APC candidate and Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, may mar the 2023 general elections.
Recall that in July 18, 2022, two days after a governorship election was conducted in Osun State, the APC candidate and Governor Adegboyega Oyetola reportedly applied for the Certified True Copies (CTC) of the BVAS Report for the election.
INEC was on record to have after the statutory payments were made on July 29, 2022, issued the CTC of the BVAS Report to APC and Oyetola.
Following, APC and Oyetola served INEC their Petition challenging results in 749 polling units on the account of suspected over-voting they believed took place in those polling units.
INEC is alleged to, having discovered the palpable inconsistencies between figures recorded as accredited votes on the EC8A (result sheet) and the BVAS Report, have tampered with the contents of the original BVAS report to protect the mandate awarded to Ademola Adeleke and PDP, at the expense of a credible election, by issuing a fresh CTC to the defendants, claiming the CTC earlier issued to APC and Oyetola was incomplete and unsynchronised.
HEDA’s boss, posited that considering the Ekiti and Osun elections where conducted and results declared on the basis of BVAC, how possible and plausible was it for INEC to have declared a winner from an unsynchronized BVAC? Considering the BVAC report issued was more than 10 days after the Osun election.
Suraju affirmed that, “As an organisation committed to fight against corruption; financial and electoral, HEDA is concerned about this development. We observed the Osun election and engaged the process in collaboration with anti- corruption agencies to campaign against vote buying before and during that election.
“Noting this particular serious inconsistency and those associated with the senatorial tickets bids of the current Senate President in Yobe and Former Governor Godswill Akpabio in Akwa Ibom, INEC is charged to do better and remain consistent for a credible, free, fair and popular election in 2023,”
The anti- corruption activist charged anti -corruption agencies to conscientiously follow up on INEC, in the build up to the 2023 elections, for the 2023 general elections to be far better than every previous elections conducted in the past. “Anti corruption agencies are further charged to vigorously monitor officials of the Commission to avoid inducement and compromise of the 2023 elections,” he charged.