TENSION: Cancellation Looms As INEC Has No Result Sheets For Inspection
There is palpable apprehension over the results of the presidential and National Assembly elections conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] on February 23, 2019.
Sources have revealed that fear of cancellation of the election result is looming as, 12 days after, INEC has no result sheets for inspection by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP], Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
ElombahNews had reported on March 6 that one week after INEC declared President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the president-elect, the electoral umpire has failed to provide explanations on discrepancies noted in the results of the February 23 presidential election it announced last Wednesday.
It was also reported that the Court of Appeal ordered INEC to allow Atiku Abubakar and his party have unfettered access to all certified copies of the materials used in conducting the 2019 elections.
That court order is reportedly causing tension in INEC as to what to do.
It was also gathered that, soon after the court ruling, INEC on Wednesday ordered its legal department to look into the ruling to advise it appropriately, a source in the know revealed.
It is now two weeks after the conduct of the elections but it seems the Electoral Commission does not have full results in its kitty for inspection.
Worse still is the fact that INEC does not have result sheets and other materials it used for collation of the results, causing anxiety and fears of annulment of elections aftermath of court ruling on Wednesday.
Even of concern is why INEC has yet to provide details of the outcome of the polls either on its website or at its state offices.
Checks conducted through INEC online portal, calls to its states’ offices, wards, local governments, federal constituencies and senatorial districts showed no physical collation or online release of the results.
This is causing fears the election results may have been cooked as efforts were rather placed on declaring winners than following processes as allowed by extant laws before declaration of election results could be done.
When Daily Mail enquired from Oluwole Osaze-Uzi, INEC’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity, it was not successful.
Also, attempts to speak with Festus Okoye, INEC’s National Commissioner on Voter Education was also unsuccessful as his phone rang out.
But several sources told Daily Mail that it should normally take few weeks to collate all election materials “owing to the magnitude of the election and the materials used.
“Nigeria is a large country, we shouldn’t be hasty in some issues but I can agree with you that at least all the materials and equipment used should have been at states’ offices.”
Asked why state offices are yet to have the equipment and materials, he said state offices should be asked or INEC “higher authority would be in a position to answer that.”
A source at the legal department of INEC told Daily Mail on phone that “it was always going to be tough providing the materials the court has ordered.
“I don’t know why materials used during the election have not be submitted but I am not in a position to speak – I am in the legal department, my mandate is not to speak on issues like this.”
According to her, “There should be thing to inspect, in fact all things being sought should be available for a petitioner to examine – that’s what all relevant laws in the country says.”
When asked what if the petitioner cannot be provided the materials being sought, she responded, “That is left for the court to decide, but it could mean cancellation of result because you can’t announce nothing for something.”