Fear of presidential election result cancellation looms as INEC has no result sheets for inspection by Atiku 12 days after presidential election.
It’s almost two weeks after the conduct of the presidential and National Assembly elections but the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) does not have full results in its kitty.
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.
Daily Mail reports that, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Wednesday granted the election result challenger, Atiku Abubakar, a candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, leave to inspect all election materials.
That court leave is causing confusion in INEC as to what to do. Daily Mail 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.
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 by Daily Mail 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.”
Extract from Thisday
Days after the declaration of the presidential and National Assembly elections results in Abuja and at the senatorial and federal constituencies in the states respectively, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is yet to provide details of the outcome of the polls either on its website or at its state offices.
However, till date the details of the results from wards, local governments, federal constituencies, senatorial districts and states are yet to be published either at the state or national headquarters of INEC.
As the outcome of the election became controversial, particularly with Atiku and the PDP threatening legal challenge to it, many had hoped that the publication of the details of the results would enable discerning members of the public to come to more dispassionate conclusions on the results filed by INEC.
THISDAY correspondents’ enquiries at the commission’s state offices throughout the federation and Abuja met a brick wall with officials saying the results were still being authenticated even when returns had been made and winners declared.
“What is happening is quite unbelievable. How could INEC not give details of results it declared days ago? Where are the results?,” a curious analyst, who craved anonymity, asked THISDAY correspondent.
Another observer, who also did not want to be mentioned, said he was surprised that given the enthusiasm with which the commission released the certificate of return to the president, it would have been much more forthcoming with details of the results, particularly as many people are skeptical about some of the figures declared.
“I think something is fishy. Look at the massive figures that came out of the North-west and North-east. Should they not give us the details of where those votes came from?” he asked.
But INEC’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzi, told THISDAY that the commission was still authenticating the results from the states, explaining that until that process is concluded they could not be uploaded on the electoral body’s website.
! Daily Mail and Thisday