PDP Demands Yakubu, Zakari’s Resignation From INEC
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded the immediate resignation of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, following what it called his alleged controlling role in the “fraudulent manipulations” that it said characterised the September 22 governorship election in Osun State.
Also, the PDP called for the resignation of the commission’s Director of Operations, Mrs Amina Zakari.
Zakari is in charge of the Information and Communications Technology Department, where the PDP alleged that the election results were altered to favour the All Progressives Congress.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, made the demands in Abuja on Tuesday at a press conference, which was held at the PDP national secretariat.
He said, “It is completely inexcusable that Prof Yakubu presides over an atrocious and compromised electoral umpire that manipulates electoral processes, doctors figures, allocates fictitious votes and subverts the will of the people in an election.
“The PDP has additional documentary evidence of how this compromised INEC, through its Operations and ICT Department, doctored results from polling centres, directly shortchanged the PDP with no fewer than 4,387 votes by slashing votes cast for the PDP at the polling centres while allocating fictitious figures to the APC.
“The PDP has facts on how INEC slashed over 1,000 votes freely cast by the people for our candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke, in Ayedaade Local Government Area, just to reduce our votes from our legitimate 10,836 votes cast at the polling centres to 9,836 votes so as to give APC the lead with a 1,000 vote margin in the local government.
“Also, the PDP has evidence of how INEC, while collating results, directly allocated over 1,367 fictitious votes to the APC in Olorunda Local Government Area, to fraudulently shore up the APC votes to duplicitous 16,254 votes.
“This is in addition to evidence of how INEC awarded over 2,000 fictitious votes in favour of the APC in Oshogbo to push APC’s vote to 23,379 against the actual 21,479 votes scored by the defeated party.”
Ologbondiyan added that the alleged writing of results by INEC in collusion with the APC occurred in many other areas, which he said led to INEC’s ill-fated directives to its junior officials, including the one apprehended in Ayedaade, to destroy results already displayed at polling and collation centres.
He added, “It was after INEC and the APC realised that despite their manipulation of figures, our candidate still scored the highest number of votes, making him the clear winner of the election, that they decided to fraudulently apply unconstitutional grounds to declare the election inconclusive.
“From the facts available to us, INEC robbed our party of over 4,387 votes. Our actual winning margin stands at 4,740 votes against the 353 votes declared by INEC.”
Ologbondiyan said the PDP had also discovered schemes perfected by INEC to rig its planned supplementary election in favour of the APC.
“The PDP is already aware that INEC has increased the original number of voters in the affected polling centres by over 850 so as to expand its latitude to manipulate results with uncollected Permanent Voter Cards, a development, which further shows INEC’s determination to rig the election for the APC.”
He added, “While Prof. Mahmood Yakubu can no longer be trusted to conduct the 2019 general election, it is public knowledge that Mrs Amina Zakari, the INEC Director in charge of Operations and ICT, is a direct blood relation of Mr President and as such, we believe that she cannot be an impartial arbiter in an election involving her uncle.
However, the Resident Electoral Commission in Osun State, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, has said that the commission did not connive with the APC to deduct the votes scored by Senator Adeleke.
He said INEC did not also inflate the figure of the votes scored by the candidate of the APC, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola.
He said, “They did not raise the issue of the figure that day. The one they raised the question on in Ayedaade Local Government was resolved and they discovered that they were wrong.
“INEC did not deduct any candidate’s votes or inflated any figure. I have always said that the people of the state would determine who their governor would be. It is unfair that politicians are accusing INEC of fraud and they are accusing the returning officer who is a Vice-Chancellor of a reputable university, calling him names. If this continues, we may have a problem getting this caliber of people to work for us in the future.”
The Chairman of the PDP in Osun State, Mr Soji Adagunodo, had warned INEC against releasing the unclaimed PVCs to the APC ahead of the rerun poll.
Reacting to the figure of unclaimed PVCs, Agbaje said the commission had earlier given out soft copies of the voter register to all political parties and they could get the actual number of voters with PVCs from the register.
He said, “We are not hiding anything here. We gave out soft copies of voter registers to all political parties and all the information are contained there. But I know that not all those who collected their PVCs would come to vote because some would have died, some relocated and some may not be interested in voting. But we are calling on them to come out and vote.”
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