The Citizens Coalition For The Restoration Of Kaduna Mandate, have protested at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), calling for the review of the just concluded gubernatorial election in Kaduna State.
According to the group, INEC officials and returning officers showed total disregard for the use of BVAS which billions were spent to purchase.
The leaders of the protesters, Edward John John Auta, Spokesperson; Hadwyah Samuel, Convener and Bello Jallo, Co-Convener, while handing over their complaint letter to INEC, appeal to Nigerians and the international community to come to the rescue of the people of Kaduna State, by putting pressure on INEC to immediately review the result of the governorship election in the state.
“As you are aware, the governorship and HoA elections took place across the 36 states of the federation on Saturday, 18th March, 2023. In Kaduna State, the exercise, as monitored by many observers, was short of a democratic process as the outcome did not reflect the choice of the people or complied substantially with the provisions of the law.
“Ahead of the 2023 general elections, INEC announced to the whole world that BVAS would be deployed to the elections to prevent multiple voting and also ensure the results of polling units are uploaded to the INEC IREV portal immediately after voting and collation at the polling units. It was also meant to serve as a point of reference in the event of a dispute during collation. Regrettably, while the results for most of the PUs were uploaded on the platform, the collation officers at all levels refused to consult the IREV portal despite numerous calls for it by opposition agents. A case in hand is the rejection of the Lere LG figures by opposition agents and call for the state’s chief collation officers to consult the INEC portal but were dismissed
“We also witnessed the arbitrary cancellation of results in strongholds of the opposition, and all efforts to draw the attention of the INEC officials to use the results already uploaded on the IREV portal to address the concerns of agents were also refused. In particular, the entire results of election in Kukui ward of Kagarko local government with six thousand and eighty-four (6084) number of registered voters and all permanent voters cards (PVC) collected were cancelled at the ward collation centre, despite protest against that by party agents, knowing that all polling units result sheets have been uploaded on the IReV. Our members observed how collation centers in Kaduna South, Igabi, Birnin Gwari, Zaria, Lere became cancellation centres.
“It was also clear that the manipulation of the elections in many areas was supervised and aided by some corrupt agents of the security forces. In Birnin, Kachia, Kagarko, Lere, and Kudan LGAs, there were incidences of such fraudulent activities, which ultimately proved effective in altering the election outcome in favour of the APC candidate,” the group said adding that since the law provides for seven days to review, INEC should do the right thing.
“In view of the fact that the law provides for a 7-days window for INEC to review the results of an election where evidences of widespread irregular abound, we call on the commission to immediately commence the review of the results of the governorship elections in Kaduna State to ascertain the true winner of the elections.
“We demand that no certificate of return should be issued to the candidate of the APC or anyone for that matter unless this process is concluded and resolved in his favour.
“The commission can not invest billions of taxpayers’ money into BVAS and still fail to take advantage of the opportunities it provides to protect the votes of the electorates and enhance the integrity of the elections.
“We demand the immediate sack of the INEC Administrative Officer, Mal
Auwal Mashi, who colluded with the APC and supervised the rigging of the elections in the state. We also demand an investigation into actions Prof. Ladi, the RO for Lere LGA and Prof. …., the RO for the state who allegedly collected huge sums of money from the APC to alter the results in their favour.
“Failure to do as we have demanded will mean an endorsement of the election theft that happened in Kaduna State by the commission.
“We also appeal to Nigerians and indeed the international community to come to the rescue of the people of Kaduna State, by putting pressure on INEC to immediately review the result of the governorship election in the state,” the group added.
Receiving the protesters, INEC deputy director in charge of security, Ndidi Okafor, said their letter will be forwarded to the commission for necessary action.