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Multiple Registration: APC Issues 24-Hour Ultimatum To INEC To Prosecute Obiano


Ayo Balogun, Lagos

The All Progressive Congress (APC) has issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to begin the process of prosecution of the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Maduabuchi Obiano over his alleged involvement in multiple voter’s registration.

willie_obianoAPC’s lawyer, Festus Keyamo has officially written to INEC, issuing the 24-hour ultimatum to the commission to begin prosecution, failure for which APC would apply for Mandamus to compel INEC to do so.

“We hereby give the Commission a 24-hour ultimatum to commence the process of prosecution of the said “Obiano, Maduabuchi Willie” failing which we shall on behalf of our client apply for Mandamus to compel the Commission to carry out its statutory duty,” Keyamo said in the letter issued on Tuesday.

APC drew the attention of the Commission to its recent statement in which it said it was ready to prosecute some unscrupulous persons who indulged in multiple registrations as voters.

“We refer to a statement credited to the INEC National Commissioner for Election Monitoring, Dr. Ishmael Igbani, who said late October that the Commission had “detected 93,526 multiple registration cases in Anambra State ahead of the November 16 governorship election.” Further, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuemeka Onukogu had last August assured that the Commission would prosecute 72 out of some 93,526 cases of multiple registrations recorded in 2011 in Anambra, saying that the move would serve as a deterrent to other intending electoral offenders in the state,’ the party said.

The letter quoted INEC as saying that: “We have their names, pictures, addresses and gradually all of them will be caught and prosecuted but we are starting with 72 persons. The state police command had been notified.”

“Till date, no single person has been arraigned or prosecuted by your Commission. This has emboldened more persons-including the subject of this complaint – to engage in this unwholesome criminal act.

“Accordingly, there is a case presently in the said Anambra State that puts your Commission’s resolve to test. This is the case of one “Obiano, Maduabuchi Willie,” a voter registered at Otuocha Ward 1, Polling Unit 004, Eri Primary School 1 of Anambra East Local Government Area. From the Voters’ Register made available to all the political parties including our client, the said “Obiano, Maduabuchi Willie” was issued a Voter Identification Number (VIN) 90F5B12B88377091121 at 2:18 pm on August 21, 2013.

“Further, the said Obiano was again issued with another Voter Identification Number 90F5B15E7D378200332 at exactly 10:25 am on September 3, 2013. It is instructive that save for the fact that the said “Obiano, Maduabuchi Willie” was wearing different clothes on the said dates, all other particulars relating to the “Obiano, Maduabuchi Willie” remained the same. For instance, in both voter’s cards, the suspect was registered as “Obiano, Maduabuchi Willie” while his address was “No. 1 Chief Willie Obiano Street, Otuocha,” the letter explained.

The party contended that the date of birth was also recorded as 08.08.1955 on both cards while the age was recorded as 56, saying that the watermarks on both cards clearly showed the different voter identification numbers as well as different issuing dates and times, adding that the name “Obiano, Maduabuchi Willie” was unchanged.

APC said in the letter that it was now public knowledge that the said “Obiano, Maduabuchi Willie” had earlier registered at Ifako/Soluyi Ward 2, Polling Unit 060 – Junction of Ramot Oluwakemi Street, Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State while his Voter Identification Number (VIN) is 90F5B12B01296204172 and his serial number on the Voters’ Register is 416.

“It is noteworthy that this matter is already in the public sphere. Further, your Kayode Idowu alluded that the Commission is already aware of this egregious breach of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), but is reluctant to prosecute the suspect,” it stated.

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