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2023 Presidential Poll: Rights Group, Intersociety, Raises Alarm Over Alleged Fifty Rigging Plots By INEC

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – As Nigeria’s February 2023 presidential election gathers momentum, a human rights organization, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of law (Intersociety), has raised the alarm over alleged fifty rigging plots by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC.

The group stated this Sunday in Enugu during a global Media Presentation of what it tagged: “27-Page Special Investigative Report on Nigeria’s INEC, Exposing Illegalities And Sundry Scientific Rigging Plots Ahead Of the February 2023 Presidential Poll.

It alleged that the Electoral body has already successfully executed 27 out of the 50 plots during 2022 continuous Voter registration CVR, and ongoing execution of 23 others

Addressing Journalists alongside other key officials of the Organization, it’s Board Chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi, revealed that Intersociety has equally discovered the disenfranchisement of 77.7m citizens of voting age and estimated 20 million ineligible identities in the voters list.

He said the Civil Society group has also “unmasked twelve major polls rigging Nigerian States to watch in February 2023 presidential poll as it was the case in 2015/2019.

The Organization frowned at the “26 shrinking days for distribution of PVCs and use of LGAs/Wards instead of 176, 846 polling units in Nigeria

It equally expressed concern over what it referred to “emergence of 18 million dead votes and 14m “living votes”, totaling 32m votes cast in the February 2023 presidential poll

Umeagbalasi therefore, warned against forcing general voting population from ballot revolution into street revolution and complex uncertainties.

He explained that the cardinal Objective Of the Special investigative report “is to ensure that Nigeria holds crisis or turbulence free, participatory or inclusive and credible General Elections with particular focus on the 25th Feb 2023 Presidential Poll.

“Such Elections cannot credibly and popularly take place without massive enfranchisement through voters’ registration and issuance of Permanent Voters’ Cards to citizens of voting age without discrimination as to their religion, ethnicity and class.

“It must be noted here that Intersociety has nothing against Muslims in the North or South but seriously frowns at them being given undue advantage ahead of others-despite the heterogeneous ethno-religious composition of the country.

” Nigeria is also going to perform a major transfer of power to next sets of leaders at national and sub-national levels on 29th May 2023 and as a result, requires popular and credible General Elections to heal its protracted wounds fueled by deep-seated ethnic and religious divisions and protracted violence against persons and properties orchestrated by murderous state actors and non- state actors following long years of bad leaders and leaderships in power.

“Nigeria’s INEC in the instant case (2023 democratic process) had been forensically followed and found to have fumbled and wobbled alarmingly; to the extent of earning notoriety in the playing of ethnic and religious cards or promotion of ethno-religious divisions as a policy direction.

“Intersociety had also carefully followed and monitored INEC especially since the commencement of 2021/2022 CVR; in line with our belief that it is a moral disservice to the citizenry in a democratic setting for key Democracy and Rights CSOs to sit by and do nothing especially during CVR and PVC distribution exercises only to wake up on Election Day to “monitor polls that have already been massively rigged” using different segregating and disenfranchisement patterns including discriminatory voters’ registration and distribution of PVCs leading to massive and digital or scientific rigging of such poll.

“It must be clearly pointed out that this Special Investigative Report does not require stress of proof as most of its contents are self- evident, requiring no further proofs or explanations as 95% of the data used in compilation of the Report are official data released by INEC.

According to the group, “the Report is also backed up with a list of 55 References” adding that Intersociety had since June 2021 carefully compiled or documented relevant INEC’s publications and pronouncements regarding the Commission’s preparations ahead of the 2023 General Elections.

“This Special Investigative Report of ours is, therefore, a facts laden exposure, exposing over 50 poll rigging plots by Nigeria’s ‘Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’ ahead of the all-important 25th Feb 2023 Presidential Election.

On the allegation of 7.7m Voting Citizens Disenfranchised it said “the exposed rigging plots included different segregating and discriminating technicalities applied by INEC leading to disenfranchisement of whopping 77.7m registered and unregistered voters.

“Among them are the destroyed 18.2m new voters’ registrations arising from the 2022 CVR, over 20 m registered voters denied PVCs since 2019 after having been registered, 9.5m newly registered voters captured during June 28th 2021-July 2022 CVR who are yet to be issued with PVCs and 30m citizens of voting age never registered by INEC as voters in Nigeria especially during the 2021/2022 CVR exercise; totaling 77.7m.

“Many, if not most of these tens of millions of Nigerian citizens of voting age, numbering 77.7m are strongly believed, from Intersociety’s investigation, to have been massively disenfranchised by the Electoral Body on ethnic and religious grounds.

Throwing more light on how it arrived at the 77.7m total Disenfranchisements, Umeagbalasi, stated thus: “our investigative findings above are strengthened by using the 2022 UN population estimates that identified about 55% or 120m of the Nigeria’s estimated 218.7m as at 20th Dec 2022 as citizens of voting age; out of which, INEC claimed that “it had registered a total of 93.5m as voters ahead of the 2023 General Elections”.

On the allegation of existence Of Only 44m PVC Holders And 29.5m Non PVC Holders in the Voters’ List he said “intersociety had also in the course of its recent investigation identified only 44m of the “registered 93.5m voters” as holders of PVCs while 29.5m of “the total registered voters” are found to be registered without PVCs till date.

Commenting on the allegation of voters’ List Still Polluted With 20m Ineligible Identities

The Intersociety boss explained that “it was also our investigative finding that there still exist in the National Register of Voters estimated 20m ineligible identities among the “93.5m registered voters” being brandished or paraded by INEC.

“The breakdown done by Intersociety shows that the number includes estimated 8m underage children, drawn mostly from Muslim underage children captured by INEC as “PVC-registered voters” in 2015, 2019 and 2022.

” There are also not less than 2m illegal migrants mostly alien Muslims included and “nigerianized” in the Voters’ List dating back since 2015. In the National Register of Voters, too, are found estimated 4m fake or fictitious names bearing both Nigerian and non -Nigerian Christian and Muslim names as well as estimated 6m stolen identities or stolen and diverted PVCs belonging to genuinely registered voters but stolen or diverted from INEC custody by criminal politicians and INEC officials till date.

“Intersociety has therefore identified Nigeria’s Voters’ List as the dirtiest and most polluted voters’ list in the world. Nigeria’s Voters’ List also contains the most compromised personal identity data in the whole democratic world

“Among The 44m PVC Holders, 10m Have Compromised their VINs And Consciences, stressing that “it was part of Intersociety’s investigative findings that out of the estimated 44m PVC holders as it stands, estimated 10m have compromised their Permanent Voters’ Cards and Voters Identification Numbers or VINs.

“Apart from the leadership of the Coalition of the Registered Opposition Political Parties in Nigeria (CUPP) which exposed the above at its press conference of 21st Nov 2022, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), through its National Commissioner for FCT, Plateau, Nasarawa and Kaduna, Mohammed Haruna, had on Monday, 12th Dec 2022, confirmed the CUPP’s allegation, saying that “some politicians have been buying up Permanent Voters Cards and financially inducing unsuspecting voters to harvest their Voter Identification Numbers (VINs) ahead of the 2023 general elections”.

“The leadership of CUPP had at its press conference disclosed that “over 10m PVCs and their VINs have been harvested by political players at the country’s ruling APC in at least 22 States using different phony charities and names and have also harvested over 10m bank accounts of the owners of the compromised over 10m PVCs”.

“Though, INEC has joined in raising the alarm, but by law and convention, INEC is inescapably culpable by way of both direct and vicarious liabilities.
On the allegation of 18m dead Votes and 14m Living Votes, he said the development May Produce 2023 Presidential Total Vote Scores

“There is likely going to be 18m ‘dead votes’ drawn from registered underage children, migrants, fake and stolen identities and other ineligible identities in the Feb 2023 Presidential Poll and if no drastic measure is taken to scuttle this horrendous poll rigging plot, the projected 18m ‘dead votes’ will swallow the expected 14m ‘living votes’, totaling 32m as Feb 2023 Presidential total votes cast.

“To arrive at the above, Intersociety projected a maximum of 40m genuine PVC voters as the total number of genuinely registered voting Nigerians capable of voting in the 25th Feb 2023 Presidential Poll.

“The 40m PVC voters was derived from 34m of the originally projected 44m PVC holders, out of which, 10m have compromised their consciences and incapable of conscientiously voting presidential candidates of their choice.

” Intersociety also projected maximum of 6m new PVC holders between end of Dec 2022 and third week of Feb 2023, if the ongoing “PVC distribution” and its possible extension under request are something to write home about.

“This further indicates the likelihood of 40m PVC holders in the end, out of which, 35% or 14m genuine voters are likely to vote at Nigeria’s highly vulnerable, militarized and unsecured 176,846 polling units on 25th Feb 2023.

“The voting projections above were arrived at using the Presidential Poll of March 2015 during which out of over 30m total presidential votes, 13.5m votes were fake derived from non PVC manual voting outside Card Reader in which 10.2m was credited to Buhari of APC and 3.3m to Jonathan of PDP. Worrying, too, is the likelihood of disproportionate representation of the 14m ‘living votes’-along ethnic and religious lines, no thanks to INEC and its discriminatory CVR and PVC distribution exercises in 2015, 2019 and 2022.

The Organization, had listed a total of 55 statically reference backing on the special investigative report which they made copies available to Newsmen who attended the media conference

Umeagbalasi, however, listed the twelve Major alleged “Poll Rigging Northern Nigerian States to watch in 2023 Presidential Poll.

“Detailed investigation and findings made by Intersociety have identified 12 Nigerian States as major poll rigging States to watch in the Feb 25, 2023 Presidential Poll.

“The affected 12 Nigerian States include seven North-West States of Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Jigawa, Kebbi and Kaduna; four North-East States of Borno, Bauchi, Yobe and Adamawa; and one North-Central State of Niger.

” The 12 major Poll Rigging Nigerian States also have a total of 33,86m registered voters with 95% PVC collection on average and have 35% of the country’s total of 93.5m registered voters.

He added: “The 12 States host the largest concentration of registered underage and illegal migrants as well as imported criminal thumb-printers of ballot papers.

“Apart from being no-go areas for electoral or democracy activists especially during Presidential Polls, the 12 States are also the most boundary/border area porous States in Nigeria where ‘anything goes’ or ‘anything can happen’ during polls particularly during Presidential Polls.

“They are specifically notorious for massive poll rigging coordinated by INEC including mass thumb-printing of ballot papers before or during Presidential Elections in restricted and prohibited places.

“In 2015 Presidential Poll, 7,645,798 votes of the 10.2m criminal manual votes for Buhari came from the 12 States while 2,348.656 come from other Northern States of Nasarawa, Kwara, Gombe, Taraba, Plateau, Benue, Kogi and FCT.

“Only 190,266 of the manual votes for Buhari came from Southern States. Such manual votes derived from outside biometric voter accreditation using PVCs are unlawfully authorized by INEC as “lawful or validly cast votes”.

” The territorial and border porosity of the named 12 Northern States have also made them vulnerable for massive presidential poll rigging since 2015.

“According to Nigeria’s Chief of Defense Staff, Lt. Gen Lucky Irabor, “out of the 261 sanctioned borders in Nigeria, 137 are unmanned and largely unprotected by the Nigerian security agencies in Northern Nigeria areas of North-East and North-West involving Borno, Yobe, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina States, etc-bordering neighboring countries such as Niger Republic and Chad among others” and that “there are 364 approved international border points in Nigeria with 261 in the North-East and North-West, out of which 137 are unprotected, porous and largely unmanned by security agencies”.

“CDS Lucky Irabor stated the above in Lagos on Friday, 30th Sept 2022 while delivering a lecture on “Security, Defense and Development in Nigeria”.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=84055

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