The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, of aiding and abetting the rigging and manipulation of election results and demanded that the electoral umpire should stop the announcement of the alleged manipulated results across the federation.
It also said the authentic elections results should be transited from the polling units directly to its server and website as required by law before continuation of announcement of results.
The PDP added that its demand was made on behalf of Nigerians in the interest of national peace as the electoral umpire is allegedly pushing the nation to the wall.
National spokesman of the party, Debo Ologunagba disclosed the concerns and position of the PDP on the ongoing collation process of the presidential election results during a press conference held in Abuja.
Ologunagba said INEC in its hidden agenda to favour the ruling APC and its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, has become flagrant and provocative in violating the express provisions of the electoral act, 2022 by allegedly refusing to transmit directly the results of the elections from the Polling Unit to the INEC Server as required by law.
The PDP explained that Section 64 (4) (b) of the Electoral Act, 2022 specifically provided, “A collation officer or returning officer at an election shall collate and announce the result of an election subject to his or her verification and confirmation that the votes stated on the collated result are correct and consistent with the votes or results recorded and transmitted directly from Polling Units under Section (60) (4) of this Act”.
On these premises, the opposition party said Section 60 (4) of the Electoral Act 2022 stated that any result announced by INEC is ultra vires, illegal, and of no consequence unless they are results already transmitted directly from the Polling Units.
“So procedurally, INEC cannot continue to announce results that are yet to be transmitted as expressly stated in the relevant Sections of the Electoral Act,” the party said.
Also, the PDP claimed that information at its disposal indicated that INEC deliberately refused to commence the process of announcement of results more than 48 hours after the close of election and collation of results from the various Polling Units in contravention to Section 68 of the Electoral Act 2022.
The party, therefore, pointed out that the said deliberate delay and alleged criminal connivance by INEC provided the opportunity for the reported compromise, alteration, falsification and switching of election results in favour of the APC in Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Ondo, Ekiti, Kebbi, Ogun and other States where its candidate was in clear lead.
The integrity of the election, the party alleged, has been compromised and vitiated by the admission of INEC officials that there was a technical glitch in the midst of the election which affected the effective functioning of the BVAS machines.
Besides, the Integrity of the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the PDP said, was at stake.
Ologunagba maintained it was curious for the INEC Chairman to insist on proceeding with the announcement of election results not transmitted directly from the Polling Units to the INEC website as required by the Electoral Act.
The PDP, therefore, disapproved of the alleged manipulated election results as announced by INEC.
The party said it was aware that INEC embarked on extensive and illegal cancellation of election results in many States of the country.
It cited that in Sokoto State over 200 Polling Units results where the PDP was in clear lead have also been canceled and, in effect, disenfranchised over 200,000 registered voters.
The party also drew the INEC attention, saying its agents, majority of informed Nigerians and International Election Observers already have the results of votes as cast at the Polling Units across the country and would not hesitate to make public the election results if that becomes necessary.