The Peoples Democratic Party has demanded the resignation and prosecution of Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, for allegedly violating the provisions of the Electoral Act and manipulating and altering the February 25 presidential election results.
In a press conference on Friday in Abuja, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba said Prof Yakubu should be investigated and prosecuted by the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the Directorate of State Services for undermining democracy.
INEC had controversially declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, President-elect.
Both the PDP and Labour Party had since rejected the outcome of the election and had gone to court.
Ologunagba also called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to open an investigation into allegations that certain top officials of INEC were heavily compromised financially to manipulate the electoral process.
He said, “The PDP demands that the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, immediately steps down from office, having abused the confidence and dashed the hope of millions of Nigerians as well as political parties and the international community for a free, fair and credible election.
“His exit as chairman will be the first step towards sanitising the electoral commission and restoring the confidence of Nigerians especially as the nation prepares for the rescheduled March 18, 2023 governorship and state assembly elections.
“The PDP demands that the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the Directorate of State Services immediately commence investigations into the electoral violations and manipulations by INEC with the view to prosecuting Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu and other officials of the commission for electoral offences.
“In the same vein, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission should open an investigation into allegations that certain top officials of INEC were heavily compromised financially to manipulate the electoral process.”
The PDP spokesperson claimed that the latest scheme by INEC to reconfigure the BVAS devices to deny Nigerians and political parties, especially the PDP and its candidate, access to relevant information required to prosecute their case at the Presidential Election Tribunal.
He said the INEC boss deliberately sabotaged the uploading and transmission of results directly from the polling units in favour of the APC “as now abundantly exposed in the pictorial and video evidence of compromised results sheets in many parts of the country.
He failed to grasp why the INEC chairman “rushed” to announce and declare alleged manipulated results that were not transmitted directly from the polling units to INEC’s server/website and ignored the objections and complaints raised during the collation of results in deliberate violation of the provisions of Section 64 (4) (a) and (b), 64 (6) (a)-(d), and 65 (1) (c) of the Electoral Act. 2022.
He added, “For emphasis, while Section 64 (4) (a) and (b) expressly require the INEC Chairman as the Chief Returning Officer to announce only results that were transmitted directly from the polling units, Sections 64 (6) (a)-(d) and 65 (1) (c) compel INEC, in the case of disputes, complaints or objections regarding a collated result or the result of an election from any polling unit, to take steps including the review of collation where they are made contrary to the provisions of the law, regulations, guidelines and manual issued for the election.
According to Ologunagba, by violating these provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, as well as INEC’s regulations, guidelines and manual for the election, Yakubu is not only culpable of serious electoral offence but also “betrayed, thrashed and threw overboard the trust,” confidence and hope Nigerians reposed in him and the electoral commission to deliver a free, fair and credible election in the country.
He added that Yakubu’s stay in office might make way for the suppression, tampering and destruction of critical evidence required to further expose the infractions and violations by the commission at the Presidential Election Tribunal.