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Published On: Mon, Feb 25th, 2019

Only INEC can announce polls results, says Chair

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•Declare Atiku winner now – PDP
•PDP plots to unleash fake results, thugs – APC
•Buba Galadima arrested, says opposition

By Lateef Ibrahim, Ali Alkali and Umar Muhammad Puma, Abuja

The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu has restated that the responsibility to tally figures, announce result and declare winners in the general election lies solely with the commission.
Prof. Yakubu equally revealed that one of the INEC’s Electoral Officers in Imo State, whose name he did not mention, has already been handed over to the Police over a violation of result announcement.
This was just as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) charges the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately announce results as delivered from the polling units and declare its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, the winner of the February 23 Presidential election.
PDP said its position is “predicated on clear and verifiable results across the nation, showing that Atiku Abubakar is in clear lead both in spread and total number of votes cast.
The Buhari Presidential campaign council, on its part, had earlier, yesterday afternoon, urged security agencies to immediately arrest, interrogate and prosecute Buba Galadima, the spokesman of Atiku presidential campaign over release of fake results of the Presidential Election. The Buhari Presidential campaign council, alleged that PDP aims to create crises and confusion that will lead to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar claiming victory in a day or two ahead of the official announcement of the results by INEC.
The INEC Chairman, Prof Yakubu, while addressing journalists at the International Conference center venue of the national collation centre in Abuja, warned that the electoral body will not tolerate violations against, or by its own officials, stressing that the duty of upholding the choice made by Nigerians in democratic elections must never be compromised.
He urged all stakeholders to strictly adhere to the provisions of the law and be circumspect in this respect.
The commission, Yakubu pointed out, was doing everything possible to ensure the speedy collation of results and the declaration of winners for the elections conducted on Saturday is concluded.
His words, “Let me once again reiterate the position of the law that only the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) can tally figures, announce result and declare winners in our general election.
“I urge all stakeholders to strictly adhere to the provisions of the law and be circumspect in this respect.
“We are doing everything possible to ensure the speedy collation of results and the declaration of winners for the elections conducted yesterday”, he said.
Prof Mahmood Yakubu further said no election result has been cancelled in the Federal Capital Territory or in any other part of the country.
Continuing, Yakubu said, “We have reports of possible dereliction of duty by some electoral officials in refusing to activate or deploy the SCRs, the failure to fully account for materials collected for the election, absconding from duty and a host of other infractions.
“In Imo State, one of our EOs has already been handed over to the Police. We will not tolerate violations against, or by, our own officials. The duty of upholding the choice made by Nigerians in democratic elections must never be compromised,” he said.
He added, “No election result has been cancelled in the Federal Capital Territory or in any part of the country”.
The INEC Chairman made it clear that only the courts of law can order the cancelation of any election result.
At about the time INC was holding press briefing on the poll results, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) released a press statement alleging that “Intelligence available (to it) is that INEC is delaying the announcement of results following directives by the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC), which are bent on altering the figures from the polling centers and allocate fictitious figures for President Muhammadu Buhari, particularly in Northern States.”
So, it charges the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to “immediately announce results as delivered from the polling units and declare Atiku Abubakar, the winner of the February 23 Presidential election.”
PDP said its position is “predicated on clear and verifiable results across the nation, showing that Atiku Abubakar is in clear lead both in spread and total number of votes cast.
“Curiously, INEC server is now shut down, results are no more being transmitted and the reason is to enable the APC to inflate figures from six designated states.
“We call on international observers and election monitors to insist on a transparent process of transmission of results and the monitoring thereof.
“We already have reports of how APC governors in the northern states have been making desperate effort to tamper with the results of the elections in their respective states with the view to award conjured votes to President Buhari.”
According to the statement signed by Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary And Director, Media & Publicity PDP Presidential Campaign Organization, “In delaying the announcement of the results, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu is allowing the APC to turn him into a villain and directly pitching him against the people. He should therefore extricate himself from the rejected APC and be on the side of the people, by immediately announcing the results as already delivered at the polling units and declare, the people’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, the winner.”
On its part, the Buhari Presidential Campaign Council, had earlier urged security agencies to, immediately, arrest, interrogate and prosecute Buba Galadima, the spokesman of Atiku presidential campaign over release of fake results of the Presidential Election.
Director, Strategic Communications, APC Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo in a statement issued yesterday afternoon, said an insider within the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have informed them of emergency meeting of the main opposition party, with the aims of releasing fake results of the Presidential Election to create confusion that will lead to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar claiming victory ahead of the official announcement of the results by INEC.
“Our information is that they aim to create crises and confusion that will lead to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar claiming victory in a day or two from today (yesterday) ahead of the official announcement of the results by INEC.
Then, what would follow will be some carefully choreographed protests by pockets of hoodlums in some parts of the country. The ultimate aim is to curry the sympathy of our foreign friends and push us to the Venezuela situation.”
Keyamo alleged that already, some PDP social media agents are flying some kites on-line as to the number of States allegedly ‘won’ by PDP.
In fact, “Alhaji Buba Galadima, an official spokesperson for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has made a short video announcing PDP as the ‘winner’ of the Presidential Election. As an official spokesperson, he is clearly acting on behalf of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and on his instruction.
“We, therefore call for the immediate arrest, interrogation and prosecution of Alhaji Buba Galadima in this regard. The world is watching and waiting on Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to say something on the video by Alhaji Buba Galadima.
“We urge all well-meaning Nigerians, the International Community and even reasonable members of the Opposition not to be bought by these cheap antics of the PDP. Let’s restrain our wards from being used by these unscrupulous elements. Nigeria will continue to exist after this election.
“Over the years, the PDP had been declared ‘winner’ of Presidential elections under controversial circumstances. On those occasions, President Muhammadu Buhari never took laws into his hands and declared himself President. He also never declared parallel results. He availed himself of constitutional means to address his grievance by approaching the law courts.
“Their latest devilish plot against the country is a clear indication that their apology to the Nigerian people was just a hoax. They have learnt nothing and they have forgotten nothing as they just cannot win any election fair and square.”
Keyamo called on INEC, Nigerian broadcasting commission and all law-enforcement agencies to warn the PDP and the CUPP and anyone who is flouting to break the law on announcement of official results.
Reports later indicate that Buba Galadima was arrested by officers from Department of State Service (DSS).
Though DSS denied arresting Galadima, PDP issued a statement condemned “this arrest in the strongest possible terms” describing Galadima as “a patriot.”
The opposition asked “What crime has he committed? Mr. Galadima is constitutionally guaranteed a right of freedom of speech and freedom after the speech.
“We cannot be hoodwinked by the puppeteering of the DSS by the APC. It is obviously no coincidence that the APC Presidential Campaign Council called for the arrest of Mr. Galadima at 12 noon today (Sunday the 24th of February, 2019) and the arrest was duly effected by the DSS an hour later.”

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