The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)  has refuted the purported claim of being partisan in the just concluded Adamawa State governorship election saying it does not join issues with partisan actors, particularly where no evidence has been provided.

In a statement by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr. Festus Okoye on Thursday 20th April 2023.

Said officials were legitimately deployed to perform the election duty in the State, hence the alleged undermining of the electoral process claimed after a discreet “nocturnal” visit to the Government House and ostensibly met with one of the candidates in the election purportedly to have given them a list of “collation and returning officers” for the election was baseless as it couldn’t have aligned with the oath of neutrality they all swore to.

“To set the record straight, no such visit or meeting took place let alone the compilation of any purported list of collation and returning officers. Such a meeting would have been contrary to the oath of neutrality that we all swore to. Moreover, every conscientious observer would have noticed that the Commission appointed and retained only one Returning Officer for the Governorship election who also doubled as the State Collation Officer for the Presidential Election (SCOPE). Like all Returning Officers nationwide, he was issued with a letter of appointment by the Commission, and the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Adamawa State was duly informed. The list of Collation Officers was also forwarded to the State with every page of the list personally endorsed by the Chairman of the Commission well ahead of the arrival of the National Commissioners.

“Similarly, the same Press Statement created the impression that the national headquarters of the Commission specifically targetted Adamawa State in its deployment of National Commissioners and other officials with the sole intention of influencing the outcome of the supplementary election held on Saturday 15th April 2023 and sidelining the REC. Nothing can be further from the truth.

“For the record, it has been the standard policy and practice of the Commission to deploy National Commissioners, RECs, and other staff from the headquarters or neighboring States for supplementary or off-cycle elections where doing so is considered necessary.

“In the case of Adamawa State where supplementary governorship election was held in 69 polling units, two National Commissioners were deployed while for Kebbi State involving 142 polling units, three National Commissioners were deployed.

“Similarly, one National Commissioner each was deployed to Sokoto, Zamfara, Imo, Rivers, Ekiti, and Ogun States. This has been the standard practice of the Commission of which all RECs are informed in advance.

“Therefore, Adamawa State was not specifically targeted. In all other States, the RECs worked cooperatively with the National Commissioners except in Adamawa State for reasons that are now obvious to all.” It further advised the public to shun these insinuations as nothing more than claptrap, while calling on those behind the mischief to desist forthwith and avoid endangering the lives of officials whose intention is to serve the nation.

 

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