Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Osun 2014: Alleged compromise of INEC, NYSC ad hoc staff, a hoax—REC

Ahead the conduct of the August 9 governorship poll in Osun State, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, on Monday, described the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s allegation that the umpire was compromising with members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to rig the election as a hoax. He said the allegation by the APC over INEC’s complicity with the corps members to create leeway for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to manipulate the election was not only strange, but also unthinkable. Reacting to the reported moves by the PDP, who the APC alleged, had penetrated the ranks of NYSC members INEC intends to use as adhoc electoral officers, Agbaje contended that “this allegation is strange to us because
nobody can vote by proxy or uses another person’s Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) ,to cast his vote”, saying “this amount to impersonation”. The REC stated that, “this is electoral offence,which attracts N500,000 fine or one year imprisonment or both and I don’t think any corper would want to risk his certificate of discharge. This is because any corper caught committing such crime, would be arrested on the spot and be dealt with”. “This is strange to me. During the distribution of PVC, we don’t allow anybody to collect it by proxy. So, if we don’t allow people to collect cards by proxy, how should we allow the same people to vote by proxy. This is impersonation and it is punishable by law. Part of our training programme to the NYSC members would also dwell on this laughable allegation that we have not even gone to the polling centres and people are already accusing corpers that they are being compromsied”, the REC remarked. It would be recalled that the APC’s director of publicity, research and strategy in Osun, Mr Kunle Oyatomi ,had on Sunday ,issued a statement, accusing the PDP inducing about 70 NYSC members with N20,000 each at a meeting. According to the statement, “it was revealed again that the reason PDP is investing on this method is that at the apex of INEC, the party was told that snatching ballot boxes and stuffing them with already thumb- printed ballot-papers would not be permitted. INEC had insisted that PDP should look for the voters and make them vote.”

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