Ex INEC Chair IWU under trail over N1.2b 2015 Poll fraud in
election won by Buhari
……….says Am a victim of witch hunt , victimization.
FROM VINCENT EGUNYANGA
Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission
(INEC) Professor Maurice Iwu has said his trail by the Economic and
Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) over alleged bribe of over one
billion naira to rig the 2015 General Election was an act of
intimidation and victimization.
Professor told newsplatform Magazine before his arraignment at the
Federal High Court that he had done nothing wrong.
He said there is a calculated attempt by those in Authority to punish
him unjustly because of the way they lost the 2007 Presidential
election which the lost.
It will be recalled that Professor IWU is facing trial over his
involvement in the N23.29 billion poll bribery scandal which
characterized the 2015 polls.
IWU is alleged to have between December 2014 and March 2015 aided
the concealment of the sum of N1,203,000,000 (One billion, two
hundred and three million Naira.
The said sum was in the bank account of Bio resources Institute of
Nigeria limited domiciled in the United Bank for Africa, UBA PLC.
According to Nation Newspaper report ‘a reliable source who gave
insight into the investigation of IWU SAID THE CASH IN QUESTION WAS
ABOUT THE POLL BRIBERY SCANDAL OF 2015.’
HE SAID ‘Iwu has been implicated in the N23,29b poll bribery scam
perpetrated by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs Diezani
Alison Madueke. He was accused of allegedly using an NGO, West
African Network of Electoral observers in the facility of the
bribery to top officials of the Electoral Commission. The case has
been on since 2016’.
Reports had it that the EFCC has been investigating the bribery
scandal which was allegedly facilitated by Mrs Alison Madueke.
About four oil firms, some Directors of some oil companies, two banks
and some politicians more than 283 staff of INEC are under probe.
Also about 205 INEC staff members are on trial in connection with
the biggest electoral fraud in the country.
According to reports apart from the EFCC’S findings, INEC panel
headed by a National Commissioner Baba Arfo Shettima made shocking
discoveries. These include
(1) An NGO, West African Network of Election observers was used to
share the bribe to INEC.
(2) A former INEC Chairman coordinated the bribery scandal
(3) Many former Residents Electoral commissioners and Retired
Administrated Secretaries were used to penetrated INEC in all the 36
states for the bribery to alter poll results.
(4) Some serving Resident Electoral Commissioners and Directors
benefitted from the bribery scandal as confirmed by EFCC
What is curious is that while Professor Maurice Iwu who was not a
staff or Commissioner of INEC as at the time of the 2015 election is
being tried for election bribery scandal while principal officers of
the Commission like Chairman Professor Attahiru Jega etc were not
tried. To the EFCC only those who wanted former President Goodluck
Jonathan to win the elections rigged. Those who wanted Buhari to win
did not rig.
It would be recalled that in his remark recently The Chairman of
the Independent National Electoral Commission Prof Yacoub stated
categorically that that the 2015 election conducted by Professor Jega
recorded the highest number of annulled polls. At the meeting with
Residents Electoral Commission [REC] He stated that there were 20
annulled elections in 2015. These figured did not include those in
which the courts upturned the elections and ordered for issuance of
Certificate of Returns to a different candidate
Even recently The Human Rights Commission election reports on election
offences 2007 to 2015 condemned the 2015 elections and threatened to
prosecute those they termed rigged the election. Their target was
Maurice Iwu. The report however is in human, lazy and uncerebral
Mr Wale Fapohunda who masterminded the project served under governor
Fayemi first tenure as governor of Ekiti state as Commissioner of
Justice. Before then he was a member of the Commission and after
Fayemi was voted out of office , he came back to the commission
through the back door. Some civil Society Organisations who observed
these elections along with Gani Fawehinmi led National Conscince
Party are ready to also let the world know what went right under
Professor Iwu leadership of INEC. Why the Commission silent on whole
sale election offences committed in 2011 and 2015 by those who are in
power now . Over 500 people including youth corps members were killed
by protesters not happy with the outcome of the 2011 general
elections conducted by Professor Attahiru Jega that brought in Dr
INEC THE JOURNEY SO FAR
IT is important to state here that the collapse of past Republics was
due largely to the controversies and rejection to the outcome of
election results at various levels during the period.
The Electoral Commission of Nigeria [ECN] conducted the election in
the first Republic 1960 to 1966. The elections was marred by series
of malpractices which included ballot box snuffing, ballot box
snatching, kidnapping of opponents, denying opponents electoral
materials etc. the ethnic leanings of the political parties made
matters worse as crisis among political parties led to ethnic crisis.
Political Parties and their ethnic supporters rejected the outcome
of the 1964/65 general elections. There was near anarchy in the
land. The situation was so bad that the leader of Action Group [AG]
who was leader of opposition Chief Obafemi Awolowo was quoted to have
said he had lost confidence in the electoral system.
Instead of the government at that time trying to reform the electoral
system and restore confidenc, Chief Awolowo and some of his supporters
were sent to jail. This was the situation in the country until the
military struck in 1966.
Nigeria made another attempt at Democracy in 1979/83 knwn as the
second Republic. The electoral sytem then produced lots of
malpractices and the legal interpretations of what is the 2/3 of 19
states. The case got to the supreme court without resolutions. The
1983 elections was not better off. All oppositions candidates that
contested the elections Dr Nnamdi Azikwe of the Nigeria Peoples Party
[NPP], Chief Obafemi Awolowo of the Unity Party Of Nigeria [UPN],
Alhaji Ibrahim Waziri of Great Nigeria Peoples Party [GNPP], Mallam
Aminu Kano of Peoples Redemption Party [PRP] opposed the results of
the elections while Alhaji Shehu Shagari of the National Party of
Nigeria [NPN] went away with claims of landslide victory. The
landslide victory was shortlived as as the miliray struct again three
months after later Dec 31 1983 bringing the second Republic to an end.
Many people in Nigeria particularly the vocal minority regarded the
1993 general elections in the country as the freest and fairest in
the country, there was however a departure from the past as it
introduced an option A4 into elections in Nigeria. It was introduced
by the government of General Ibrahim Babangida as head of state and
Professor Humphery Nwosu, a Professor of Political Science as the
Chairman of National Electoral Commission [NEC].
Because of its perceived success many called for the adoption of
option A4 for future elections in Nigeria. What proponements of option
A4 failed to realize was that the outcome of that elections which
included its annulments led to the death of the perceived winner of
that election Chief Moshood Abiola, his wife Kudirat, a former Head
of state Sani Abacha and hundreds of Nigerians killed on the streets
of Lagos. It also brought with it lack of trust and harmony among
neighbours and friends.
The 1999 which was conducted by the Independent National Electoral
Commission [INEC] elections had its own problems but was overlooked
because Nigerians were tired of the military and wanted them to go
The 2003 general elections was regarded as the worst election in
Nigeria especially by both local and International observers. Among
the observers that rejected the outcome of the 2003 general elections
included the Transition Monitoring Group [TMG] and the European
The 2003 Presidential election was said to have been won by the
candidate of the PDP Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. There were series of
streets protest by Buhari to protest the results of the election
using the platform of the Conference of Nigerias Political Party [
CNPP]. Those who led the street protest included Muhammadu Buhari,
Chief Odimegwu Ojukwu who was then candidate of APGA, Chief Tunji
Braithwaite, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Barrister Maxi Okwu who was the
secretary of CNPP among others, police used tear gas to disperse these
There was also a follow up protest in Kano where the Police used
poisoned gas to disperse the protesters. Buhari’s Running mate at
the 2003 election and former Senate President Dr Chuba Okadigbo did
not survive from the poisoned gas until he died.
This was the electoral situation in Nigeria before Professor Maurice
Iwu became the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral
Commission [INEC]. What Professor Iwu did was first to ensure that
we didn’t go back to the mistakes of the past, ‘if we must save the
country and sustain out nascent democracy. He introduced some reforms
into our electoral systems. Some of the reforms we are still following
Among the reforms introduced by Professor Iwu was the stakeholders
forum with Political Parties, this was done both at the National,
State and Local Government levels. The stakeholders forum is made up
of representatives of Political Parties, Civil Society Organisations
and Development partners. INEC under Professor Iwu also launched
the Political Party finances’ manual.
The 1999 constitution of Nigeria and the Electoral Act 2002 vested on
INEC the responsibilities of overseeing the general activities and
management of Political Party Finances. In carrying out this
responsibility a brand new Political Party Finance manual
accompanied by a handbook was launched. The Political Party Finance
manual has provided a system for capturing, documenting, controlling
and reporting on the financial activities of Political Parties. The
emphasis is on the disclosure of Information on Political Parties
Finances with the understanding that the disclosure will curb
Political corruption, prevent inflow of funds from undesirable
sources and enable the public to know more about the sources of funds
into the coffers of parties and candidates. If this aspect of the
reforms as proposed by Professor Iwu was continued after he left
office, this issue of probing campaign funds or using Arms money for
election would have been avoided. The last American Presidential
election just ended the whole world knew that Hilary Clinton was able
to raise about $500m for her campaign while the winner of the
Presidential Election Donald Trump raised about $300m. but nobody
not even INEC knew how much the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] or
the All Progressives Congress [APC] raised for their campaign in the
2015 general election.
Many Nigerians who are probable happy with the Permanent Voters Card
and the Card Reader or who are the direct beneficiaries of the PVC
have forgotten that the system was actually introduced by Professor
Iwu in 2004 when he introduced the Electronic Voting System. The
system consisted of four components. They include the Electronic
Voters Register, Eligible Voters Authentication, Electronic
Balloting, and the Electronic Transmission of Results.
The Electronic Voting System are automated voting methods which
employ computing technology to improve several aspects of the
electoral process. It incorporates paperless voting methods, increase
efficiency, stability, speed, audit and accuracy. Its main features
is that it is easy to operate, easy to adapt, ensure integrity of the
voting data, portable and battery powered.
The Independent National Electoral Commission under Professor Maurice
Iwu conducted the 2007 general elections. It was the elections that
brought in Alhaji Umar YarAdua to power as the President of Nigeria.
This election was widely condemned by Nigerians and the International
Community which included the National Democratic Institute,[NDI] the
International Federation on Electoral System [IFES], The International
Republican Institute [IRI] , THE Commonwealth Observer Group among
others. even the main beneficiary of the election Umar YarAdua himself
said the election that brought him to office lacked credibility.