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Author Name: Mohammed Ali Jnr
Number of articles: 23
Everything has a begging and certainly an end. The end of Nuhu Ribadu, the former Chairman of the EFCC... (2) Comment


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Re: As Atikuís Court Battle Enters a Denouement.
Author: Mohammed Ali Jnr | February 20, 2008



Any reader of the article by Umaru Abdullahi entitled ďAs Atikuís Court Battle Enters a Denouement,Ē (Leadership February 14, 2008 P8) and (The Nation of Friday, February 15, 2008) will sympathize with the writerís failed attempt to pool the wool over the eyes of Nigerians. The writer exhibited limited appreciation of the issues involved in the case and his crass ignorance of the trajectory of world history. His argument is familiar; even if there were malpractices in the presidential election, it would be unnecessary to annul the election because it will lead the country to chaos. The source of this self-serving argument is predictable and it conforms with a number of articles of dubious origin that have been appearing in the print media of late. The faceless commentators who trade this fallacy are however, entitled to an opinion. What they are not entitled to is to play freely with the facts of the case. In the falsehood that has been pushed around the media in the past few weeks, INEC and it jesters claim that Maurice Iwuís answer to the interrogatories of Atiku Abubakar has weakened the case of the former Vice President. As Abdullahi put it, ďIwu was able to prove that INEC never awarded contract for the printing of cards (ballot papers) in South Africa as Atikuís lawyers claimed. How did Iwu prove this? By lying on Oath to deny what he had consistently told Nigerians since the presidential election in April 2007. The newspapers had reported, and Atikuís lawyers had provided many newspapers accepted as exhibits, to show that INEC printed ballot papers in South Africa contrary to his lies in the reply to the interrogatories. Iwu had indeed went ahead to encapsulate his South African odyssey in the April election in the Official Report of the election published by INEC. How will Abdullahi, for instance, describe the following passage from the INEC official report P31. ďAt a very short notice, the President approved additional money to print fresh set of ballot papers for the Presidential Elections when the Supreme Court gave its ruling a few days to Election Day. He (Obasanjo) followed this up by providing Presidential Jet for the relevant officials of the Commission (INEC) to travel to South Africa to negotiate for the immediate printing of the ballot papersĒ. What meaning does this convey to Abdullahi? That ballot papers were not printed in South Africa ? And in any case, at the final sitting of the Tribunal, Atiku through his lawyers provided Goods Delivery Note from the Nigerian Security and Mint signed by INEC officials indicating that ballot papers purportedly printed in Nigeria for the election were delivered in June 1, 2007. This was six clear weeks after the election. Although Iwu has claimed to be a magician for conducting the April elections against all odds, his magical powers are definitely not enough for him to conduct elections in April 2007 with ballot papers that were delivered in June, 2007. If Iwu did not conduct election with the ballot papers printed in Nigeria , the logical conclusion is that he did with the ballot papers printed in South Africa which President Obasanjo facilitated according to Iwu in his official report, providing a presidential jet for INEC officials to negotiate in South Africa . It is a matter of fact that even INEC lawyers did not contest this fact in their final address to the Tribunal. The assessment of the election by both local and foreign monitors confirms the experience of Nigerians in the April polls. The orgy pf electoral irregularities that Iwu and his henchmen are unprecedented in the history of elections in Nigeria nay Africa . Never in the history of elections in Nigeria has the leadership panel displayed such level of incompetence and irresponsibility. It is worse that in spite of his failure in discharging a major national assignment, Iwu still finds the voice to assault the nationís sensibilities. Let the truth be told. Beyond the election tribunals, this nation will still need to undertake a probe of the April elections and bring people like Iwu to justice. The issues at stake are not only about election rigging. It also includes blatant stealing of public funds. How many ballot papers were printed for these elections and at what price? We have to know. Where are the voting cubicles for which hundreds of millions of naira were allocated but which no one saw on Election Day? Iwu and his henchmen will have to account for this. Where were the lanterns for which hundreds of millions of naira were allocated in the election but which INEC never provided? What about writing materials that were never provided, as disclosed by witnesses in many tribunals, but for which INEC collected millions of naira? The issues are endless and after finishing with the issue of election rigging, we have to address them and bring the culprits who turned the April elections into ďkalokaloĒ machines will have to be brought to justice. The facts of the April election fiasco are too glaring that no attempt to confuse the issues will succeed. The April elections were seriously marred by irregularities, insincerity, corruption and single mindedness. The resort to the media to attempt a white wash of this crime against Nigerians will not change anything. And all the propaganda in this world will not clear Iwu and his fellow travellers of the guilt of a great disservice to Nigeria .

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NGEX welcomes and encourages reader comments. Permission to post reader comments is assumed, and we reserve the right to excerpt or edit for clarity any comments that are posted. We won't be able to publish all comments. And we can't vouch for the accuracy of posts from readers. Nickname or Name will be used to identify your post.
HENRY    DALLAS, USA/NIGERIA    February 25, 2008
Having read your article, I stand to comment that lots of thinf went wrong in the concluded presidential election. Like, I have always maintained, all the parties that participated at the election played foul, hence, let no man call another foul.

As far as where the ballot papers were printed, or who awarded contract to whom and when; we all would know, if the tribunal actually invites the printing company from south Africa and cross examine their facts. Time has gone, when, the media speaks the truth. Nowadays, politicians own the media and newspapers and ofcourse, they write what they are told.

I would still stand to defend, Mr Iwu unless , I see some undue facts tomorrow. In as much as there were some iregularities in the polls, I think that those to blame are the candidates that fuelled the unrest and massive corruption, and not Iwu.

I can recall that except for Yar'dua the then governor, all the other candidates were pouring fuel to the already heated polity in the form of name calling, letting out sensitive information capable of causing unrest.

I will fold my arms and watch as things unfold in Nigeria, after all the same spoilers are still taking their spoil of Nigeria treasuries.
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