2023: International College of Democracy and Human Rights tables 16-point demand before INEC

Posted by News Express | 15 July 2022 | 559 times

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•INEC Chairman, Prof. Yabubu


The International College of Democracy and Human Rights has tabled a 16-point demand before Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which it says must be heeded to ensure free and fair elections in the country in 2023.

The demands are contained in a letter dated July 14, 2022 and addressed to INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.

In the first part of the letter published yesterday by News Express, the College, comprising a galaxy of international intellectuals and activists, exposed “20 citizens’ disenfranchisement and 10 election rigging plots ahead of the 2023 general elections particularly the presidential segment”.

In the second part of the letter, the College “strongly” demanded as follows from INEC:

1. A world press conference by the Commission in the next seven days from Friday, 15th July 2022 critically responding to all the issues raised and outlining how to tackle them headlong including reversal of the 20 citizens’ disenfranchisement and 10 election rigging plots, if true.

2. Addressing the issue of registration of aliens across borders including Southern Niger Republic and closing of same and immediate deletion from the National Register of Voters of those already captured, if true.

3. Public disclosure by the Commission on registration of minors in the North including their percentage representation in the National Register of Voters and their immediate deletion from the Register.

4. Total discontinuation of double policies for North and South in the registration of voters and conduct of elections proper and adoption of one policy across board.

5. Convenient and stress free issuance of PVCs to over 20m citizens not yet issued with PVCs  since 2019 according to INEC sources and timely printing and distribution of PVCs to all the newly registered voters to enable them vote in the Feb 2023 Presidential Election.

6. Capturing or registration of estimated 30m Nigerian citizens of voting age who are yet to be registered, going by independently investigated statistical estimates; irrespective of their tribe, religion, gender and class and ensuring that they are timely issued with PVCs and allowed and protected to vote in the 2023 General Elections particularly the Presidential segment.

7. Offer critical explanations into the shutting down of the online registration portal and immediate reopening of same as well as offering further public explanations into the fate of 3.6m newly registered voters inexplicably excluded from the list of the successfully registered voters as at 30th June 2022.

8. Timely public disclosure of deadline for ending the extended voters’ registration. It is our further demand that the extended deadline should last for at least end of September 2022; four months before the Feb 2023 Presidential segment of General Elections so as to avoid the purported plans by the Commission to take Nigerians unaware by ending the exercise abruptly.

9. Massive deployment of registration machines and personnel in all the non Muslim held areas of Nigeria for purpose of massively capturing them as ‘registered voters’ and their inclusion in the forthcoming national, State, LGA, Ward and Polling Unit PVCs distribution

10. Publicly and satisfactorily respond to the attached documentary tagged “Diabolical Plans for 2023 Presidential Election” wherein INEC was gravely accused.

11. Demilitarization of all registration and voting centers throughout the country’s 176,000 polling centers including arrest and prosecution of  politically hired or sponsored group violent entities from this date to the Election Day of the Feb 2023 Presidential Election

12. Ensuring that voters irrespective of their tribe, religion, gender and class are roundly protected to register as registered voters and vote candidates of their choice outside the confines of threats and fears.

13. Practically ensuring that the INEC’s ‘Voter’s Enrolment Device (IReV)’ and the ‘Bimodal Voter’s Accreditation System (BVAS)’ (formerly Card Reader) are evenly deployed and used throughout the country’s 176,000 voting units without discrimination on the grounds of tribe and religion or ethno-religious zone or region.

14. Ensuring that the programming of the above named are non-discriminatory including patterning them to succeed across board or fail across board in all the country’s 176,000 polling units. In other words, one software policy and command language or instructions must be used throughout the country. Policy of allowing manual accreditation and voting in the event of failure of the capturing and voting machines in one area and insisting on the contrary in another must totally be prohibited. It must be either manual accreditation/voting or electronic accreditation/voting across board or throughout the country’s 176,000 polling units.

15. De-monopolization of INEC’s ICT Department and its hardware and software technologies especially by factoring in or accrediting certified ICT experts from registered political parties and certified independent others to share, verify and validate the Commission’s ICT software data, applications and equipments, from period of voters’ registration to voting exercises so as to ensure utmost transparency and forestall continued monopoly of the Commission’s ICT and its suspicious whimsical and capricious use such as in the areas of scientific disenfranchisement and rigging. This shall be done as a matter of extreme urgency and administrative policy.

16. All the sixteen demands by the College from Your Commission (INEC) shall be treated expeditiously and as a matter of extreme national and international importance and also considering the fact that time is of extreme essence. 

A total of 132 democracy and human rights experts drawn from within and beyond the borders of Nigeria conscientiously lent their endorsements to the expert letter despatched from Enugu, Eastern Nigeria, yesterday, Thursday, July 14, 2022. They include 40 renowned Professors, two respected US and Swiss citizens involved in international democracy and human rights campaigns; 10 International Scholars with expertise in international diplomacy and creative and new media; 20 Doctorate Degree holders, over 20 lawyers, 19 indigenous Northern Clerics, 14 prominent Eastern Nigerian Democracy and Human Rights CSO Leaders over other respected Democracy Campaigners who are also experts in various disciplines.

The two respected American and Swiss Democracy and Human Rights Campaigners that consented are Chief John Gregg and Mr. Bernhard Wanner. Prominent among the 40 renowned Professors involved are Prof Uzodinma Nwala, President of the AlaIgbo Dev Foundation (ADF), Prof Justin Akujieze, Board Chair of Ekwenche Research Institute, USA, Prof Obasi Igwe, a retired renowned Prof of Political Science, Prof Barr Isaac Worigji, Prof Barr Bassey Ephraim, Prof Isaac Okeme, Prof Anthony Ejiofor, Chairman of World Igbo Congress, Dr Prof Jerry Chidozie Chukwuokolo, Prof Justus Chidi and Criminology Prof Paul Obianoso. Among the 20 Doctorate Degree holders are Law Mefor of Igbo Bu Igbo, Ngozi Odumako of Nzuko Umunna, Patrick A. Mbum of a Federal University in South-South Nigeria; Nwamaka Iguh Esquire, Ngozi Chuma-Umeh Esquire, Moses Nwaigwe and Odogwu Emeka Odogwu. Leading International Scholars involved include Ambassador Uche Ajulu-Okeke, Mazi Amadiebube Mbama, Mazi Tochukwu Ezeoke of Njenje New Media, UK, Ositadimma Aguh, Chris Maduka, Luke Nwannunu, (USA) and Austin Okeke Esquire.

Top among Eastern Nigerian Democracy and Human Rights CSO Leaders that endorsed the letter are Emeka Umeagbalasi, Criminologist and Intersociety Boss; Abia Onyeike, former Government Commissioner in Ebonyi State and veteran Rights CSO Leader, Okezie Kelechi, PhD, Aloysius Emeka Attah (Southeast CLO), Chilos Godsent (INC), Zulu Ofoelue, Vincent Ezekwueme, Igboayaka O. Igboayaka (Ohanaeze Youth Council) and Nelson Nnanna Nwafor. Among the 19 respected indigenous Northern clerics are Rev Dr Ahaz Taye, Prof Kaleb Fili, Bishop Ibrahim Dauda, Rev Dr Agoso A. Bamayi and Baba Dikko. Respected Lawyers involved include Barristers Efuru Nwapa-Obua (UK) and Raphael Ndubuisi Nwosu (UK); Chidinma Udegbunam, Chinwe Umeche, Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Ndidiamaka Bernard, Justus Uche Ijeoma, Retired Captain Casmir Nwafor, Ezekwike Chekwube Violet and Walson Nkechi Nduka. Others involved are Engineer Mrs. Chinyere Obika, a respected Chemical Engineer, Engineer Ikenweoke Nwandu (Renowned Computer Security Engineer), Architect Eric Eyituche of ADF, Mazi Izundu Chigbo (Atama Ajali), Maazi Cyril Nwachukwu (USA), Alphonsus Ejiofor Eze, (Newspaper Editor), Onitsha, Ajanobi Chinweike Achilles, a respected Hydrogeologist, PhD (in view) and Honorary Doctor Emeh Chukwudi, CEO, Devine Crown Ltd., Onitsha.


Source: News Express

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