Posted by Onwuka Nzeshi | 17 March 2019 | 1,190 times
A lawyer and former Head of Legal Services, Nigeria Army, Brig. Gen. Idada Ikponmwen (rtd) has scored the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) low and also declared the deployment of the military during the election as unconstitutional.
In an exclusive interview the New Telegraph, Ikponmwen stated that the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, particularly Sections 217, 218, 305 together with those of Section 216 relating to the functions of the Nigeria Police, point unequivocally to the impropriety or illegality of involvement of the Nigerian Armed Forces in the conduct of elections.
According to Ikponmwen, “even though the National Assembly has failed over the years to enact the appropriate laws to regulate the power of the Commander-In-Chief with regard to his deployment of the Armed Forces, the constitution is clear enough about the illegality of troop involvement in election processes.
“Military men should not be seen at all in the process of election not to talk of their being involved in control of access to polling units or collation centers.
“I think the President and the Military Service Chiefs must investigate the alleged involvement of troops in any location in the just concluded election.
Rating the performance of INEC during the general elections, Ikponmwen said: “From my observation in my ward, local government area and my state, I am unable to give a pass mark to INEC.
“Their officials in the field did not display sufficient control, management or handling of the voting process.
“They were easily intimidated; they rendered themselves vulnerable to intimidation by party supporters and agents and in some cases appeared to have played to the gallery.
“I will expect better training, better orientation, more confidence building measures and more commitment in future.
“ I do not believe that INEC staff justified their name of independent National Electoral Commission during the just concluded elections because they rendered themselves amenable to all forms of external influence.”
•Excerpted from a New Telegraph report
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