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Nigerian Electoral Commission, INEC National Commissioner, Festus Okoye In Plot To Rig Saturday’s Election For Atiku In Anambra –Sources

February 23, 2023

At the centre of this plot that has thrown the Independent National Electoral Commission office in Awka, the Anambra State capital, in disarray is National Commissioner Festus Okoye.

SaharaReporters has uncovered grand plots to compromise the forthcoming presidential and National Assembly elections in Anambra state.

At the centre of this plot that has thrown the Independent National Electoral Commission office in Awka, the Anambra State capital, in disarray is National Commissioner Festus Okoye.

Sources told SaharaReporters that Okoye is working with Governor Charles Soludo, Stella Oduah and Uche Ekwenife to compromise the election and ensure victory for the Peoples Democratic Party.

SaharaReporters learnt that Okoye has taken over the posting of Electoral Officers in INEC office in Akwa, which is the responsibility and duty of the state Resident Electoral Commissioner.

According to sources in the electoral body, it will be impossible to conduct a free, fair and credible election in Anambra or elsewhere in the country if National Commissioners from different zones are also taking over the duty of RECs in the respective geopolitical zones. The entire electoral process in place for the forthcoming general elections is grossly compromised in Akwa, one of the sources said.

An angry and disappointed staff member at INEC office in Akwa narrated how “compromised Okoye”, whom was accused of being available “for the highest bidder or any politician has given to them Electoral Officers of their choices”.

Another INEC staff member confirmed how through Festus Okoye politicians determined the list of their preferred Electoral Officers and adhoc staff posted to work for them in their specified locations on Election Day.

The plan of the PDP working with Governor Soludo for the victory of the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar is to suppress the votes of other presidential candidates with the aid of the Electoral staff drawn from the lists as generated by the politicians, one of the sources said.

Influential PDP politicians are reportedly using Okoye as a means to secure to the full backing of INEC headquarters in Abuja.

A number of staff members told SaharaReporters that the Electoral Officers in the state have been reshuffled three (3) times within the space of three weeks. Some staff members in the INEC local government offices within Anambra State have been bought reportedly over by some politicians within their senatorial zones.

“That was why on the 3rd of February, 2023, the REC reshuffled the Electoral Officers in the Local Government Offices which was a good decision.

“The Reshuffling took Electoral Officers out of their respective Senatorial Zones to the next zone. This was aimed at ensuring that if an Electoral Officer has made arrangement with a politician from Zone A, since he is now transferred to Zone B, it becomes relatively difficult to honour such arrangements,” a source said.

The source continued, “It was this reshuffling of Electoral Officers that incurred the wrath of the high and mighty politicians who saw it as a plan to destabilize their ploy. So, they invoked the powers that be in INEC Headquarters, Abuja through our National Commissioner, Festus Okoye to resist the reshuffling, especially as it affects their politicians of interest.”

Continuing the bewildered INEC official said, “We were surprised that Mr Festus Okoye flew into Awka from Abuja with an unsigned new posting of Electoral Officers, countering what was earlier done by the REC.

“Nigerians can see how Barr. Festus Okoye who once said that ‘RECs are not members of INEC’ has now taken over the duties of Residential Commissioner in Anambra.”

Meanwhile, SaharaReporters can confirm that RECs in other states of the federation reshuffled their Electoral Officers without any National Commissioner having to fly in from Abuja to counter or overrule it.

“Why should a National Commissioner be allowed by the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu or authorised by the Commission to descend into the arena and become in charge of reshuffling of Electoral Officers within the state?” one of the sources asked.

In addition, Okoye reportedly gave an order orally for the transfer of some Electoral Officers.

He also reportedly retired some others by mandating them orally to apply for their pre-retirement leave.

“All these actions taken by him were made orally by a national commissioner Festus Okoye,” a source said.

It was learnt that “two days after the oral order of redeployment of Electoral Officers given to him by politicians in an un-signed document that he didn’t sign and could not have signed because what he did is irregular administratively and unknown to the state, the REC again reshuffled the Electoral Officers but this time, taking into consideration their competence in their new locations given earlier complaints of issues of competence earlier raised”.

Saharareporters learnt that all the Electoral Officers acknowledged in writing that they were competent to handle their respective local government areas.

The REC has reportedly been summoned to Abuja as a result of the forgoing issues; while some staff members of the Commission said that she has been transferred to another state. However, SaharaReporters has yet to get the true position on the true status of the REC as at the time of filing this report.

“The last in the plot is Chief Chris Uba, the recurring decimal in anything bad about Anambra politics. He is running for Senate for Anambra South under PDP and has compromised many staff members of INEC in Anambra in a desperate move to succeed.

“INEC office in Akwa is extremely compromised in favour of the highest bidder being coordinated by Okoye. The state is waiting to explode in violence if what is going on now is not immediately stopped.

“The US, UK and European countries should have Okoye on their list including all those politicians mentioned who are behind what is going on in INEC office that will lead to electoral violence.

“Other main actors in this plot are Senator Stella Oduah who is exerting influence as a member of the Senate Committee on INEC and the Deputy Chair of Appropriation, Senator Uche Ekwunife is very desperate to win at all cost. Both senators are hoping to be beneficiary of Atiku Abubakar’s separate promise to each of them to be made Senate President,” one of the sources said.

However, efforts made by SaharaReporters to get Okoye’s reaction were not successful. He asked one of our correspondents to send him a text message but failed to reply hours after reading the message.