Apart from the corruption of INEC commissioners and staff, there is general sloppiness about the manner political parties have managed the electoral process. This sloppiness contributed to the discredited election we had on February 25,2023
By Sam Amadi
Nigerian politicians are notorious for not been rigorous in the basic things of governance. They are very smart when it comes to building and maintaining what Peter Obi calls “criminal structure”. But nothing more.
How can you go into an election conducted by an agency like INEC with a history of fraud and manipulations of election without the hiighest degree of due diligence? Atiku and PDP cried that INEC deprived them of victory in 2023 and yet they trusted the same INEC without verifying. How can that be?
First, INEC should have been forced to make public all the providers of technology and other services for the election which would have led to due diligence to discover if there is prospect of conflict of interest and whether there are good enough safeguards and protocols to ensure objectivity and neutrality. There was nothing like that. Again no one asked for a public review of the reliability of the BIVAS system and other procedures for election.
I regret that I stopped short of my planned legal suit against INEC. Before the election I had planned a suit seeking the court to order proper disclosures of the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and demonstration of the reliability and security of these systems. I also wanted to ask the court to ask INEC to disclose all possible conflict of interest situations arising from its engagement with politically exposed persons. I stopped short because I felt I was crying more than the bereaved.
I organized several press conferences to warn that INEC was the weakest link in the electoral process and the most corrupt. No one took me serious. Parties pay a lot of money to lawyers and those lawyers basically do no real legal representations until when they start the tribunal business and make billions.
Apart from the corruption of INEC commissioners and staff, there is general sloppiness about the manner political parties have managed the electoral process. This sloppiness contributed to the discredited election we had on February 25,2023.
It is sad.
* Amadi is a law teacher and public policy expert.