The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has disclosed that allegations that the elections in Rivers State were manipulated and flawed was exaggerated.
Jega said the elections in the state was credible and the commission did the right by announcing the winner.
The INEC chairman, according to an online news medium, Per SecondNews, made this disclosure in Washington, DC during a conversation with US policy makers, think-tanks and members of the international community. The event, tagged: ‘Nigeria’s 2015 Elections: What Have We Learnt?,’ was hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and anchored by Jenniffer Cooke, Director, African Programme at the institute.
“We created a three man team to investigate the allegations of electoral malpractice, it was not true that elections didn’t take place in majority of the state, it was not true that results sheets was manipulated. There was no evidence of malpractice or photocopied result sheets, and no substantive evidence to establish alterations.
“Rivers has become quite a big issue, and we did our best to be able to have enough evidence to make an informed decision before results were returned. We received reports of fake results sheets, use of photocopied result sheet, substitution of trend of INEC personnel and allegation of no election taking place in some polling units.
“It came before we announced the results, so we immediately constituted a three-man team made up of national commissioners to go to Rivers State and investigate the allegations.
“It was not true that elections did not take place in majority part of the state, in fact the evidence was that in the overwhelming majority election took place in most areas.
“It wasn’t true that there was fake result sheets, there was no photocopied results sheets, there was no substantive evidence to support the wild allegations.
“From our investigations we were satisfied that there was no substantive evidence to cancel the elections as agitated by some people, we also have people on ground and observers like TMG, and others who also gave us honest report about what happened.
“I don’t think there was massive irregularities as reported in Rivers State, my advice is that they should go to the tribunal, if they have evidence, On our own part we have done our thorough investigation.”
“We have scanned 95 percent of the results sheets from all the polling units and we will put them on our site once we get to 100 per cent.”
“I am not saying their is no irregularities, but not to the magnitude that has been reported.”
He said that the Orubebe incident was unfortunate and regrettable and advised statesmen to be statesmen and urged Nigerians to move on and forget about the incident.