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Why INEC Is Not Independent – Agbakoba

Former President of Nigeria Bar Association, Olisa Agbakoba SAN has joined the public discourse on the just concluded 2023 presidential election, saying it lacks credibility.

Speaking on Channels Television’s ‘Law Weekly’ program on Saturday, the ex-NBA president said the 2023 presidential election was not credible because the Electoral Act 2022 specified the use of technology in the polls but it was contravened by the electoral umpire.

He also said that the Independent National Electoral Commission was not true to Nigerians going by the process of the presidential election.

He added that he was looking forward to the verdict of the courts on the respective petitions lodged against the election.

“The 2023 elections are not what I would consider credible, free, transparent or fair and I say this in the context of the Electoral Act 2022 that set out clear technological parameters which even the INEC Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu was mouthing and boasting (about). Infact, at a point, he gave a press conference to say that those saying we shall not be technologically driven in this election (were spreading) fake news.

“But it turned out that all he said wasn’t true because the elections were absolutely bungled and the deployment of the technological things that he said would happen, failed.

“It failed across Nigeria and it failed only in respect of the presidential and not the national assembly elections; so that throws up a lot of (questions), you know, why did this work here and not there?

“I personally didn’t feel good about the outcome and that’s why you have petitions from Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi and a couple of others. So, we have to wait for the court to make a pronouncement as to what they think,” he said.

Speaking further, Agbakoba lamented the lack of independence on the part of INEC, saying its officials will find it hard to tell the truth.

He explained that as a body, INEC has logistical challenges that affect its efficiency when conducting presidential elections.

“It’s INEC. It’s not so much the technology that is really the problem, it’s the election management body.

“INEC is not independent. INEC is still going to the National Assembly looking for money, or to the president, so they are not independent.

“INEC is not in the middle, it’s always tilting in favor of the party in power and if it does so, then you are unable to unravel the huge amount of evidence required to overturn what INEC had done.

“INEC must be absolutely independent,” he said.



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