Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Maurice Iwu, has denied ever printing the ballot papers used in the 2007 general elections in South Africa.
Iwu's position was contained in the answers he provided to the 27 questions raised by the Action Congress (AC) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar
The motion containing the answers was yesterday filed before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja, a copy of which was made available to LEADERSHIP.
The INEC boss said the commission spent N7.7 billion to print ballot papers for the 2007 general elections.
Contrary to Atiku's claim, he tendered documents to show that the contracts for printing of the ballot papers were awarded to the Nigerian Security Printing and Mining Company.
He said that the contract for the ballot papers for the presidential election was awarded on April 17, 2007, immediately after the Supreme Court judgment which ruled that INEC could not bar Atiku from running.
Iwu said that 65 million copies of the presidential ballot papers were printed at the rate of N1. 50 per copy, bringing the total contract sum to N1 billion.
The contract, he said, was awarded afresh to accommodate Atiku, whose name had to be added to the ballot paper.
"There was no award or re-award of contract, as alleged, to a South African company," he claimed.
"Were there to be such an award, it must have taken place between the Security Printing and Minting Company and the South African company, a contract to which INEC was not privy," he added.
Iwu, however, admitted that the ballot papers printed for the presidential election, after the Supreme Court judgment, were not serially numbered.
He attached the names of the presidential candidates for the 2007 poll, which included the name of Atiku and his running mate, Chief Ben Obi.
Atiku had claimed, in his petition, that he was excluded and that his name was not displayed on the list of the presidential candidates for the election.