24 March 2011

Nigeria: INEC, Police Probe Fake Court Orders

Abuja — WITH the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) inundated with claims and counter claims of illegal substitution and forgery of by candidates vying for elective offices at the forthcoming general elections, the Inspector-General of Police and the management of INEC have commenced discreet investigations of a syndicate that arranges forged documents to obtain court orders and effect illegal substitution of party candidates' names in the Commission.

Daily Champion learnt that to this effect, anti-fraud detectives led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police from the Force Criminal Investigations Department in Abuja spent hours at INEC where they chatted with some Legal Department staff suspected to have aided some of the desperate politicians to file in falsified documents.

A former minister of Water Transportation, Prince John Okechukwu Emeka who is a senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra state was said to have petitioned the Inspector-General of Police that a serving senator almost succeeded in an effort to secretly substitute his name with the use of alleged forged documents.

"I scored 1156 votes and someone who scored less than one hundred forged, mutilated and defaced the result to give himself 1173. He got a CTC of the result submitted to INEC by our party chairman from INEC headquarters and then falsified it.

"I petitioned the Inspector-General of Police to investigate this forgery and as we speak now, the police have gotten all the proof of forgery both from our party, PDP, in Anambra state, Anambra state INEC office and INEC headquarters here in Abuja," Emeka claimed.

However, when asked to react to the claims, late Tuesday, Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Kayode Idowu failed to neither confirm nor deny the development, but instead reassured that INEC remains determined in its resolution to ensure that no staff compromises the promise made by Prof Jega that the 2011 general elections will be free, fair and credible.

Sources also confirmed to Daily Champion that an angry Jega on Monday queried a senior official of INEC's Legal Department over the unusual manner in which the name of the Ogun State governorship candidate of the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN), Gboyega Isiaka got into INEC's list of candidates.

In the case of Anambra, Prince Emeka had alleged the falsification of documents including those of the genuine election scores of Anambra North Senatorial primary election adding that a document containing the names of the successful aspirants was published before a purported order of an Abuja Federal High Court that his name should be replaced with that of Senator Alphonsus Igbeke.

Meanwhile, the order presented to NEC was said to have been found to have been a forged one when, the counsel to the former Minister, D.D Dodo was to file an appeal against the order and requested for the certified true copy of the result of the primary.

It was while writing to INEC on that that it was discovered that while the order was reportedly given in a suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/189/2011 on March 17 and dated March 18 as revealed in the court stamp, the content of the order had read that it was given on January 31, a date that generated more questions.

However, in a brief telephone chat, Senator Igbeke rubbished possibilities that he could have been involved in any forgery saying that there were typographical errors on some documents presented.

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