How we predicted electoral fraud in 2023 polls seven months before – Onovo

Martin Onovo, a petroleum engineer, was the presidential candidate in the defunct National Conscience Party (NCP) in the 2015 presidential poll. In this exclusive interview with INIOBONG IWOK, he assessed the conduct of the 2023 general election and what needs to be done to sanitise the electoral system in Nigeria. Excerpts:

What is your view on the conduct of the 2023 polls?

The conduct of the 2023 polls was mostly lawless and criminally fraudulent. INEC brazenly wasted N355 billion on electoral fraud. We had accurately predicted the electoral fraud seven months before the presidential elections. Our prediction was widely published, yet INEC lawlessly proceeded with the fraud even after it had been exposed repeatedly. First, INEC removed the INEC ICT Director that led the development of the ICT system for the elections.…..CONTINUE READING

Second, INEC accepted the incomplete and fraudulent nomination of Bola Tinubu. Third, INEC concealed the incomplete and fraudulent nomination form and refused to release a CTC.

Fourth, after INEC was compelled, with a court order, to release a CTC, INEC failed to review and reject the incomplete and fraudulent nomination.

Fifth, after Barrister Mike Enahoro-Ebah had filed a criminal case of forgery and perjury against Bola Tinubu in an Abuja court, INEC did not even query the nomination. Sixth, as Nigerians roundly rejected Tinubu at the polls as expected, INEC underhandedly shut down the ICT system for the presidential elections to conceal the authentic election results and then INEC proceeded to doctor and forge results by stealing votes from the Labour Party to favour Tinubu of the ruling party.

Seventh, the collation frauds at different levels that removed votes from the LP candidate and added the same to the ruling party’s candidate in very many states particularly Rivers, Plateau and Lagos States.

Eighth, in a period of over ten days, INEC populated the IReV portal with the forged results to cover the fraud contrary to the rules that require transmission from the polling units. Ninth, during the final collation, many parties complained of deviations and irregularities but INEC desperately ignored the complaints and proceeded with the fraud.

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Tenth, the INEC Chairman falsely promised a review of the challenged results but quickly declared the false results and issued Tinubu an unlawful certificate of return without the review. Eleventh, INEC lawlessly frustrated the court Order that permitted the Labour Party to inspect the election materials.

The INEC Chairman has committed a treasonous crime. So, he must resign and face prosecution. Then, INEC must use the authentic results from the polling units to determine the winner of the elections.

According to Afenifere, ‘the results of the lawful votes at the presidential election available to the Afenifere through credible sources confirm that Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, won the said election.’ We agree with Afenifere.

The main point of disagreement among opposition parties was INEC’s refusal to transmit election results electronically and subsequent announcement of Bola Tinubu as the winner. What is your take on the way the event unfolded?

It is a matter of integrity, transparency and law. The constitution and the Electoral Act are clear that elections will be conducted in the manner prescribed by INEC. The electoral guidelines are clear about transparent transmission of results from the polling units to the IReV portal and pasting of results at polling units.

If these had been done as prescribed by law, the authentic winner will be transparently determined. Instead, INEC shutdown the system to allow it to criminally doctor the results over many days before transmitting criminally forged results. A treasonous crime.

Do you think the introduction of BVAS brought improvement to the conduct of the polls?

The BVAS and IReV system were properly designed by Nigerians to make elections transparent, fair and credible. If properly deployed, they can bring improvement to the conduct of elections. Unfortunately for Nigeria, INEC fraudulently shutdown these systems and then doctored and forged the election results in a clearly criminal manner.

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We saw large scale violence and suppression of voters in Lagos and Rivers States with many people killed and injured during the guber poll. What is your take on the situation?

The lawless ruling party is desperate to conceal and continue with its unprecedented corruption. It used ethnic profiling, terrorism, violence and fraud to suppress voters and manipulate the elections. A travesty of democracy and a crime against humanity.

Some Nigerians are saying that Tinubu faces tough task of uniting Nigerians amid his call for unity after the general election; what is your take?

Tinubu cannot deceive anybody with his corruption and hypocrisy. It was his consistent hate speeches that spurred his party members to issue threats and conduct terrorist attacks against Southern Christians in Lagos.

What is the immediate task before Bola Tinubu the president-elect?

Bola Tinubu is currently a criminal suspect in a case of forgery and perjury in an Abuja court. He had earlier forfeited about $460,000.00 proceeds of narcotics trafficking in a court settlement in Chicago USA.

He settled the Alpha Beta N100B money laundering and fraud case against him in Lagos. Contrary to the Code of Conduct, he maintained foreign accounts while he was a public officer.

What do you think needs to be done to have a free and fair poll in Nigeria?

Simply get all public officers particularly INEC and the Police to comply with our laws and obey applicable rules. Take strict disciplinary actions against any deviants. We can start with Mahmood Yakubu.

Read also: 2023 presidential election: A timeline of activities leading to the tribunals

What is your take on the currency scarcity; notes redesign policy?

Labour has postponed the strike. The currency scarcity is the result of the incompetence and corruption of the Buhari regime. The CBN Governor and President Buhari played a very dirty game to deceive Nigerians after they ruined the economy with unprecedented waste, incompetence and corruption.

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The Deputy Governor of the CBN denied knowledge of the details of the game, when he went to the National Assembly, the Finance Minister also denied knowledge of the game.

This crisis was foreseen, predicted and expected. We opposed the policy from the beginning but they exploited the high illiteracy level and attempted to justify the dirty scheme with senseless fairy tales. Then, they blackmailed their patriotic opponents with claims that we were hiding proceeds of corruption outside the banking system.

They simply constrained the finances of the citizens in a financial terrorism scheme against vulnerable Nigerians. Their false published objectives were to go cashless; to improve their control over the currency in circulation and to use modern technology to frustrate counterfeiting.

First, going cashless cannot be instantaneous and disruptive. It must be planned and in stages. Two, the national infrastructure for going cashless is clearly inadequate. So, the CBN should have worked to improve the infrastructure required for cashless systems.

Third, the high illiteracy level is a real constraint to any cashless policy. Their claim that they will use technology to frustrate counterfeiting has been shown to be false as the new notes were easily counterfeited almost immediately. Thank God the Supreme Court has ordered the continued use of the old notes.

LP won the gubernatorial poll in Abia, are you surprised by the performance of the party?.…..CONTINUE READING

No! We are not surprised. If LP won the presidential election in Abia State and also in Nigeria as credibly claimed by the distinguished Afenifere, then we are not surprised that LP won the governorship election in Abia. That could have been easily predicted especially because LP had an experienced and notable candidate. LP won in many other states, which INEC criminally denied them with the criminal forgery of results.