CPC: How Nigeria's President Rigged The April polls

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

Findings by P.M News late Tuesday night indicated that the thrust of the deposition adopted by the Secretary of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Mr. Buba Galadima before the Presidential Election Tribunal is that the excess ballot papers allegedly used by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to rig the April 16 presidential election were printed by a local printer, Tulip Press Limited.

President Goodluck Jonathan

According to his affidavit, he alleged that the excess ballot papers were used to inflate the scores of Jonathan in the presidential elections in the South-South and South-East regions of the country.

He also alleged that contrary to the claims by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that the ballot papers were printed abroad for security reasons, that the papers were in fact printed in Nigeria by a local printer. “That I know as a fact that fake papers meant for the Presidential elections scheduled for April 16th 2011 in Kebbi, Sokoto,Zamfara and other parts of the North West geo-graphical zone were printed by Tulip Press Limited” he swore.

Galadima averred that the votes recorded in favour of Jonathan and his deputy, Namadi Sambo and the PDP were as a result of multiple thumb printing by few individuals who secured unlawful access to the many ballot papers.

He said that these multiple thumb-printing gave an undue advantage to Jonathan.He stated that inspite of the low turnout of voters in many states of the federation, INEC still went ahead to score Jonathan with over 95% of the total votes cast in many states of the federation.“INEC had claimed in many forums prior to the election that the contract for the supply of sensitive electoral materials such as ballot papers was awarded to a foreign company for security reasons.

Jega also made this declaration when he addressed a meeting of the leadership of political parties in the country in preparation for the election in the country on steps he had taken to ensure free, fair and credible elections in the country”.“It was later discovered that the statement of Jega that the contract for the supply of sensitive electoral materials such as ballot papers was contracted to a foreign company was false, misleading and calculated to deceive Nigerians including the petitioner” Galadima stated in his affidavit.

“I know for a fact that the contract was awarded to local companies owned by stalwarts/agents and members of the PDP that eventually took unilateral responsibility of distributing election materials with the exclusive collision of INEC and Jega while the petitioner, CPC, was excluded.”He further alleged that, Tulip Press Limited which he claimed belonged to leading members of the PDP was one of the local printers that printed the ballot papers.

He stated that on or about April 10th, 2011 two men, Messrs. Akinolu Akinto and Habila Stephen were caught with a van loaded with about 100,000 ballot papers for the presidential elections scheduled for April 16th 2011 by the police in Abuja.“That on investigation by the Police it was found that the ballot papers were printed by a printing press belonging to Tulip Press Limited which belongs to one Bello Gwandu a former Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and a staunch member of the PDP” he stated.

He also claimed that the postponement of the April 6th election on the ground that the foreign contractor was unable to meet the deadline for the delivery of the ballot papers was also false.According to Buba Galadima, the postponement of the election was deliberate and intentional when voting had commenced in most parts of the strongholds of Congress for Progressive Change, thereby giving President Jonathan, Vice President Sambo and the PDP an opportunity to study the voting pattern of the electorate with a view to taking neutralizing measures.

“But INEC and Jega attributed the postponement to inability of the contractor to airlift election materials on time due to the civil war in Libya and the Tsunami disaster in Japan even when Jega had in less than 24 hours to the election addressed the nation and assured it of adequate preparations for the election and that the sensitive materials were already in the vault of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)”Galadima noted that after a thorough search of the printing press an additional one million copies of the ballot papers meant for the presidential elections scheduled for April 16th 2011 was found.

He said about 12 people were arrested by the police and were kept in custody at Utako police station.He further said that the Divisional Police Officer for Utako police station Usman Umar told the press that the case was transferred to the force headquarters and that until the day nhe deposed to the affidavit, that the 12 people arrested had not been arraigned before a court of competent jurisdiction.Galadima further alleged that just before the presidential elections of April 16th a lorry load of ballot papers were removed from the stores of INEC to the Presidential Villa Aso Rock Abuja ostensibly for the viewing of President Jonathan and when INEC was confronted with this fact it said that the matter was under investigation.Hearing on the petition continues on Wednesday.

By Nnamdi Felix / Abuja

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