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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is prosecuting three university lecturers who allegedly manipulated results from the 2019 elections in Akwa Ibom state.
Mike Igini, the state resident electoral commissioner, disclosed this on Tuesday while briefing journalists in Uyo, the state capital.
He said the lecturers — in the rank of doctors and professors — who worked as collation and returning officers during the election, will be arraigned in court shortly.
He also said three executive and administrative staff of the commission were dismissed for their actions “that completely undermined the electoral process and integrity of the commission”.
“The lecturers who were engaged as collation and returning officers during the 2019 general election were reported to have manipulated and falsified election results aimed at producing outcomes contrary to the will of the people as expressed through the ballot,” Igini said.
“Following a formal request by the commission, the authorities of the affected institutions released the lecturers to appear before an investigative panel set up by INEC headquarters on the 12th and 26th August, 2020.
“The panel subsequently established a prima facie documentary evidence of deliberate criminality (and) manipulation of election results against the collation and returning officers. They will be arraigned in court accordingly.
“In any electoral environment, in order to sustain the confidence of the people to vote, sustain and maintain their power in the electoral process as the best means of expressing the will of the people, anybody who faults electoral process must be punished.
“And so, in the days ahead, the commission is going to arraign in court a number of academic lecturers from the rank of doctors and professors in court for a grievous deliberate act of election malpractice contrary to the will of the people expressed at the polling units.”
Source: The Cable