Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Open Letter: Intersociety Drags INEC To UN, Others

Ref: Intersociety/001/01/015/Foreign Missions/ABJ/NG

1.   The United Nations Secretary General
C/O  The UN Special Representative in Nigeria
The UN House, 617/618 Diplomatic Zone
Central Business District, Garki, Abuja, Nigeria

2.  The Apostolic Nuncio (Pope’s Ambassador to Nigeria)
Vatican Apostolic Nunciature in Nigeria
Pope John Paul Crescent, Maitama
FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

3.  The United States Ambassador to Nigeria
Embassy of the United States, Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive
Central District Area, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

4. The Head, Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria & ECOWAS
Europe House, 21st Crescent, Off Constitution Avenue
Central Business District, Garki, Abuja, Nigeria

5. The British High Commissioner to Nigeria
The British High Commission, 11, Torrrens Street, Off Mississippi Street
Maitama, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

6.  The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Nigeria
Embassy of Germany, 9, Lake Maracaibo Close
Maitama, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

7.  The Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria
The Canadian High Commission
 15, Bobo Street, Maitama, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

8.  The Ambassador of the Republic of France to Nigeria
The Embassy of France, 7, Udi Hills Street
Off Aso Drive, Maitama, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

9.  The Brazilian Ambassador to Nigeria
Brazilian Embassy, 324, Diplomatic Drive
Central Business District, Garki, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

 10.  The Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria
Embassy of Japan, 9, Bobo Street
Off Gana Street, Maitama, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

11.  The Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria
The Australian High Commission, Fifth Floor, Auckland Center
48, Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

12.  The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria
The Embassy of China, 302/303 A.O. Street
Central Business District, Garki, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

13.  The Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria
The High Commission of India, 15, Rio Negro Close
Off Yedseram Street, Maitama, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

Your Excellencies,

2015 General Elections In Nigeria & INEC’s Shoddy Preparations: Chaos, Anarchy & Bloodletting Looming (Part One)
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law is a leading human rights organization from the Southeast of Nigeria headquartered in Onitsha, Anambra State. Formed in 2008, we work on: civil liberties & rule of law, democracy & good governance and security & safety.

We humbly write Your Excellencies over the subject above referenced and the grounds upon which we write are stated below.

1. Introduction: Owing to several scholarly studies in recent times in various parts of the world including Nigeria, triggers/causes of election and post election human and material violence have substantially been linked to the electoral commissions or bodies that organized such polls. In the Republic of Ivory Coast, for instance, the immediate causes of 2010 post election violence were traced to the country’s electoral commission that controversially annulled poll results in seven strategic polling areas of the North to favour then incumbent Laurent Gbagbo. In USA, the denial of voting rights to Blacks and Hispanics has given rise to age-long scientific/demographic rigging in the country, leading to tensions, several protests and lawsuits. Gladly, this age-long injustice is now being frontally addressed. Nigeria is presently faced with similar challenges courtesy of its Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). It has been empirically established that the referenced electoral commissions contribute 60% causes of electoral violence leaving 30% to political authorities and politicians and 10% to the electorates.

2.  Facts Of The Matter: On 9th January, 2015, the (INEC) headed by Prof Attahiru Jega, made public the status of the National Register of Voters to be used in the February General Elections in Nigeria. The INEC said that it has ordered or received as at January 7, 2015, a total of 54, 341, 610 (fifty four million, three hundred and forty one thousand, six hundred and ten) PVCs (permanent voters cards) from its suppliers/ contractors; out of which, 38, 774, 391 (thirty eight million, seven hundred and seventy four thousand, nine hundred and ninety one) have been distributed to registered voters across the country till date leaving 30, 059, 085 registered voters disenfranchised.  That is to say 14,491,866 unproduced PVCs and 15,567, 219 PVCs undistributed till date.

On January 13, 2015, the Jega’s INEC made another public statement saying that a total of 68, 833, 476 (sixty eight million, eight hundred and thirty- three thousand, four hundred and seventy six) RVs (registered voters) have been penciled down to vote in the February General Elections in the country. It said it arrived at the figure after subjecting the National Register of Voters to automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS) for the purpose of elimination of multiple/double registrants leading to elimination of over 4million double registrants after which the figure came down to 68, 833, 476. The INEC also pasted on its website the State by State distribution of the PVCs as at 13th  January 2015 and withheld State by State breakdown of its given and approved registered voters of 68, 833, 476 it penciled down to vote in the said polls. It is important to note that these claims of INEC are yet to be independently verified.

3.  Disenfranchisement Of Over 35M Voters:  As of date, over 35 million Nigerians most of them registered voters have been disenfranchised by INEC. The total number of disenfranchised registered voters across the country is 30, 059, 085; out of which  those that have not been captured in the PVCs production and delivery is 14, 491, 866, while those captured in the PVCs but have not received theirs till date is 15, 567, 219.  Other five million eligible registrants were also not captured during various continuous registration exercises across the country particularly in the Southeast and the Southwest geopolitical zones.  This brings the total number of disenfranchised adult voters in the country to over 35M.  There are over five million Igbo residents in the North, who are registered voters. Many of them fled the area abandoning their PVCs following Boko Haram and Islamist Fulani insurgencies. Others are leaving the area in droves fearing insecurity and other unsafe conditions during the referenced polls. These referenced registered Nigerian voters are automatically disenfranchised.

4.  Geopolitical Allocation Of Registered Voters & PVCs:  Our thorough investigation of the foregoing in the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as well as the country’s six geopolitical zones using INEC’s voters’ registered shows the following findings: Northwest 1. Kano State: registered voters 4, 751, 818, PVCs distributed 2, 771, 185, 2. Kaduna State: registered voters 3, 743, 815, PVCs distributed 2, 643, 517, 3. Katsina State: registered voters 2, 928, 046, PVCs distributed 1, 965, 840, 4. Sokoto State registered voters 2, 113, 698, PVCs distributed 1, 211, 717, 5. Kebbi State registered voters 1, 459, 374, PVCs distributed 1, 035, 780, 6. Zamfara State registered voters 1, 802, 302, PVCs distributed 935, 302,

7.Jigawa State registered voters 1, 817, 087, PVCs distributed 1, 460, 420. Total registered voters for the Northwest zone 18, 616, 499. Total PVCs distributed 12, 003, 964. Total disenfranchised 6, 612, 535.

North-Central: 1. Benue State: registered voters 2, 340, 718, PVCs distributed 1, 132, 178, 2. Plateau State: registered voters 2, 082, 725, PVCs distributed 1, 072, 352, 3. Niger State: registered voters 2, 427, 081 PVCs distributed 1, 089, 002, 4. Kogi State: registered voters 1, 305, 533, PVCs distributed 755, 775, 5. Nasarawa State: registered voters 1, 291, 876, PVCs distributed 799, 991, 6. Kwara State registered voters 1, 125, 035, PVCs distributed 670, 694. Total registered voters for the North-Central 10, 592, 958. Total PVCs distributed 5, 539, 982. Total disenfranchised 5, 052, 976.

Northeast (troubled zone): 1. Bauchi State: registered voters 2, 502, 609, PVCs distributed 1, 509, 255, 2. Gombe State: registered voters 1, 208, 927, PVCs distributed 802, 959, 3. Yobe State: registered voters 1, 203, 224, PVCs distributed 740, 336, 4. Adamawa State: registered voters 1, 682, 907, PVCs distributed 912, 312, 5. Taraba State: registered voters 1, 279, 394, PVCs distributed 921, 637, Borno State: registered voters 2, 570, 349, PVCs distributed (est.) 1, 570, 349. Total registered voters for Northeast 10, 447, 410. Total PVCs distributed 7, 456, 848. Total PVCs distributed excluding Borno 4, 886, 499. Total disenfranchised 2, 990, 562.

Southwest: 1. Lagos State: registered voters 5, 426, 391, PVCs distributed 2, 159, 091, 2. Oyo State: registered voters 2, 487, 132, PVCs distributed 1, 141, 405, 3. Ogun State: registered voters 1, 796, 024, PVCs distributed 930, 276, 4. Ondo State: registered voters 1, 472, 237, PVCs distributed 824, 715, 5. Osun State: registered voters 1, 318, 120, PVCs distributed 992, 310, 6.  Ekiti State: registered voters 688, 950, PVCs distributed 481, 198. Total registered voters for Southwest 13, 188, 854. Total PVCs distributed 6, 419, 003. Total disenfranchised 6, 769, 851.

South-south: 1. Rivers State: registered voters 2, 466, 977, PVCs distributed 1, 253, 606, 2. Delta State: registered voters 2, 044, 372, PVCs distributed 1, 260, 728, 3. Edo State: registered voters 1, 593, 488, PVCs distributed 930, 276, 4. Cross River State: registered voters 1, 169, 469, PVCs distributed 469, 763, 5. Akwa Ibom State: registered voters 1, 621, 798, PVCs distributed 1, 177, 950, 6. Bayelsa State: registered voters 590, 679, PVCs distributed 370, 029. Total registered voters for South-south 9, 486, 811. Total PVCs distributed 5, 788, 053. Total disenfranchised 3, 698, 758.

Southeast: 1. Anambra State: registered voters 1, 784, 536, PVCs distributed 862, 747, 2. Imo State: registered voters 1, 672, 666, PVCs distributed 682, 046, 3. Abia State: registered voters 1, 387, 844, PVCs distributed 1, 020, 601, 4. Enugu State: registered voters 1, 313, 128, PVCs distributed 662, 445, 5. Ebonyi State: registered voters 1, 020, 011, PVCs distributed 687, 402. Total registered voters for Southeast 7, 178, 185. Total PVCs distributed 3, 944, 242.
Total disenfranchised 3, 233, 943.  In the FCT,  out of  892, 628 in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), only 411, 935 have received their PVCs till date leaving 480, 683 disenfranchised.

5. Findings: in the entire North including the FCT, there are a total of 40, 549, 495 (forty million, five hundred and forty nine thousand, four hundred and forty nine) registered voters and in the entire South, there are only 29, 853, 850 (twenty nine million, eight hundred and fifty three thousand, eight hundred and fifty) registered voters. In the PVCs distribution, while 24, 481, 487 (twenty four million, four hundred & eighty one thousand, four hundred & eighty one) have received their PVCs in the North, only 16, 151, 298 (sixteen million, one hundred & fifty one thousand, two hundred & ninety eight) have received theirs in the entire South as of date. In other words, while 24, 481, 487 PVCs holders have been empowered to vote in the February polls in the North, only 16, 151, 298 PVCs holders in the entire South will vote. This means that the North has been given maximum voting advantage over the South to the tune of 8, 330, 189 (eight million, three hundred & thirty thousand, one hundred & eighty nine).

Further Findings: (a) Disenfranchisement of over five million Igbo-Nigerians resident in the North particularly in Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Borno and Adamawa States, who fled the troubled areas owing to Boko Haram and Islamist Fulani insurgencies and failure by INEC to recapture them either in the voters’ cards transfer or continuous voters’ registration. (b) Abandonment of millions of PVCs belonging to fleeing Igbo-Nigerian residents in the North in INEC’s hands and their possible use to rig the presidential poll in the North. (c) Desperation by INEC headship to get the Northeast IDPs comprising the infants, children, women and the aged said to be 918, 416 in number to vote in the presidential poll at all costs owing to their strategic ethno-religious advantage to the Northern votes. (d) Paying little or no attention to 30, 059, 085 disenfranchised registered voters majorly located in the Southwest and the Southeast geopolitical zones and paying more attention to the so called “Northeast IDPs” dominated by Muslim populations.

 Yours Faithfully,
For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law

Emeka Umeagbalasi, B.Sc. (Hons.) Criminology & Security Studies
Board Chairman, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
info@intersociety-ng.org, emekaumeagbalasi@yahoo.co.uk

Chiugo Onwuatuegwu, Esq., (LL.B. BL), Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program

Obianuju Igboeli, Esq., (LL.B, BL), Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program

Uzochukwu Oguejiofor, Esq., (LL.B, BL), Head, Campaign & Publicity Department

1. The Federal Executive Council of Nigeria
C/O The Secretary to the Government of the Federation
2.  The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)  of Nigeria
3.  Secretary General, Amnesty International, London, UK
4.  Executive Director, Human Rights Watch, USA, New York, USA

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