Rights Commission indicts Uduaghan, Osunbor, others for electoral fraud

Delta state governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan signing documents

The National Human Rights Commission has indicted the outgoing governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan, a former governor of Edo State, Oserheimen Osunbor, and the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Benue State, Terhemen Tazoor, for perpetrating electoral impunity.

Also indicted are the deputy governor of Sokoto State, Mukhtar Shehu Shagari, former Senators Adefemi Kila (Ekiti Central), Tanko Ayuba (Kebbi South), Ayo Arise (Ekiti North), Hosea Ehinlawo (Ondo North), former members of the House of Representatives, Temitayo Fawehinmi (Ondo), Tunde Isiaq (Lagos) and a former Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly and several others.

The former interim Deputy National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress, James Ocholi, and a former National Secretary of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, Shettima Ali, were also listed.

They are among131 individuals, groups and institutions indicted in the Commission’s final report on the investigation of the election petitions filed at various election petition tribunals across the country’s six geo-political zones between 2007 and 2011.

The institutions include the Independent National Electoral Commission, its officials and offices in several states and the Governorship, National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal in some states.

Political parties indicted for the same offence include the PDP, the defunct ANPP and ACN.

The Commission had in its 146-page interim report released last year similarly indicted the Nigerian Judiciary, the Nigerian Police Force, and INEC for perpetrating impunity in Nigeria’s electoral process.

The report is titled, “An Independent Review of Evidence of Gross Violations of the Rights to Participate in Government to Public Service and to fair trial through the Election Petition Process in Nigeria — 2007 and 2011.”

It was prepared by a seven-member expert Technical Working Group, TWG, constituted by the NHRC and chaired by Nsongurua Udombana, a professor. The other members are Mohammed Akanbi, Oluyemisi Bamgbose, Ifeoma Enemo, Muhammed Ladan and Solomon Ukhuegbe.

In its latest 284-page report, the Commission noted that electoral impunity committed by those indicted manifested in two ways, namely in the theft of the mandate of the people to elect their leaders; and secondly in the inability of the legal process and institutions to ensure effective accountability for such theft.

It said many of the cases revealed corrupt practices before and during elections, including false declaration of age and/or forged certificates by candidates, use of thugs and security agents to disrupt elections and facilitate rigging and manipulation of election results.

It stated, for instance, that during the 2007 election, Mr. Isiaq, a candidate for Ibeju-Lekki Federal Constituency in the South West was indicted by the election tribunal because he falsified his school certificate in order to meet the constitutional requirements for office, but he was not prosecuted.

The report also said in Kogi, Mr. Olafemi was unseated from the legislature because the petitioners proved beyond reasonable doubt that he led his agents and thugs to commit acts of corrupt practices and non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

On his part, the report said the Ondo Governorship/Legislative House Election Tribunal found that thugs disrupted the elections during the House of Representatives election in which Mr. Fawehinmi was a candidate.

The Commission cited the case No. CA/B/EPT/38/10 filed by the governorship candidate of the Democratic Peoples Party in Delta State in 2007, Great Ogboru against Mr. Uduaghan of the PDP in which the governor lost.

It quoted the Court of Appeal as saying in its judgement that “the implication of the absence of these constitutive acts that define an election is that the votes which the third respondent returned for the first respondent (Uduaghan) on April 14, 2007 were not obtained through due electoral process….

“The consequence is that since 2007, the aforesaid respondent has been sojourning under the roof of a veritable house of cards, worse still, a house of cards erected on the slippery quicksand of electoral jiggery pockery!

“In the circumstance, we have no choice than to enter an Order dismantling his over three and half years’ illegal occupancy of the very symbol of the peoples’ mandate…”

The Commission described the action of the governor and that of the Delta Governorship/Legislative Houses Election Petition Tribunal, Asaba, as “administrative/judicial misconduct.”

Mr. Osunbor, was indicted alongside INEC, its Resident Electoral Commissioner in Edo and the police in an appeal filed by Adams Oshiomhole of the ACN, who was eventually declared winner of the election by the court.

The Commission quoted the court as saying among other things that “the quandary here is should the proposition including where the evidence of the witness is that police officers were in fact doing the shooting, the thumb-printing or the ballot stuffing.”

The Commission described the nature of offence committed by the former governor, his party the PDP, REC and the police as “criminal and administrative.”

Mr. Terheimen, who emerged governorship candidate, last December was the first Respondent in the petition on the election into the Makurdi North State Constituency in the Benue State House of Assembly.

His party, PDP and INEC were the 2nd and INEC 3rd Respondents.

The Commission quoted the Court of Appeal while delivering the judgement as saying: “The law is that oral evidence is inadmissible to vary, add or to take away from content of a document…The 1st Respondent cannot therefore by oral evidence add to the content of exhibit P.1 or explain it. The failure of the 1st Respondent to tender certified true copy of Form EC8A (i) with three pages is fatal to his claim that he scored votes against the 1st Petition’s 8 votes in Tse-Tsav polling station.

“By Section 151 (1) of the Electoral Act, all parties to an election petition have access to documents in the custody of the 3rd Respondent. In this case we hold and construe the refusal or failure of the Respondent to tender either the original copy or certified true copy of Form EC8A (i) with the three pages as a deliberate concealment of facts and we invoke the provisions of Section 149 (d) of the Evidence Act against the respondents….”

It also said, “The petitioners have made allegations of arbitrary allocation of votes to the parties/candidates in exhibit P.6 in respect of Tse-tsav polling unit. The only way this can be countered is for the Respondents in this case to tender the various result sheets.

“From all we have stated above, we hold and find that votes were arbitrary allocated to the parties/candidates in serial No. 13 in Exhibit P.6. The submissions of Leaned Counsel for the Respondent that the 1st Respondent was not found or proved to have been responsible is of no moment. The scores/votes allocated to both the petitioners and the 1st and 2nd Respondents by the 3rd Respondent in Exhibit P.6 are unlawful, and we so hold.”

The Commission indicted INEC offices in Plateau, Nasarawa, Kwara, Bauchi, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Ebonyi, Edo, Rivers, Kogi, Adamawa, Kano, Delta, Ektiti States for either being involved in criminal or administrative offences.

It also indicted the defunct Governor, National/State Houses of Assembly Election Tribunals in some states, including Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Osun, Anambra, and Kwara for judicial misconducts.

The Commission however explained the report is not a verdict on the guilt or otherwise of persons so indicted; rather, it is information distilled from judicial records aimed at drawing the attention of relevant prosecutorial and other agencies to act.

It stressed, “Persons indicted in the report are presumed innocent until relevant authorities have “commenced further investigations to establish a prima facie case for prosecution or other disciplinary measures.”

It stated that the task of consolidating electoral democracy in Nigeria would require giving urgent attention to the elimination of electoral impunity through ensuring accountability for electoral crimes.

The Commission also made recommendations to all relevant institutions in the electoral process.

It, however, stressed that, “No number of recommendations can replace the need for political will on the part of all concerned branches and agencies of the Nigerian State, as well as the INEC, political leaders, political parties and civic organisations.”


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  • burning spear

    Useless report the head of the human rights commission needs to have his regional THOUGHTS examined properly——is this the time to release this janjaweed report—for APC——-? wHAT HAS HE BEEN WAITING FOR ALL THIS WHILE——————-I have never trusted this man right from the word—go——–HE IS SUPPOSED TO BE AT THE FORE-FRONT FOR THE CALLS FOR THE PROSECUTION OF BUHARI CONCERNING THE MURDER OF THE YOUTH CORPERS AND THE NIGERIANS WHO DIED IN THE POST ELECTION RIOT—ORGANIZED BY BUHARI INSTEAD ITS THIS RUBBISH THAT HE IS SENDING TO TINUBU—–VIA PT————–WHY HAS HE NOT BEEN ABLE TO INVESTIGATE THE ALLEGED TAPES RELEASED BY CAPTAIN SAGIR—DURING MEETING WITH TINUBU-AND THAT OF OSUN STATE-? tHIEF———

    • Maitama Tamabari

      Repent because FREEDOM TRAIN LEAVES TOMORROW. WE ALL BELIEVE CHANGE COMES 28-03-15. YES WE CAN IN NIGERIA. ALI MUST GO. YES JONATHAN MUST GO.

      • burning spear

        CONTINUE TO CHANGE THE PAMPERS OF BUHARI–THAT IS WHAT APC STANDS FOR–SEE HOW THE HEAVENLY BODIES ARE CATCHING G UP WITH BUHARI——-THE RAPIST—–CANT STAND FOR FIVE MINUTES–WITHOUT THE AID OF STERIODS BEING PUMPED INTO HIM———–

        • SAM .A

          e rat, creek monkey, your constant repetition of lies , propaganda and daily weeping ends here tonight.
          Shock and gnashing of teeth awaits you tomorrow as u will discover,6.6m PVC of SE and 8.6m PVC of SS will not bail out Jonathan.
          Double jeopardy awaits u because you will loose your pay per submission, Amnesty benefits and your man will loose the Election to Buhari who you hate with passion.
          Buhari ‘s Victory Train is leaving tomorrow morning, there is room for your redemption

    • Hassan Lawal

      Do you do anything,but hang around here, is this not boring to you?find a job please.

      • burning spear

        happy that u ARE THE SAME OLD PAID AGENT OF APC IN SUCH OF RELEVANCE- FOR BUHARI———ELSE U WILL NOT EVEN BE ABLE TO STEAL A SECOND-FROM YR JANJAWEED SCHEDULE-WITH TINUBU TO RESPOND TO ME- COMMENTS—-FROM THE LIBERATED BOKO HARAM ENCLAVES WHERE U HAVE BEEN HIDING–WE DO NOT NEED A PEDOPHILE AS PRESIDO—SHA

        • Abdullahi Abba Bukar

          Change

  • burning spear

    Buhari at age 47, in 1989 was having sex with Aisha Buhari at the tender age of 9, an underage according to the constitution of Nigeria.
    So Mrs. Buhari is a victim of sustained childhood rape and her outbursts–which led her to describe Edo women abroad as prostitutes is understandable because of what she suffered in the hand of Buhari-who raped and raped and raped her until she gave birth at the age of 13–”, she said…”

    Is this the Buhari we should vote for on a Saturday? Haba Nigeria—————————-deflowered a 9 yrs old gal–who had a baby for him at 13? Added to the fact–that buhari may be disqualified on d 22–of-April——–and have tinubu take over–?——d devil u know is better than the angel u know little or nothing about————what a shame-what a country–vote Gej for continuity————not ailing buhari with pampers under him—-LET HIM GO nd investigate this scandal on buhari and prosecute him in a court of law—raping a 9 yr old gal who is now his wife—with his quota system rank of a general

    • denrele abiola

      You need to see a psychiatrist for this outburst. Have you ever been school at all? Do the maths in calculating the age difference of Buhari and his wife and you’d be shocked at your folly, so a 44yr old woman was 9yrs in 1989. Olodo!

    • Festuso

      Your hate will consume you. Just like Buhari’s first daughter who was her playmate, Aisha Buhari was already 18 years when she got married Buhari. Presently, she about 44 years old….work it out for yourself!
      Without realising it, you are preparing the hottest part of Hell for yourself when you leave this earth. In fact, you will begin to taste of that Hell even from this side of the divide unless you stop this your senseless character assassination!

      • progress

        God bless you for that!

        • tsunami1earthquake

          God bless him for wishing a human being like him, ‘hottest part of Hell’? The way some Nigerians practise their religion is quite awful.

          • Festuso

            No one can wish him anything he does not deserve….even if they do, it cannot touch him if he had not sown the seeds for it. The Law simply states that “whatever thou soweth, thou reapeth”. By engaging in premeditated character assassination, he is actually sowing evil seeds, the fruit of which he has to taste either here or in the hereafter!
            There is also the Commandment that says “Thou shall not kill”! You do not have to shoot or stab someone to kill him. This guy goes about deliberately KILLING his fellowman by seeking to destroy his reputation with the claim that he was sleeping with a 9 year-old!
            Clearly, he is preparing the hottest part of Hell for himself if he persists in this evil act. If you care for him, advise him to stop forthwith. The Law is unbending and adamantine. …What you sow is what you reap!

      • Dazmillion

        Dont mind the E-rat

    • Tj

      Get your facts right and stop spreading unfounded information ,if you check buhari’s history you would realize that Aisha is his second wife he was a widower when he married her and she was in her mid twenties. Stop spreading wrong information just to call a dog a bad name.

  • Maitama Tambari

    FREEDOM TRAIN LEAVES TOMORROW. WE ALL BELIEVE CHANGE COMES 28-03-15. YES WE CAN IN NIGERIA. ALI MUST GO. YES JONATHAN MUST GO.

  • the truth

    Nigerias please say no to election violence, say no to a certificate forger, say no to boko haram sympathizer, say no to an illiterate, say no to a convicted drug dealers choice. Nigerian’s say yes to transformation

    • Abdullahi Abba Bukar

      Which of the transformation? Killings and dancing in public or unaccounting public fund?

  • Festuso

    Of what use is this bloody report being released some four or more years after the deed? Damn useless. Justice delayed is justice denied. Medicine after death….the offenders have already got away with the loot!

  • debbeljo

    LIKE IT OR HATE IT, GEJ 2015 IS SETTLED.
    1. All APC Chieftains, APC grassroot politicians would be arrested. What this mean is no logistic for APC during 2015 election.
    2. All entrance to States & LGA would be blocked, only known supporters of PDP and presidency will be allowed to move in and out.
    3. Order from above to all banks not to issue APC’s money
    4. No money for APC delegates,
    5. APC delegates will be denied entrance into collection centers.
    6. At Collection centers APC agents and returning officers will be buy-off.
    7. Voters will be told to vote and leave, PDP will do the rigging.
    8. Any APC that attempt to rig will be arrested.
    9. PDP agents will buy voters card from people, give them to anybody that will thumb-print for PDP and return then to owners after election.
    10. Rice and money will be given to women with irresponsible husband in exchange for voters card.
    11. PDP will promise job offers to Ad hoc Corp members

  • princegab

    Good write up, but same old stories. Its too late now for Nigeria without restructuring. Nigeria missed every opportunity to advance, civil war did not bring about development, obj’s indigenisation was a step back, Shangri’s 2nd republic was a monumental corruption, ibb coupe cum SAP was the beginning of the exodus of Nigeria wealth to all the secret vaults in foreign lands, Abacha sealed the naija’s coffin by hunting and killing as many progressives as desents who could not make it to exile. Just as the world powerfuls garlanded same confin with MKO’s blood in conspiracy with Abdusalam’s government. Nigeria’s ship wrecked in what became the end of 3rd republic and beginning of the 4th; but “rocker captains” escaped to start all over. Obj once again, out smart his bedfellows via pdp crafted his own era of 16 bad wasted years. Nigeria has laws crafted to criple her for ever. Restructure or disintegrate to move forward. But remember, as we make our choice, that disintegration has a war phase , so be it.