EXCLUSIVE: Inside story of how Politicians Plan to Rig Anambra November 6 election
By Our reporters
THE 18 political parties that have nominated candidates for the November 6 Anambra State governorship election have been traversing the length and breadth of the state and even beyond, but little did most of them know that there is a grand design to rig the election in a manner that had never been witnessed in the history of democracy in Nigeria.
No fewer than 2525471 voters are expected to elect the next governor of Anambra State who will succeed Governor Willie Obiano, whose tenure will end on March 17, 2022.
Investigation by the RAZOR senior editorial team showed that the rigging plan began shortly after the primaries of the various political parties and unless the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and security operatives step up their activities, those behind the plan might get away with it and eventually hoist on Anambra people someone they did not vote for as their governor.
Findings by our investigative team reveal that the scientific rigging is being coordinated and perfected by some INEC staff in the Commission’s ICT department, with some top officials of the Commission in the know. Some politicians in the state, who have the unenviable record of election rigging in Anambra State and who are occupying strategic positions in their parties are the brain box of the plan to rig the November 6 election.
It was discovered that procured PVCs and their compromised owners were the primary source of the rigging plan and such PVCs were secured either directly from their owners for a price coordinated by the suspected political party involved, or was done during Continuous Voters’ registration exercise through compromised INEC ad hoc staff.
The plan went this way: “The cards were uploaded on INEC servers and will be perfected on Election Day as ‘uploaded voters’. This is manually perfected by mass thump-printing of ballot papers in secret places using INEC’s secretly released and customized ballot papers.
“The number of thump-printed papers is expected to tally with the number of electronically uploaded PVCs at INEC’s state and central servers for purpose of legitimizing the rigging and defense of same at the Election Petitions Tribunals.
“The scientific rigging is such that the registers and the registrants involved and their principals work hand in hand. There were strong indications that many INEC ad hoc staff used for Continuous Voters’ Registration were also used in the primaries that produced candidates of a certain political party and during the party’s membership registration. So the plan to rig the election has been on for a long time”.
RAZOR investigation further showed that a certain location at a housing estate in Onitsha South local government area was the venue where the rigging plan is being perfected. In this location, at least two booklets were given to chairmen of each of the 326 wards in the state through their coordinators, while the rest are still retained by a top party official who is the state coordinator of the plan.
“The booklets were filled with fake names as ‘registered party members’ with each of the booklets containing an average of 700 questionable names. The rest were filled by the central coordinator(s) and the entire exercise took months to be completed. Filling of the fake names, which lasted for two weeks, actually took place in one of the markets at the Bridgehead Onitsha and these names are merely waiting to be used on Election Day”.
It was also discovered that while the ballot papers and other voting materials are officially being expected to arrive Anambra State this month, they are already and conclusively in secret use in designated places according to demographic calculations and locations across the state despite denials by INEC. Recall that the materials were stored in a neighbouring state because of the burning of a section of INEC state office in Awka and although INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji said the materials stored outside the state were non sensitive, many people in Anambra State were very apprehensive because of the fear that such materials could be tampered with while in transit. However, RAZOR gathered that the non sensitive materials are already in the INEC offices in the 21 local government areas of Anambra State.
A member of a political party who apparently did not know that he was talking with an investigator said: “I can confirm to you that our candidate is in good standing for the November 6 election. Whichever way the poll goes, the deal is already done. Whether sit-at-home or no election on Election Day, we saw it coming and have already handled it. In fact, our candidate is already the next governor in -waiting because of what we have been able to do. As we speak, we have gathered enough votes waiting to make them up on Nov 6”.
A public affairs analyst and political commentator who spoke to RAZOR team said: “With the discovery of this rigging plan, there is urgent to take firm steps to ensure total rejection of deployment of INEC’s relevant staff from Imo State as being speculated and use of facilities and key and ad hoc staff from that state. As the election draws near, activities of INEC and politicians, especially those who will come from outside the state, must be scrutinized and monitored on daily and hourly basis.
“There is also need for public auditing of INEC’s departments in charge of ICT and ballot papers distribution, We expect parties contesting the election to insist on thorough inspection of the Commission’s ballot papers for the poll and fresh customization of same and its electronic gadgets, especially the card readers.
“Unless these steps are taken very urgently, most political parties and their candidates may just be dissipating their energies and resources on already rigged election without knowing it”.