Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has confirmed that a candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is a contractor with the body.
Atiku Abubakar had raised the alarm through a statement by his spokesman, Phrank Shaibu.
Atiku said the Managing Director of Activate Technologies Limited, Mohammed Sani Musa, whose company supplied the machines used in printing the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), is contesting for Niger East Senatorial district on the ruling party’s platform.
In a statement Friday night, Atiku stated: “It is public knowledge that Sani Musa, popularly known as Sani 313 is a card carrying member of the APC and a close associate of several stalwarts of the party, including President Muhammadu Buhari who apparently pushed his nomination”.
“But shockingly, the APC Senatorial candidate for Zone B of Niger State, Mr. Mohammed Musa, has a contract with INEC to supply key voting materials in an election he is participating in, which is a clear conflict of interest and raises questions of probity and oversight in the issuing of INEC contracts.
“The INEC contract was to ‘upgrade’ the card readers and to print PVC cards. Further investigations have shown that the ‘upgrade’ consisted of pre-programming the card readers to accept fake replica PVCs (copies of genuine PVCs) that the firm printed in Nigeria.
“These two activities were undertaken so that the APC could boost its vote tally in its strongholds or force votes in Polling Units at PDP strongholds to be null and void by over-voting.
“Our investigation also identified the seven States where this activity was due to take place and we have therefore informed the Observer Community and our own extensive network of over 176,000 Party Agents so that they can forestall this activity”.
During an interface with stakeholders on the postponement of the general elections in Abuja on Saturday, the electoral chief confirmed Atiku’s revelation.
He spoke while responding to a question by Osita Chidoka, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain.
“Yes, I am aware. That company has been working with the commission since 2011. I assure you that we have a strict system.
“No electoral officer will be compromised. The integrity of the process is protected”, Yakubu said.