Smarting from the ecstasy of his high profile selection as the new acting IGP, the man, so neatly dressed, spoke glowingly about the expectation of his new higher calling. He showed enthusiasm and made initial pledges of commitments to duty.
This was even as the vice President Kashim Shettima, on Tuesday, was decorating Mr Kayode Egbetokun, as the Acting Inspector-General of Police, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Hear him: “I feel like a lion in me, ready to devour all the internal enemies of Nigeria. That’s my feeling right now,” Egbetokun told State House Correspondents after a short ceremony at the Vice President’s Conference Room.
The VP performed the decoration alongside the wife of the new Police helmsman, Mrs Elizabeth Egbetokun, barely 24 hours after a major shake-up in the country’s security leadership.
In a drastic change of guard on MondHUMANght, President Bola Tinubu approved the immediate retirement of the Chief of Defence Staff, all the nation’s service chiefs, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali, as well as the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali.
Tinubu consequently appointed Nuhu Ribadu as National Security Adviser; Maj. Gen. C.G Musa, Chief of Defence Staff; Maj. Gen. T. A Lagbaja, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral E. A Ogalla, Chief of Naval Staff; AVM H.B Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff, DIG Kayode Egbetokun, Acting Inspector-General of Police; and Maj. Gen. EPA Undiandeye, Chief of Defence Intelligence.
Speaking to journalists at the Villa after the ceremony, Egbetokun expressed eagerness to resume his duties on Wednesday, saying he felt like a tiger ready to chase away all internal enemies of the country.
Asked how he felt about the weight of his new responsibility, Egbetokun said, “Now I have just been decorated and I’m looking forward to taking over tomorrow morning by 11:00 am.
“I really can’t describe how I feel currently, but if I have to tell you anything, I will tell you that right now, I feel like a tiger inside of me, ready to chase away all the criminals in Nigeria.
“And some other times, I feel like a lion in me, ready to devour all the internal enemies of Nigeria. That’s my feeling right now.”
Egbetokun remains in an acting capacity until confirmed by the 10th Senate as the 22nd substantive IGP.
Solemn as it is, the ceremony was witnessed by the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu; the Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Hope Uzodinma; the President’s Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume; and the immediate past IGP, Usman Alkali, amongst others. There is indeed no other better of WE THE PEOPLE OF NIGERIA TELLING HIM HOW DISAPPOINTED WE ARE WITH THE DYSFUNCTIONAL POLICING INSTITUTION IN THE COUNTRY THAT TO GIVE HIM JUST A TIP OFF THE ICEBERG ON HIS DUTIES TO PROTECTING DEMOCRACY.
Recall that 24 hours ago, HURIWA had already front loaded our agenda not just for the IGP but for the entirety of the service chiefs.
Today however, we are here seated in a round press conference table under the auspuces of the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA to talk about a salient allegation that INEC officials forge records of the 2023 elections which they give to litigants and defendants in the ongoing post election litigation at the various election petition tribunals. There is a case in point and we will report it verbation after which we will say a few things and then we hear your questions. The new IGP who has been served with this specific petition emanating from the Senatorial election involving the immediate past Ebonyi State governor Mr. Dave Umahi, must swiftly investigate the damning allegations made by the candidate of the Labour Party in that Senate poll Honourable Linus Okorie and if there is any merit in this extensively damaging allegations of forgery, the immediate past Ebonyi State governor should immediately be arrested, investigated and if found culpable, should be prosecuted. Not forgetting the INEC officials directly alleged to have falsified the documents allegedly in favour of the past governor of Ebonyi State. Our democracy is at the verge of collapse due to the oozing smell of manipulations committed by INEC.
HURIWA is in the know of a subsisting petition already submitted to the office of the IGP and the following are the elements of the allegations:
“PETITION AGAINST MRS. NNENNA A. ESSIEN (Assistant Director-Data Management-INEC Headquarters), RAKIYA A. NA’UZO (Deputy Director- INEC) AND ENGR. NWEZE DAVID UMAHI (Senator representing Ebonyi South Senatorial District of Ebonyi State) FOR ALLEGED CRIMINAL ACTS OF CONSPIRACY AND FORGERY OF INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION (INEC) DOCUMENTS WITH THE INTENT TO PERVERT JUSTICE IN THE EBONYI STATE NATIONAL AND STATE ASSEMBLY ELECTION PETITION TRIBUNAL AND TO COMPROMISE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS IN NIGERIA
Our services have been retained by Hon. Linus Abaa Okorie, who is herein after referred to as our client and on whose express instructions we present this petition to your office.
It is our firm brief that our client contested for the Senatorial Seat of Ebonyi South Senatorial District, in Ebonyi State under the platform of Labour Party (LP); whilst Engr. Nweze David Umahi contested for the same Senatorial
Seat under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) during the general election conducted by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the 25th of February, 2023.
It is our brief that following the said election conducted by INEC, the documented records of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System, [BVAS) of Nigerian voters who participated in the election were retained in Custody of INEC
Our client further informed us that following the outcome of the February 25. 2023 election, Engr. Nweze David Urnahi was declared winner and Senator-Elect for Ebonyi South Senatorial District, on the basis of which our client filed an Election Petition at the National and State House of Assembly Election Tribunal challenging the result of the said election.
Our client also informed us that following his filing of the Election Petition challenging the outcome of the elections, the following facts began to unfold:
a) That our client through his counsel, B. A. Azebi & Partners applied to the INEC Headquarters for a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the BVAS Accreditation Report of data for Ebonyi South Senatorial District; and a CTC of the BVAS report dated 25th March, 2023 and its Certificate of compliance as Computer Generated Documents dated 24/03/2023 were issued by INEC. Copy of the CTC of the BVAS report for the Presidential and National Assembly Election of 25th February, 2023 for Ebonyi South Senatorial District and the issued Certificate of Compliance are herein attached and marked as ANNEXURE 1
b) That Engr. Nweze David Umahi who is the 2nd Respondent in the Election Petition filed 2nd Respondent’s Reply to our client’s Petition, which process has on its pages11, 12, 13 and 14 ‘Particulars of Votes Objected to’ and also presented certain falsified figures as BVAS Accreditation figures, with the sole intent of misleading the election tribunal and perverting the course of justice. Copies of the marked pages of the said REPLY are herein attached and marked ANNEXURE 2A, 2B, 2C and 2D
c) That part of the documents filed by Engr. Nweze David Umahi in the Election Petition is a CTC of the BVAS Accreditation Report dated 6th April, 2023 with the Certificate of Compliance dated 05/04/2023 purported to have been issued by INEC and submitted as part of the records the tribunal should rely on in the course of trial. That the said report was certified by RAKIYA A. NA’UZO and the certificate of compliance as computer generated evidence endorsed NNENA A. ESSIEN, Copy of the CTC of the said BAS Presidential and National Assembly Election of 25th February, 2023 for Ebonyi South Senatorial District and the issued Certificate of Compliance are herein attached and marked as ANNEXURE 3
d) That our client having noted the two conflicting CTCS of BVAS Accreditation Report issued by INEC for the same Ebonyi South Senatorial District, then prepared a report that captured for each Polling Unit, the BVAS report of 25th March 2023 and also the figures in the BVAS report of 6th April, 2023, as well as the actual accreditation figures in the results published by INEC for each Poling Unit (FORM EC8A(1);: the intent Of which was to highlight which BVAS Report tallied with the declared result f the election. Copy of the Discrepancy Report is hereby attached and marked ANNEXURE 4
e) That on account of the noted discrepancy and suspected forgery of the BVAS report purported to have been issued by INEC to Engr. Nweze David Umahi, our client through his counsel, Messrs. Yusuf O. Ali & Co, and by a letter dated 18th May. 2023 requested INEC to confirm the authentic report between the BVAS Report of 25th March, 2023 (ANNEXURE A) and the BVAS report of 6th May. 2023 (ANNEXURE B).
Copy of the letter from Messrs. Yusuf O. Ali & Co is herein attached and marked as ANNEXURE 5.
f) That INEC by its letter of 31st May, 2023 confirmed that the AUTHENTIC BVAS Report is the one marked Annexure A which was issued to our client on 25th of March, 2023. Invariably, INEC confirmation means that the BVAS Report of 6th April, 2023 was a forged document and misleading and not officially issued by INEC. Cop of the INEC’s confirmation letter is hereby attached and marked AN VEXURE 6
g) That while waiting for the response of INEC On which BVAS report is authentic, our client through his counsel. Touchstone Li-iht Height Prime Chambers, re-applied to the INEC Headquarters for another Certified True Copy (CTC) in respect of the BVAS Accreditation Report of data for Ebonyi South Senatorial District; and a CTC of the BVAS report dated 18th May, 2023 and its Certificate of Compliance as Computer Generated Documents dated 16/05/2023 were issued by INEC.
The said report was certified by C.C NNAMAH and the Certificate of Compliance as computer generated evidence endorsed by the same MRS. NNENA A. ESSIEN who allegedly endorsed the forged copy presented by ENGR Nweze David Umahi. Copy of the CTC of the said re-issued BVAS the accompanying Certificate of Compliance are herein attached and marked as ANNEXURE 7
Key Concerns: Our client’s major concern in these disturbing events is that the BVAS report of 6th April. 2023 which INEC has officially confirmed as NOT AUTHENTIC AND HAVING NOT EMANATED from their custody was intentionally assembled for a sinister purpose, which is to truncate and pervert the course of justice.
2) It is also logical to reason that if the INEC declaration of Engr. Nweze David Umahi as the Senator Elect is the true reflection of the mandate exercised by the electorates of Ebonyi South Senatorial District of Ebonyi State, why the presentation of forged and falsified documents by the said ENGR Nweze Daid Umahi in his defence to our client’s petition challenging the outcome of the election.
3) It is alarming to reckon that this case of conspiracy and forgery, which has been detected by our client and confirmed by INEC may just be one of the numerous falsification of records which may have been sent out and may have formed part of records being relied on by various election tribunals in the determination of various election petitions.
4) Our client is worried that the existence of this cartel and its external collaborators like ENGR Nweze David Umahi whose specialty is to falsify documents in a highly revered institution like INEC, is a grave danger for our democracy and should be dismantled immediately.
5) Most scary is the far reaching consequences that could result from the dastardly act of subverting the wishes of the Nigerian electorates by churning out falsified records that bear the endorsement of INEC.
Such consequences may include, civil unrest and breakdown of law and order which may be difficult to be averted when the Nigerian electorates realize that the documents Used by the election tribunal in determining election petitions are predominantly forged documents cloaked with INEC endorsement.
Prayers: We most humbly pray the Inspector General of Police to graciously Use his good offices to direct as follows;
That immediate and full investigation be conducted into these criminal allegations, to determine the extent of the involvement of the named persons in this petition in the alleged crimes
That a probe be conducted into the criminal allegation of the existence of a cartel in INEC office and some external co-conspirators like Engr. Nweze David Umahi that specialize in the falsification of records with the sole ainm of perverting justice in various quarters.
That the prosecution of any person(s) involved in the alleged crimes be commenced immediately.
In conclusion, the Inspector General of Police is invited to assign this high level fraud to a crack team of investigators, to enable them unravel the crimes perpetrated by the above named suspects. We strongly believe that handling this matter professionally will restore the confidence of Nigerians who are left helpless and hapless as their mandates are brazenly switched by the electoral fraud cartels, ultimately resulting in the perversion of justice in election cases.
COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO; NATIONAL COORDINATOR;HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (INEC). 21ST JUNE 2023.