Date Published: 11/30/09
Rogue Iwu and The 2011 INEC Budget
The almighty Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), led by its scandal ridden top gun, Maurice Iwu, is warming up for another naira rain courtesy the 2011 elections. This commission that is the same class as NNPC, NMA, PTF, NASS etc in the area of graft, has awarded 21 contracts between August 6 and 27 of 2009. Three of them worth N988.28 million were awarded on August 6 and 18, while the rest worth N1.185 billion were awarded on August 27.
Iwu who has displayed a lot of rogue tactics, is currently spending tons of millions of nair-a in a desperate attempt to be able to preside over electoral and financial graft in 2011.
A breakdown shows that payment of allowances for professional services will gulp a whooping N11 billion, while N7.1 billion will be used to print ballot papers. For next year’s bye-elections INEC is set to spend N78 million on ballot papers. It has budgeted N2 billion for the 2011 elections’ result forms, while N1.18 billion will be for security and monitoring.
Iwu and his commission will spend N150 million on the upgrade of INEC’S website, N693 million on charitable contributions, N2.5 billion is set aside for hazard allowance, upgrade of voters’ card center-N700million; new state headquarters in Lagos, N200 million; air conditioners, N50 million; N56 million for power generating sets; N353.4 million, publicity; N370, voters’ education project;, N608 million, electoral training;N100mion, voters’ education research; N50million, library; and N50 million for the production of the INEC Act. The list goes on and on.
INEC and Maurice Iwu have no doubt, like his colleagues in other rogue agencies, cost the Nigeria nation billions in cash and credible leadership. Of course, it did not start with this INEC, but Iwu and his men have taken corruption and election rigging to another level.
Iwu who parades questionable educational credentials, has been in and out of scandals. He is one electoral commission boss who has received the most attention and scrutiny from countries where real democracy is practiced. He has organized one of the most bizarre elections anywhere in Africa, and still struts around the world daring anyone to remove him or prosecute him.
It is so bad that even his directors and other top officials have become very uncomfortable with Iwu’s style of financial and electoral malpractices. It got to a point that one of his top men, John Onaji, blew the whistle on Iwu. But trust the boss he had him and 49 other busy bodies removed from the INEC Abuja office. Onaji’s problem began when he blew open N250 million scandal during the April Governorship poll rerun in Ekiti. Iwu was quizzed by the SSS over another N50 million he allegedly received from one of his goons, Okey Ndeche. This guy is an expert in doctoring election results. Nedeche works with Victor Chukwuani, a National Commissioner. This guy was the axe man for former Anambra Governor, Chimaroke Nnamani. Iwu also has Phillip Umeadi Jnr, a guy expelled from the UNIBEN law faculty. This is the kitchen cabinet of Iwu.
Iwu has had the most so called elected officials, removed from office through the courts. Even when INEC went to court to defend the sham, their choice s were often kicked out. INEC, in concert with some characters in the judiciary then devised means of winning at all cost. They ensured a fresh election order was given. So INEC, police, SSS etc provide the incumbent all he needs to rout the plaintiff.
His handling of the 2007 elections was so scandalous that the British parliament felt he should resign. Iwu fired back “ from the prime minister to the parliament, they are failed debacle. Let them resign first, then I will quit. I am really sick of people who think they can stay in Westminster or Washington and dictate what would happen in Nigeria’
Discredited ex Attorney General believes our criticism of Iwu and INEC is a manifestation of our collective hypocrisy, while some of his backers maintain we should focus of corruption in places like the PTF, NNPC etc. But we insist, Iwu’s position is key to development, rule of law and social justice. His(and predecessors) failure to install legitimate government run by credible people is largely responsible for the rot in most places.
We implore the Nigerian people to continue to rise up against such style by Iwu and his co-travelers, we also insist that approving N47 billion for an election whose outcome is already known in 2009, is a waste and a travesty.