Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), has reported that no fewer than 88 university professors and other experts have been found to be involved in the alleged rigging of the February 25 and March 18 general election.
The group, in a special report made available to Newsmen recently, stated that among the alleged culprits were 50 top Nigerian university professors including 34 Vice Chancellors drawn from Federal, State and Private Universities across the country.
The group which said it conducted an independent investigation over the election also accused 17 university professors among the 37 INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioners and 12 National Commissioners, of coordinating electoral fraud and malpractice during the election.
In the report signed by the quartet of Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman; Chidinma Udegbunam, Head, Campaign and Publicity Department; Ositadinma Agu Head, Contacts and Mobilisation Department; and Ndidiamaka Chinaza Bernard Head, International Justice and Human Rights; the group exempted three Vice chancellors and a Professor who they claimed refused to compromise the results of the polls.
Among the exempted were: Prof. Nnenna Oti, Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Science and Technology Owerri, FUTO; Prof. Esimone, VC-UNIZIK, Awka; Prof Maduebibisi Iwe, VC, Federal University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia state; and Prof. Ike Uzochukwu, Abia Resident Electoral Commissioner REC from the list.
The Report partly read: “The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) has investigated and found that 50 top Nigerian university professors played various conspiratorial or vicarious roles in the brutal poll rigging and voter suppression in the 25th Feb Presidential/National Assembly and the 18th March 2023 Governorship/State Assembly Polls.
“Generally speaking, a total of 88 university professors and other experts are found to be conspiratorially or vicariously involved out of the number, only four are exempted and worthy to be celebrated as heroes of Democracy in Nigeria or any part thereof.
“Exempted from the culpability list are Vice-Chancellors of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Prof Charles Esimone, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, Prof Nnenna Otti, Michael Okpara Federal University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Prof Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe and Resident Electoral Commissioner for Abia State, Prof. Ike Uzochukwu.”
It said VC Esimone of UNIZIK was exempted on account of his doggedness and refusal to compromise the results of the Presidential Poll in Imo State where he served as the ‘State Collation Officer.’
“His refusal to compromise also pitched him against the State Government and Commissioner of Police. VC Nnenna Otti of FUTO, Owerri was outstanding in her handling of the Abia State Governorship Election of 18th March 2023 where she served as ‘Collation Officer”
“Even at the risk of her life and liberty, she remained adamant for truth and in the end, her resilience and resistance triumphed.
“The VC Maduebibisi Iwe of Umudike Agric University was exempted for being resolute and refusing to compromise the Nkanu East doctored results in the Enugu State Governorship of 18th March 2023 where he served as “Collation Officer.”
Intersociety also gathered that the erudite and courageous VC held his ground at INEC Headquarters during the “review” and back in Enugu; he still held his ground until the results were corruptly announced against his will.
“REC Prof. Ike Uzochukwu as Abia REC is singled out for exemption on account of his courage and refusal to compromise the results of the State’s Senatorial and House of Reps poll leading to ‘his executive captivity’ until after the announcement of the results at gunpoint using an INEC Admin official.
“Abia REC’s ‘executive abduction’ was blamed on the Abia State Police Command and the State DSS Directorate. On regaining his liberty, Abia REC Prof Uzochukwu addressed the media and disclosed that “some candidates announced as winners were not the real winners of the poll.”
“The road to the current messy situation at INEC became well noticed following the flooding of the INEC’s list of Electoral Commissioners (14 new RECs and 5 reappointed others) with APC apologists and integrity challenged others.”
“Critics and activists raised serious concerns over the inclusion of such integrity challenged persons as RECs in brazen violation of paragraph 14 (2a) of the Third Schedule to Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution and Section 2 (3) of the INEC Establishment Act of 2004.
“Muhammad Lawal Bashir, a 2015 APC governorship aspirant in Sokoto State; Pauline Onyeka Ugochi, a former head of INEC’s ICT in Imo State publicly accused of corruption and conniving with politicians in undermining elections; Elizabeth Queen Agwu, a former Accountant General of Ebonyi State reportedly suspended in 2016 for corruption and incompetence; and Prof Uchenna Sylvia Agu, a Enugu State APC nominee and younger sister of the current APC National Deputy Chairman for South-East Region.
“Criticism against them and others was part of the findings by some Civil Society Organizations ‘working for the promotion of Democracy in Nigeria’ as contained in their recent press conference addressed by the Director of Int’l Press Centre, Mr. Lanre Arogundade.
“The CSOs critic include: Yiaga Africa, the Kukah Centre, Int’l Press Center, Centre for Media and Society, the Albino Foundation, Elect Her, Nigerian Women Trust Fund, Partners for Electoral Reforms and Inclusive Friends Association.
It listed names Of 34 Conspiratorially Culpable University VCs /Professors As “State/FCT Collation Officers to include Abia: Professor Abel Ezeoha Deputy Vice-chancellor Alex Ekwueme University Abakaliki, Adamawa: Professor Muhammad Laminu Mele, Akwa Ibom: Professor Emmanuel Adigio Vice-chancellor Nigeria Maritime University, Bauchi: Professor Abdulkarim Mohammed Vice-chancellor Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State, Bayelsa: Professor Lilian Salami Vice-chancellor University of Benin, Benue: Professor Faruk Adamu Kuta Vice-chancellor Federal University of Technology Minna, Niger State, Borno: Professor Jude Rabo Vice-chancellor Federal University Wukari, Cross River: Professor Akpofure Rim-Rukeh Vice-chancellor Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effurun, Delta: Professor Owuneri Abraham Georgewill Vice-chancellor University of Porth Harcourt, Ebonyi: Professor Charles Arinze Igwe Vice-chancellor University of Nigeria Nsukka.
Others are, Edo: “Professor Nyaudoh Ndaeyo Vice-chancellor University of Uyo Akwa Ibom, Ekiti: Professor Akeem Lasisi Vice-chancellor Federal University of Health Sciences, Ila-Orangun, Gombe: Professor Maimuna Waziri Vice-chancellor Federal University, Gashua, Jigawa: Professor Arma-Ya’u Hamisu Bichi Federal University Dutsinma, Katsina State, Kaduna: Professor Saleh Ado Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kano:
“Professor Sulieman Bilbis Othman Danfodio University Sokoto State, Katsina: Professor Mu’azu Abubakar Gusau Vice-chancellor Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara State, Kebbi: Professor Usman Saidu, Kogi: Professor Wahab Egbenwole Vice-chancellor University of Ilorin, Kwara: Professor Paul Annune Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University, Makurdi (formerly Federal University of Agriculture), Lagos: Professor Adenike Oladiji Vice-chancellor Federal University of Technology Akure,
“Nasarawa: Professor Ishaya Tanko Vice-chancellor University of Jos, Niger: Professor Clement Allawa Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration University of Abuja, Ogun: Professor Kayode Adebowale Vice-chancellor University of Ibadan, Ondo: Professor Abayomi Fashina Vice-chancellor Federal University Oye-Ekiti,
“Osun: Professor Tolulope Ogunsola Vice-Chancellor University of Lagos, Oyo: Professor Olusola Kehinde Vice-chancellor Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Plateau: Professor Shehu Abdulrahman Federal University, Lafia.
“Rivers: Professor Williams Addias Vice-chancellor Federal University Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Sokoto: Professor Muhammadu Kabir Bala Vice-chancellor Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Taraba: Professor Mohammad Ahmad Abdullaziz Vice-chancellor Abubakar Tafawabalewa University Bauchi (ATBU), Yobe: Professor Umaru Pate Vice-chancellor Federal University Kashere Gombe State, Zamfara: Professor Kashim Shehu and FCT: Professor Olayemi Akinwumi Vice-chancellor Federal University Lokoja.”
Vice-chancellor Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi (ATBU), Yobe: Professor Umaru Pate Vice-chancellor Federal University Kashere Gombe State, Zamfara: Professor Kashim Shehu and FCT: Professor Olayemi Akinwumi Vice-chancellor Federal University Lokoja.
“Names of National Chairman and 12 Perpetrator-INEC National Commissioners are Prof Mahmood Yakubu (National Chairman), Prof Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, Prof Sani Muhammad Adam, Prof Muhammad Sani Kallah, Prof Kunle Cornelius Ajayi, Prof Sam Olumekun, Prof. Rhoda Gumus, Retired Major Gen Modibbo Alkali, Mohammed Kudu Haruna, Festus Okoye Esquire, May Agbamuche-Mbu, Ukaegbu Nnamdi and Dr Baba Gila.
“Names Of 37 Perpetrator-INEC State Resident Electoral Commissioners and ICT Director, North-West: Prof Saidu Babura (Zamfara), Prof Muhammad Lawal Bashar (Jigawa), Prof Ibrahim Makarfi (Kastina), Ambassador Zango Abdu (Kano), Ahmed Bello Mahmud (Kaduna), Muhammed Ahmed Ushama (Admin Sec, Kebbi) and Dr Nura Ali (Sokoto-removed).
“North-East: Alhaji Mohammed Nura (Bauchi), Mohammed Ibrahim (Borno), Ibrahim Abdullahi (Yobe), Umar Ibrahim (Gombe), Hudu Yunusa Ari (Adamawa) and Alhaji Umar Muktar Gajiram (Taraba). North-Central: Alhaji Ahmed Yusha’u Garki (Niger
State), Malam Attahiru Madami (Kwara), Dr. Hale Longpet (Kogi), Dr Uthman Ajidagba (Nasarawa), Prof Sam Egwu (Benue), Dr Tersoo Agundu (Plateau).
“South-West: Dr Adeniran Tella, Dr Mutiu Agboke (Osun), Retired Spy Police Director Olusegun Agbaje (Lagos), Niyi Ijalaye (Ogun), Oyekola Oyelami (Ondo) and Prof Abayomi Salami (Ekiti). South-South: Prof Gabriel Yomere (Cross River), Johnson Sinikiem (Rivers), Hon Obo Effanga (Edo), Monday Udoh Tom (Delta), Dr Cyril Omorogbe (Akwa Ibom) and Emmanuel Alex-Hart (Bayelsa).
“South-East: Prof Sylvia Agu (Imo), Dr Queen Elizabeth Agwu (Anambra), Prof Chukwuemeka Chukwu (Enugu) and Mrs Pauline Ugochi Onyeka (Ebonyi). INEC Director of ICT: Olufemi Odunbiyi (former Commissioner of Science and Technology in Lagos State and APC chieftain).”