The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has dismissed media reports insinuating financial misconduct on the part of the Commission’s Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, saying it is aimed at tarnishing his image.
According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman, Kayode Idowu, those behind the media campaign also have plans to organize rallies to protest against the chairman.
While debunking the allegations as wild that cannot be substantiated, the Commission also assured the public of its resolve to continue to uphold its integrity, urging the people to join INEC in this onerous task.
The statement reads in part, “This campaign has so far been waged in the form of serial press reports of alleged financial misdeeds, either directly committed or approved by the Chairman of the Commission. Expectedly, the reports were no more than wild allegations, with no iota of proof or evidence to substantiate them. Few of these reports indeed crossed the line of journalistic decorum, and are accordingly being processed for libel litigation.
“But the Commission also has information that the campaign will not be left at the level of press reports alone. There are reportedly designs to upscale the plot into public displays of hostility towards INEC, such as through rented street rallies against its present leadership, among other measures.
“The whole point of this devious campaign, obviously, is to deflate the integrity of the Commission and cast doubt on its credibility and ability to conduct the 2015 General Election in accordance with international best standards.
“The Commission hereby reassures the public of its commitment to uphold its integrity, fairness and impartiality as an umpire of the electoral process. It will stay focused on its programmes to deliver elections that will be world class in fairness and credibility, come 2015, despite the daunting challenges.
“But the Commission must here again restate, as it has always done, that it cannot do it alone. It therefore pleads with other stakeholders, especially politicians, to equally commit to this cause.