APC Registration: Jonathan Launches Secret Probe on INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega
Information available to 247ureports.com obtained from sources within the Independent NationalElectoral Commission[INEC] in Abuja indicates that the presidency has lost confidence where the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega is concerned. According to one of the principal officers at the Commission, the presidency has lost faith that the Chairman would work with the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] to ensure it retains the presidency post-2015 elections. Against this backdrop, the President has launched a veiled campaign to tarnish the credibility of the INEC Chairman. The President has since launched an exhaustive open ended probe on the activities of the INEC Chairman – dating from his first day in officetill date.
President Goodluck Ebelemi Jonathan is no longer comfortable with Prof Attahiru Jega.
Particularly, it was gathered that following the submittal of registration application by the merger group comprising of the Acton Congress of Nigeria [ACN], Congress for Progressive Change [CPC] and All Nigeria Peoples Party [ANPP], the presidency expected for the INEC, particularly, the Chairman of the Commission to frustrate the effort – and thus halt the formation till after the presidential election of 2015.
But instead, security reports available to the presidency revealed that not only did the Chairman not play ball towards frustrating the exercise, the Chairman actually aided the group in accelerating the registration process. Specifically, when the merger group would make submissions to the INEC – and an error is sighted in the submissions, the INEC Chairman was said to point the group in the right direction – and ask to redo the document and resubmit.
On one instant, the merger group had submitted nine  names to the INEC to represent the interim executive of the All Progressive Congress [APC] – three  executives were drawn from each of the three merging parties. The submittal was part of the requirements. However, when the INEC Chairman observed that nine names were submitted – he alerted the merger group that the submission was wrong. He impressed on the group that they needed a complete interim executive cabinet – not just nine. He also told them that thecompleted cabinet will be made to serve a minimum of 6 months. With this, the group reworked their submission and resubmitted their documents.
In all the security report available to the President revealed conclusively that the merger group was able to scale over the hurdle through the assistance of the INEC Chairman – to secure registration as a political party – and thus the birth of the major opposition party.
Adding to President Jonathan’s anxieties are other more pointed actions undertaken by the INEC Chairman indicative of the INEC posture towards the upcoming elections of 2013 and 2015. Available information reveals that the INEC Chairman had performed an in-house intelligence audit of the leakages and weak-links [staff members] utilized by politicians to rig both local and federal elections. Following the conclusion of the exercise, the Chairman was reported to have conducted a mass redistribution of duties and assignments.
The Chairman’s redistribution exercise served an opportunity for the Chairman to remove “historic riggers” retained from during the Obasanjo/Maurice Iwu era away from sensitive positions/offices such as Director of Operations to lesser sensitive offices such Voter Education. The rearrangement was carried out broadly across the INEC – known persons and directors who have been pointed as aiding the practice election rigging in the past was removed and placed in more handicapped positions.
Some within the presidency point to Prof Jega’s actions as indirectly aimed at undermining the PDP’s ability to win the coming elections in 2015. So much so that the presidency is reported to have ‘planted’ workers in the capacity of ‘secretaries’ to monitor the activities of the Chairman and his colleagues. The planted employees at the INEC are said to be reporting back to the presidency on a periodic basis concerning the goings on at the INEC.
On the first level, according to a familiar source inside the INEC, the Chairman, it appears may have become aware of the ongoing clandestine probe of his office by the presidency – and has since tightened up his operation. The Chairman has – in reaction – surrounded his operation with northern colleagues that “he can trust” – and has distanced non-northerner away from his operations/activities. According to the source, the Chairman has gone the extent of to ‘cash-starve’ departments that are supposedly not headed by northerners ‘he can trust’. 247ureports.com cannot conclusively verify the source’s claim.
Meanwhile, the President is reported to have received a 33-page document on the findings on Prof Attahiru Jega – compiled by the probe team put together by the presidency. The contents of the document is not known to 247ureports.com but it is expected to contain possible allegations of misuse of funds allocated to INEC during the preparations to the 2011 election – when biometric voter’s registration was re-introduced at the warping sum in excess of N96billion.
In talking with some National executive members of the APC, they confirmed that the Chairman aided them to the correct path in ensuring their documents were properly filed. But they spoke off the record – adding that the Chairman did not help them illegally.
Efforts to reached INEC failed as nobody wanted to speak on the record.