Atiku: Yakubu’s INEC Working for APC

Chuks Okocha in Abuja

The Presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has knocked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over its explanation on the award of contract to a company owned by candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) saying it shows the commission is working for the APC.

INEC had in a statement by its National Commissioner, Festus Okoye, admitted to awarding a sensitive contract to the Binani Printing Press Limited, a firm which has now been revealed to be owned by APC governorship candidate in Adamawa State, Senator Aishatu Binani.

Okoye however said Binani was not listed as one of the Directors of Binani Printing Press Limited.

Atiku, through his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr. Phrank Shaibu said INEC’s excuse was watery and unconvincing.

Shaibu said it was unfortunate that despite being given an allocation of over N300 billion as well as financial assistance from foreign governments including the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom, the leadership of INEC had continued to run the commission without scruples.

He said, “INEC’s latest statement cannot even fool a primary school student. An ordinary search on CAC’s portal by youths on Twitter had already revealed that Senator Binani owns Binani Printing Press Limited, a firm that was given a contract to print sensitive INEC material. The company with RC 310024, which was registered on March 13, 1997 has Senator Aishatu Ahmed listed as number one.

“It is obvious that Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has no plan of leaving a legacy of free and fair elections. With barely a year left on his tenure, his performance as INEC chairman will become a by-word for failure. This is a man who has received the highest financial allocation ever and yet cannot still run the agency effectively and deliver a credible election.

Shaibu noted that this would not be the first time that INEC would be awarding sensitive contracts to APC chieftains.

He recalled that ahead of the 2019 poll, INEC under the leadership of Yakubu also awarded a contract for the printing of Permanent Voters’ Cards to Mohammed Sani Musa who in the same year was contesting for the Niger East senatorial election.

Shaibu added, “Recall that in the run-up to the 2019 Presidential election, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu admitted that the commission indeed awarded a contract to Act Technologies Limited to print Permanent Voters’ Cards.

“Act Technologies, whose Managing Director, Mohammed Sani Musa, was APC candidate for Niger East senatorial district at the time, went on to win that election.”

“This latest excuse by INEC for awarding a contract to an APC candidate holds no water and is the height of the commission’s irresponsibility and incompetence”.

INEC had explained that procurements in the commission go through open competitive bidding and Binani Printing Press Limited was one of the security printing companies that applied to print security documents for the commission.

It adds: “After inspecting the company’s facility and carrying out due diligence at the Corporate Affairs Commission, the commission was satisfied that they are qualified printers with the requisite technical capacity, security consciousness and expertise in printing security documents.

“However, Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed was not listed as one of the Directors of Binani Printing Press Limited.”

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