PDP Rep Caucus calls for prosecution of NCC officials for perjury

Written by on July 21, 2021

The Peoples Democratic Party caucus in the House of Representatives has called for criminal investigation and prosecution of officials of the Nigerian Communications Commission for alleged perjury.

The leader of the PDP Caucus, Kingley Chinda, in a statement, alleged that the officials lied under oath while appearing before the House last Friday to explain the possibility of having results of elections transmitted electronically from across Nigeria.

Following a stalemated consideration of the report on the Electoral Act, 2010 (Amendment) Bill over the controversial Clause 52(2), the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, had called for suspension of the exercise and summoned the NCC and the Independent National Electoral Commission to appear and guide the lawmakers this Friday.

While INEC did not show up, officials of the NCC led by the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Adeleke Adewolu; Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Ubale Maska, and two others had appeared before the lawmakers.

Maska, however, answered all the questions asked by the lawmakers.

However, in the statement titled, ‘NCC Lied to Nigerians on Electronic Transmission of Votes and Should Face Prosecution’, the PDP caucus alleged that officials of the commission misled the House with their presentation.

The statement read in part, “It was a show of shame on the floor of the House of Representatives on Friday, July 17, 2020, during the consideration of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill. “The comedy of errors started by the House stopping INEC from appearing before the House to prevent the nation from learning the truth and allowing only the NCC to appear to discuss issues on the ability or otherwise of INEC to handle electronic transmission of votes.
“Officials of the NCC, led by Executive Director, Ubale Maska, who represented the Executive Vice Chairman, Prof Umaru Garba Danbatta, appeared and an oath was administered on them consistent with the Section 5 of the Legislative House (Powers and Privileges) Act, 2017.

“He cleverly sought to rely on 2018 data in 2021, when they knew or ought to know that Internet penetration has advanced substantially in Nigeria since 2018.

“Indeed, a perusal of the NCC website even today shows that the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 (P .33) says that by September 2019, the spread of 3G/LTE had reached 74.2 per cent in Nigeria.”

The caucus also recalled that a telecommunications giant, MTN Nigeria, recently announced that it had achieved extensive nationwide network coverage of 89.9 per cent.

“This is just MTN, not to talk of other networks,” Chinda noted.

According to the caucus, “the icing on the cake” is the categorical declaration by INEC, through its spokesman, Festus Okoye, that the commission has the capacity to transmit election results from any part of the country, no matter the terrain.
The opposition lawmakers said Okoye’s confirmation “has put the final nail on the coffin of the purveyors of the fallacy that it cannot be done,” recalling that electronic transmission was recently deployed by INEC in Edo, Ondo, Borno and Kaduna elections.

The statement added That It is obvious that there are fifth columnists and anti-democratic elements, who are afraid of free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.

Credit: Punch

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