All eyes on INEC -By Sesugh Akume

Filed under: Political Issues |


Recently I requested for and was availed the ‘Independent National Electoral Commission 2015 General Elections Report’ by INEC. The tome has broad sketches of results: Muhammadu Buhari (APC) got 15,424,921votes, Goodluck Jonathan (PDP) got 12,853,162 votes et cetera but there’s no breakdown at all, not even per state just that general summary. Meaning nowhere in the report can one find how many votes a candidate polled in any state. No breakdown of votes governors won with in the 36 states, none for senators, and so on.

For people like me who need the report for analytics the publication is a worthless waste of paper. I think those who compiled and authorised publishing the report may be incompetent but beyond that I think it was deliberate. We still have a long way to go in the areas of openness and transparency, honesty in reporting, accountability, due diligence, and professionalism.

I feel extremely disappointed that this sham report was compiled and published by INEC under the much-talked-about Attahiru Jega. I honestly would’ve expected much better from him. Or is he overrated?

So I shared how disappointing the INEC publication was I didn’t see any breakdown of the election results, only round figures for the presidential election, even this, not available on per state basis, which is disappointing. The state-by-state report has number of registered voters, the number the collected their permanent voter’s cards (PVCs), number of accredited voters, but certainly no number of votes cast. Even at that, it doesn’t have the number of accredited voters for some states. My brother and friend Matthias Tsado then offered to email me an abridgement of the results which he did, for which I’m grateful.

This emailed report is for the presidential election, exactly the kind summary I expected, but with further depth for the full report. This summary has a breakdown of all 36 states and the FCT, the number of registered voters in each state, number of accredited voters, and then for each party on the ballot paper it’s broken down as follows: number of valid votes each party got, number of rejected votes, total votes cast. With this it’s easy to see how the total was arrived at for each party and how the winner emerged. With this is possible to do basically any analytics one wishes to. There’s however a problem.

Both reports of INEC don’t tally. , I took a cursory look at both the print and soft copies of the report randomly and all I could do was to shake my head. See below:

Hard copy report at p. 102:
Registered voters 1,566,894
Accredited voters: 738,966 (the hard copy has no total number of votes cast)
Soft copy:
Registered voters: 1,518,123
Accredited voters: 709,993

Akwa Ibom
Hard copy report report at p. 104:
Registered voters 1,680,749
Accredited voters: 1,074,070
Soft copy:
Registered voters: 1,644,481
Accredited voters: 1,074,070

Hard copy report at p. 109:
Registered voters 2,057,125
Accredited voters: 1,094,069
Soft copy:
Registered voters: 2,053,484
Accredited voters: 1,094,096

Hard copy report at p. 131:
Registered voters: 1,429,221
Accredited voters: —
Soft copy:
Registered voters: 1,381,563
Accredited voters: 616,112

Hard copy report at p. 162:
Registered voters: 1,829,534
Accredited voters: —
Soft copy:
Registered voters: 1,709,409
Accredited voters: 594,975

Hard copy report at p. 170:
Registered voters: 2,082,725
Accredited voters: —
Soft copy:
Registered voters: 1,977,211
Accredited voters: 1,076,833

Hard copy report at p. 175:
Registered voters: 1,671,898
Accredited voters: —
Soft copy:
Registered voters: 1,663,127
Accredited voters: 988,899

It’s becoming clearer that INEC did a shoddy job at reporting the work they did in 2015. No wonder the reports aren’t easily, readily available and accessible. Once again I’m beginning to wonder if Attahiru Jega who oversaw the entire process including compiling the results and reporting same may be grossly overrated? It also means that we all need to have our eyes on INEC as we may have gotten the real spring of our problems.