A former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be “accountable” to Nigerians just as the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) treated the case of Mmesoma Ejikeme, a 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) candidate, accused of result forgery.
“Like JAMB, INEC must be accountable to the people of Nigeria,” the ex-minister said in a statement on Wednesday. “They should step forward and restore the integrity and sanctity of elections in Nigeria and remove the cloud of illegitimacy surrounding the election of President (Bola) Tinubu if their system worked as they are claiming.”
Chidoka, an ally of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 25, 2023, said INEC should explain what it meant by “technical glitch” suffered in the electronic transmission of results during the poll.
Chidoka, who is also the owner of the Computer-Based Testing (CBT) Centre where Mmesoma sat for her examination, said he will beg JAMB for leniency if the candidate comes clean with her result source.
Although Mmesoma claimed that she scored 362, JAMB insisted that her actual score is 249.
In his statement on Wednesday, Chidoka said that he observed two red flags when he saw the candidate’s result online.
He commended JAMB for coming out “forcefully” to defend its integrity, saying the electoral umpire should act like JAMB and explain the “technical glitch” the commission suffered in the February 25, 2023 presidential election.
“JAMB’s reaction and responsiveness should be made a minimum benchmark for government agencies,” the ex-minister said. “Our universities should write case studies of this saga so other institutions can learn how to navigate social media and information management in the face of unrelenting attacks,” Chidoka stated.
He said, “JAMB’s response is an example to follow. If INEC leadership has any sense of shame and any shred of integrity, they should save President Tinubu from a needless legitimacy question by behaving like JAMB.
“They should step forward and explain what technical glitch they had on election day that marred the upload of form EC8As from polling units across the country.
“They should share with the public the interaction between the BVAS sim cards and their servers. They should share the audit report of their servers during the failed upload.”