INEC will never compromise independence – official

The Independent National Electoral Commission says it will never compromise its independence but will consolidate on the mandate of conducting free, fair and credible elections.

INEC Director of Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja, while responding to allegations that the commission was compromising its independence.

It will be recalled that some Civil Society Organisations and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party recently accused INEC of complicity and compromising its independence.

Osaze-Uzzi said that most of the allegations levied against the commission was because the commission took decisions that were not in favour of the accusers.

Osaze-Uzzi said: “What we have always been doing is trying to assert our independence; trying to work in accordance with the laws. Sometimes this favours one set of people, sometimes it doesn’t.

“From our experience, when it doesn’t favour them they make some forms of allegations to undermine the commission, its integrity, its independence and try to bring it down in the eyes of the public.

“Ironically, some of the same people are accusing us of compromising our independence and calling on the president to call us to order.

“We are not under the direction or supervision of the president or any other person or authority, so, why should the same set of people be calling on the president to call us to order?’’

The director said that it was the same set of people accusing INEC of compromising its independence that wanted the commission’s to be compromised.

He said: “They are the ones asking the National Assembly and everybody to call us to order. If you read the constitution very well, we are not under the control of any body or institution.’’

Osaze-Uzzi said that INEC was maintaining its independence in accordance with the law of the land.

He stated: “We are trying to apply the laws and principles consistently.’’

On the call for the resignation of INEC Chairman over the alleged of complicity in the production of fake election result sheets in Ondo State, Osaze-Uzzi described it as “an absurdity’’.

He said that nobody not even the most of staff in the commission knew the security features of the result sheets, adding the entire allegation were ridiculous.

He said: “When you see people printing fake currency do you call on the central bank governor to resign?

“When you see people printing fake WAEC result sheets, do you hear people calling on the registrar to resign or people working in WAEC to resign that they are involved?’’

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