JUST IN: DSS invites INEC’s head of operations for questioning, likely harassment

THE State Security Services has invited Okechukwu Ibeanu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s operations and logistics committee, to their office for questioning today, February 19.

The interrogation has been scheduled to take place by 2 pm at the intelligence agency’s headquarters in Abuja.

Friends of the INEC National Commissioner informed the press about the development, however adding that they suspect the motive behind the invitation is to intimidate Ibeanu and the electoral commission.

They also said that, in the past few days, his residence in Enugu and his car have been broken into, with his personal computer and iPad thereafter missing.

Alongside Ibeanu, the DSS also invited Chidi Nwafor, INEC’s Director of Information and Communication Technology (ICT); Ken Ukeagu; Osaze Uzzi, the Director of Voter Education and Publicity; and Bimbo Oladunjoye, the Assistant Director of ICT.

Ibeanu is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). He was the Dean of the University’s Faculty of the Social Sciences and also worked as the special rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

His appointment as an INEC National Commissioner was confirmed by the Council of State in September 2016.

President Muhammadu Buhari, at the caucus meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday, had said INEC has to explain to the country why it has manifested “incompetence”.

“After the election, we have to know exactly what happened,” he said. “Otherwise, our efforts to make sure that this system we voluntarily accept is not making progress [sic]. What is the use if we accept incompetence. And the laws protected INEC, but they must not take us for granted.”

    “We do not understand why [there is] this inefficiency. And we have to go into details after the election to find out who is responsible. I think this much I will say,” the president added.

    The electoral commission had on Saturday, few hours to the planned commencement of the presidential and national assembly elections, announced the postponement of general elections “following a careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plan and the determination to conduct free, fair and credible elections”.

    The presidential and national assembly elections were rescheduled to Saturday, February 23 2019, and the governorship, state house of assembly and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) area council elections were rescheduled to Saturday, March 9.

    The APC has repeatedly alleged that the postponement was done in connivance with the opposition People’s Democratic Party so as for the party to gain political grounds in more parts of the country.

    'Kunle works with The ICIR as an investigative reporter and fact-checker. You can shoot him an email via [email protected] or, if you're feeling particularly generous, follow him on Twitter @KunleBajo.

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