The #OurMumuDonDo movement, a civil society organisation led by maverick entertainer, Charlyboy, on Friday stormed the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Abuja, to demand for the prosecution of a former deputy senate president, Ibrahim Mantu, for alleged electoral malpractices.
In a letter submitted to the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu the group said the former Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chieftain should be arraigned for allegedly “subverting the will of the people during several elections.”
Mantu had, in an interview on Channels TV, confessed that he rigged several elections for his former party, PDP, by inducing electoral officers to falsify results and to violate the electoral laws. He said even when he did not rig directly, he paid election officials and party agents to do the rigging. The former senator said he decided to confess because he felt embarrassed by the way Nigerians were treated outside the country.
His admission had triggered reactions from the PDP, which refuted his claims and also disowned him. A statement issued by the PDP national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan read in part, “The PDP has never directed or had any pact with him (Mr Mantu) to rig election on its behalf. Never.
“Individuals run their elections on the platform of political parties once they emerge as candidates. In the PDP, candidates are issued with the party’s Code of Conduct containing the basic rules of electioneering engagements.”
At the INEC headquarters on Friday, OurMumuDonDo coalition demanded Mantu’s prosecution, noting that “this is a good opportunity for the electoral commission to demonstrate its resolve to prosecute electoral offenders as a deterrent to others.”
The letter submitted to INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu reads, “As we have mentioned in our previous engagements with the INEC, the number of Nigerians going to the polling booths has been in a consistent decline since 2003 and the reason for this, among other disturbing factors, is the downright rigging of elections — a vile act which blatantly infringes on the right of the Nigerian people to freely exercise their franchise.
“It is therefore imperative that the electoral umpire, the INEC, the Attorney-General of the Federation, and the law enforcement agencies, rise to this clarion call to prosecute Senator Mantu and all his accomplices.”
Speaking to newsmen, national secretary of the #OurMumuDonDo group, Adebayo Raphael, argued that Nigerians have lost trust in the electoral system, adding that only a proper overhaul of the system could restore public confidence in the system.
“Nigerians have completely lost trust in the electoral system, so we are hoping that by this patriotic act by #Ourmumudondo, the INEC, the AGF and other law enforcement agencies would sanitise the system.
“We submitted a letter to INEC and we are hoping to get a response from them,” Raphael said.