Electoral Act: PDP House caucus accuses NCC officials of lying on oath

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caucus in the House of Representatives has called for the immediate arrest of the executive commissioner (Technical Services) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Ubale Maska, and his team, for lying under the oath before the Lower House.

The officials of the NCC led by the executive director, Stakeholder Management, Adeleke Adewolu, represented the executive vice chairman, Prof. Umaru Garba Danbatta, before the House of Representatives to give details of broadband Internet coverage In Nigeria, to guide the decision of the House on the ongoing amendment to the Electoral Act, particularly as regards direct electronic transmission of election results from polling units.

Oath was administered on them consistent with Section 5 of the Legislative House (Powers and Privileges) Act 2017.

But chairman of the PDP Caucus, Kingsley Chinda, in a statement he signed, said the details on the NCC website and information on the website of telecommunication companies were contrary to Maska’s claim.

According to him, Maska and his team cleverly sought to rely on 2018 data in 2021, when they knew or ought to know that internet penetration had advanced substantially in Nigeria since 2018.

“For a witness to be sworn under Section 5 of the Legislative House (Powers and Privileges) Act 2017, then proceed to lie under oath and give false evidence to the House is an offence under Section 7 of the same Act. We call on the prosecuting authorities to immediately arrest the officials of the NCC, under Prof. Danbatta and all those who procured Ubale Maska and other officials to lie under oath to be criminally investigated and when found culpable, be brought to justice by standing criminal trial,” he stated.

Chinda said the comedy of errors started by the House stopping INEC from appearing before it to prevent Nigeria from learning the truth and allowing only NCC to appear to discuss issues on the ability or otherwise of the electoral commission to handle electronic transmission of votes.

“The icing on the cake is the categorical declaration by INEC through Festus Okoye, their spokesman that it has the capacity to transmit election results from any part of the country, no matter the terrain has put the final nail on the coffin of the purveyors of the fallacy that it cannot be done. Electronic transmission has recently been deployed by INEC in Edo, Ondo, Borno, Kaduna elections etc.

“It is obvious that there are fifth columnists and anti-democratic elements who are afraid of a free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria,” Chinda said.

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