By Tony Edike
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Maurice Iwu, admitted yesterday that the 2007 election was disrupted by the battle between then president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and his deputy, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The INEC helmsman recalled that few weeks to the election, the Economic andÂ Financial Commission (EFCC), conducted an investigation, on the basis of which
some people were disqualified and sent the list of those disqualified to him, which he rejected.
He added that he subsequently got a white paper on the investigation, based on which the Attorney-General of the FederationÂ wrote to him and insisted that
he must accept the government white paper.
He then queried: â€œTell me the chairman of any government agency who will not accept or obey a white paper from government.
â€œWhen we interpreted the white paper, a lot of people were disqualified. But the Supreme Court interpreted it and said that nobody could be disqualified
except by the court of law. And the judgment of the Supreme Court was given on April 16, 2007. It was only few days to the election.”
â€œThe logical thing to do was to postpone the election. We had printed the ballot papers. We made a contingency arrangement and it failed us. The AD candidate
died. We could have postponed the election but we insisted because there are people who will use it as sinister, people who donâ€™t want the election to hold.
That was why we insisted that the election must hold. We were happy that it produced the will of Nigeriansâ€ Iwu stated.
The INEC boss who delivered a paper: â€˜Whose Democracy Is It?â€™ at the Pre-Delegate Conference of the Nigerian Civil service Union in Enugu, said that even
before the election, he was convinced that only the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua could have won the election.