LAGOS — Constitutional lawyer, Prof Itse Sagay, SAN, yesterday, condemned the report of both local and foreign electoral observers who monitored the last elections who said the 2011 general elections were credible, free and fair.

Sagay, who spoke at the University of Lagos, Faculty of Law Roundtable Series on the 2011 Election: Implications for Development and Citizens Participation,’ said “the 2011 elections were far from free and fair, although better than the Prof. Iwu’s election but the 1999 election was far better than this (2011) election.”

Speaking on “2011 Elections, Sovereign National Conference and Minority Rights,” he argued that the 2011 elections would have been better if the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,  had taken care of the total mess of registration and massive registration failure as seen in the just concluded 2011 elections.

Acknowledging that elections did not take place in the South-South and South-East, Sagay asked Nigerians to look at the huge disparities in the scores of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and other parties that contested in the 2011 elections. According to him, President Jonathan had millions of votes whereas those governors who campaigned for him in their various states had few thousands of votes.

Sagay described the elections in Delta and Akwa Ibom States as crooked, arguing that the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, should have cancelled the elections in those stateslike he did in Imo State, so as to cage the efforts of election riggers.

He further noted that the INEC Chairman was naive and lacked courage in the discharge of his duty, and that if given the same opportunity, he would have done better than Jega, even though President Jonathan would still have won the 2011 Presidential election without the inflation of votes.


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