PDP House of Reps caucus wants NCC officials prosecuted for lying on oath

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the House Representatives has called for the prosecution of officials of the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), for lying under oath.
In a statement on Tuesday, leader of the caucus, Hon. Kingsley Chinda alleged that officials of the NCC lied on oath while testifying before  the House, on the adoption of electronic transmission of election results from the units.
He said, “It is obvious that there are fifth columnists and anti-democratic elements who are afraid of a free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria”.
“It was a show of shame on the floor of the House of Representatives on Friday, July 17, 2020 during the consideration of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
“The comedy of errors started by the House stopping INEC from appearing before the House to prevent the nation from learning the truth and allowing only NCC to appear to discuss issues on the ability or otherwise of INEC to handle electronic transmission of votes”, the statement said.
According to Chinda, “Officials of the NCC, led by an Executive Director, Ubale Maska, who represented the Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umaru Garba Danbatta appeared and oath was administered on them”. Chinda said, while testifying before the House on the adoption of electronic transmission of results from the units, “Ubale Maska claimed that the 2018 Technical Report of the NCC showed that only about ‘50 percent of the polling units had 3G while 49 percent had 2G network and below”.
Chinda said that the answers and body language of the Maska clearly betrayed his intense desire to mislead the House and the nation.
“He cleverly sought to rely on 2018 data in 2021, when they knew or ought to know that internet penetration has advanced substantially in Nigeria since 2018 .
“Indeed a perusal of NCC Website even today shows that the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 (P .33) says that by September 2019, the ‘Spread of 3G/LTE’ had reached 74.2 percent in Nigeria”, Chinda argued.
The statement argued further that MTN recently announced that it had achieved an extensive nationwide network coverage of 89.9 percent, not to talk of other networks.
“Perhaps the worst form of perfidy, deception and outright lies is for NCC to hide the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NCC and INEC in 2019.
The caucus recalled that, “During preparations for the 2019 general election, Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman, had in January 2018, visited the NCC to discuss collaboration that would enhance the electoral process.
“A joint technical committee of INEC and NCC was subsequently formed with a mandate to map out strategies that would reduce human interventions in the transmission of election results.
“The committee was headed by Maska and co-chaired by Muhammed Lecky, an INEC national commissioner.”
According to the PDP lawmakers, after several meetings and engagements, it was then recommended that the ‘INEC/NCC joint technical committee should consider and adopt the traditional data communication service from MNOs using APN as the most appropriate solution for the electronic transmission of election results.
Chinda said, the recent declaration by INEC it has the capacity to transmit election results electronically, no matter the terrain, has exposed those who claimed that it cannot be done.
“The icing on the cake is the categorical declaration by INEC through Festus Okoye, their spokesman that INEC 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 falacy 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.
“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 where found culpable, be brought to justice by standing criminal trial.
“We must maintain the integrity of our laws and sanctity of our institutions as a nation.”

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