Presidency Shops For Jega’s Replacement – Vanguard News

ABUJA — With the successful postponement of
the elections by the Independent National
Electoral Commission, INEC, the Presidency has
launched a two-pronged war to ensure that
President Goodluck Jonathan wins the election
Anambra Supplementary Election: INEC Chairman
Prof. Attahiru Jega addressing pressmen ,
announcing November 30 for Supplementary
election at Anambra State while National
Commissioner Lawrence Nwuruku looks on in
Abuja. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.
The two strategies are to stop Muhammadu
Buhari, the All Progressives Congress candidate
from contesting the election with Jonathan and
the replacement of the INEC Chairman, Prof
Attahiru Jega, with a less independent-minded
Jega, it was gathered, had been described by
hawks around the president of being too
independent-minded and ‘uncooperative’ despite
being given the job on a platter of gold by the
president’s men.
Vanguard learnt that Jega might have unwittingly
played into the hands of the forces arrayed
against him by agreeing to shift the elections.
Legal war to disqualify Buhari
Competent sources said last night that the move
to remove Jega and the legal fireworks against
Buhari, would be taken up simultaneously with
effect from this week given the timeframe made
possible by the shift.
The retired general is to be prosecuted by a team
of legal luminaries for ‘lying on oath’ that he had
a school certificate with the Nigerian Army when
he knew that it was untrue.
The plaintiffs are said to have settled for trying
Buhari for alleged ‘perjury’ instead of outright
non-possession of certificate following legal advice
that the latter would be more difficult to prove
within the time at their disposal.
Vanguard learnt that although Jega reluctantly
succumbed to pressure from the Presidency and
its security chiefs to shift the polls, he might still
not be allowed by the forces to conduct the
rescheduled elections between March 28 and
April 11.
Vanguard gathered from competent sources that
the Presidency was no longer comfortable with
Jega and was, therefore, working tirelessly to get
him out of the commission to pave the way for a
more ‘trusted hand’ to conduct the rescheduled
It was learnt that the forces arrayed against the
INEC boss had convinced the President not to
renew Jega’s tenure, which is expected to lapse
on June 13 this year. The forces, it was learnt, felt
that Jega was rather too ‘difficult’ to deal with,
having not allowed himself to be dictated to by
anyone since assuming office like other
appointees of the government.
It was learnt that in a bid to sweep off Jega from
his seat without raising any dust, he would be
asked to comply with the civil service procedure
by proceeding on his three months terminal leave
with effect from March 1, this year since he is
expected to retire on June 13.
S-West gov’s brother may replace Jega
Vanguard gathered that in his place, the
Presidency was considering bringing in another
academic from the South-West, who is currently
heading a tertiary institution in the country.
The professor of Political Science and International
Relations is said to be a sibling of a serving
governor in the South-West, who is a close ally of
President Goodluck Jonathan and his party.
Competent sources also told Vanguard last night
that although the name of the academic had
been made known in security circles, it was not
clear whether the man had been cleared by the
forces with a view to sending his name to the
National Assembly for possible confirmation, as
required by law.
Working against Jonathan’s interest
As a prelude to removing Jega from office, some
close allies of the President had started accusing
him of taking side with the opposition to
undermine the success of Jonathan and his party
in the next election.
Earlier last week, Jonathan’s godfather, Chief
Edwin Clark and other prominent politicians from
the Southern part of the country had accused
Jega of working against the interest of the
president and the PDP and asked him to resign
from the commission.
Although no evidence was adduced by Clark and
his group to support their allegation, they
nonetheless called for the arrest of Jega. Similarly,
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public
Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, on Saturday, said Jega
had lied about the state of the commission’s
preparedness for the conduct of the election.
In the same vein, the National Publicity Secretary
of the PDP, Mr. Olisa Metuh, accused INEC of
working with the opposition to deny its members
of permanent voter cards in some states. He
called on the security agents to probe the
commission over the development.
Source: Vanguard

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