The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied appointing Femi Odubiyi as head of its Information and Communication (ICT) department.
This was contained in a press release signed by its National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, on March 15, 2023.
“The attention of the Commission has been drawn to a widely publicised report attributed to a well-known Lagos politician, Chief Olabode George, that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has appointed one Femi Odubiyi, a former Commissioner in Lagos State and an associate of a prominent politician, as it’s Head of ICT.”
The commission noted that there is no staff under its ICT department nationwide with that name and that the commission does not employ partisan individuals.
“Nothing can be further from the truth. To set the record straight, the name ‘Femi Odubiyi’ does not even exist within our ICT Department at the INEC headquarters in Abuja or any State office of the Commission.
“Our ICT staff are career officers of the Commission. None has held any political appointment in any State of the Federation.”
Following the February 25th general election that produced Bola Tinubu as President-elect, several theories have discredited INEC and the process by members and followers of opposition parties.
INEC’s rebuttal is in response to the several theories that the Commission was part of a plot to manipulate the BVAS in favour of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) using the appointment of a party loyalist to its ICT department.
One such theory was contained in a report by 247 reports which posited that the INEC Chairman knew what transpired in the election that led to the inability to upload results.
The report claimed Chidi Nwafor, an Information Technology (IT) expert credited as the developer of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), was removed from the INEC headquarters in Abuja because he refused to reprogram the BVAS to compromise the presidential elections.
The report also added that Femi Odubiyi, a former commissioner of Science and Technology to the Governor of Lagos State, replaced Mr Nwafor. Mr Odubiyi was said to be responsible for jamming the BVAS network that halted transmission of the presidential election results.
INEC has, however, urged the public to disregard the story because it is false.