The portrait of a convicted terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, popularly referred to as the “Underwear Bomber”, is in one of the ‘voters’ registers’ in circulation ahead of today’s gubernatorial election in Edo State.
Abdulmutallab was convicted in the United States of attempting to detonate explosives hidden in his underwear on board an airline from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan, on December 25, 2009. Governor Adams Oshiomhole made the allegation yesterday when he raised the alarm on the existence of a fake voter’s register in the state.
Speaking during a visit to the governor by the United States Consul General in Lagos, Mr. F John Bray, Oshiomhole said he was shocked to see the portrait of the “underwear bomber” in the fake register, but with a Benin name.
Oshiomhole, who raised concern about the duplication of the voters’ register by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said: “Right now, we have evidence of two versions of voters’ register – the one they have officially been distributed and the one that some elements within the ICT in INEC have also produced in Abuja.
And what they have done in the past, which we hear they want to re-enact again, is that whereas they will display one voters’ register which is reasonably accurate, there are still some flaws, but let me say it is about 85 per cent accurate, they also have a fake one which they intend to bring and spring a surprise in certain locations where they believe that they have no chance, and when the voters go there and you find a voters’ register different from the one that you know, there will be confusion in those voting centres.
“For example, I was shocked to find the portrait of Mr. Abdulmutalab, and that will interest your Excellency, the young man who has been jailed in the US for a terrorist act. His portrait is in the fake voters’ register with a Benin name under it. I am sure if you look at the face, if we don’t know the face, you the US officials know the face. And you find the name under it, that it is a Benin name in Ovia South West.”
The United States Consul General, who led a delegation of election observers to the Government House, said, “we will all be watching this election very closely.” But INEC denied the allegation of registering PDP members as election observers. Mr. Nick Dazang, Deputy Director Voter Education and Publicity, INEC, said no member of the PDP was accredited as election observer in Edo.