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Cablegate: Domestic Monitors Raise Concern, Reject Results Of

VZCZCXRO8148
OO RUEHMA
DE RUEHUJA #0725 1071504
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 171504Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9202
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHWR/AMEMBASSY WARSAW 0248
RUEHCD/AMCONSUL CIUDAD JUAREZ 0244
RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS 6610
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS ABUJA 000725

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DOE FOR CAROLYN GAY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM PHUM NI ELECTIONS
SUBJECT: DOMESTIC MONITORS RAISE CONCERN, REJECT RESULTS OF
APRIL 14 POLLS

REF: ABUJA 716 AND PREVIOUS

1. (U) A coalition of Nigerian civil society organizations
including the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), Federation
of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Labor
Monitoring Team (LEMT), Women Environmental Program (WEP),
Muslim League for Accountability (MULAC), Center for
Democracy and Development (CDD), Civil Liberties Organization
(CLO), and Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE) deployed
50,000 observers throughout Nigeria's 36 states and the
Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to monitor the April 14
gubernatorial and State House of Assembly elections. In its
interim report, the group raised concern over the conduct of
elections, positing that the process was blighted by several
irregularities, many of which had been foreseen and
highlighted by civil society in the run up to elections.

2. (U) The group stated that these irregularities served to
"compromise the integrity of the ballot" and "call into
question the reliability and validity of results declared by
INEC" in many states. Specifically, the report alleges that
INEC officials hoarded tally sheets in Anambra, Enugu, Cross
Rivers, and Rivers States. It also claims that voters were
subject to "subtle and overt intimidation" by party polling
agents and others due in part to the lack of secrecy in
balloting. Children aged 10-15 were found to cast ballots in
Nassarawa, Benue, Kogi, Plateau, Katsina, Cross Rivers, Kano,
Yobe, and Niger States. Monitors asserted that the names
and/or pictures of some candidates in Anambra, Imo, and Lagos
States were missing from ballots. The report maintains that
violence and intimidation resulting in at least 80 deaths
characterized elections in all six geopolitical zones. The
group denounced INEC's disqualification of opposition
candidates in Anambra, Kogi, and Adamawa States, premature
declaration of the PDP gubernatorial candidate in Delta State
as the winner, and cancellation of results in Imo as
partisanship in favor of the PDP.

3. (SBU) When asked whether any domestic monitors had been
intimidated or attacked by security services on elections
day, TMG Chairman Innocent Chukwuma noted that one monitor
had been fatally shot in Benue State and another two
observers in Bauchi State were in a coma. (BEGIN NOTE: In a
March 29 press conference, the TMG alleged that some of its
member organizations had been threatened and intimidated by
State Security Services (SSS). END NOTE.) Moreover,
Chukwuma averred that if called upon monitors may on a
case-by-case basis testify in any litigation arising from the
April 14 elections.

4. (U) In a press statement released at about the same
time, the European Union observer mission identified many of
the same electoral deficiencies and called for resolution of
the problems before April 21.

5. (SBU) BEGIN COMMENT: The interim report tracks closely
with what international observers and the Mission's staff
deployed across Nigeria witnessed on April 14. While accused
of working for the opposition, many civil society
organizations included in this report appear judicious and
impartial in their assessment of the conduct of elections.
It remains to be seen whether INEC will take into account the
group's recommendations in the lead up to the April 21
presidential elections. END COMMENT.
CAMPBELL

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