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CLAIM: The former ICT director at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters, Engr Chidi Nwafor, has been demoted by the commission.

VERDICT: False

CONTEXT: A controversial entertainer and convener of the ‘OurMumuDonDo’ movement, Charles Chukwuemeka Oputa, alias Charly boy or Area Fada, has claimed in a very lengthy post on Facebook that the former Director of ICT at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters, Engr Chidi Nwafor, has been demoted by the commission.

The post partly reads:

“…Instead of promoting the brain behind this electoral innovation, he was demoted and transferred to Enugu as Administrative Secretary just six months to the election. Is Prof Mahmood and INEC ready for a free and fair election in 2023 (sic)? There are already doubts. Please share to create massive awareness about this ugly development.”

VERIFICATION: Checks by Daily Trust revealed that on August 16, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr Festus Okoye, had in a brief statement disclosed the commission’s continuity with the routine deployment of top officials, including two Resident Electoral Cin commissioners (RECs) and eight directorate level staff members.

INEC redeployed 385 employees nationwide to ensure efficient and optimal performance in March. The affected workers were either serving in their states of origin or had worked between 10 and 32 years in the same state.

Perusing the statement issued by Festus Okoye, one could easily find that Engr Chidi was not the only director redeployed, as seven other directors were also affected by the shakeup. Reacting to Nwafor’s redeployment, Prof. Mohammad Kuna, the Special Adviser to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said the exercise was normal. He made this known during a panel discussion at a two-day workshop theme, ‘The role and impact of digital technologies in facilitating peaceful elections in Nigeria’ organised by the National Peace Committee (NPC), headed by a former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd) and The Kukah Centre in Abuja recently.

Contrary to the claim by Charly boy that the former ICT director of INEC, Nwafor, was demoted, Daily Trust can confirm that the claim is false as he is still a director with INEC as categorized by the Nigeria Civil Service Commission. Nwafor was only redeployed from one department to another. In addition, the post of administrative secretary is a directorate-level position.

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