Apprehension in Akwa Ibom, Rivers & Delta as election tribunal begins hearing

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Parties and candidates are now heading to election tribunal  with the aim of upturning the results as announced by the Independent National
Electoral Commission, INEC.

Among States of high interest are Akwa Ibom , Rivers and Delta, where the All
Progressives Congress (APC), is crying foul over what the party called
monumental rigging of governorship and house of assembly elections as reported
by Daily Post.

In Akwa Ibom, for instance, the APC in the State, on Friday, painted a
picture before the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, on how the
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rigged the polls conducted in the state.



According to the party, the results declared contradicted the number of
voters accredited through the card reader machine used in verifying the
Permanent Voters Cards at the polling units.
Whereas the card reader captured 437,128 voters and transmitted same to
INEC in Abuja, for the governorship and House of Assembly elections, the figure
declared by the state INEC office was 1,122,836 – a difference of 685708.
The Akwa Ibom State APC stakeholders led by the APC Governorship
candidate, Umana Okon Umana, said having challenged the result of the elections
conducted in the state in the court, the facts of the elections balloting as
made available by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),
National Headquarters showed that the result of votes declared for the PDP was
actually more than the figure of voters officially accredited by INEC for the
elections at the polling booths on the elections date.


He said, “Your Excellency, we are pleased to inform you that we have challenged
the outcome of the purported elections at the Tribunals.
Similarly, the tribunal in Delta state has begins hearing as the APC and Labour Party dragged PDP to court over Okowa declaration as the winner.
“It may interest you, Sir, to know also that figures declared in the
elections by the Akwa Ibom State INEC office were at variance significantly
with figures captured by card readers and transmitted to INEC database in the
Commission office in Abuja.
“For instance, data obtained from INEC Head Office in Abuja show that
the total number of accredited voters captured by card readers for the
gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections in Akwa Ibom State was 437,128,
but the figure declared by the state INEC office was 1,122,836.
“By INEC guidelines, use of the card reader was mandatory in the
gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections” he said. The team also urged
Buhari to revisit the bloodletting that characterised the elections in the
state during the election.
“Your position on electoral reform is therefore apt, and we wish to
commend you on your determination to reform and reposition the electoral
process to make elections more credible in Nigeria.
“With specific reference to the manifold cases of violence and bloodshed
that rocked our state before and during the general elections, we demand
justice for the families of those who were killed and maimed.
“We also hope that those who masterminded those crimes of electoral
violence and fraud would not be allowed to escape justice”.
The case is not different from Rivers, a State under the control of
Buhari’s campaign director during the March 28 presidential polls, Rt. Hon.
Rotimi Amaechi.
The Governor’s arch-political rival, Nyesom Wike of the PDP was declared
winner of the election, having polled 1,029,102, which represents 87.77 per
cent of the votes while the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate,
Dr. Dakuku Peterside, came second with 124,896 votes (10.65 per cent).
The result had since remained subject of controversy with some
international monitors insisting that no election was conducted in the State.
Besides, the APC in Rivers have continued to accuse the INEC of
frustrating its petition before the tribunal.
State Chairman of the APC, Davies Ikanya, who spoke on the matter,
called on the world to prevail on the REC, Dame Gesila Khan, to release the
election documents to enable it meet up with the deadline in filing its
petition at the election tribunal.
He stated that the party had severally officially written to INEC in the
state and appealed to the commission’s Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, for the
release of election documents, stressing that the REC had refused to provide
the materials.
Ikanya said the party resorted to calling for the world’s intervention
because it had exhausted available means to get the election documents from the
REC.
He wondered why the REC allegedly refused to release the materials,
maintaining that her refusal had confirmed APC’s fear that there was no election
result in the state as at the time of the polls.
Ikanya stated: “The difficulty in getting the documents has confirmed
our fear that the result sheets never existed.”
He disclosed that out of the 17 documents requested, only one was
released to his team.
But the INEC fought back maintaining that it did not deny the APC access
to documents to challenge election results at the tribunal.
Mr Roy Obijuru, the Administrative Secretary of INEC in the state, said
the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mrs Gesila Khan, had released documents to
the APC on demand.
He added that INEC had received reports alleging that it had frustrated
moves by the APC to collect documents for the election tribunal to challenge
the election results.
He said that INEC received an application from APC on April 12 to
release Certified True Copy of forms EC8C, EC8C (1) and EC40 (G) for the
Governorship and House of Assembly elections for the 23 local government areas.
“Records show that representatives of APC in the state and other political
parties that applied commenced the collection of the requested documents from
April 16 to April 29.’’
The statement said a second application for Certified True of Forms and
Electoral Documents for the Governorship and House of Assembly elections in the
23 local government areas of the state was received on April 28.



As the blame game continues, the two states will undoubtedly remain the
attention of all eyes in the weeks ahead.

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