OBIORA IFOH, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State has written to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice to demand the relocation of the election tribunals from Akwa Ibom State to the Federal Capital Territory.
State Chairman of the party, Obong Ini Okopido in the letter cited alleged attempts to perpetuate electoral fraud by the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Mike Igini in collusion with the Akwa Ibom State Government and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to destroy electoral materials needed to substantiate the election petition of the APC as the reason for the demand.
According to Obong Okopido, “we observe with deep regrets that since Mr. Mike Igini superintended over the worst general elections ever conducted in Akwa Ibom State, that was fraught with manifest irregularities and wide spread electoral infractions, the REC is now unveiling a grand scheme to thwart and create a chaotic environment to pave way for the pervasion of justice.
“We have been reliably informed that the REC is now intimidating electoral officers who participated in the just concluded general elections in the State, particularly, Collation Officers, Supervisory Presiding Officers (SPOs), Presiding Officers (POs) and Assistant Presiding Officers (APOs), handing over their phone numbers to hired assassins and PDP killer squad to forcefully coerce them to concoct and fabricate false reports of violence, ballot paper snatching, all in a bid to justify the clandestine activities of Mr. Mike Igini days after the purported declaration of results, seeing that unit results will expressly show that candidates of the All Progressives Congress clearly won the elections by the votes directly delivered at the polling units across the state.
“This latest action by the leadership of INEC in Akwa Ibom State has vindicated our stand expressed in various foras before the general elections that Mr. Mike Igini is a biased umpire, heavily compromised by the Akwa Ibom State Government to truncate the smooth conduct of a free and fair elections.
“We therefore reiterate in unambiguous terms, that INEC under Mr. Mike Igini cannot guarantee credibility and the ethos of fair play as demonstrated with this plot hatched to frustrate the electoral process”, he said.
The Akwa Ibom State APC said the immediate relocation of the elections tribunal to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja would forestall breakdown of law and order and reiterated the call for the immediate redeployment of Mr. Mike Igini to pave way for a level-playing field for all parties that partook in the elections.
The party also called on security agencies to provide adequate security to all ad-hoc staffs of INEC in the state and properly investigate and bring to book, thugs allegedly paid by the PDP to intimidate or coerce non-yielding election officials.
It will be recalled that the APC in Akwa Ibom State had consistently sought the redeployment of the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Igini over alleged partisanship.
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