- The Akwa Ibom APC has asked the AGF to relocate the state's election petition tribunal to Abuja
- The demand was made by the Akwa Ibom state chairman of APC, Ini Okopido, in a letter dated March 21
- This is the second time the APC would make the demand, as it had successfully demanded in 2015
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom state has asked the Attorney General of the Federal (AGF) and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami, to relocate the state’s election petition tribunal to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The demand was made by the Akwa Ibom state chairman of APC, Ini Okopido, in a letter dated March 21, Daily Sun reports.
This is the second time the APC would make the demand, as it had successfully demanded in 2015, prompting the tribunal to be relocated to Abuja from Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital.
Okopido alleged that electoral fraud by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mike Igini, in collusion with the Akwa Ibom state government and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), to destroy electoral materials needed to substantiate the election petition of the APC was a reason for the demand.
He said: “We observed, with deep regrets, that since Igini superintended over the worst general election ever conducted in Akwa Ibom state, which 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 perv*rsion of justice.
“We’ve been reliably informed that the REC is now intimidating electoral officers who participated in the just concluded general election 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 and ballot paper snatching, all in a bid to justify the clandestine activities of Igini, days after the purported declaration of results, seeing that unit results will expressly show that APC candidates 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 fora before the general election, that 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 Igini, cannot guarantee credibility and the ethos of fair play as demonstrated with this plot hatched to frustrate the electoral process.”
The party said the immediate relocation of the elections tribunal to Abuja would forestall breakdown of law and order, and reiterated the call for the immediate redeployment of 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 staff 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.
Meanwhile, Akwa Ibom elders have commended the people of the state for voting massively for the reelection of Governor Udom Emmanuel, describing their action as a liberation for the state.
Speaking in Uyo recently on the outcome of the general elections in the state, the elders led by the chairman of Divine Mandate Campaign Organization, Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga, acknowledged the resolve of Akwa Ibom people to vote their choice during the polls.
The elders hailed the people of the state for defying intimidation and harassment during the entire duration of the exercise.
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