BREAKING!!! Ikpeazu Rejects Abia South Senatorial Election, Says INEC Declared Abaribe Winner With Fake Results | #IgbereTV
Abia State Governor and senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), in Abia South zone, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, relied on fake results to declare the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, (APGA), Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, as the winner of the election.
He described Abaribe’s declaration as a charade and brazen display of partiality which cannot stand because it violates the Electoral Act.
Ikpeazu expressed shock that INEC who had earlier confirmed that elections were not conducted in the 108 polling units in Obingwa, Aba South and Abia North council areas, still declared a winner despite protests from party agents.
The Governor, who spoke through the PDP senatorial collation agent, Barr. Charles Esonu, noted that the 108 polling units where election did not hold have a cumulative voter population of over 200, 000 which is more than the votes scored by the parties.
He stated that over 50,000 supporters of the PDP could not cast their votes due to the non provision and late arrival of electoral materials in most of the polling units in the six local government areas of the constituency.
He also alleged that complaints by the PDP agents over the manipulation of election results and bypass of BIVAS were ignored by INEC officials.
He said;“The first problem was that we didn’t know when the results they are now laying claim for the 5 local governments came in. We have scrutinized the results and found then to be fake. There were several mutilations on the result from Aba South and Aba North LGA. There are also too cancelled many units in Aba South. However,elections could not be held in the 108 polling units in 13 electoral wards of Aba South, Aba North and Obingwa LGAs due to non provision and late arrival of electoral materials. The Returning Officer for the election, Prof. Georgina Ugwuanyi, had earlier in the day while addressing party agents at the collation centre at Constitution Crescent primary school, Aba, declared the election inconclusive due to a substantial number of polling units, totalling 108 which had issues requiring a rescheduled election. No candidate can lawfully be declared winner in an election where the margin of lead between the first and second candidates is too small considering the huge voting strength of the areas where election didn’t hold. Out of the votes cast in the 6 LGAs, the APGA candidate, Abaribe was leading with 6,000 votes. The returning officer agreed with the party agents that nobody should be declared winner because of the margin of lead. The returning officer also read out the scores of the candidates from a paper and said that it was improper to declare anyone because the margin of lead was small.We went home to await further information about when elections will be held in the 108 polling units.
“However, we were shocked that Prof. Ugwuanyi later returned to the collation centre in the afternoon and declared a winner, citing orders from above. She had declared the APGA candidate, Senator Abaribe, winner before the party agents came in. She failed to say anything about the 108 polling units where elections didn’t hold.Why would INEC turn around to announce a winner in an election where it had already declared inconclusive? I have no doubt that the returning officer was compelled to declare the result. Even the duplicate copies they distributed to the agents had nothing written on it. Why the haste to announce a winner when the election is yet to be concluded? All over the 6 LGAs of the Abia South senatorial district, reports of manipulation of results and bypassing of the BIVAS are widespread. Complaints filed by our agents were ignored as INEC displayed brazen partiality in the conduct of the Abia South senatorial election.”
Describing INEC’s action as irrational, biased and undemocratic, Ikpeazu demands an urgent nullification of the declaration of a winner in an inconclusive election and the immediate rescheduling of election in the 108 polling units.
“Nigeria’s problem has been the weakness of our national institutions as manifestly demonstrated by INEC in this election. We call on INEC to be fair and just to all political parties and their candidates, nullify the declaration and reschedule election in the 108 polling units. This is the only way we can grow our democracy,” he said.