INEC under heavy attacks from APC over Rivers electoral Tribunal

By Amako Nneji August 27, 2015 18:49

INEC under heavy attacks from APC over Rivers electoral Tribunal

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has come under heavy attacks from the All Progressives Congress, APC, over allegations that the electoral umpire is frustrating the cause of justice in the Rivers State Electoral Tribunal.

The National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Lai Mohammed in a statement on Thursday evening said despite the order from the Tribunal, the “damnable” duo of the Rivers Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and INEC have colluded to stop the APC.

He said both parties wanted to ensure that the Rivers APC neither gets the certified true copies of requested documents nor inspect the electoral materials used for the Governorship Polls.

See: Guber Poll Tribunal: APC, INEC, Media conspire to steal Wike’s mandate in Rivers

16 Senators and Members of the House of Representatives from Rivers State on Wednesday wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari alleging interference by security agencies in the hearing of cases before the state election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja.

Earlier, on August 13, 2015 some candidates in the 2015 governorship, House of Assembly and National Assembly elections in Rivers State were tear gassed by security officials attached to the INEC headquarters in Abuja as they protested.

The candidates had gone to the Commission with a petition dated August 11 to protest the “consistent disobedience to tribunal orders for inspection of electoral materials by the Port Harcourt office of INEC.”

They also accused the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Rivers State, Gesila Khan, of working with the PDP in the State to frustrate and truncate the APC’s cases in tribunals, alleging that Ms. Khan is disallowing them to have certified true copy of materials used during the elections.

In reaction, the APC accused INEC and the PDP of hindering the cause of justice.

See: Zakari, APC, DSS, all want to tamper with Rivers Tribunal – PDP

The Statement reads in part:

      “Because we are a law-abiding party, unlike the anarchists in the PDP and their flagrant INEC collaborators, we reported this to the Tribunal, which then said it was not up to it to enforce the order given earlier.

“This was why we reported to the security agencies, especially the Police and the Department of State Services, DSS.

“Even though the Police IG intervened to ensure that the order of the tribunal was carried out, the Rivers INEC still refused.

“This was why the DSS, seeking to prevent a breakdown of law and order that could result from the intransigence of the Rivers INEC, now invited the obstructionists to impress it upon them to carry out the order of the Tribunal.

Despite these efforts, the order has still not been complied with till today,” it said.

“Nigerians can now see that there is no truth whatsoever in the petition written by the intrusive Rivers PDP Senators and House of Representatives members that the DSS and the military were being used to obstruct justice. What the petitioners are seeking to do is to pull the wool over the eyes of Nigerians.

“It said it was an open secret that the PDP rigged the elections not only in Rivers but also in Akwa Ibom, where the party and the State INEC have also refused to allow the APC to have access to electoral materials, and where indeed vital documents have been destroyed.

“Knowing fully well that they cooked the figures, and that their figures cannot hold up in the face of serious scrutiny, the Rivers PDP has resorted to using all the tricks in the books to delay the proceedings at the Tribunal, hoping that by so doing, the statutory 180 days we have to prove our case will expire.

“It was for the same reason that they (Rivers PDP and their INEC collaborators) tried to goad us to file contempt charges against them for their refusal to obey the Tribunal’s order. They had hoped that by filing such charges, valuable time would have been wasted,” APC said.

“The PDP has always been a lawless and anarchic party. This is why they think others are like them. In pursuing our petition at the Tribunal, we do not seek any favour beyond what the law prescribes.

“But we will not fold our arms and allow anyone to bury us under the ruble of injustice. We will use all constitutional and legal means to ensure that justice prevails,” it warned.

See: Activist warns APC to avoid upsetting Rivers electorate