PDP rejects result, accuses umpire of compromising by-elections in Cross River
March 1, 2022
as Appeal Court president constitutes Tribunal
By Ike Uchechukwu, Calabar
Allegations and counter-allegations have trailed the just concluded by-elections held last Saturday in Cross River as the People’s Democratic Party, PDP has accused INEC, ruling APC for alleged complicity at the February 26 polls.
Recall that APC and the PDP had earlier concluded plans to go to tribunal which is set to begin sitting soon, as the President of the Court of Appeal, Hon Justice Monica Dongban-Mensen has constituted the Cross River state National & State House of Assembly Tribunal sitting in Calabar with Venue at High Court Complex Moore Road.
The People’s Democratic Party PDP in a press briefing Tuesday accused Independent National Electoral Commission INEC of compromising the just-concluded February 26, Ogoja/Yala federal constituency By-elections Elections in Cross River.
Cross River PDP State party chairman, Venatius Ikem Esq. made the allegation while briefing Journalists at the Ernest Etim Bassey Press centre.
Ikem stated that the PDP has rejected the outcome of the exercise alleging that the processes of the election was marred by irregularities,where beating of voters perceive not to cast their votes in favour of the APC were manhandled.
PDP called for thorough investigation into the activities of the a particular INEC Commissioner on the role he played during the elections.
Even before the election commenced on that fateful day some of our vigilant agents in Yala detected a staff of INEC Cross River State who was trying to smuggle in a BIVAs machine that was not amongst those accredited for the election.
In his words: “The said staff was said to have taken to his heels and disappeared throughout the election.
We demand that the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Cross River State must produce him because this incident was brought to his attention.
“It is remarkable that in the process of confirming materials prior to the election, five (5) BIVAS machines were recorded missing, which they later claimed were ‘forgotten’ in the process of loading them from Calabar.
It is noteworthy that a particular INEC commissioner who supervised the election has made Cross River State his permanent supervision point for reasons unknown,” Ikem stated.
The PDP state Chairman, Vena Ikem further alleged that the APC led government of using security operatives in a sting operation to intimidate the voters so that they won’t vote candidates of their choices.
The PDP urged federal government to disband the special units which is under the governor’s office so that they don’t continue to disregard the nation’s constitution.
He said:’ While the official police ostensibly did their job under the command of CP Aminu Alhassan, the unofficial police under the control of the government unleashed mayhem on voters.
“They used a unit with men embedded with thugs and some political appointees under their cover snatched ballot boxes and other materials at will.
“We demand immediate disbandment of these special units which are being abused because they are not answerable to the regular police command( CP Aminu) in the state.
We cannot under the guise of special duties arm and operate a police force against the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria”. The PDP state party chairman maintained.
But in a swift reaction to the allegations, the APC state Publicity Secretary , Erasmus Ekpang, denied the allegations stating that the APC never cheated nor involved itself in any form of violence saying instead it was the PDP that intimidated voters.
Ekpang said: “It’s natural that a man who lost elections would claim he was intimidated, and accuse government in power of harassment and much more.
“Why not the PDP emulate former President Goodluck Jonathan who lost elections and accepted defeat? Ekpang said.
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