A’Ibom APC Demands Igini’s Sack
• Alleges Bias Against Akpabio, Udofia, Others
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has demanded the immediate sack of the Akwa Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Mike Igini, over alleged bias against Senator Godswill Akpabio and other APC candidates in the forthcoming 2023 polls.
APC’s South-South Organising Secretary, Dr. Blessing Agbomhere, in a petition to the INEC National Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, accused Igini of indulging in bias, injustice, sabotage and malevolence against the APC in breach of Section 26 of the Electoral Act 2022.
APC in the petition dated July 7, 2022, also called on relevant authorities to prosecute Igini over alleged violation of Section 26 of the Electoral Act.
The party threatened to approach the Code of Conduct Tribunal and the Federal High Court to obtain an Order of Mandamus to compel INEC, if “Igini is not relieved of his job within 48 hours.”
Chronicling how Igini allegedly worked against the APC in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, the party noted: “In 2019, Mr. Mike Igini acted in gross violation of the Electoral Act by sabotaging the Senatorial elections of Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio. He did this, by maliciously supervising the cancellation of Akpabio’s votes to ensure he lost.
“He further went ahead to ensure the results were mutilated and not announced at the INEC Headquarters in Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District, which was at variance with the provision of Section 25(2)(e) of the Electoral Act of 2022, which “provides that the results of Senatorial elections shall be announced at the Senatorial District’s collation centre. All of these led to Godswill Akpabio’s loss.
“After the landslide victory of Nse Ntuen, who emerged as the winner of the Essien Udim State Assembly election, Igini, refused to issue a Certificate of Return to him. We sought legal redress and the court, having seen the merits of our claims, granted us an order, mandating INEC to issue a Certificate of Return to Nse Ntuen.
“ The order of court was rudely disobeyed by Mr. Mike Igini, all because Nse Ntuen was an APC member….
“There is an existing court judgment (Obong Stephen Leo Ntukekpo & 2 ORS v. The All Progressives Congress & 3 Ors Suit No: FHC/ABJ/1635/2022) validating Ntukekpo as he APC chairman in Akwa Ibom State. Igini, again, in his usual attitude of disregarding court decisions has refused to acknowledge this court judgment by not recognising Ntukekpo as the valid party chairman.
“More surprising, is the fact that Igini, who deliberately refuses at all times, to receive notices and invitations from the leadership of our party whenever he or the commission is invited to monitor party activities in the state, as INEC official(s), rather runs to the Government House at every single invitation from Governor Udom Emmanuel for brunch and dinner…”
“Igini, who ranks as the richest INEC REC in Nigeria as a result of his unending romance with Emmanuel of the PDP in Akwa Ibom State, as demonstrated through his act and conduct that he is working for the PDP in the state.
“ Little wonder why Mr. Igini no longer stays in the lodge designated to INEC in the state, but stays in the Governor’s Lodge while owning three bulletproofed cars as an INEC REC.
“ Igini is also the reason the commission is yet to validate the candidacy of His Godswill Akpabio and our gubernatorial candidate, Mr. Akanimo Udofia. This is as a result of his attempt to sabotage them and ensure he frustrates their candidacy to favour the PDP and Governor Udom Emmanuel.
“ Igini is in conspicuous violation and breach of every wording of this provision as he has accepted gratification and performed his duty partially thereby negating his oath of loyalty and neutrality to INEC and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“ May I remind you, Mr. Chairman, that the integrity of the commission is greatly at stake here, as this issue has generated not just statewide protests, but also nationwide concerns by both APC members and the generality of Akwa Ibom people and Nigerians. We believe Igini is not the only INEC REC in Nigeria, hence his position should not bring disrepute of any sort to the commission or should same be used as an oppressive tool against the APC or any other political party.”
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