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INEC should announce collated results, says Wike

By Kelvin Ebiri and Ann Godwin, Port Harcourt
24 March 2016   |   3:49 am
But INEC has maintained that no further action will be taken concerning the rerun elections until it finishes the assessment of personnel and materials deployed for the conduct of the polls.
Governor Nyesom Wike

Governor Nyesom Wike

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Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has questioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s constitutional power to suspend the release of already collated results in last Saturday’s rerun state and national legislative elections.

But INEC has maintained that no further action will be taken concerning the rerun elections until it finishes the assessment of personnel and materials deployed for the conduct of the polls.

In a related development, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the Rivers South East Senatorial District rerun has called on all APC supporters across the senatorial district to take whatever steps are necessary to defend themselves and protect their lives and property if attacked by the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP ) supporters.

But the Rivers State chapter of the PDP quickly condemned Abe’s directive , saying it demonstrated frustration and desperation.

Meanwhile, INEC has expressed sadness over the death of Okonta Samuel, a serving youth corps member, who lost his life as an ad-hoc official during the rerun elections

Reacting to INEC’s suspension of further actions on the elections, Wike pointed noted in a statement that before INEC announced on Tuesday that it was suspending further actions on the rerun polls, results from units, down to the wards and even local government had been collated and announced in some constituencies.

He argued in a statement that INEC lacked the legal powers to suspend already collated and announced results just because it knew that a particular party had lost the election woefully with all the might they came with, and the people resisted them.

Wike wondered why INEC refused to announce the result of Rivers East senatorial district when it had declared the state constituencies result for the Omuma, Obio-Akpor and Port Harcourt.