Why we petitioned INEC over Enugu governorship election, by group
A PRO-democracy group, Enugu Good Governance Group (E-3G), yesterday, said it petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the outcome of the governorship election in the state, particularly in Nsukka and Isiuzo councils, to avoid setting bad precedence in the polity.
It also faulted the Commission for reducing the votes polled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Dr. Peter Mbah, in Nkanu East Council by 13,394, while retaining the results of Nsukka Council, which it alleged was padded to give the Labour Party (LP) undue advantage.
It wondered how four wards alone were able to record over 12,000 votes on a day that massive voter apathy was recorded in Nsukka Council. National Coordinator of the group, Odinaka Okechukwu, equally condemned what he described as grave electoral fraud in Isi-Uzo, where votes were allegedly manipulated in favour of one of the political parties.
He noted that reports received by the group showed that ballot papers were hijacked and allegedly thumb-printed in the house of a prominent member in Isiuzo, adding that INEC ad-hoc staff members were not allowed to discharge their duties.
Okechukwu said: “The Enugu Good Governance Group wishes to draw the attention of INEC to massive rigging that marred the March 18 governorship election in Nsukka. It is an open secret that the process was highly militarilised against supporters and sympathisers of other political parties, as LP supporters had a field day rigging the entire process such that the 17,000 votes, earlier polled by LP, suddenly mutated to 30,294, while the total number of votes was put at 45,476.
“This magic was largely achieved by inflating the votes of four wards – Obukpa, Ihe, Nkpunano and Owerre/Umuoyo, to 12,779, which is the total vote of a whole council on a good day.
“Is it not striking that Ihe and Nkpunano wards generated uniform number of 3,410 votes, respectively?
“Again, it is claimed that nine polling units inside the University of Nigeria Nsukka alone recorded over 17,000 votes while students, who constitute the voting populations in those polling units, were on election break.”