Ebonyi APC National Assembly candidates seek nullification of elections
Imo INEC to announce new date for rerun in Okigwe, others
All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates in Ebonyi State who participated in the National Assembly elections have called for the cancellation of the polls, which they said were marred by irregularities.They are, candidate for Ebonyi South senatorial district, Onu Prince Nwaeze, his Ebonyi North counterpart, Mathias Adum.
Others are House of Representatives candidates for Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo, Festus Ifesinachi Odii; Afikpo North/South, Tony Ekoh; and Ebonyi/Ohaukwu federal constituencies, Peter Ogeali.
They alleged that the elections were marred by violence, voters’ inducement, mutilation of APC valid votes and open collaboration between security agents and ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).Addressing a joint press briefing in Enugu yesterday, they alleged that valid votes scored by APC were randomly rendered invalid on account of double thumb printing.
They said: This was the case in Ohaukwu, Ohaozara, Ebonyi,Ivo, Abakaliki, Afikpo South, Afikpo North, Izzi, Ishielu, Ikwo, and Onicha Local government Areas. There were votes buying and inducement by agent’s thugs and agents openly shared rice and money to induce voters.
“There were suppression, abduction and intimidation of APC agents and members at polling units. The governor’s aides, PDP thugs and soldiers invaded polling units, chased away and battered APC agents.
“This gave opportunity for massive electoral irregularities in Ohaukwu, Ohaozara, Ebonyi,Ivo, Abakaliki, Afikpo South, Afikpo North, Izzi, Ishielu, Ikwo, and Onicha Local government Areas.”They also alleged non-usage of card readers in polling units in the local government areas, adding that thumb printed ballot papers could not be reconciled at polling units and ward collation centres.
Governor Dave Umahi had claimed that the PDP lost over 300,000 votes to the malfunctioning card readers during the elections.Meanwhile, INEC disclosed yesterday that it would fix a new date for elections in some parts of Imo State, which earlier polls’ results were declared inconclusive.The affected areas are, Okigwe South Federal Constituency, which was declared inconclusive by the Returning Officer, Professor Cyril Duru.
Speaking on the elections, Duru also revealed that a new date would be announced for elections in Ehime Mbano and some units in Obowo. He said the results in Ehime Mbano were not returned because the local government Collation Officer was missing, while results from Ehume Ward, nine units in Okenalogho and Dim Na Eze in Obowo were cancelled.
Some of the results declared by INEC for Okigwe North showed that PDP recorded 6,067 votes to APC’s 3,808 in Ihitte Uboma, while that of Obowo stood at 5,259 for APC and 4,512 for the PDP.The Guardian recalls that Imo North was engulfed in crisis during the collation of results leading to razing of the INEC office in Isiala Mbano by irate youths.
The youths, who alleged that some politicians hijacked the electoral process in the zone, burnt down the INEC building.Imo INEC Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Emmanuela Ben-Opara, disclosed that the body would meet soon to review the conduct of the polls and announce a new date for the rerun elections.