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INEC warns against acts inimical to due processes in Akwa Ibom’s senatorial re-run

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Akwa Ibom State’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Mike Igini, has appealed to political stakeholders in Essien Udim Local Government Area not to exhibit those vices that led to the cancellation of last election in the council area alone in the state. Reading the Appeal Court judgment on why elections were cancelled in the area to include unprecedented violence, intimidation, thuggery, hijacking of election materials among others, he said such informed the decision of the court to order for a re-run in the area.

Igini made this appeal while addressing chairmen and secretaries of the 19 political parties that would participate in the January 25 re-run election in his office yesterday in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital. He reminded the people that since rerun would hold only in Essein Udim council area, movement would only be restricted in that council area, and called on political stakeholders from other parts of the state to restrict themselves to their areas.

The REC further explained to the affected parties that the re-run would affect senatorial, federal constituency and state house of
assembly elections, adding that in the senatorial and federal house elections, voting would take place in all the 159 polling units, while voting would take place in 137 polling units out of 159 in the house of assembly elections.

This, he stated was as a result of the Appeal Court judgment, which confirmed and preserved subsisting results of 22 polling units out of
the 157 in the council area. It would be recalled that following the Appeal Court judgment, Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial elections was cancelled and the court ordered a re-run for one out of the 10 council areas in the senatorial district, which is Essein Udim.

Then, out of three council areas of Ikot Ekpene, Obot Akara, and Essien Udim, which constitute Ikot Ekpene Federal Constituency, the court
also cancelled the result of Essien Udim and upheld that of Obot Akara, and Ikot Ekpene council areas and ordered for fresh election for
Essien Udim state constituency.

According to him, “In 2019 we conducted elections, following the outcome of the elections, various candidates went to court, from the tribunal to Court of Appeal where the three elections were ordered. Specifically, the court had ordered that election in Essien Udim shall be re-conducted and preserved and affirmed election of nine local government areas.

“On the 25th of January, we are going to have election in the entire 159 polling units in Essien Udim for the senate and House of Representatives. But for the state constituency, in line with the affirmation of what we have done by two courts of the land, we will have elections in 137 polling units, in 22 polling units, there will be no ballot for the state constituency. If you add 22 with 137, it gives you 159, so because the 22 polling units, the results on Form
EC 8a of those polling units are available, that is why.

“The re-run is in one local government area out of the 31 in the state, according to the court. The election had to be re-conducted on account of perfected unprecedented violence, thuggery, hijacking of electoral materials on election day. I want to remind all of us that this act should not repeat because conducting elections go with costs.

“I have conducted elections in some part of this country and other part of the world. Akwa Ibom is the first state since 2010 that I have
to go back for a re-run election; it has never happened before.”

He assured all parties of equal opportunities that, noting that he came to the state to serve, and debunked insinuations from some quarters that he has been dinning and winning with some politicians in the state.

“Our commitment for a credible election is unwavering,” he assured, “the integrity of the process, pubic faith and confidence in that integrity must be guided over every consideration. In this Akwa Ibom State, not an inch of the process will be compromised.”


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