APC says INEC is violating its own edicts
The All Progressives Congress, APC, said it has provided substantial evidence to warrant the cancellation of the November 16 governorship election in Anambra.
The party said this in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, on Sunday, in Lagos.
According to Mr. Mohammed, there was enough “weighty, compelling and substantial” evidence for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to cancel the election.
The INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, on Friday, had reiterated the commission’s stance not to cancel the election, arguing that there was no evidence to warrant it.
Instead, Mr. Jega announced that a supplementary election would hold on November 30 in parts of the state where the exercise was inconclusive.
He maintained that the challenges the commission had in the areas were not enough grounds to cancel the election.
However, Mr. Mohammed said, ”Our party has provided incontrovertible and more than substantial evidence to show that what took place on November 16 is a parody of an election.
“There is no evidence that can be more substantial than the fact that INEC, in conducting the election, failed to comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
“What other evidence can be more compelling than the INEC Chairman’s admission of compromise by a top official of the commission?” Mr. Mohammed queried.
He argued that Mr. Jega’s statement that the election fell short of what INEC expected and prepared for, was enough reason for cancellation.
He said that INEC chairman’s unforced admission that a senior official of the commission had been financially induced to compromise the election in Idemili North Local Government Area, which had more than 173,000 registered voters, was another big reason.
Mr. Mohammed described the issue as “very serious,” because Idemili North was the stronghold of the APC candidate, Chris Ngige.
He noted that in the 2011 senatorial election, Mr. Ngige scored more than 80 per cent of all the votes cast in the area.
Another reason he adduced for the cancellation of the election was the INEC’s decision to use students of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, which, he pointed out, was a violation of INEC’s guidelines to use trained and ad-hoc staff as presiding officers.
“Also, the use of the staff of the university as Supervising Presiding Officers even though the running mate of the APGA candidate was until his nomination a professor in the same institution is another reason,” Mr. Mohammed said.
He added that the fact that electoral materials meant for the known strongholds of the APC candidate were sent to wrong wards or polling units was another reason why the exercise should be cancelled.
He urged Mr. Jega to summon the courage to ameliorate the situation by ordering a fresh election, adding that failing to do so meant an abdication of the INEC Chairman’s responsibility.