A shocking video recorded for PREMIUM TIMES in Polling Units 009, 010 and 011 at Oniong West Ward 1, Onna Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, has exposed officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission colluding with supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party in the area to rig the presidential and national assembly election in favour of the party.
The ugly incident happened in the village square – Ikot Eko Ibon village – within the full glare of villagers.
Former Secretary to the Federal Government, Ufot Ekaette, and wife, Eme Ekaette, a former senator, are from the area.
But they did not show up for voting on Saturday. Some of those who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES in the area said the Ekaettes may have stayed away from voting because of their disappointment with the PDP and Governor Godswill Akpabio’s leadership style.
INEC officials were done with voters’ accreditation as early as 1:30PM in the three units, but refused to commence voting until some PDP chieftains arrived around 4pm.
The PDP chieftains, who apparently were working in agreement with the INEC officials in the units, immediately ordered all the voters to move away from the polling centre.
In the midst of the confusion that ensued, gunshot was fired within the polling centre, prompting the voters who were mostly old men and women from the village to run away to safety.
The PDP supporters then had a field day thumb-printing ballot papers, under the supervision of INEC officials.
Security officials were not deployed in the three units. It is unclear if it is deliberate to allow the PDP supporters execute their plans without molestation.
One of the INEC officials in the units told PREMIUM TIMES he and his colleagues were under pressure from their ‘boss’ to assist the PDP win the elections, but didn’t however explain who the boss was.
The PDP governorship candidate, Udom Emmanuel, is from Onna Local Government Area where the rigging captured on the video took place.
In other parts of Akwa Ibom state, especially in areas considered as APC strongholds, there were reported cases of non-availability of election result sheets at the polling units.
The APC governorship candidate, Umana Umana objected to INEC accreditation and election taking place in his ward at Ndiya, Nsit Ubium Local Government Area, because election result sheets were not available.
The Akwa Ibom state chapter of the APC has petitioned INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega, calling for fresh election in the state.
On Monday, the APC governorship candidate led a peaceful protest to INEC office in Uyo calling for the cancellation of the poll, describing it as a farce.
The protesters stormed the INEC office while the collation of the presidential election result was going on.
Mr. Umana said the party would not accept the results of Saturday’s elections held in the state.
He said the party, after a review of field reports on the elections across the state, had come to the conclusion that the elections be cancelled.
The People’s Democratic Movement’s candidate for the House of Representatives (Ikot Ekpene Federal Constituency), Anny Asikpo, has made similar allegation of election result sheets not being available during the election.
“We have 365 polling units, but as I speak to you I have not seen nor know how the result sheets for yesterday’s election look like because everything was carted away by the PDP to an unknown destination. There was no election in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District,” Mr. Asikpo told a local radio station in Akwa Ibom State, Planet FM, on telephone during a live phone-in programme on Sunday.