The results from the presidential election in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State will “be looked into as a special case”, said the state collation officer, Aniefiok Essien, after officials brought the results a third time.
The results had earlier been twice stepped down following disagreement between officials and agents of political parties.
In the presentation earlier made by the Collation Officer (CO), Pang Enubari, President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress was announced to have scored 72,745 votes, while Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party came far behind with 7,148 votes in the LGA.
When they were first called Monday morning, the Electoral Officer, Kenneth Ita, said no collation took place and queried the source of the results brought by the CO. The former said it was just 8 a.m. on Monday morning he first saw the latter since Saturday.
The state collation officer, Mr Aniefiok, then, asked that both leave to reconcile.
After a while, when they returned, the CO announced an agreement and presented the results but amidst protests by some parties.
Mr Essien asked the EO how he and the CO reconciled having earlier said no collation took place in the LGA.
The EO said he had submitted his report to the commission and requested the CO be allowed to make his presentation.
When asked for the results of the polling units and wards that led to the results from the LGA he was presenting, the CO said: “they are not with me here.”
Then, the SCOPE said the results be stepped down until the CO was able to present the forms used to record votes across polling units and wards.
Monday night, both officials came back for the third time. This time, the CO brought the results from wards, Form EC8B.
But the parties still protested.
The agent of NNDP said he and his family registered and voted in Emohua and wondered if the CO meant “I did not vote? I have two wives and children. They did not vote?”
The PDP agent alleged that there was pressure on INEC to accept the results from Ehohua by the APC national chairman.
“Let us do the right thing if not for our sake for our children’s sake because the world is watching us,” said the PDP agent, dismissing the results as “concocted”.
But the APC agent Samson Ngerebara stood firm insisting the results had to be taken because “what we are doing here is collation.”
Taking control, the state collation officer, Mr Essien, called the EO to confirm if the form brought by the CO was Form EC8B earlier requested.
“This is INEC Form EC8B,” the EO replied.
But even so, the agents of parties other than the APC insisted the results should not be accepted.
The disagreement brought the collation exercise under a chaotic atmosphere and the security operatives had to be brought in to restore order.
The SCOPE later asked the two officials to leave. But he was forced to make a pronouncement.
“I have seen the Emohua case generated heat,” the SCOPE said. “It should not be reported that it has been accepted or rejected. It will be looked into as a special case.”
So far, results from 12 LGAs have been collated. Mr Buhari has won two while Mr Abubakar has won 10.