As Nigerians anxiously await the full results of the Presidential and National Assembly elections results, some officials of the Peoples Democratic Party, led by a former minister, Godsday Orubebe, on Tuesday, disrupted the results collation exercise in Abuja, accusing the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Attahiru Jega, of bias.
Mr. Orubebe, a former Niger Delta minister, seized the microphone, and for several minutes insisted Mr. Jega leave the results collation centre at the International Conference Centre.
He said Mr. Jega’s conduct so far has shown he is clearly biased against the ruling PDP.
He said Mr. Jega acted promptly on complaints from the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, but refused to accept a petition from the PDP regarding the results declared so far.
Mr. Orubebe accused the INEC chairman of being “tribalistic and partial.”
He said while Mr. Jega promptly commissioned a fact-finding team on reports of malpractices from Rivers State, he has not acted on the PDP’s complaints over results from Kano, Katsina, Kaduna and Gombe states.
Mr. Orubebe was unyielding as Mr. Jega and other INEC officials appealed to him to allow the collation go on.
He said the collation would not continue except Mr. Jega leave the venue for his office to “address PDP complaints”.
Mr. Jega later explained that he refused accepting petitions from the PDP because he could not do so while collating results.
The INEC chairman said he was approached on Monday by a senior official of the PDP, Bello Fadile, but that he advised the official to deliver the party’s complaints at the INEC office, through the secretary.
Later, Mr. Jega said he was handed some papers by his assistant, who said Mr. Fadile had sent, on the claim that Mr. Jega advised him to do so.
Mr. Jega said he rejected the petition papers from Mr. Fadile.
He also denied handing results to the APC, as charged by another PDP official.
Mr. Orubebe was later led away from the podium before announcement of results continued.
Results declared by the INEC so far shows President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP is trailing behind Muhammadu Buhari of the APC.