The All Progressives Congress in Akwa Ibom State has again petitioned the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega, detailing how top officials of the commission aided massive rigging of the March 28 polls.
The party had on April 6, wrote to Mr, Jega, accusing Governor Godswill Akpabio, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Austin Okogie, the state Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Paul Ekpo and many others of rigging the presidential and National Assembly polls.
In that letter, the party had drawn attention to what it called “mass and highly choreographed irregularities”, including how compromised INEC officials handed over sensitive materials to Mr. Akpabio and his aides.
However, in its new letter on Wednesday, Mr. Attai said it has troubling revelations on how a three-pronged rigging plot involving INEC officials, top officials of the state and the Nigeria Police, was perpetrated.
Barely one week after it purportedly uncovered how the PDP allegedly rigged the election, the APC chieftain said recent findings indicate the web of the plot went deeper than what the party earlier presented.
“Though the rigging plot at INEC was anchored by the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Austin Okogie, his principle enablers were the Director of Operations, who also doubles as the Store Keeper, the Head of Computer Unit and the Head of Administration,” Mr. Attai wrote.
“These three men who were in charge of specific functions on election duty implemented all the evil directives from Mr. Okogie.
“The Director of Operations, who was in charge of the deployment of materials, made sure that such deployment was to the advantage of PDP at the expense of all other political parties in the state.”
For instance, it said the INEC’s Director of Operations, Mike Odeh, ensured that all the result sheets were given to the PDP before the rest of the materials were shipped to the local government areas and subsequently the polling units.
On his part, Mr. Attai said the Head of the Computer Unit, Pius Nwankwo, incapacitated the card readers thereby causing the accreditation of voters to be done manually.
However, he said the commission’s Director of Administration, Hyacinth Aniemena substituted the names of approved retuning officers, electoral officers, polling officers and assistant polling officers with persons hand-picked Mr. Akpabio.
Accordingly, Mr. Attai said the party has attached the confessional statement by a group of INEC officials on the massive fraud that characterised the March 28 polls.
However, the party could not make available to PREMIUM TIMES the audio or video evidence of the confessions purportedly by the concerned INEC staff.
But it prayed the INEC chairman to among other things; redeploy key officials including the REC, Mr. Okogie, the Director of Operations/Store Keeper, Mr. Odeh and the Head, Computer Unit, Mr. Nwankwo.
The party also called on Mr. Jega to swap electoral and polling officers in the state with their counterparts from other states.
When contacted to comment on the allegation on the telephone, the state Chairman of the PDP, Paul Ekpo, said the APC’s allegations are baseless and mere ranting of a frantic party.
“I don’t react to such allegations. I have more important things to do than react to the rants of frenzied politicians. APC’s allegations are akin to the ranting of lunatics,” said Mr. Ekpo.
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