How INEC made U-Turn on Rivers LG where Buhari scored 72k votes

@9:31am, Ward 01 PU 011 Shomolu Lga Lagos East. Voting yet to begin, Voters yet to be accredited and ballot boxes yet to be sealed.
@9:31am, Ward 01 PU 011 Shomolu Lga Lagos East. Voting yet to begin, Voters yet to be accredited and ballot boxes yet to be sealed.

The collation officer for the presidential election in Rivers State, Enefiok Essien, on Thursday announced the deletion of results from Emohua Local Government Area where President Muhammadu Buhari was earlier announced to have won 72,000 votes.

The deletion, announced after the presentation of final results at the collation centre in Port Harcourt Tuesday evening, was a shift from Mr Essien’s verdict given on Monday night.

The results had become controversial after the Electoral Officer (EO), Kenneth Ita, rejected them and queried how the Collation Officer (CO), Pang Enubari, sourced them. The former said no collation took place.

Both officials later reconciled the second time they were called, with the EO requesting the CO be allowed to make his presentation. Mr Ita, however, said he had sent his report.

In his presentation, the CO said the APC scored 72,745 votes and the PDP 7,148.

But party agents led by PDP’s Austin Okpara pressured the state collation officer, Mr Essien, to request the forms containing the breakdown of results from wards submitted by ward returning officers.

When they appeared a third time, the CO brought the forms requested and the EO affirmed: “this is INEC form.”

Even so, the party agents disagreed insisting that the EO had earlier said no collation took place.

But in his verdict, before the collation closed on Monday night, Mr Essien said the results would be recorded officially, while the controversy would be escalated to the national collation centre in Abuja.

“We can’t create a separate table for that. I’ll raise it with the INEC chairman. But the way the template is, we can’t have a separate place to say this one is special.

“So, it (Emohua) will be there,” he said on Monday night.

However, after announcing the final collated results Tuesday evening, Mr Essien announced a new decision.

He said he had received reports from the ward returning officers that they did not collate any results from any polling unit in Emohua.

“Since they (ward returning officers) said they did not collate any results, the results from Emohua will not be accepted,” he declared.

The agent of the APC, Samson Ngerebara, challenged Mr Essien’s decision to reverse himself but nothing came of his effort.

“If you want to make yourself the tribunal, sit now and start to Investigate all the results,” said Mr Ngerebara. “I have the recording of all you said last night.”

“You mutilated results against our President Muhammadu Buhari,” another one said.

Mr Essien was escorted out of the collation centre by armed security agents as APC agents moved to stop his exit, bringing the exercise to a chaotic end.

Journalist and observers ran out of the centre through the windows and the venue was then evacuated.

In the final outcome, PDP won Rivers State with 473,971 votes against APC’s 150,710 votes.

The Director-General of the APC presidential campaign, Rotimi Amaechi, is a former governor of the state.

Apart from Emohua, there were also no collated results from Okrika, Ahoada West, Bonny, Akuku Toru, and Ikwerre, Mr Amaechi’s LGA.

Thus, only results from 17 LGAs of the 23 LGAs that constitute Rivers State were collated as widespread violence marred polls in the state.

In the 2015 presidential election, APC polled an insignificant 69,238 against PDP’s 1.4 million.

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

 

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.

Donate


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: This space is available for a Text_Ad.. Call Willie on +2347088095401 for more information


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.