Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 29 December 2016 | 2,074 times
The Chairmanship and Deputy Chairmanship candidates of the All Peoples Congress (APC) in the December 21, 2016 local government election in Abia State have called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to investigate the state governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, and the chairman of the state electoral umpire, Justice Igbozuruike Akomas (Rtd.), for alleged financial crimes.
The candidates, under the aegis of Forum of 2016 APC Local Government Chairmanship & Deputy Candidates, in a 10-point statement made available to newsmen in Umuahia Wednesday, accused the Abia State Independent Electoral Commission (ABSIEC) of ineptitude and bias, insisting that the said local government poll did not take place in the state.
Part of the statement endorsed by the chairman of the forum, Ebere Uzoukwa (Obingwa) and the Publicity Secretary, Chief Ejiofor Okeudo (Bende), reads: “After a critical review of all the activities that marred the purported Local Government/Councillorship election in Abia State
vis-à-vis the conspicuous partisan disposition of the Abia State Independent Electoral Commission (ABSIEC), we, the APC chairmanship and Deputy chairmanship candidates wish to make the following categorical statements:
“That the proposed local government/Councillorship election by ABSIEC never took place anywhere in the 17 local government areas of Abia State. The electoral body, ABSIEC, only played a deceptive script as handed over to it against the opposition candidates and Abia
“Suffice it to say that before the day of the purported election ABSIEC had connived and conspired with Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia State government and the leadership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State to return all PDP councillorship and chairmanship candidates with or without elections.”
The statement further alleged that while the APC candidates waited for ABSIEC to distribute electoral materials on the eve of the purported election, ABSIEC handed over original result sheets and substantial quantity of ballot papers to PDP chieftains in the 17 local governments.
According to the aggrieved APC candidates, on the day of the election, “ABSIEC officials employed a well-rehearsed antics to create the impression that election took place, by allegedly distributing a few ballot papers and fake result sheets while PDP chieftains, on the other hand, regrouped at designated residences distributing ABSIEC original result sheet and ballot papers to their people at various wards across the state.”
The statement equally alleged that the candidates were made to pay various amounts of money into accounts in FCMB and UBA which the candidates want to EFCC to unravel if ABSIEC was the true owner.
In this light, the forum said: “We, therefore, seize this opportunity to invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies to investigate the governor and ABSIEC on the alleged financial crime in accordance with the anti-corruption crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
The group also called on the ABSIEC chairman, Akomas, to resign with immediate effect, accusing him of “committing the worst electoral crime in the history of Abia and Nigeria,” for “willingly submitting himself as tool in the orchestrated ploy to rob Abians the democratic opportunity to elect their leaders at the local government level.”
The statement added “while we commend the teeming APC supporters and Abians for their courage and bravery to stop the charade in most parts of the state, we also call on ABSIEC to immediately withdraw the Certificate of Return (CoR) purportedly issued to PDP hence Abians
never elected them as council chairmen.”
The group urged the governor to be “mindful of this development and desist from swearing-in anybody either as chairman or councilor in Abia State.”
“We expect ABSIEC to do the needful by announcing a new date for the local government/councillorship election as we shall stop at nothing, including taking appropriate legal actions to ensure that the state electoral umpire complies with the law of the land,” it warned.
Meanwhile, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Wednesday swore in the elected chairmen, their deputies and councilors in Umuahia.
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