Posted by News Express | 22 November 2013 | 4,164 times
An Anambra-based rights group has warned of imminent anarchy if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) bows to pressure and cancels last weekend’s governorship election in the state.
The International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) in a statement released this morning in Onitsha declared that INEC has no powers under the law to cancel an election the result of which has already been announced. It frowned at INEC’s delay in announcing the date for the supplementary poll which it promised to conduct in areas where the election held on Saturday and Sunday was cancelled.
The statement, a copy of which was made available to News Express, is entitled “Anarchy Looms In Anambra Over Supplementary Poll Delay & Why People Will Boycott INEC-ordered Fresh Poll”. It was signed by Intersociety Board Chairman Emeka Umeagbalasi and Head, Publicity Desk, Justus Ijeoma.
In the statement, Intersociety said that it sees “the delay by the Independent National Electoral Commission to continue and complete its Anambra State governorship poll (supplementary poll) as a clear invitation to anarchy and collective punishment of the people of Anambra State, who courageously voted to remain as one united people, governed by a government grounded in both input and output legitimacy.”
Continuing, Intersociety said: “A people who voted to remain politically and culturally independent from ‘foreign’ forces, who are bent on capturing and ruling over them under modern socio-political slavery; must not be punished further, otherwise anarchy will rule over the land. It is also important to point out that Anambra People will never participate in any fresh poll ordered by INEC because the Commission lacks power under the law to conduct such poll having collected, collated, announced and declared results from 4,498 polling units, out of the Anambra State’s total polling units of 4,608. It is only poll tribunal that is entrusted with such power.
“INEC’s delay to fix a date for the supplementary poll and prepare for same is very suicidal and a clear sign of what will unfold in 2015 general polls in Nigeria. The sudden lack of boldness on the part of the Commission is shocking. That a race with tainted media firepower can hold the Commission to ransom and try to take over its statutory functions, is chillingly shocking. If things continue this way, we are afraid, Nigeria will burn in 2015. What is playing out in respect of Anambra governorship poll is a clear case of ‘failed coup mission’, under the cover of poll conduct participation. INEC must be reminded that the organised and coordinated negative media onslaught targeted at demonising Anambra poll conduct has become a recurring decimal in Nigeria.
“During the Ayo Salami and Katsina Alu judicial scandals, the Southwest media took side by choosing to canonise Ayo Salami and demonise Aloysius Katsina Alu. In the 2010 governorship poll in Anambra State, the same media and its sponsors including a section of poll observers and Southwest based rights activists, who initially gave the poll pass mark, suddenly turned their arsenal against the poll with intents to discredit it.
“Every available facts to us at Intersociety clearly shows that the race under reference, who are crying foul, were the same people that planned by every deadly and unconventional means to rig or manipulate the poll. They also planned to introduce violence into the poll but for effective security checks put in place by the Nigerian security agencies. From the arrest of 183 poll riggers imported from Osun State and quartered in Imo State who have been arraigned; to massive procurement of voters in their homes using the voters’ register template given to them by INEC on 16th of October, 2013, it is a case of failed poll riggers crying being rigged.
“Part of the psychological rigging orchestrated by the alarmist race was the eleventh hour false rumour to the effect that Mr. Willie Obiano “has been disqualified by court”. The rumour was well coordinated and spread like wild fire allegedly from the APC camp in the late evening and morning of 15th and 16th of November, 2013. The Onitsha angle was reportedly coordinated from the legislative camp of one of the APC’s members in the Anambra State House of Assembly. The rumour kept away and disenfranchised thousands of registered voters.
“It is also to the information of INEC and members of the public that the same people rejecting Anambra governorship poll results and the supplementary poll have started sending text messages to their supporters, assuring them of hopes and urging them to prepare for the supplementary poll. Yet they continue to intimidate the Commission using their media warfare. The said text messages were sent out on Wednesday evening, 20th of November, 2013.
“On the heels of the rescheduled poll for Obosi Ward 7, which was held on Sunday, 17th of November, 2013, the APC announced its pullout, but secretly asked its supporters to vote for them and when the results were added and announced, the party accepted them. Out of about 5,000 votes cast, it scored about 1,600 as against APGA’s about 1,300. The stark truth is that the party’s antics are deliberate and well calculated. INEC risks being used to create anarchy in Anambra State.
“APC’s antics including its call for cancelation of the poll results already announced, is anarchical. We are also not surprised at those rights groups that joined in such infamous and unconstitutional calls because a tainted mind, they say, is a moronic mind. Corruption and compromise destroy senses of reasoning and valid judgment. Making calls that are outside the law is like asking Anambra State to go up in flames. Once an election result is announced, it is beyond administrative alteration or cancelation. Such results can be judicially reviewed by the election petition tribunal.
“Not even the conduct of a supplementary poll can be quashed by any competent court of law because an uncompleted crucial action such as the poll under reference ought to be completed before being judicially reviewed. It amounts to judicial anarchy for any court to stop a people from democratically choosing their leaders. But how those leaders are chosen at poll becomes the fundamental business of the court in the context of judicial review. Arguments and fallacies only rule where legal provisions and processes are absent. Where such provisions and processes are laid in black and white, arguments and fallacies give way ad infinitum. This explains why all the APC’s letters to INEC, particularly the aspect calling for outright cancelation of the poll and its announced and declared results are devoid of sound legal grounding, but argumentation, fallacies and empty.
“The date for the supplementary poll is eagerly being awaited by the Anambe People. The 210 polling units made up of 113, 113 registered voters are scattered in 15 LGAs of Idemmili North 160 polling units, Ayamelum 2, Anambra East 3, Anambra West 6, Anaocha 1, Awka North 2, Awka South 1, Aguata 1, Ekwusigo 3, Idemmili South 1, Ihiala 2, Onitsha South 17, Onitsha North1, Orumba North 4 and Oyi 4. It is also important to point out that Anambra People cannot be intimidated even if poll is ordered repeatedly ten times by the competent court of law.
“The people of the State will never participate in any repeat or fresh poll ordered by the INEC, with the exception of the supplementary poll being awaited. In the event the APC and its propagandist media influence the Commission to toe the path of glaring illegality by reversing itself with an administrative order for fresh poll, Anambra People shall never part of such anarchical arrangement because the INEC is disempowered by law including the Electoral Act of 2010. Other than the Commission’s power to complete the process it already started (supplementary poll), Anambra People can only heed the outcome of the judicial review, whether for or against the poll conduct outcome.”
•Photo shows INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega.
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