Posted by News Express | 1 March 2019 | 618 times
The United Progressive Party (UPP) senatorial candidate for Imo West, Comrade Precious Nwadike, has rejected in its entirety the declaration of out-going governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, as senator-elect of the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections, in Orlu zone.
According to Nwadike, there were various incidents of electoral rule violations, principally perpetrated and elicited by Governor Okorocha, of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Nwadike prayed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cancel the entire exercise, “based on the aforementioned development or incidences including compromising the INEC adhoc staff, returning officers of wards and LGAs, who were allegedly sighted at the opponent’s residence at the odd hours of 3am on Saturday, February 23, 2019, where each of them collected One Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N1,500) to work for his opponent.”
In a petition addressed to the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof Ezeonu, Nwadike listed the following as infractions committed by Okorocha, for which he said “the purported victory cannot stand”:
1. INEC did not issue our agents with tags despite series of protest. Lately, we were treated in a way that suggested complicity with our opponents by releasing very minute proportions to us viz:
a. Booth Agents Tags: 7 out of 12 Local Government Agents tags were given.
b. Ward agents Tags: 8 out of 135 ward agents tags.
c. Local Govt. Agents: 3 out of 12 Local Governments.
According to Nwadike in the statement, “Worrisome is the fact that our opponents got all their tags complete, effortlessly. Our party was denied the right of having agents in the booths, wards and local government areas affected, as provided in the Electoral Laws.
“I strongly demand INEC to show good faith by remedying these infractions occasioned by its suspicious complicity with our opponents.
“Delay in arrival of electoral materials. The earliest electoral materials arrived polling stations in Orlu was by 12Noon.
“It is on record that most INEC adhoc officers compromised so brazenly. For instance, returning officers of wards and local governments for Orlu Senatorial Zone were allegedly sighted at one of my opponents’ residence by 3 a.m. where he doled out One Million Naira and Five Hundred Thousand Naira to each of them, according to their levels on Saturday, February 23, 2019.
“We were reliably informed that there, he promised to double or treble the amount for those of them who would go on with what he described as ‘suicide mission’ for him. They were consequently given a phone number to call should any of them decide to take on the suicide option.
“Massive rigging, intimidation, mass fingerprinting of ballot papers in favour of APC in Ohaji/Egbema, Ideato North, Ideato South and other local governments. For instance, most polling booths including Ogboko booths 1 and 2 were relocated with brute force to Orashi Hotel, owned by Rochas with active connivance of armed army and police personnel suspected to be fake. This and other infringements led to voter apathy in various areas within the zone.
“Violence in Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta and other places.
“Over voting in various booths in Nkwerre, Nwangele and other local government areas.
“Sir, it will surprise you to hear that up till this moment, collation officers for the 12 Local Government Areas of the zone have not showed up at their duty posts. Reports allege they are quartered somewhere where they are doctoring results under the active protection of hoards of fake army and police personnel.
“On a general note, perhaps, you might have heard and confirmed these violations. I condemn in very strong terms these uncivilised approaches to electoral contest by men who are supposed to live by example.
“I therefore call for outright cancellation of the result of Imo West Senatorial District and accordingly request that you use your good offices to investigate these glaring infringements with a view to remedying them by ensuring level playing ground subsequently.”
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