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By Philip Onome
The Delta State Chapter of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, has strongly condemned in its entirety, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s violation of the Electoral Act in the just concluded February 25th presidential and national assembly elections.
The Chairman of the APGA Jubilee Organization and son of Nigeria’s first Finance Minister and immediate past Regent of Warri Kingdom, Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh made this statement while speaking to newsmen at Abraka, Ethiope East local government area of Delta state, expressed dismay over the attitude of INEC towards the presidential and national assembly elections held last Saturday.
Okotie-Eboh who said the turnout of electorate to vote candidates of their choice was so impressive, banking on the promise of the INEC’s boss, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu to Nigerians for fair and credible elections through the introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BIVAS.
The APGA Jubilee Organization’s Chairman, Prince Okotie-Eboh, said Nigerians were surprise to see that the 2022 Electoral Act which guaranteed free, fair and credible elections was truncated by INEC’s boss, Prof. Yakubu, pointing out that the commission should stand firm in the governorship and houses of assemblies elections to correct the wrong for posterity sake.
He advised INEC’s boss, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu to do the needful in the forthcoming governorship and houses of assemblies elections for the purpose of restoring the integrity of the commission and image have been battered in the just concluded presidential and national assembly elections.
He said in line with Section 60 of the Electoral Act 2022 and Clause 38 of the Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Election, 2022, presiding officers must transmit results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal on completion of elections. Failure to comply is a criminal offence.
Making reference to Kenya, Prince Okotie-Eboh said, “If you look at Kenya, with their little resources, yet they were able to conduct free and fair election, adding that the last Saturday’s elections has brought disgrace to Nigeria.
“We had thought that after Prof. Jega, our electoral process were going to change 100% for better but rather, it came on the contrary, so where are we heading to with this kind of fraudulent situation in the just concluded election, we hope such mistake from INEC will not repeat itself, having seen protest everywhere across the country.
“The provisions of the electoral act is very clear as it stated that the election results shall be uploaded by the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), and this was what INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu from day one promised Nigerians, and not manual voting.
“Nobody had envisaged that results will be upturned at the collation centers, because the 2022 Electoral Act hence Nigerians across the world turn out to exercise their franchise, believing it was going to be electronic voting, and not manual as we have witnessed. And no Nigerian will be ready to entertained this electoral fraud in the March 11 governorship and houses of assemblies elections.
“My principal, Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru, has suffered several times during his contest, and that is what has played out in the last Saturday’s election, so, am calling on Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s boss, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu to ensure free, fair and credible election in the March 11 governorship and houses of assemblies elections.
“While l condemned the process in its entirety, l which to state that all those who are involved in this electorial malpractice should be given proper sanctions so as to serve as a deterrent to others before the governorship election.
“I therefore, sympathize with those whose results were manipulated during the national assembly election because this is what they have been doing to my principal all these years he has been contesting to liberate Deltans”.