Joe Effiong, Uyo
All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prosecute Akwa Ibom Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mike Igini, for alleged falsification of results of the 2019 elections in the state.
INEC had, last week, issued a statement in which it announced that two university lecturers engaged as collation and returning officers during the 2019 elections, were reported to have manipulated and falsified results aimed at producing outcomes contrary to the will of the people, and that they would be arraigned.
“Following a formal request by the ccommission, the authorities of the affected institutions released the lecturers to appear before an investigative panel set up by INEC headquarters on August 12 and 26, 2020.
“The panel subsequently established a prima facie documentary evidence of deliberate criminal manipulation of election results against the collation and returning officers. They will be arraigned in court accordingly,” INEC has said.
However, the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the APC, through a statement by Nkereuwem Enyongekere, its publicity secretary, said Igini should be arraigned alongside the lecturers and other fraudulent staff of the commission.
“We wish to state categorically that this announcement is a further vindication of our earlier public statements before, during and after the elections that Igini was in collusion with the PDP to perpetrate electoral fraud.
“In these statements, some of which were published as advertorials in newspapers and some sent as petitions to the INEC national chairman, we had forewarned that most of the ad hoc staff chosen by the REC were well known PDP members.
“We recall that when the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, visited Akwa Ibom in February 2019, just before the elections, we had expressed our disappointment and anger over the apparent partiality of the REC to him.
“Before the visit, we wrote to INEC national chairman, seeking the redeployment of Igini from the state because we had uncontroverted evidence that he was not credible enough to conduct the election. Yet, for some curious reasons, he was allowed to stay and execute his disgraceful agenda.
“The state chapter of APC therefore considers the statement issued by INEC office in Uyo as a stunning admission by Igini that the 2019 elections were as fraudulent as we had stated. Indeed, they were among the most falsified elections ever conducted in the state, just as we submitted at the election petition tribunal,” the APC said.