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We will go to court if…, says party


The All Progressives Congress (APC) according to the Nation vowed yesterday to sue the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should it go ahead with its plans to conduct a supplementary elections in Anambra State.

INEC has declared the November 16 governorship election in the state as “inconclusive” saying the commission would conduct supplementary elections in areas where irregularities marred the election.

But the APC candidate, Senator Chris Ngige, the candidates of Labour Party (LP), Ifeanyi Ubah and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Tony Nwoye, rejected the supplementary elections and called for outright cancellation of the entire exercise.

The Interim National Chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande, told reporters at a news conference in Abuja that the party would take INEC to court if it persists in its plan to conduct a supplementary election in the state instead of total cancellation of the election.

He said the supplementary election being proposed by INEC is “unwarranted”, going by the massive fraud that was perpetuated by INEC officials during the election.

Akande said: “Somebody asked what we are going to do if the INEC goes ahead?

“We are democrats. As a political party, we shall go to court. But I don’t know what the people of Anambra State will do.

“They are already being angry and they are waiting for what will happen. So I can’t tell you what the people of Anambra may do.

“I can’t tell you what the people of Nigeria will do next if this kind of attitude continues where election umpires are compromised.”

He dismissed insinuations that the party only complained after the elections had been conducted.

Akande added that all the complaints made to the electoral body by the leadership of the APC were brazenly carried out during the elections.

He said: “If you read the compendium of our complaints well before the election, you will notice that we pinpointed one by one all the tricks because we had information that they were planning to rig the election and we were telling the Nigerian people, including you members of the press, that in Idemili North, Idemili South they were going to disenfranchise people, they will not allow result sheets to go round the places and that they will not deliver materials in time.

“We knew what they were going to do. They had done it in Delta to our astonishment and we knew they were going to do it again in Anambra and we kept naming where these things would be done.

“In other words, we knew the trick that were being planned to be used in that place. So, don’t say that it was after the election that we started complaining.

“Before the election, we started complaining. At a meeting that was held on the 13th of November we placed many of these complaints before INEC .Akande went on to state how the election was “rigged”.

He said: “I don’t know what you will say to it that about a month ago a voters register was issued; on the 13th of November another register quite different from the original register was issued and on the day of election another register was being used, different from the one that was given two days before the election.

“Even if you read the electoral law, you will know that a register must get to the hands of a political party at least 30 days before the election.”

On observation that the election went on smoothly in some parts of Anambra, the APC national leader noted that so many things took place during the collation of the election results.

He said: “Your observation might look like in one place the election might be peaceful, after the election is conducted result sheets might be fake or might not be available and you will see no quarrel, no agitation, nothing when the election was going on but after the election so many things happen between that level and the next series of collations as is being said and being read in this letter that the collations were not as transparent as it ought to be.”

On why the APC did not detect the anomalies in the voters register, which was given to the political parties prior to the election, Akande said three registers were used by INEC for the election.

He said: “What I said was that about a month before the election a register was given to political parties. Usually, they give electronic copy.

“INEC will never give mountains of paper showing you the voters register; they give you the electronic copy and you go and find a way of printing yourself.

“The one they gave a month ago is not the same they gave on the 13th of November. The one they gave on the 13th of November is not the one they used on the 16th of November at the election table.

“That is what we are saying and the one they gave on the 13th of November is not in compliance with law, which says the one of 30 days before the election is the valid one.

“So the one of the 13th November and the one used on the day of election were invalid, according to the law of Nigeria.”

The APC chair added that the arrested Electoral Officer (EO) is the business of the INEC.

“It is the INEC chairman who told us that somebody has been arrested by police or handed over to police and up till now he has not told us the name of that person and how many of such people connived or were compromised to get the election tainted.”

On the locus of the party going to court since it did not partake in the supplementary elections conducted by INEC in some affected areas in Anambra state last Sunday, he said: “Supplementary election is unwarranted but going to court is in the preserve of every democrat.

“If some people are working to throw Nigeria into chaos, it is our duty not to follow in that footstep and that is why I say if they continue in that illegality, the only recourse open to us as a democratic political party is to go to court.

“So what comes out of it will be part of the history of this country. And that is what we have been doing.”

He said the voters register that was used to disenfranchise the support base of its candidate was not the one that was given to the party.

“We have the first one, the legal one that came 30 days before the election. We have the one that came on the 13th of November, two days before the election, but the one they put on the table to disenfranchise people were not given to us, but INEC will be forced to bring it out when the time comes.

“The PDP candidate himself was disenfranchised. His name was on the first and on the second, but his name was not found on the register used for the election.

“That is to confirm to you that it was an orchestrated plan by INEC who has been so thoroughly compromised; it was an orchestrated plan to disenfranchise the people of Anambra state.”

Justifying its call for the outright cancellation of the Anambra election, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, noted that the party had earlier informed INEC’s Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, that the Resident Electoral Commission (REC) in Anambra State was biased towards the APC.

He said: “I just want to complement what the National Chairman has just said. If you listen to the Chairman’s address, in the letter to the INEC Chairman we did mention that our being uncomfortable with the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) was pointed out even before the election.

“In other words, the likelihood of bias of Professor Onukuagu was brought to the attention of the INEC Chairman.

“Our field report actually document about 1800 polling units with well over 113,000 registered voters where irregularities were noticed were brought to the attention of the INEC.

“And you see, we all seem to underestimate the importance of the statement by the INEC’s Chairman.

“The INEC Chairman himself admitted that a very high ranking official of his Commission sabotaged the election. Now, is not for the commission to quantify the color of the sabotage?

“Now, you are talking about Idemili Local Government. It accounts for well over 20 per cent of registered voters because Idemili North alone has 163,000 registered voters.

“This is why if you take Idemili North, Idemili South, Awka South, Ihiala, Ogbaru, Onitsha North and South, you are talking of almost half of the entire registered voters were elections were irregular.

“That is why we insisted that the issue of supplementary elections cannot even come in.

“This election is incurably defective and cannot be cured by a supplementary election.”

On the issue of APC agents not being seen in some polling booths, Mohammed noted that INEC hurriedly created about 2000 new polling booths two days prior to the election to prepare grounds for rigging.

He said: “There are about 6000 polling units. What we know is that until a few days to the election we were in possession of only 4680 polling booths.

“An additional 1903 polling booths were created a few days to the election units and we had to bring this to the notice of the electorate.

“Probably the areas you are talking about are were those extra 1903 polling booths were created. To the best of my knowledge we were on the field, we were checking our polling booths, we were very confident that we had agents in every polling unit.”


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