‘…it was conducted in disobedient to Court order’
By our Correspondent
The Uduakobong/Ebongho 2023 Campaign Council has revealed why her party; The Labour Party (LP) is challenging the outcome of the Governorship and State Assembly elections conducted in Akwa Ibom state conducted on the 18th March, 2023.
It would be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the Governorship Candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP); Pastor Umo Eno as winner, while the ruling PDP in the state, according to INEC, also won 24 out of the twenty-six seats in the State House of Assembly.
Reacting to INEC’s declaration, the Campaign Council in a press release signed by Director-General; Chief Asuquo Edet Anwana and Secretary; Elder Monday Udoh disclosed that the just-concluded elections were conducted in “…flagrant violation of court orders”, saying their Party would seek redress in the court of law.
The release read “It is most worrisome that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has once again, robbed the good people of Akwa Ibom State the much-awaited opportunity to choose their governor and members of the State House of Assembly in the just concluded elections.
It is an understatement to state here that INEC has proven to be a serious threat to our democracy as it has constantly violated all known laws including its own rules just in its bid to favour their preferred candidates and political party.
We must at this juncture inform the whole world that the electoral processes that culminated in the announcement today, of Pastor Umo Eno of the PDP as Governor-elect and other acclaimed State Assembly winners were in flagrant violation of court orders. The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had on March 17, 2023 ordered INEC to ensure that it adheres strictly to the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022″.
Giving details of the suit which the party had filed to compel INEC to conduct the elections in line with its the Electoral Act 2022, the release continues “In the suit which we sought the order of the court to compel INEC to conduct the elections in accordance with the law, the court ordered INEC to do as follows:
“Comply with and enforce the provision of clause 37 of the Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of Elections 2022, in the conduct of the Governorship and Houses of Assembly Elections in Akwa Ibom State on 18th March, 2023 by mandating the Presiding Officers of all the Polling units to paste the Publication of Results Poster EC60 (E) at the Polling Units conspicuously, after completing the EC8A result sheet.
“Comply with and enforce the provision of Clause 38 of the Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of Elections 2022, in the conduct of Governorship and Houses of Assembly Elections in Akwa Ibom State on the 18th March, 2023 by mandating the Presiding Officers of all Polling Units to transmit or transfer the results of the Polling Units direct to the collation system, using the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to upload a scanned copy of the EC8A to the Respondent’s (INEC) Results Viewing Portal (IReV) immediately after the completion of all the Polling Units voting and results procedures.
“Enforce the observance and compliance of section 27(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 in the distribution of electoral materials during the conduct of Governorship and Houses of Assembly Elections in Akwa Ibom State on the 18th March, 2023 by engaging the services of independent, competent and reliable Logistics companies who are non-partisans or known supporters of any political party for the distribution of electoral materials and personnel.
It baffles any law-abiding political party like ours to note that INEC did not only disobey the court, but also aided and abated electoral malpractices across the state to favour its preferred political party.
“Furthermore, we have received concrete evidences of snatching of ballot boxes, vote-buying, intimidation of voters, none-conduct of elections at many Polling Units, collusion of electoral officials with the PDP, killings, etc, from our Polling Agents and accredited observers across the state.
On the strength of the aforesaid, the Uduakobong/Ebongho 2023 Campaign Council wishes to announce our rejection of the results.
Meanwhile, we are calling on our teeming supporters across the state who have been provoked by the conducts of our supposed unbiased umpire, to remain calm and law-abiding as we shall explore all legal means to seek redress since INEC has refused to do the needful in this circumstance”