By Clifford Ndujihe, Olasunkanmi Akoni, Evelyn Usman & Monsur Olowoopejo (with agency report)
Lagos—AS official results of Saturday’s council polls from Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC, are being awaited, opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has rejected the outcome of the polls, alleging that the electoral umpire was “doctoring” the results.
Forty-Eight hours after the elections, which were marred by voters apathy, LASIEC was still strugg-ling with collating, compi-ling and announcing the results as of press time, yesterday, even as unofficial results indicated that the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, won most of the seats on offer with PDP making appreciable inroads in Badagry.
LASIEC has denied doctoring the results or rigging the polls in favour of ACN while local and international observers and ACN leaders hailed the conduct of the polls.
Meanwhile, four LASIEC officials were reportedly arrested in Epe over various electoral offences while the Police said, yesterday, that it had begun investigation into the alleged discovery of thumb-printed ballot papers, weekend, in a diplomatic car belonging to a member of PDP in Eti-Osa Local Council.
Commissioner of Police, Mr. Yakubu Alkali, told reporters that several persons were arrested during the polls for violating electoral laws.
CSP Cyril David, Divisional Police Officer, Epe Local Council, said four LASIEC officials were arrested in Epe over various electoral offences, adding that six other persons were also arrested for various offences during the just-concluded election in Epe.
Those who hailed the conduct of the elections included International Observers and Domestic Affiliates, IODA; West African Youth Peace Mission; Forum of State Independent Electoral Commissions of Nigeria, FOSIECON; Northern Nigeria Union of Election Observer, NNUEO; Senator Gbenga Ashafa, ACN, Lagos East; and Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, ACN chairmanship candidate, Ejigbo LCDA.
LASIEC is ‘doctoring’ results— PDP
Lagos State Chairman of PDP, Mr. Sentoji Koshedo, in a telephone chat with Vanguard, yesterday, said his party was rejecting the results because of alleged plans by LASIEC to deny PDP of some seats it won at the polls.
Condemning LASIEC’s delay in announcing the results, he said: “It is an extension of the big fraud by LASIEC to prevent the opposition from being part of the governance of Lagos. They are building an empire for themselves. LASIEC tried to show a level of fairness initially. Later we learnt of their plans, which they used to disenfranchise voters and our supporters. We are not going to accept the results.
“We have video clips of the results and we have the original copies of the results which were also given to the police and security agencies. In Badagry West, PDP won three seats out of five. In Badagry East, we won two out of five seats and in Badagry Central, we won the chairmanship and seven out of 10 councilors. Now, they are saying we didn’t win anything at all.”
It’s a lie— ACN
However, ACN Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe, dismissed PDP’s claims as the ranting of a losing party. He alleged that a top PDP leader hired thugs to disrupt activities in Eti-Osa after failing to ‘buy’ voters. He said: “On the whole PDP is trying to create confusion, inciting the voters to violence and circulating false claims of electoral victories in places like Badagry, Ikoyi-Obalende, Agege-Iganmu and Epe.”