By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC and the All Progressives Congress APC have risen in defence of an INEC National Commissioner, Amina Bala Zakari who was accused of working in cahoot with the party to rig Saturday’s legislative election rerun in Rivers state.
Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers state had accused the INEC official of being in possession of result sheets which she intended using to rig the election in favour of the APC.
However, answering questions from journalists Wednesday in Abuja, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said Ms Zakari who was in the state on Monday could not have been in possession of result sheets as the commission was yet to distribute sensitive election materials.
He said the sensitive materials were only taken to Port Harcourt on Wednesday and would be deployed in local government areas today (Thursday) in the presence of representatives of all political parties and other stakeholders.
Also, the National Secretariat of the All Progresssives Congress (APC) Wednesday night said it was deeply worried by the fresh death threats issued by Mr Wike “on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) especially on Mrs. Amina Zakari, a National INEC Commissioner who has a record of supervising some of the most credible, free and fair elections by INEC in the past.”
Accusing Mr Wike of also issuing dangerous threats to the Nigerian Army, APC’s National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni in a statement said the party also views “Nyesom Wike’s petition to the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), Africa Union (AU) and the governments of about 50 countries demanding global surveillance for the Rivers rerun election as an affront on the 1999 Constitution (as amended), INEC and Federal Government’s power”.
The APC called on relevant security agencies to hold Mr Wike responsible for any breakdown of law and order before, during and after the March 19, 2016 Rivers State rerun elections.