By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – The African Action Congress AAC in Rivers state has written the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to protest what it called the concoction and alteration of the Governorship and House of Assembly Election results in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state.
In the letter dated March 22, 2019 and addressed to the INEC Chairman, governorship candidate of the party, Engr. Biokpomabo Awara said the party registers its objection to the “alteration, and outright concoction of results, and the threat to announce the same as officially declared results from the 9th of March, 2019, Governorship and House of Assembly Election in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, Rivers State”.
According to the letter, “despite the fear of violence sequel to the horror that characterized the Presidential Election that was cancelled, the people came out in hordes to vote, and the election was as successful as it could possibly be.
For the first time in a long while, Akuku-Toru LGA experienced a peaceful election. At the end of the election, the results were counted and declared at the various units, wards and eventually collated at the LGA Collation Centre, and subsequently declared by the LGA Returning Officer. The process was recorded and broadcast live at the Collation Centre and reported widely on Social Media.
“In the originally collated and declared Governorship election result from Akuku-Toru, the AAC scored 57,856 votes while the PDP scored 5,953. The vote difference between the AAC and the PDP was 51,903. The results as declared was accordingly taken to the Rivers State INEC Office and submitted by the Returning Officer.
“Sir, we have credible reason to believe that the election results from Akuku-Toru LGA has been unilaterally altered by the Returning Officer, Dr Somiari Ikiroma-Owiye who we were reliably informed was invited by senior officials of INEC Rivers State on the 11th of March, 2019, and in cooperation with the PDP strategically altered the results – reducing the votes in favour of the AAC to less than 37,000 and inflating the votes in favour of the PDP in excess of 15,000.
“We are by this Petition urging you to use your good offices to investigate the substance of our fears and institute criminal charges against Dr Somiari Ikiroma-Owiye, and prevent the eventuation of this unacceptable electoral fraud.
“Also, we urge the INEC to only honour and give effect to the Governorship result that was appropriately collated and declared on the 10th of March, 2019 at the Collation Centre and broadcast live at the Collation Centre and reported widely on social media. Nothing short of this can meet the test of credibility, and be acceptable to us”.