Presidential Poll: INEC concludes collation in Imo as 5 political parties seek cancellation
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Tuesday in Owerri, concluded collation of results of the presidential election conducted in Imo.
The State Collation Officer, Prof. Charles Esimone of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, and the Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC, Prof. Sylvia Agu, had presided over the three-day collation exercise.
The duo are expected to present the result to INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, for declaration in Abuja.
Esimone noted that the commission did not receive election results from Njaba Local Government Area following claims by the Electoral Officer that the results were missing.
“The Electoral Officer for Njaba came to testify that the results were snatched.
“We gave her the opportunity to re-collate the results from the polling units, but we did not hear or see her again and we cannot wait forever.
“We will write our reports that results were snatched and that at the moment of collation, we did not see any result from the local government area,” he said.
He commended the political parties and their agents for their cooperation while performing his duty in Imo.
However, shortly before the conclusion of the exercise, five political parties and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) House of Representatives candidate, Mrs Uzoamaka Ekwueme, called for the cancellation of the election results in the state.
The political parties are the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Action Alliance (AA), Advance Democratic Congress (ADC), Social Democratic Party (SDP), and Young Progressives Party (YPP).
Each of the aggrieved political parties submitted petitions to the commission, urging it to cancel the presidential elections particularly in Orlu, Ihite/Uboma, Ohaji/Egbema, Okigwe, Oru East and Oru West Local Government Areas.
The state collation agent of the Action Alliance (AA), Mr Uchendu Ahaneku, claimed that there were “several discrepancies and procured results from several Local Governments Areas of Imo even when elections did not hold in those areas.”
The state collation agent of PDP, Martin Ejiogu, said “INEC had told us that they would up load from the field to the server which did not happen and that is why we are having these problems.”
Also, a House of Representatives candidate for APGA, Mrs Uzoamaka Ekwueme, who noted that her party had filed a petition officially, said she and her teaming supporters could not vote during the election.
According to her, “I waited till around 12 noon but did not see any INEC official at my polling unit in Nnebiele ward in Oru West Local Government.
“I met the INEC officials at Mgbidi and they told me they had no means of moving materials to the various polling units.
“Around 3:00p.m., I arranged with the Nigerian Army but the INEC officials refused to go because they were in connivance with a political party,” she alleged.
Ekwume expressed surprise that results emanated from the local government “in spite of an obvious absence of INEC officials and materials at the various polling units”.
Our correspondent reports that the aggrieved state agents of the political parties, subsequently refused to sign the final result sheet for the presidential election.
But the All Progressives Congress (APC) collation agent, Mr Cyprian Akaolisa, who signed the document, advised the aggrieved candidates to rather drop their protest letter than call for cancellation.
“The law says anybody that wants to sign should come and sign and anybody that does not want to sign should go.
“I am prepared to go to Abuja with my own complain too,” Akaolisa, who is the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, said.
Our correspondent further reports that an agent of the Labour Party (LP) also signed the presidential election result sheet.