Monday, March 4, 2019


The accredited domestic observers of Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, said that they were deployed to Akwa Ibom State to observe the just concluded Presidential and the National Assembly elections have uncovered some irregularities and flaws that might culminated to the controversial loss of Senator Godswill Akpabio of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the Akwa Ibom Northwest Senatorial election.

The observers under the aegis of Coalition of Election Observers in Akwa Ibom State confessed during a press conference in Uyo Wednesday that they were not empowered to stop the electoral exercise but to give true account of what took place across polling units in Akwa Ibom State.

The coordinator of the coalition, Mr. Luke Okonu, revealed that election results announced by the Presiding Officers, POs, in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District had APC emerging winner with large margin but it turned out to be that the results announced by INEC were in variance with the true state of the affairs.

“Election announced by POs in the area had APC as the winner with large margin. If forensic test is carried out on the election by Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District and other local government areas in the state, it will be confirmed that results announced by INEC does not reflect the true state of affairs of the exercise,” the coordinator said.

Okonu also maintained that in Wards 10 and 11 in Oruk Anam local government area some voters were not allowed to participate in electoral process while other polling units in the area enjoyed free and fair election atmosphere with APC leading in the contest, but INEC came out with different, contradicting results.

“In places like Ward 10and 11 in Oruk Anam local government area, a particular party supporters and any other person that was viewed as having sympathy to a particular party were not allowed to vote.

“In other polling units in Oruk Anam, elections were free and fair. Base on announcement made by POs at polling units, we observed that the APC won, but we discovered that the final result as announced by INEC for the area contradicted what we observed to be the will of the people,” he said.

According to election observers’ coordinator, the INEC ad hoc staff in Ibesikpo, Ikono and Abak local government areas, were observed to be extremely committed to PDP to the extent of guiding the electorates to vote for the party.

In Obot Akara local government area, Mr. Luke Okonu decried issues of over-voting which led to the rejection and cancellation of the result of the area by the returning officer.

Okonu also raised alarm on the issue of widespread vote-buying across polling units in the state by a particular political party.

He said elections were free and fair in Essien Udim local government area until Mr. Sunyiekekere Inokon and Mr. Imowo Okpopo caused chaos as they attempted to snatch sensitive materials but were prevented by security agents.

“In Essien Udim, election was free, fair and credible as we observed, starting from Independence High School down to other units across the area. At the local government collation centre at about 1:25 am, there was a little violence which was perpetrated by one Mr. Sunyiekekere Inokon and Mr. Imowo Okpopo who tried to snatch election results accompanied with a gang of armed thugs if not for the swift intervention of security agents who controlled the situation and restored normalcy,” he said.

The coordinator revealed the situation of poor logistics management where in some polling units, election materials arrived late, while handful of others units received none.

In terms of security, Mr. Okonu said some polling units had adequate policing while some had no security agent.

The coordinator of the observers’ coalition condemned the announcement of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District election result in Uyo by INEC against the provisions of the Electoral Act, adding that “this has caused people to doubt the credibility of the umpire in Akwa Ibom State.”

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