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Monday, March 30, 2015

Rivers State APC Demands Suspension of Resident Electoral Commissioner

30-03-15

PRESS RELEASE

RIVERS APC DEMANDS SUSPENSION OF RESIDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER

•Explains Why Gov Amaechi Asked for INEC Results Sheet


The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has demanded the immediate suspension of the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mrs. Gesila Khan, for colluding with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rig last weekend’s presidential and National Assembly elections in the State. “For Mrs. Khan to have removed the INEC result sheets in all the polling units in the State with the intention of rigging the polls is a very serious criminal offence. Mrs. Khan should not only be suspended but should not be allowed to conduct the April 11 Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections, as well as the Presidential and National Assembly elections when rescheduled,” the party said in a statement issued in Port Harcourt by the State Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya.

Rivers APC commended INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, for acknowledging the party’s petition on the evil practices associated with the polls in Rivers State. “We are very convinced that if our case is thoroughly investigated it will be confirmed that the State REC, Mrs. Khan, compromised her office and tarnished the good image of INEC,” the party stated.

It defended the action of the State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, in requesting to see the INEC result sheets and other sensitive materials for the conduct of last weekend’s polls, saying: “The Governor took that step as we were aware that the State REC had traded off the result sheets to PDP to write the results as they deemed fit. Amaechi wanted to prevent a situation whereby people would queue to vote while PDP and INEC would write a different result not reflecting the true voting pattern in the State.”

Rivers APC condemned the conduct of soldiers deployed for the election, saying that contrary to court order, PDP not only used the army to intimidate APC supporters and coerce Rivers State voters to vote for PDP.

“It is sad that the PDP leadership in Rivers State could be so callous to arm the youths in order to kill and maim Rivers State people because of election. We know that Rivers people are peace-loving and arming some of the youths at this time does not do anyone any good because it may be difficult to retrieve some of these arms from these youths later, thereby constituting a serious security challenge,” Rivers APC said.

It declared that Rivers PDP does not have any agenda to move the State forward, which informed its rejection by Rivers people. If Rivers State people are allowed to vote, President Jonathan and Chief Nyesome Wike can never secure up to 10% of votes cast in the State in any election based on all the evils the duo have committed against Rivers State. “As a party we will do everything humanly possible to ensure that the verdict and wishes of Rivers State people are honoured and implemented and that they are allowed to vote without any intimidation or coercion,” Ikanya said.



Attached is the copy of our petition to the INEC Chairman, Prof Jega and relevant pictures for your study and action.

Long Live APC!

Long Live Rivers State!!

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,

SSA Media and Public Affairs to the State Chairman, APC Rivers State.

30-03-15

RIVERS APC CHAIRMAN WRITES JEGA, ASK FOR CANCELLATION OF ELECTIONS IN RIVERS STATE.

The Rivers State chapter of the APC yesterday rejected the National elections held in Rivers State of allegations of impropriety and poor conduct. In a letter submitted to the INEC chairman through the office of the APC chairman Chief Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, the party outlined it's reasons for cancellation of elections in Rivers State. See   letter below:

28th March, 2015
The Chairman,
Independent National Electoral Commission,
INEC Headquarters,
Abuja.

Dear Sir,

RE: NO ELECTION IN RIVERS STATERE: CALL FOR OUTRIGHT CANCELLATION AND RESCHEDULING
1. INTRODUCTION:
The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State, wishes to protest vehemently, and bring to the attention of the INEC, the parody of election held in Rivers State on Saturday, March 28, 2015 which was characterized by deliberate non release of Result Sheets to nearly all the centers, active collaboration and collusion of the INEC staff with the People’s Democratic Party in undermining the credibility of the Election, Violence deliberately orchestrated to scare away voters and the deployment and use of the Police to arrest key and notable APC Party faithfuls even during the election with the sole aim of infusing fear and intimidation on APC followers and removing them from circulation so that there will be leeway for the PDP to operate within the political space unchallenged.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in Rivers State, Mrs. Gesila Khan, a known associate and friend of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan connived with the Peoples Democratic Party, to disenfranchise the electorate in Rivers State. In several instances, non Corpers were used as Presiding Officers and several card carrying PDP members were used as SPOs.
The result is that, in substance, there was no election in Rivers State.

2. POLICE ARRESTS AND INTIMIDATION OF APC MEMBERS
On the morning of Friday March 27, Mr Emmanuel Deeyah, the State Party agent of the APC was arrested at the premises of INEC and taken away to the SOS.
Daddy Pokima, the Chairman of Degema Local Government Area and Sokonte Davies, a member of the House of Representatives, were kidnapped and have not been found as at the time of the writing of this petition. The purpose of the kidnap is clear: to remove them from participating in the election and in this regard, several other APC Leaders numbering well over 55 were arrested just before and during the elections. APC members in over 16 LGAS were severely intimidated during the elections including the Chairman of Andoni LGA, Esuku Esuku who is still in hiding till now..

3. INEC COLLUSION WITH PDP TO COMPROMISE THE CREDIBILITY OF THE PROCESS
On Friday night, an anonymous observer reported that cars were seen moving into the Rivers State INEC office to pick up incidence forms. He particularly saw a white Honda Accord vehicle driving into the INEC office and leaving with incidence forms.

 On Friday, the eve of the election, at about 6:30 PM, 40,000 incidence forms were illegally and clandestinely sent to Oyigbo LGA but stopped when the APC Agent complained about it. He was however asked to leave the INEC offices at about11:30 pm and only allowed to return by 6am the next day.
120,000 incidence forms were to be sent to Port Harcourt LGA and 80,000 sent to Obio/Akpor and 50, 000 for Ikwerre LGA. No forms were sent at all in almost all the other LGAs.
It is curious that Incidence Forms which are designed to be used only after an identified voter is unable to complete biometrics identification, could be made available in advance when no incidence had occurred.
4. THE ABSENCE OF RESULT SHEETS IN NEARLY ALL VOTING CENTERS:

Perhaps, the most egregious aspect of the glaring irregularities and breaches in the election is in the area of a willful and deliberate non availability of Results Sheets in nearly all voting centers. This was deliberately made so as to pave the way for the writing of the results thereafter.
For the avoidance of doubts, no result sheets were sent to Emohua, Ikwerre, Omuma, Etche, Akuku Toru, Ogu/Bolo, Okrika, Asari Toru, Ahoada East, Bonny, Khana, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Ahoada West,Abua/Odual, Oyigbo and some parts of Port Harcourt. In Opobo/Nkoro LGA, result sheets were distributed in only 3 out of 11 wards. In fact, in Boms Hall Voting Center, it caused a near total break down of law and order as some enlightened voters and APC faithfuls insisted that unless they were shown and allowed to examine the authenticity of the Results Sheets, they would hold up proceedings. To make matters worse, the Presiding Officer when asked about the Result Sheet, retorted that he would write the result on a piece of paper and give to agents!

It was when the crowd became tumultuous that they communicated the INEC office that rushed in what looked like Result Sheets and by this time, confidence in the process had been undermined.
In almost all the LGAs (about 16 LGAs), there were no incident forms yet voters were illegally accredited normally. Several thousand persons with fake PVCs whose cards were rejected as non-INEC cards by the Card Readers were accepted (in the face of strenuous objection and protests by the APC and other party Agents present) for accreditation even without filling the incident forms. This was worse in Khana, Gokana, Tai-Eleme, Oyigbo, Emohua, Ikwerre, parts of Obio/Akpor, Okrika and Ogu/Bolo. In Gokana for example, the Electoral Officer, Mr. Akpan publicly announced that there were no elections in the LGA. The Presiding Officers in Opobo/Nkoro LGA admitted that there were no elections in the LGA because hoodlums seized the sensitive materials meant for the elections.
Even as this letter is being written, there are reports that thumb-printing and collation of false results are currently going on at the following known places:
  1. Landmark Hotel in D/Line, Port Harcourt owned by Olaka Nwogu the PDP Senatorial Candidate for Rivers South East.
  2. Jora Hotel in D/Line, Port Harcourt.
  3. Senator Lee Maeba’s house in Luwa in Khana LGA of Rivers State.
  4. Emma Anyanwu’s house in Ulakwo in Etche LGA of Rivers State.
  5. Eugene Minimah’s house in Opobo.
  6. Kelechi Nwogu’s house in Omuma
  7. Police Station, Kpor in Gokana LGA in Rivers State.
  8. Hope Ikiriko’s house in Ogbologbolo in Ahoada West LGA in Rivers State.
  9. Krisdera Hotel, Omoku in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA in Rivers State.
  10. Mike Elechi’s farmhouse in Elele, Ikwerre LGA in Rivers  State.
  11. Barrister Harvey Ideozu’s house in Ahoada, Ahoada East LGA in Rivers State.
  12. Iboroma Kichener’s house in Akuku-Toru LGA in Rivers State.
Also, one Ejoh Orusa the Ward Co-ordinating officer for Port Harcourt LGA took the result sheets for the LGA to Hon. Austin Opara’s house at Nsirim Crescent in GRA, Port Harcourt for thumb printing and collation.

Gokana - Ward 9 Unit 18:
INEC materials were provided but without the original Result Sheet. Community members and voters asked INEC officials to produce the original Result Sheets before accreditation can commence and that was not done resulting in preventing the exercise from taking place. The result is that no voting took place in Gokana.
Still in Gokana, Senator Magnus Abe and the Gokana LGA Council Chairman, Mr. Kadilo Kabari were attacked by policemen and PDP thugs masquerading as INEC officials who were facilitating the thumb-printing of ballot papers by PDP members at the Divisional Police Headquarters Kpor, headquarters of Gokana LGA. Also attacked were  some aides of the Senator. The policemen who threatened to shoot the Senator and his aides, pushed the Senator and hit the Council Chairman leading to his falling on the ground.

USE OF NON-CORPERS AS PRESIDING OFFICERS AND REPLACEMENT OF TRAINED AD-HOC PERSONNEL WITH KNOWN PDP THUGS FOR ELECTIONS
In Gokana local government also, trained-INEC ad hoc personnel were replaced with untrained manpower suspected to be PDP members. It was believed to have been done in connivance with the LGA, Electoral Officer, EO.  

These same actions were also replicated in several other LGAs including Khana LGA where in Wards 6, 9, 16 17 and 18, the  Returning Officers, Presiding Officers and Assistant Presiding Officers are all known PDP members. In Okrika LGA, there was a sudden change and appearance of fresh and non-trained INEC ad-hoc personnel. This also happened in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area and other LGAs.

VIOLENCE AGAINST APC MEMBERS
In addition to all the above, the Police, curiously, were also used to inflict violence on our members, sometimes, resulting in death.
In Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, the DPO declined deploying officers and men resulting in materials being distributed without the police accompanying the process to the various units. Soldiers and over 30 officers and policemen posted to Akuku Toru for the election were withdrawn to the residence of Dr. Tammy Danagogo, Nigeria’s Minister of Sports, Abonnema. Armed militia-men were on the streets stopping voters from going out to vote. About 30 APC members have so far been arrested in Abonnema.
In Ward 7 Unit 3, PDP armed militia men have been beating up APC members. Akuku Toru:
Yet no voting took place in these areas. In Abonnema Ward 9/4, there was no voting while INEC officials are seen writing the results.
DPO of Abonemma Kayode Joseph was wounded in the head while escorting Commissioner for Urban Development Isobo Jack to the polling unit while thumb-printing was going on in Iboroma Keitchener’s house in Akuku Toru LGA Ward 17, Unit 11. Keitchener is a former member of the Rivers State House of Assembly. APC agent in Akuku Toru Ward 2, Unit 3 was abducted and remains in the hands of his kidnappers. Those kidnapped were Imaeinoye Tony and Oola Sampson. All materials were also hijacked. In ward 3, unit 3. Voters were chased away after accreditation
In Omuma Local Government Area, materials were snatched by one  Kelechi Nwogu in company of Nigeria Police Special Anti-robbery squard SARS and in the process, shot at one APC supporter, Mr Charles Nwuke while in Okrika,Okrika Local Government Area, hometown of Mrs Jonathan, the PDP had all the result Sheets in their possession. As soon as the materials arrived, they were first taken to the home of Ibibia Walter, the Rivers State PDP Secretary. There were no materials in any unit for a while. When they finally appeared, the original result sheets were missing.
CONCLUSION AND PRAYER:
It will fill a volume should we document ALL the irregularities that characterized this election. We decided to state only the highlights and the obvious but for a detailed understanding of the level of electoral malpractices, we hereby attach a more concise statement of the areas and extent of the irregularities in some of the LGAS as appendix 1 and a list of persons injured and killed as well as properties destroyed and damaged as appendix 2.
IT is now indubitable that had INEC remained Independent as it is statutorily and constitutionally expected to be and not collude with the Police and the rival Political Party of Peoples Democratic Party, the Election would have enjoyed credibility and support whatever the outcome.
A situation, as we have demonstrated here, where voters are made to vote when there is no Result Sheet for obvious reasons, where Police harass, arrest and intimidate voter and party faithful even during election day or even during voting, cannot be said to conduce to free, fair and credible election.
We want to firmly state that there is nowhere in the world where this SHAM AND DEBACLE that happened in Rivers State can be glorified as an election and allowing this to stand is to posit to the entire World that allocation of votes and massive irregularities and malpractices will be allowed as long as the perpetrators are able to carry same out.

We urge the Hon Chairman of the Commission to use your good offices to set aside the sham now described as Election in Rivers State and order another Election if the will and wish of the people to choose a leader of their choice is paramount to the Commission in line with its Statutory and Constitutional mandate.

Yours Sincerely,
Chief Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya (JP)
   Chairman APC, Rivers State

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