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Rivers PDP alleges conspiracy at election tribunal

Updated May 06 2019 12:05 pm

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of conspiracy, alleging that the commission has refused to assign the defence of the governorship election to any of its lawyers so that the result can be cancelled.

The African Action Congress (AAC) candidate in the governorship election, Biokpomabo Awara, who came second with 179,859 votes as against Governor Nyesom Wike’s 886,264 votes, is challenging Wike’s victory.

According to the PDP, it is afraid that when no defence is entered before the stipulated time, the tribunal will cancel the election results for want of diligent defence.

The chairman, Felix Obua, said: “INEC has deliberately refused to assign the case to any lawyer, knowing that entering of defence is time barred. The plot is to not enter defence until the expiration of the required time so that the tribunal will have a good excuse to cancel the governorship election.

“We are telling the world that INEC has not assigned the defence of the result to any lawyer as we speak.”

Wike, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), won the governorship election with a margin of 712,405.

INEC had first suspended all electoral processes in Rivers due to violence. The electoral body later lifted the suspension and continued the collation of results, which was eventually concluded on April 3.

But INEC pleaded for more time to enable the commission get a clearer picture of the developments around the governorship election appeal tribunal.

The All Progressives Congress (APC)  has refuted the allegations. The Publicity Secretary, Chris Finebone, said: “Forget the alarm by PDP. It is a ploy to cover up their collaboration with the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Obo Effanga. Please do not be deceived by their antics.”

Effanga and INEC’s Head of Voter Education and Publicity in Rivers, Edwin Enabor, could not be reached for comments.


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