The Social Democratic Party, SDP has petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC over alleged Electoral Malpractices in Isiala Mbano Constituency in Imo state during the state house of assembly elections held on 9th March 2019.
The party claims that the electoral process was marred with violence and irregularities demanding that the electoral body intervenes in the matter.
In a statement sent to POLITICSNGR on Thursday, signed by the LGA Chairman, SDP Isiala Mbano Chapter, Mr Emmanuel Onwueme, the party also called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the returning officer(RO).
“We wish to bring to your knowledge the incidence of arbitrary electoral malpractice, massive rigging, snatching of ballot material, over voting, altering of result scores and willful subversion of the collective will of the people of Isiala Mbano Constituency during the election process of the Saturday, 9th March 2019 State House of Assembly Election for Isiala Mbano Constituency.”
“In view of the above, the election process was also marred by heavy violence and destruction of election materials in many polling units and electoral wards which disrupted voting processes.”
“Consequent upon the above, we wish to state as follows:
“That polling unit 004 – Okpuala Primary School in Osuama-Anara ward, with registered vote of seven hundred and five (705) voters and also the polling unit where Chilos A.C. Godsent – the House of Assembly candidate of SDP cast his vote were violently
destroyed by APGA hired thugs. They attacked the polling unit, destroyed the ballot boxes and materials which caused the Presiding Officer (PO) to cancelled the election in the polling unit, also polling unit 015- Umuoluwe Village Hall in Osuama-Anara Ward were also cancelled as a result violence.”
“Ballot materials were carted away at gun points in the entire six (6) polling units in Umuozu Ward which caused the Electoral Officer to announce the cancellation of Umuozu Ward. The Ward Returning Officer for Osuachara Ward was adopted and Election materials were also hijacked in fourteen out of the sixteen (16) polling units in Osuachara ward.”
“Consequent upon the above, a doctored purported result of Osuachara ward was brought to the Local Government Area Collation Center by 3:00 am Sunday morning in a private SUV, after a heated protest by other party agents, the Electoral Officer (EO) and the Returning Officers (RO) cancelled the Osuachara Ward and refuse to admit the purported result of Osuachara ward.”
“Six (6) out of the seven (7) polling units in Obollo Ward were cancelled and nullified by the Electoral Officer (EO) and the Returning Officers (RO) as a result of incidence of snatching of ballot materials and violence which resulted to killings of three persons in cold blood.”
“Polling units 002 – Central School Umuebie, 004 – Ukwuedo Primary School, 007 – Community School Umuneke, 008 – Umuehie Village Square, 011 – Umudike Civic Hall, 017 – Umuezekeke Hall, 018 – Akpakama Hall all in Ugiri-Oka Ward were also cancelled GOOD GOVERNANCE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE as a result of violence, hijack of election materials, over voting and alteration of result scores.”
“Consequently, several other polling units in other electoral wards were also cancelled; they are polling units 002 – Central School Amaraku, 006 – Umueli Village Square , 008 – Umuobasi / Umudimofor Hall in Amaraku ward, polling units 001 – Okwuosu Hall, 003 – Umumpele Hall and 005 – Progress Primary School in Amauzari ward, polling unit 015 – Umukaku Community Health Center in Osuowerre ward 1 respectively were cancelled as a result of various electoral offences ranging from vote buying, over voting, destruction of election materials, alteration and mutilation of result sheets, hijacking of ballots materials
“In view of the above, we do not see the rationale behind the Returning Officers (RO) to clandestinely declare any party or candidate winner in the aforementioned purported election that grossly violated the Provisions of Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended). The purported State House of Assembly election marred with electoral irregularities where over half of the total polling units in the constituency were cancelled before the watchful eyes of other party agents.”
“In other to ensure that peace reigns in Isiala Mbano Constituency, we, therefore, make the following passionate demands:
“That it will amount to impunity, political recklessness and violation of section 28 of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended), for the Returning Officer (RO) to clandestinely announce any party or candidate as the winner of the purported Saturday 9th March 2019 State House of Assembly election for the Isiala Mbano Constituency after he had informed all the party agents present that he cannot announce the House of Assembly election results because several electoral irregularities that characterized the election.”
“At this point, the RO and EO instructed all party agents to move to Onuimo Local Government Area for the announcement of the result of the Okigwe North Federal House, which we obliged. In view of the above, therefore, we call on INEC not to allow this
impunity, subversion of the people will and disregard to Rule of Law to stand.”
“That the purported clandestine announcement and declaration Dr. Chiji Collins of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) be declared null and void, and a new date for the bye-election into the State House of Assembly election for Isiala Mbano Constituency announced.”
“We demand the immediate arrest and prosecution of the Returning Officer (RO) for aiding and abetting electoral malpractices, corruption and violation of the provisions of Section 28 of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended) and 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
“We, therefore, call on the Resident Electoral Commission (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Imo State not to issue Certificate of Return (CoR) to any candidate or party for the aborted State House of Assembly election of Saturday 9th March 2019.”
“Finally, we urge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to quickly convene a multi-stakeholders dialogue for all affected parties to discuss and agree on a new date for bye-election for the Isiala Mbano State Constituency election.”