Ahead of next week fixed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) for the conclusion of the collation of final results of governorship and state assembly elections in Rivers state, the governorship candidate of the African Action Congress, Engineer Biokpomabo Awara has petition the electoral umpire.
In a petition addressed to the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, the AAC candidate alleged that results of the Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, Rivers State has been falsified in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party and its governorship candidate, Nyesom Wike.
Engineer Awara who claimed that the AAC scored total votes of 57,856 while the PDP scored 5,953, accused the returning officer of the local government, Dr Somiari Ikiroma-Owiye of altering the results in favour of the PDP.
The AAC candidate further urged Professor Yakubu, “to use your good offices to investigate the substance of our fears and institute criminal charges against Dr Somiari Ikiroma-Owiye, and prevent the eventuation of this unacceptable electoral fraud.”
The petition further read in part: “May we by this letter establish and convey our objection to the alteration, and outright concoction of results, and the threat to announce the same as officially declared results from the 9th of March, 2019, Governorship and House of Assembly Election in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, Rivers State.
“Sir, despite the fear of violence sequel to the horror that characterized the Presidential Election that was cancelled, the people came out in hordes to vote, and the election was as successful as it could possibly be.
For the first time in a long while, Akuku-Toru LGA experienced a peaceful election. At the end of the election, the results were counted and declared at the various units, wards and eventually collated at the LGA Collation Centre, and subsequently declared by the LGA Returning Officer. The process was recorded and broadcast LIVE at the Collation Centre and reported widely on Social Media.
” In the originally collated and declared Governorship election result from Akuku-Toru, the AAC scored 57,856 votes while the PDP scored 5,953. The vote difference between the AAC and the PDP was 51,903.
The results as declared were accordingly taken to the Rivers State INEC Office and submitted by the Returning Officer.
“Sir, we have credible reason to believe that the election results from Akuku-Toru LGA has been unilaterally altered by the Returning Officer, Dr Somiari Ikiroma-Owiye who we were reliably informed was invited by senior officials of INEC Rivers State on the 11th of March, 2019, and in cooperation with the PDP strategically altered the results – reducing the votes in favour of the AAC to less than 37,000 and inflating the votes in favour of the PDP in excess of 15,000.
” Sadly, this was alleged to have been perpetrated in the privacy of his collusion with elements from the PDP and most disappointingly, INEC Rivers State without the presence of our Party agents.
We are by this Petition urging you to use your good offices to investigate the substance of our fears and institute criminal charges against Dr Somiari Ikiroma-Owiye, and prevent the eventuation of this unacceptable electoral fraud.
Also, we urge the INEC to only honour and give effect to the Governorship result that was appropriately collated and declared on the 10th of March, 2019 at the Collation Centre and broadcast LIVE at the Collation Centre and reported widely on social media. Nothing short of this can meet the test of credibility, and be acceptable to us.
May we thank you in anticipation of your kind consideration.”