The All Progressives Congress in Rivers State has urged the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, to caution the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mrs. Gesilla Khan.
The APC expressed dissatisfaction over the state INEC’s refusal to allow the party’s agents to have access to election materials, which were to be presented before the tribunal.
Chairman of the APC in the state, Dr. Davies Ikanya, in a statement in Port Harcourt on Sunday, appealed to Jega to immediately move all sensitive materials used for the elections away from Rivers.
Ikanya, who spoke through a statement signed by his Senior Special Adviser, Media and Public Affairs, Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, argued that the safety of the materials used during the presidential/National Assembly and the governorship/House of Assembly elections was not guaranteed under Khan’s watch.
The statement read, “Rivers APC passionately appeal to INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, to direct Mrs. Khan to immediately comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act and the Freedom of Information Act by granting the party unfettered access to the requested materials.
“Furthermore, we urge Prof. Jega to, as a matter of urgency, move all sensitive materials used for the discredited elections away from Rivers State as their safety is not guaranteed under the watch of Mrs. Khan, who has overzealously worked to enthrone an unpopular PDP government in our state.
“We are shocked that INEC in Rivers State under the watch of Mrs. Khan could bar our party agents from accessing INEC premises to photocopy result sheets for the purported elections in preparation for the party’s appearance at the Election Petition Tribunal.
“This woman’s hatred for APC and for truth and justice is unfathomable and deserves strong condemnation by all lovers of truth, justice and credible elections.”
Ikanya recalled that the APC agent had written to the REC shortly after INEC announced the purported winners of the polls, requesting for the voter registers, materials distribution forms E25A, query log for accredited voters and the result sheets used during the elections in the 23 local government areas of the state.
“We made this request because under the Electoral Act, all results and other materials used for elections are meant to be available and accessible to all parties as soon as the elections are over to enable those who wish to challenge the results at the elections tribunal to do so within the 21 days prescribed by law for doing so.
“It is unfortunate that almost two weeks after the charade, which she conjured in the name of elections in Rivers State, Mrs. Khan has refused to grant our request despite several reminders,” the state APC chairman added.
The state Public Relations Officer of INEC, Anthonia Nwobu, in a reaction, told our correspondent that all applications for certified true copies of documents by political parties were being processed.
“All applications for certified true copies of documents by political parties and individuals are being processed and are issued as at when due according to the law,” Nwobu said.