How APGA resisted plot to rig NASS election in Anambra – Reps candidate, Ibezi
Hon. Ifeanyi Ibezi, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for Idemmili North/South federal constituency in Anambra state, has narrated how alleged attempts to rig last Saturday’s election in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was resisted by the party.
According to him, commotion broke out at a ward collation center within the constituency after the polls ended, when it was clear that APGA was in the lead and there was no room for the manipulation of the results by his rivals.
He said 15 agents of his party who were at the collation centre to submit their results and monitor the collation process to ensure figures were not manipulated were arrested by security operatives.
Ibezi said the inability to complete the ongoing verification of results due to the fiasco and non-availability of some result sheets led to an abortion of the entire collation process.
He added that following the outcry by his party, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared the polls in the federal constituency inconclusive.
A statement sent to DAILY POST on Friday by Mr. Tony Onyima, the Director-General of his campaign organization, stated that INEC has fixed March 9, as new date for the conduct of a rerun election in the constituency.
The statement reads in part, “At the conclusion of the February 23, 2019 election, Ibezi was clearly leading in 22 out of the 24 wards.
“He scored 21,026 votes while his closest rival, Hon. Obinna Chidoka of PDP scored 18,984 votes. Other notable scores are SDP (7866 votes) and APC (3183 votes).
“There was a violent disruption of collation of result at the Obosi Collation Centre when it became apparent that APGA Candidate was coasting to victory.
“Fifteen of APGA Polling Agents who were at the Collation Centre to submit the results from their respective Polling Units were arrested by security agents working in consort with the PDP.
“Following our outcry, the Anambra State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) ordered for a verification and regeneration of fresh results in Obosi Ward from Police and INEC duplicate copies.
“At the end, the results of 39 out of 65 Polling Units in Obosi were successfully verified with both Police and INEC duplicate copies.
“The results of the other 26 Polling Units could not be verified because of the obvious mutilations contained therein and lack of police and INEC duplicate copies to authenticate them.
“After the verification exercise, the results from the verified Polling Units in Obosi and Abatete were then added to the February 23, 2019 scores of the candidates.
“This brought the figures to APGA (25,866 votes), PDP (24,283 votes) APC (3,407 votes) and SDP (8,502 votes); meaning that Ibezi is leading with a margin of 1,583 votes.
“Because Ibezi’s margin of lead is NOT in excess of the total number of registered voters in the Polling Units where the results could not be verified, the Returning Officer in line with Section 39(b) of the Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections declined to declare a winner.
“Subsequently, INEC has ordered for a re-run in 26 Polling Units in Obosi and five in Abatete on Saturday, March 09, 2019.
“The results of the scheduled re-run shall be incorporated into a new form EC 8D(1) and subsequently recorded into form EC 8E(1) for Declaration and Return.
“That we were able to checkmate the consistent rigging and impunity by PDP in Obosi during each election cycle since 1999, was a proof of our resolve to have the votes of Umu Idemili count this time.
“We urge Umu Idemili and supporters of Ibezi to remain steadfast and focused, as we are resolved more than ever before to redeem Idemili from the shackles of poor representation.”