HERE are nine reasons Dr. Ikpeazu’s lawyers put forward to fault the decision of the Abia State RO and REC to go for supplementary polls is to determine who succeeds Governor T. A Orji.
- The Abia RO acted beyond his powers in the cancellation of results of selected Polling Units/wards which had been announced by him and also announced at the three levels of PUs, Ward Collation Centre and LG Collation Centres without reference to reports from the Returning officers and the Security agencies posted to the units and centres on election duty and in our (Abia’s case) led by a respected Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police.
- As against the erroneous premise upon which the Abia REC based his conclusion that the governorship election in Abia State was inconclusive, the DIG reported a violent-free election in Abia State, which he personally monitored. The State RO acted 3 days after based on personal interest, mischief, or immense pressure from the opposition party and jaundiced social media.
- The State RO acted beyond his powers under the Electoral Act when he cancelled results already collated, announced and declared at three of the four stages in a governorship election process under section 27(1) of the Electoral Act.
- The Abia RO lacked capacity to selectively cancel gubernatorial election results in the affected Units and Wards when the election results for the Abia House of Assembly conducted at the same time and date (and with ballots cast in the same ballot box as those for the governorship election) in those Units and Wards have been declared and accepted as free and fair by all the parties to the election.
- Only an Election Tribunal duly constituted under the law can rightfully declare whether or not an election has been conducted in accordance with the Electoral Act.
- The Abia RO is biased in favour of the opposition. There is no doubt the REC and RO were bought over by the opposition candidate and are therefore biased in his favour; otherwise why would the House of Assembly election results from the areas where supplementary elections have now been purportedly ordered not be affected by the same vice complained of by the REC.
- It is no doubt obvious that when the plan to use the EOs to cancel the elections in the four selected local governments failed, the REC and RO decided to take the precipitate action of ordering supplementary elections in a specified number of units carefully selected to deny Dr. Ikpeazu his well earned victory.
- Alex Otti, the APGA gubernatorial candidate is alleged to be a first cousin to the said Abia REC. It is in the public dormain that the said Alex Otti had boasted that he had used his connections to effect the REC’s transfer from Imo State to Abia State. If this is true, it is against the principles of natural justice that she should ever have been the REC for Abia or continue to be the REC in the light of the havoc she has caused.
- There is no doubt that these officers have compromised their position as election umpires in the Abia State governorship elections 2015.
In the circumstance, it is our instruction to demand the immediate removal of the REC, Prof. Selina Okoh and the RO, Prof. Ozumba from Abia State. There is no doubt that these officers have compromised their position as election umpires in the Abia State governorship elections 2015.
– Stories by UCHE OLEHI, Associate Editor