Mr Clement Jimbo, APC candidate for Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika federal constituency (middle) flanked by Barr Inibehe Effiong, during a press conference.

Abasifreke Effiong, Uyo

Candidate of the All Progressives Congress for Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika federal constituency, Mr. Clement Jimbo has presented evidence showing that the Independent National Electoral Commission in Akwa Ibom state has listed units where elections results were announced and uploaded on the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) among places it wants to hold supplementary election on April 15.

INEC had declared the House of Representatives election held on February 25 in Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika federal constituency inconclusive and ordered a supplementary election in 25 units.

Candidate of the APC, Mr Clement Jimbo was leading with a margin of 2,962 votes according to the results declared by INEC.

At a press conference on Wednesday 5th April, jointly addressed with his lawyer, Barr Inibehe Effiong, Mr Jimbo said election was conducted, results declared, signed by political parties agents and uploaded on IReV in four of the 25 units listed for the supplementary election.

According to Jimbo, the polling units where Form EC8A(II) (polling unit result) were uploaded on IReV are Primary school, Oku Abak, Abak Urban lll, Abak local government; Village Square, Ikot Onono, Odoro 1, and Nto Ukpong Ntia, Odoro 1 in Ika local government area and Primary School, Nto Edet in Etim Ekpo ward V, Etim Ekpo local government area.

Independent check on the IReV conducted by The Dune has confirmed that election results for the four units listed by INEC for the supplementary election are on the portal.

He aside conscripting units where election results were already announced, INEC failed to give cogent reasons why elections did not take place in the units listed for supplementary election as stipulated in Section 24 of the Electoral Act 2022.

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“Out of the 25 listed polling units, Form EC40G (Record of Election not held/Cancelled at Polling Unit Level) was filled and uploaded on the IReV in only 14 polling units documenting the reasons why election did not take place or was cancelled in the said 14 units (elections disrupted).”

“In 4 polling units, Etim Ekpo LGA – Etim Ekpo III, Secondary School, Etok Uruk Eshiet; Etim Ekpo LGA – Etim Ekpo III, Village Hall, Etok Uruk Eshiet;
Etim Ekpo LGA – Etim Ekpo III; Village Hall, Ikot Nkim, Utu Clan; Etim Ekpo VII – Primary School, Obio Nung Acha results were not uploaded and no reason whatsoever has been offered in respect of the 4 units. Neither Form EC8A (II) nor EC40G were uploaded on the IReV.”

Jimbo alleged that from available facts, some compromised officials of INEC are working with the PDP in the State to arbitrarily increase the number of polling units for the supplementary election in order to undermine his margin of lead.

Meanwhile, counsel to Jimbo from the Inibehe Effiong Chambers said it has already submitted a petition on the fraudulent scheme by INEC in Akwa Ibom State to the Chairman of INEC, Prof Yakubu Mahmoud on behalf of her client.

The petition demands a review of the number of polling units where the supplementary election is expected to take place in line with the dictates of Section 24 of the Electoral Act 2022 as well as the removal of the Electoral Officer of Etim Ekpo, Mr Edet Eyo Effiong.

Parts of the petition reads, “polling units where elections had taken place and results already uploaded on IReV should be excluded. Copies of Form EC8A (II) uploaded on IReV for 4 of such polling units which we have identified among the 25 polling units will be made available to the media.”

“We demand for the removal and replacement of the Electoral Officer (EO) of Etim Ekpo Local Government Area, Mr Edet Eyo Effiong. There are troubling indications that the neutrality of the said EO has been undermined. His conduct during the February 15, 2023 election shows that he has been compromised and should not be allowed to take part in the supplementary election.”

“We call on INEC to examine all BVAS machines intended to be used for the supplementary election in the constituency to ensure that the integrity and default components of the BVAS have not been compromised.”

“INEC should also put in place stringent measures to ensure that the integrity of the supplementary election, and the neutrality and safety of the INEC officials who will be deployed for the supplementary election in the constituency, are guaranteed.”

“The Commission should reiterate to Presiding officers who will participate in the supplementary election, the necessity of uploading, transferring or transmitting the results on the IReV in real time.”