Cecilia Onah, Lafia
The Nasarawa state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, has accused officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission of frustrating its case at the governorship election petition tribunal in the state, seeking intervention and justice to enable it prosecute it’s case at the tribunal.
Addressing Journalists in Lafia on Friday evening, the PDP publicity secretary in the state, Ibrahim Hamza said despite the tribunal’s order to make the election materials available, INEC officials at the local government areas have vehemently refused to comply to the directive.
According to Hamza, electoral officials have reduced the commission to ridicule by coming up with flimsy excuses towards frustrating the PDP’s legal team from following up on the matter in court.
He said the case of Karu local government area was peculiar, accusing the electoral officers of changing ballot papers used during the governorship election in the local government to conform with the prayers of the ruling All Progressives Congress at the tribunal.
“In the course of the inspection, the electoral officers at some local government offices of INEC could not avail the party with the required materials at their disposals for some incomprehensible reasons.
“However, it was discovered that in Karu LGA office, the electoral officers have been away from office since after the elections.
“As this is not enough, they are presently changing the ballot papers in an attempt to temper with the records and evidence that may be needed to assist the tribunal case.
“We have also discovered that unused ballot papers are nowhere to be found in the disputed areas because the electoral officers are now clearing all the used ballot papers.
“In other local governments visited, our team were told that the documents are not ready.
“In our opinion, these are the antics and plot to delay the release of the materials until they are tempered with as evidence and proof of election malfeasance”
“These are deliberate acts by the electoral officers to falsify documents to cover up in favour of the APC,” the PDP’s Spokesman alleged.
The party therefore appealed to all well-meaning Nigerians and lovers of democracy to call on the INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in Nasarawa state, Dr. Uthman Ajidagba and the commission’s Chief Administrative Officer in the state to prevent a situation that would further erode the confidence left on INEC by residents of the state.
While assuring that the PDP remained committed to due process for good governance and security of the state, the party called on its supporters to remain calm and hopeful for it’s victory at the tribunal.