Politics

Ekiti: PDP alleges disparities in electoral materials, plot to rig polls

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State has raised concern over disparities in the electoral materials brought to the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

It also decried the production of excess polling units result sheets (Form EC8A) and late return of electoral materials for House of Representatives dispatched on Friday, February 15, 2019 before the elections postponement.

The party said it was curious that materials for House of Representatives election were not complete, adding, “No result sheets for Ward (Form EC8B) and Local Government (EC8C) as well as result sheets for final collation (Form EC8D) and announcement of final results (Form EC8E).”

Addressing journalists in the Afao-Ekiti country home of the immediate past governor of the state, Ayodele Fayose, state chairman of the PDP, Chief Gboyega Oguntuase said the party was concerned that it took INEC officials in some of the local governments up till 7pm to return the electoral materials to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, office in Ado Ekiti when directive to return the materials was issued as early as 8am on Saturday.

He, therefore, challenged INEC to explain the rationale behind production of excess polling units result sheets (Form EC8A) that were more than two times the number polling units in Ekiti State, alleging that it was a clear manifestation of the electoral commission’s intention to rig the election by using the excess result sheets to enter fake results for the APC.

The chairman said; “It should be recalled that only materials for the conduct of House of Representatives election were brought to Ekiti State as at 9am on Friday and distributed. Those meant for the Presidential and Senatorial elections did not get to the State until the wee hours of Saturday.

“Curiously, materials for House of Representatives election were not complete. No result sheets for Ward (Form EC8B) and Local Government (EC8C) as well as result sheets for final collation (Form EC8D) and announcement of final results (Form EC8E).

“Also, there were excess Polling Units Result Sheets (EC8A). The excess were more than two times the number polling units in Ekiti State.

“This is to say that each of the polling units in Ekiti State had more than one result sheet! This is clear manifestation of INEC intention to rig the election by using the excess result sheets to enter fake results for the APC.

“Furthermore, as at the wee hours of Saturday; only electoral materials for the conduct of House of Representatives (partial), Presidential and South Senatorial elections were brought to Ekiti, leaving those for Central and North Senatorial Districts. The materials brought had excess Form EC8A.

“It should be noted that non-customized Federal Constituencies election materials that were partially brought from the custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) where security personnel’s and party agents had the opportunity to check, confirmed and thereafter moved the ballot papers and polling units results sheets; (Form EC8A) to the 16 Local Governments at about 7pm on Friday before the election was postponed at the wee hours of Saturday.

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“Immediately after the postponement, instruction was given to INEC offices at the local councils to withdraw all the materials already distributed and deposit same with the CBN except the card readers, which needed to be reconfigured.

“To our chagrin, despite the instruction, officials of INEC in Ekiti State refused and neglected to comply with the order.

“Our Party’s State Collation Agent, Legal Adviser, Secretary and my good self who took time to monitor the withdrawal/return of the materials as directed waited till 7:20pm of February 16, 2019 before the materials were brought to the CBN.

“Our concern is the rationale behind this late return of the materials despite the fact that there is no local government headquarter in Ekiti State that is more than two hours drive to Ado Ekiti, the state capital.”

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