Senator Magnus Abe, All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in Rivers South-East senatorial election, has called on the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the poll, Senator Olaka Wogu, to go to court if he was dissatisfied with alleged moves by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to officially release result for the March 19 re-run elections in Tai Local Government Area of the state.
Senator Abe, who spoke to newsmen, weekend, in Port Harcourt, insisted that the re-run election was conducted in the council on March 19, adding that indications were clear that APC, won the election.
He said that the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in the state, Mr Aniedi Ikoiwak, overstepped his bounds when he announced the suspension of election in the area, stressing that only the Electoral Officer for Tai council and the Collation officer, by the rules of the election, had powers to cancel the exercise.
Meantime, the PDP in the state has vowed to resist any attempt by the electoral body to release result for the area, saying that elections did not hold in Tai council. Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, Mr Sam Wonosike, said INEC was setting the stage for crisis, stressing that there was no way the REC, Mr Ikoiwak, will suspend result without hearing from the EO in Tai.
He said that the result was suspended about 11 a.m., on the day of the election in the presence of all INEC staff, including those from the Abuja office of the electoral body. He enjoined President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene to sustain the nation’s nascent democracy.
“What we are asking INEC to do is to do the right thing. Don’t bring result for an election that did not hold in Tai,” he said. When contacted on the issue, the REC, Mr Ikoiwak said the commission resolved to release the result for the council since there was form EC8A for it.
According to him, the Electoral Officer for the local government said that the text message asking him to suspend elections in the area over issues of violence got to him at 7.30p.m., after he had concluded the elections. He said that any aggrieved party was free to go to court over the issue.
Also, chairman of the party in the state, Mr Felix Obuah, in a statement by his media aide, Mr Jerry Needam, recalled that the REC in the state, Elder Ikoiwak listed Tai council among the eight local government areas where the electoral body suspended the March 19 re-run elections.
“It will, therefore, amount to an outright contradiction for the same INEC to make a u-turn now and go ahead to announce results that were not realized from any election, as there was no such exercise in the area,” he said.