October 1, 2023

TNN Newspaper

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C’River INEC Denies PDP Guber Candidate Access To Election Materials *   INEC Boss: I’m Not Aware

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Godwin AJOM, Calabar

Officials of INEC in Cross River State have refused to allow the PDP governorship candidate in the state, Prof Sandy Onor access to all the materials used for the conduct o the March 18 election which produced Prince Bassey Otu of the APC as winner.

The election tribunal had, on April 4, 2023, gave an order directing INEC to allow the candidate and his party free access to all the materials. The state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Professor Gabriel Yomere, had also  promised to grant the PDP unreserved access to the materials.

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But close to two weeks after, the committee set up by the PDP to carry out the inspection is yet to be given access by INEC.

Chairman of the committee, Chris Agbor,told TNN that all attempts made by his members to inspect the listed materials have been frustrated by the commission.

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“Surprisingly, the commission has deliberately refused us access to the BVAS, used and unused ballot papers, result sheets, ballot paper thumbs and other essential materials. The action is a flagrant disregard to the subsisting order issued by honourable tribunal and this unwholesome posture tantamount to contempt of court.

“At this stage, we are left with no other option than to report to the court for necessary action to enable us secure unhindered access to the materials. This is an essential process and step in pursuing the matter.

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“The action of the commission, especially the head of operations, is an indication that there is a foul play somewhere and we shall pursue this inspection of election materials to the end just as we shall not be deterred in any way from pursuing the case to its logical conclusion,” he said.

However, when contacted on the phone, Yomere claimed that he was not aware of any impediment hindering the PDP team from inspecting the materials.

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His words: “I was diagnosed of glaucoma and I am currently in Kano State to see my ophthalmologist for a likely surgery. But before traveling, I handed over to the administrative secretary with specific instructions to ensure strict compliance to every court order.

“PDP is free to access every materials used at the elections except the BIVAS which they must apply to our headquarters in Abuja before we can allow them to check”.

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