‘Jega, we want the withdrawal of all INEC officials in Delta,’ says LP

by Ranti Joseph

Labour Party (LP) candidates in Delta State demand the immediate removal of all officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) particularly those deployed in Delta Central senatorial district.

The state LP gubernatorial candidate, Great Ogboru and the party’s candidate for Delta Central, Ovie Omo-Agege, made the demand from INEC in a protest letter to the agency, alleging interference with the electoral process.

Ogboru, who led the protest by LP to INEC collation centre in Ughelli on Monday evening, alleged that INEC officials working in the district were conniving with local leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under the watchful eyes of security personnel to tamper with the election, especially that of last Saturday’s National Assembly election in the area.

He called on the INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, to change all the INEC electoral officers in the area. Specifically, he claimed that the result sheets had been altered or were being falsified to deny the LP candidates the victory they expected.

The LP candidates further demanded the stoppage of collation of the concerned election results until the result sheets with the carder readers were duly interrogated and verified. “What is being collated at this point in time is not from the elections that took place on Saturday. When you collate results not backed by empirical materials, then you are collating rubbish. We are insisting that process must be followed; they should produce all the materials to back this result up before they are announced. We are concerned about the senatorial and House of Representatives election; that’s why we are here,” he said.

He alleged that even vital INEC materials for the yet-to-be-conducted governorship election in the state were being tampered with.

Ogboru stressed that they seriously doubted the credibility of the process not only because of the suspicious characters posted to the state as INEC officials but also because the sensitive voting materials appeared to have been tampered with where they were kept at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) office in the state.

Speaking later with journalists on the protest letter which they handed to the returning officer, Rex Okagbare, the LP governorship candidate said: “Let me use this opportunity to tell members of the press that even as we speak, the governorship results are being tamped with; because while sorting out the materials for the presidential and senatorial elections few days ago, it became crystal clear that the materials have been tampered with. We saw that result sheets litter the whole place in CBN. Why were they not in the cartons or packages they were brought in? Well, we took serial numbers and photocopies of those result sheets.”

The Delta Central LP candidate, Omo-Agege, corroborated the claims saying: “You cannot collate a fraud. We insist that the forms EC8a, EC8b as well as the card readers and ballot papers be brought; then invite other parties’ candidates and agents and let us go through them together. The card readers and other materials must be interrogated. We want the right thing to be done. Anyone who wins should do so honourably; the wishes of the people must be respected. LP members are peace loving but should not be taken for granted. Enough is enough.”

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