The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Labour Party (LP) and African Democratic Congress (ADC) have demanded a fresh election, saying the February 25 presidential election has been “irretrievably compromised”.
LP National, Julius Abure; the PDP chairman, Iyorchia Ayu; as well as their ADC counterpart, Ralph Nwosu, made this known at a joint press conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
They alleged that Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections were manipulated by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at polling units by their failure to upload results electronically on the commission’s Results Viewing Portal (IReV).
Abure, who spoke on behalf of the LP, PDP and the ADC, said, “This election is not free and far from being fair”, adding that there are “ongoing cancellation of results from areas of strength of the opposition parties”.
They declared a vote of no confidence on INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu and asked him to immediately step aside for an unbiased person to take over and conduct a fresh election.
The LP, PDP and ADC said the deliberate refusal of the INEC chairman to respect the upload of results electronically as stipulated by Section 60 of the Electoral Act 2022 is unacceptable.
The three parties said the result so far by INEC showed “monumental disparities” between what the party agents signed and what INEC officials announced in Abuja.
They said the manual transmission of results compromised the integrity of the election process.
Recall that agents of the PDP and the LP stormed out of the National Collation Centre for the presidential election results at the International Conference Centre in Abuja on Monday.
A member of the 8th National Assembly from Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye; and a former governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha; an agent of the Labour Party, amongst others staged a walkout on the INEC chairman over dissatisfaction on the process of the collation of results from state collation officers for the presidential election (SCOPs).
The drama ensued around 4:30pm on Monday at the resumed collation exercise of the February 25 presidential election results for the second day.
Melaye, Ihedioha, as well as the agents of the Labour Party and others, had complained that the results presented by INEC SCOPs weren’t uploaded on IReV as repeatedly promised by the electoral umpire before the February 25 presidential poll.
Melaye argued strongly that without the upload of results electronically on IReV, this year’s election is not in any way different from the manual transmission of results done in 2015.
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Melaye and others fiercely insisted that the INEC chairman must not accept the results of Ekiti, alleging that there were incidents of over voting and electoral irregularities. They contended that the collation of results at the centre is at variance with provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 and that they do not believe in the results presented by the SCOPs.
However, the INEC chairman maintained that there was no over voting in Ekiti and that the results presented by the SCOPs stand. Yakubu also said the process must continue.
In reaction, Melaye, Ihedioha and others stormed out of the national collation centre.
Mahmood had on Monday cautioned Melaye not to be “disruptive” of the collation process at the insistence of the PDP chieftain that the results announced by the SCOPs should first have been uploaded on IReV for transparency and accountability.
The collation for Day 2 continued in their absence. The collation for Day 3 is scheduled for 2pm on Tuesday.
Already, results have been released for about 13 states with the top parties sharing the wins. PDP’s Atiku Abubakar, LP’s Peter Obi and Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have won some of the states.
Many party leaders have bitterly complained that INEC officials at the polling units were unable to upload election results to the IReV. The IReV and the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) are new technologies introduced by the electoral body for the accreditation and electronic transmission of votes for this year’s polls.
Elections for the office of the President, 360 House of Representatives and 109 Senatorial seats were held in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory on Saturday and Nigerians expect the declaration of results by the electoral umpire.
Also yesterday, former president Olusegun Obasanjo said the election was a sham be basically demanded reruns in areas with clear disfranchise.
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