The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the Peoples Democratic Party of collusion with the Independent National Electoral Commission in Rivers state to destroy some of the materials used in the 11 April governorship election.
The party in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed cited the destruction of the materials used in Ahoada LG, which the INEC now claimed it has lost.
The party’s disclosure followed an accusation by the PDP that the APC is working in cahoot with the Department of State Security to interfere with the workings of the election Tribunal for the state.
”Ihere is also a deliberate effort by the conspirators (Rivers INEC and the PDP) to destroy the documents so as not to allow the APC to have access to them, and then report their loss to the police. One of such cases was filed on June 29th at the Akinima Police Station in the Ahoada West Council Area,” APC said in its response.
“The party said it is now clearer than ever that the PDP, knowing fully well that it has something to hide in the Rivers election, is doing everything possible to sabotage the search for the truth, while at the same time engaging in impudent finger pointing as a strategy to deceive the unsuspecting public.”
APC accused PDP of engaging in brazen lies by alleging interference by the security agencies with cases before election petition tribunals, calling the allegation a futile attempt by the PDP to pull the wool over the eyes of Nigerians.
It said not only did the PDP lie shamelessly in making the allegation, the party is also trying to muddle the waters on the true situation concerning the case before the Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal – which precipitated the PDP’s frivolous accusation in the first instance.
It said that in truth, the invitation of some officials from the Rivers State office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was prompted by a petition to the IG and the DG, DSS, by the APC that the officials were colluding with the PDP to deny the APC access to key documents used for the last Governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state.
Also contained in the petition, APC said, is the fact that some directors at the INEC head office in Abuja have been working strenuously to deny the APC access to some documents used for the said elections but domiciled at the Commission’s head office, even when the INEC Chairman has promptly attended to the issue and directed the said officials to furnish the needed documents.
The party said that as a matter of fact, the IG had directed, upon the receipt of the APC petition, that the matter be investigated and that the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Rivers State should be invited.
Those who were named in the APC petition to the security agencies include the Rivers REC, Mrs Gesila Khan; the Administrative Secretary, Mr. Obijuru C. Royson; Head of Operations Department Bocco Ekong and Legal Officer Fumi Nancy Odihir Gaffar who, along with other INEC officials in Rivers, are colluding with the PDP to frustrate all attempts by the APC to access the vital documents.
”Therefore, the PDP’s wolf crying over a conspiracy it orchestrated with the Rivers INEC to deny the APC access to documents used for the said elections amounts to barefaced lies and a clear attempt at distorting facts.
”These persistent refusal to release the documents is happening despite a valid order from the Tribunal and in a clear violation of Section 77 (1) and (2) and other provisions of the Electoral Act.
”Having wilfully used the security agencies as a tool to rig elections, harass the opposition and tamper with evidence in all its 16 years of shame in office, the PDP now believes the APC will do the same. That is wrong, because the APC is a party founded on the rule of law. As far as we in the APC are concerned, let the necessary lawful procedures be followed and let the truth prevail in the cases before the various election petition tribunals across the country,” it said.