An alarm has been raised over an alleged plot to manipulate the forthcoming supplementary election in Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency in Akwa Ibom State.
Naija News learnt that the Akwa Ibom State House of Representatives candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Clement Jimbo has claimed that the plot is by some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
He submitted that the conspiracy was aimed at undermining the existing margin of 2,962 in favour of the APC by inflating figures in favour of the PDP.
Jimbo, who disclosed the alleged plot in a statement, observed that INEC had not offered any strong and verifiable reasons for isolating 25 polling units for supplementary election.
The APC chieftain also alleged that plans have been perfected to smuggle more polling units into the area where supplementary elections would hold, to favour the PDP candidate.
Jimbo stated that “Abak/ Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency has a total of 386 Polling Units, 31 Registration Areas (Wards) and 3 Local Government Areas (Abak, Etim Ekpo and Ika).
“A list published on the Commission’s website indicates that the Commission is planning to hold the supplementary election for the federal constituency in 25 polling units.
“We are minded to alert the public of ongoing devious efforts by compromised elements within the Commission, acting in collaboration with some corrupt leaders and interested persons within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State, to engage in dubious, sinister and illegal efforts and actions which are geared towards manipulating the forthcoming supplementary election in our federal constituency, with the singular agenda of concocting inflated, fraudulent and fictional figures and votes in order to suppress, surpass and undermine the existing wide margin of 2,962 in favour of the APC and give the PDP the leeway to steal the election.
“As part of this fraudulent scheme, a plan has been hatched by some officials of the Commission, acting in concert with their sponsors in the PDP, to illegally increase the number of polling units where supplementary election is to hold in the federal constituency.
“This fraudulent scheme has now been substantiated by a worrisome publication on the Commission’s website to the effect that April 15, 2023, supplementary election for Abak/ Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency will be held in 25 polling units.
“We have undertaken a rigorous verification and investigation of the listed 25 polling units as published by the Commission. We found to our chagrin, that the Commission has not offered cogent and verifiable reasons, on the basis for isolating the said 25 polling units for supplementary election.
“Polling units where elections had taken place and results already uploaded on IReV should be excluded. Copies of Form EC8A (II) uploaded on IReV for 4 of such polling units which we have identified among the 25 polling units will be made available to the media.
“We demand for the removal and replacement of the Electoral Officer (EO) of Etim Ekpo Local Government Area, Mr Edet Eyo Effiong. There are troubling indications that the neutrality of the said EO has been undermined. His conduct during the February 15, 2023 election shows that he has been compromised and should not be allowed to take part in the supplementary election.
“We call on INEC to examine all BVAS machines intended to be used for the supplementary election in the constituency to ensure that the integrity and default components of the BVAS have not been compromised.”