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INEC Press Statement on Rivers State Re-Run Elections

INECPress Statement on Rivers State Re-Run Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has released results of Federal and State Constituency elections that were successfully conducted, collated and announced by the various Returning Officers in the Saturday 19th March 2016 Rivers State court ordered re-run elections.


In a statement signed and issued by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), for Rivers State, Aniedi Abasi Ikoiwak, the Commission released the results of four (4) Federal Constituencies and that of eleven (11) State Constituencies.

 

A breakdown of the results released are as follows:

 

FEDERAL CONSTITUENCIES:

S/N

Federal Constituency

Candidate

Party

Votes Scored

Remarks

1.

Port Harcourt 1

Hon. Kenneth Anayo Chikere

PDP

18,904

Returned

2.

Port Harcourt II

Blessing Nsiegbe

PDP

6968

Returned

3.

Obio/Akpor

Hon. Kingsley O. Chinda

PDP

27,895

Returned

4.

Abua/Odual/Ahoada East

Betty Apiafi

PDP

29,105

Returned

 

State Constituencies:

S/N

State Constituency

Candidate

Party

Votes Scored

Remarks

1.

Ahoada East 1

Martyns Manah

PDP

6,654

Returned

2.

Ahoada East II

Ehie Ogerenye Edison

PDP

3,417

Returned

3.

Akuku Toru 1

Jack Major M.

PDP

11,624

Returned

4.

Emohua

Ogeh Samuel

PDP

13,621

Returned

5.

Obio/Akpor 1

Amaewhule Martin Chike

PDP

9,703

Returned

6.

Obio/Akpor II

Michael Okechukwu Chinda

PDP

18,600

Returned

7.

Onelga 1

Christian Ahiakwo

PDP

7,256

Returned

8.

Opobo/Nkoro

Hon. Andrew Anderson Miller

APC

9,546

Elected

9.

Akuku Toru II

Hon. (Barr.) Benibo Fredrick Anabraba

APC

2,970

Elected

10.

Port Hacourt II

Adoki Tonye Smart

PDP

15,244

Returned

11.

Omuma

Hon. Kelechi Godspower Nwogu

PDP

5,568

Returned

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Commission explained that: “some of the State/Federal Constituencies and Senatorial seats are inconclusive as a result of reports of election cancellations and elections not conducted for reasons of serious violence in some units and Registration areas.” It promised that details of all these places would be made available unit-by-unit, Registration Area-by-Registration Area (RA).

 

The Commission reiterated that “a new date to conduct the elections will be communicated to the public after due consultation with stakeholders”.

 

The statement also explained that investigations were still on-going on Degema State Constituency. It assured that the details would be made public after the investigation.

 

FURTHER STATEMENT BY INEC ON THE RIVERS RE-RUN ELECTIONS

Following the disruption of the re-run elections in Rivers state and the consequent suspension of further action in the exercise, the Independent National Electoral Commission held a meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Rivers State and its Supervisors and Monitors who were in the State.

The Commission has considered the submissions of these officials and undertaken an audit of its personnel deployed as polling officials and for related duties. Its findings are that the elections were characterized by violence, intimidation, threats, palpable fear and abduction of some of its officials in many areas.

INEC acknowledges that there were some challenges in its operational efficiency, especially as it concerns the production and customization of the result sheets used for the conduct of the election.

Specifically, there was the omission of the original watermark in the result sheets for a few polling units in 3 (three) Federal Constituencies and the omission of some delimitation details in 47 (forty seven) of the over 20,000 (twenty thousand) booklets produced. Political Parties that participated in the elections and their accredited agents, witnessed the distribution of all materials from the Central Bank Vaults and subsequent distribution to the various INEC Local Government Area Offices and the Registration Area Centres (RACs).

On election day some of the RACs were invaded and barricaded by hordes of people who prevented our officials from leaving for the polling units, thus disrupting the prompt commencement of the exercise in many places. Fortunately, the Commission was able to undertake the exercise in several places after explanations by the INEC staff and further validation/authentication of these result sheets by the endorsement of the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) and Electoral Officers (EOs) of some of these Local Government Areas.

The Commission wishes to emphatically state that there were no fake result sheets or any fake materials used in the conduct of the elections.

Position as at Time of Suspension

As at the time of the suspension of further action by the Commission, the exercise was at different stages, as follows:

(i.)                   The Elections had been concluded in some constituencies with the declaration of results and return of winners by the respective Returning Officers;

(ii.)                 Results declared and/or returns made under duress or by unauthorised persons;

(iii.)                Collation had been concluded but no declaration or return made;

(iv.)               Voting had been concluded and collation was on-going but yet to be concluded;

(v.)                 Voting concluded but collation yet to commence;

(vi.)               No voting at all or voting commenced but was disrupted before conclusion.

Modalities and Way Forward

Faced with the above scenario, the Commission restates its earlier decision to uphold the declarations and returns made in the Federal and State Constituencies where the exercise had been concluded.

Similarly, the Commission will conclude and make returns in constituencies where it is satisfied that voting and collation were done in substantial compliance with the Electoral Act and our Guidelines (This will cover scenarios iii, iv and v above).

Further details as to the constituencies and the nature of the exercise will be announced by the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the next few days.

INEC will, at a date to be decided, conduct fresh elections starting with accreditation and voting in all Local Government Areas, Constituencies, Registration Areas and Polling Units where the exercise was disrupted before voting was concluded on Saturday 19th March, 2016. Even so, this will only be after due consultation with stakeholders and subject to the advice of the Security Agencies and guarantees by the Political Parties, Candidates and their supporters.

While the Commission is committed to conducting free, fair and credible elections, it hereby reiterates its resolve not to return to Rivers State (or anywhere else where there was a breakdown of law and order in the cause of conducting elections) until there is a conducive atmosphere for the conduct of credible elections. As a responsible organization, it will not expose its stakeholders especially voters, its officials, observers, media personnel to any danger and even where dates have been fixed and published, it will not hesitate to again suspend the exercise where there is a clear danger or credible threat of a breakdown of law and order.

INEC reassures that all materials used for the conduct of the elections which were not destroyed by hoodlums are safe and are being kept in secure custody.

The Commission condemns in no uncertain terms all those who have been spewing hate speeches and making incendiary statements, which no doubt exacerbated an already tense situation. It will like to again commiserate with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and the family, friends and colleagues of Samuel Dumebi Okonta, the Corps member who unfortunately lost his life in this patriotic service as a poll official. May his soul rest in peace.

Issued this 25th day of March, 2016

Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi

Director, Voter Education and Publicity, INEC.

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