From Idongesit Inyang
The results of the February 26, 2022 legislative by-election for the House of Representatives seat for the Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency and the State House of Assembly seat for Akapuyostate constituency have been rejected by both the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressive Congress in Cross River.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Jude Ngaji, of the All Progressives Congress, in Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency.
Declaring the APC candidate winner, the INEC returning officer for the by-election, Dr. Edor John Edor, stated that the APC candidate, Jude Ngaji, polled 22, 778 to defeat Mr. Mike Usibe of the Peoples Democratic Party, who garnered 20, 590.
Also, the Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Dr. Ekeng Effiom Edet of the PDP the winner of Akpabuyo State Constituency having scored a total votes of 5,866 to win the APC candidate, Bassey Effiom who scored 5363 votes.
But reacting to the results, the state chairman of the PDP, Mr. Venatius Ikem, rejected both the result and the outcome of the Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency blaming both INEC and the security operatives for what he called “the coordinated plan between the APC-led state government” and the umpire, INEC.
Vowing to employ litigations to challenge the entire electoral process, Ikem while addressing journalists in Calabar on Tuesday also accused the candidate of the APC of unleashing unprecedented mayhem on the people of the federal constituency.
He disclosed that a group attacked polling units in Ogoja and Yala Local Government Areas, snatching ballot boxes, destroying election materials and firing live ammunitions and teargas.
According to him, an appointee of government was seen carting away election materials at the Lutheran Primary School, Ekumtak, Mbube in Ogoja after the APC candidate led an attack there.
The PDP chairman described as unfortunate that the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission were involved in the “shenanigans that characterized the by-election of 26 February.”
“The election was characterized by massive irregularities including violence orchestrated by the APC led Government and her officials who snatched ballot boxes and other election materials at will at gun point and manipulated the results to their advantage,” Ikem further stated.
He demanded as a matter of urgency the disbandment of the special police units under the governor which he said is used “for thuggery and political purposes, reigning mayhem on innocent voters, contrary to all expectations of a neutral State Security outfit.”
Similarly, the All Progressives Congress has said that after a detailed review of the Akpabuyo State Constituency election, it has discovered the malpractice and electoral fraud perpetuated by the Peoples Democratic Party.
The party rejects in its entirety the outcome of the February 26, 2022 Akpabuyo State Constituency election in a press release made available to newsmen in Calabar on Tuesday.
The release which was signed by Erasmus Ekpang, APC publicity secretary, said that the result declared by INEC was not a true reflection of the actual voting.
Ekpang in the release added, “The APC will not allow declaration of the PDP Candidate as winner of the election to stand” adding that “brazen manipulation and distortion of figures by the PDP characterized the election and we are primed to use legal means to correct this anomaly.”
Hear him: “Our great party will therefore be heading to the tribunal to reclaim the mandate clearly and freely given to our candidate, Bassey Ekpo,” thanking the people of AkpabuyoState Constituency for overwhelmingly voting the APC during the election.