–APC insists on strict adherence to Electoral Act
Ahead of Saturday’s Local Government elections in Akwa Ibom State, the Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC) has promised to announce the results at collation hence adhering to the dictates of Section 27 (1) (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended).
AKISIEC in October 2017 averred in a document titled ‘AKWA IBOM STATE INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION, AKISIEC MANUAL FOR ELECTION OFFICIALS 2017’, that results of the polls shall be announced by its Chairman, Mr. Aniedi Ikoiwak.
Noticing that the proposed decision is alien to the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended), the Akwa Ibom State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, on November 6, 2017, filed a suit at the High Court of Uyo to challenge it.
However, in what has been a swift twist, the defendants: Akwa Ibom State Independence Electoral Commission (AKISIEC) and its Chairman, Elder Aniedi Ikoiwak, via a Counter Affidavit issued at the High Court of Uyo, dated 29 November 2017, disowned the said publication, saying it was never published by the electoral body.
A copy of the counter affidavit as sworn by Sharon Eddie, Esq. representing the defendants, made available to our correspondent, amongst other submissions stated that “the document titled “Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission, AKISIEC Manual for Election Officials 2017”, and referred to as Exhibit EO3 in the claimants originating summons is strange to him and the 1stdefendants.”
The affidavit further highlighted that, “the said document did not emanate from the 1stdefendant and the 1stdefendant does not know from where it was concocted.”
It added that: “The 1st defendant is bound by Law to apply and rely on the procedure at electoral contained in the Electoral Act, 2010 (as Amended) for the conduct of the election into Local Government Councils in Akwa Ibom State.”
The affidavit unequivocally stated that, “the 1st Defendant vehemently and unequivocally denies any allege intent to rely on the contents of the strange document marked Exhibit E03 for the conduct of the election.”
In a release issued by the State Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Edet Eyo Bassey Esq., the party while expressing happiness over AKISIEC’s position urged security agencies to wade in and ensure strict compliance.
“We call on the State Commissioner of Police, the State Director of DSS, the Director, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and heads of all other security agencies to ensure strict compliance with the provisions of Section 27 (1) and (2) in the announcement of election results and declaration of winners by AKISIEC in order for peace to reign in the state.”
APC notified “all her candidates to the elections, her members and teeming supporters throughout the 329 wards and 31 Local Government Areas to ensure full compliance with the provisions of Section 27 (1) and (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended).”
The party however warned that, “any election results announced and winners declared outside of these provisions shall be rejected by the Party, and stressed that “APC shall resist any attempt by AKISIEC to deviate from the undertaking which they made under oath to conduct and announce results of the December 2nd 2017 Local Government in consonance with provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended).”