APC to AKISIEC: Any election result announced outside electoral act shall be rejected.
IN THE MATTER OF APC vs AKISIEC
Sometime in October this year, Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC) published a booklet captioned “Manual For Election Officials 2017”. It was restricted in circulation though we somehow managed to get a copy. A careful study of the Election manual revealed that certain sections were at variance with the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended) which is the grund norm on all Electoral processes and procedures in the country.
On 6th of November 2017, the All Progressives Congress (APC) proceeded to court to challenge the validity of those sections of Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission “Electoral Manual 2017” which not only offend but negates the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended). In Suit No. HU/363/2017 filed by our Counsel, Effiong Oquong (Esq.) it was contended that the content of the Manual in respect of the procedure for announcement of election results were at variance and inconsistent with the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended).
Specifically, in sections 1.1.1. (5), 5.2 step 7 and 5.3 steps 1 – 6, the Chairman of AKISIEC is designated as both the Chief Electoral Officer as well as the Returning Officer for the 31 Local Government Councils and the only person authorized to announce the results of the December 2nd Local Government Election. These provisions are inconsistent and clearly contradicts the provisions of section 27 (1) (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended) wherein it is stated clearly “Announcement of results and declaration of winners shall take place at the ward collation centres for Councillors and at Local Government Area collation centres for Chairmanship”.
Responding to the said Suit, the 1stDefendant, AKISIEC, filed a counter affidavit sworn to by a Lawyer in the Office of the State Attorney-General, Sharon Eddie (Esq.) stating as follows in paragraphs 3 and 5;
(3) On the 27th day of November 2017 at my office in the Ministry of Justice at about 1:30 pm, I was informed by the 2nd Defendant (Elder Aniedi Ikowak, Chairman, AKISIEC) and I verily believe him that;
(i) The document titled AKWA IBOM STATE INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION, AKISIEC MANUAL FOR ELECTION OFFICIALS 2017 and referred to as Exhibit E03 in the Claimants Originating Summons is strange to him and the 1st Defendant.
(ii) The said document did not emanate from the 1st Defendant and the 1st Defendant does not know from where it was concocted.
(iii) The 1st Defendant (AKISIEC) is bound by law to apply and rely on the procedure at elections contained in the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended) for the conduct of election into Local Government Councils in Akwa Ibom state.
(iv) The Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended) is clear and explicit on the procedure to be followed during the election.
(v) The 1st Defendant vehemently and unequivocally denies any alleged intent to rely on the contents of the strange document marked Exhibit E03 for the conduct of the election.
APC has decided to re-produce here in verbatim, that is, word for word, the averments in AKISIEC’s counter Affidavit for clarity and to remove any doubts or ambiguity.
Now, the implication of the averments is that;
(1) AKISIEC have denied or rejected ever publishing the said Election Manual for Officials 2017 and so cannot depend or rely on it and any of its provisions for the conduct of the December 2nd2017 Local Government Elections.
(2) AKISIEC have acknowledge that they are bound by law to apply and rely on the procedure for announcing election results and declaring the winners as stipulated in Section 27 (1) (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended). That is, to say, Councillorship election results shall be announced and the winner declared at the ward collation centres in the 329 wards across the state. Furthermore, Chairmanship election results shall be announced at the 31 Local Government Council Area collation centres and not by the Chairman of AKISIEC in Uyo.
(3) AKISIEC has vehemently and unequivocally denied any alleged intent to depend and or rely on the contents of the said Manual For Election Officials 2017 which they deny and claim to be a “strange document” for the conduct of the December 2ndLocal Government Elections.
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Consequently, APC hereby notify all her candidates to the elections, her members and teaming 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). Any election results announced and winners declared outside of these provisions shall be rejected by the Party. APC shall resist any attempt by AKISIEC to deviate from the undertaking which they have made under oath to conduct and announce results of the December 2nd2017 Local Government in consonance with provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended)
We call on the State Commissioner of Police, the State Director of DSS, the Director, Nigeria 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.
Long Live Akwa Ibom State
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Edet Eyo Bassey (Esq.)
State Publicity Secretary
All Progressives Congress
Akwa Ibom Chapter
30th November 2017