The recently held chairmanship polls in Abia State has seen a political group raising an eyebrow and calling for a rerun.
In a three-page statement issued to newsmen in Umuahia on Wednesday, the group described the exercise as a “charade” and called for its cancelation.
The statement, which was signed by the group’s Chairman and Publicity Secretary, Messrs Ebere Uzoukwa (Obingwa LG) and Ejiofor Okeudo (Bende), further called on the Abia State Independent Electoral Commission (ABSIEC) to order a fresh exercise in the state.
According to the statement, “the purported local government chairmanship/councillorship elections by ABSIEC never took place.
“ABSIEC only played a deceptive script as handed over to it against the opposition candidates and Abia electorate, ” it stated.
The candidates further alleged that the commission “connived and conspired with Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, the state government and leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to return all PDP councillorship and chairmanship candidates with or without election.”
They contended that on the day of the elections, the commission “distributed a few ballot papers and fake result sheets,” while original result sheets and electoral materials were handed over to PDP chieftains.
They said, “the Dec. 21 charade could not be regarded or described as local government/councillorship elections in the state.
“Therefore, our stand remains that ABSIEC is yet to conduct local government chairmanship / councillorship elections as proposed in the state,” they stated.
They therefore called for the immediate resignation of the Chairman of the commission, retired Justice Igbozurike Akomas, “for committing the worst electoral crime in the history of Abia.”
The group also called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and other anti-graft agencies to investigate the governor and the commission over the huge fees collected from all the candidates in the elections.
They alleged that the commission also “coerced” them to obtain another tax clearance from the state’s Board of Internal Revenue, even after paying taxes in their respective areas
“This is not only wicked but a fraudulent act unimaginably perpetrated by an electoral umpire fully funded with tax-payers money,” the group stated.
The Chairman of ABSIEC, retired Justice Igbozurike Akomas, in a response to the litany of complaints about the polls, advised aggrieved persons to seek redress at the election tribunals.