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Imo Guber: Rights Group, InterSociety, CLO Others, Raise Alarm Over Alledged Plot By INEC To Favour Uzodinma.

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) –  Foremost human rights group, International Society For Civil Liberties and Rule Of Law (Intersociety), and South-East Based Coalition Of Democracy and Human Rights Organizations have raised the alarm over alledged plot by the

 Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to harvest and write results in favour of the incumbent governor of Imo state, Senator Hope Uzodinma of the ruling All progressive Congress APC, in the forthcoming 11th, November. 2023

They also called for urgent reversal of all politically motivated Staff postings and transfers by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, ahead of the Imo election.                                                    

Addressing a press conference in Enugu on Sunday under the theme: “Nov 11, (2023) Imo Governorship Poll: Is INEC Truly Organizing Free, Fair, Secured And Credible Election, Or Planning  to Harvest and Write Results For the Incumbent? the group expressed doubt that the electoral body will conduct a credible election in the state.

Board Chairman of Intersociety, Emeka  Umeagbalasi, a Criminologist, who on behalf of others, read their submission to Newsmen, declared that  “Harvesting and writing Of Results’ Cooking In Imo”

According to the groups, “the available pieces of evidence and realities on the ground have continued to strongly indicate that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is at it again in Imo State which will be having a crucial Governorship Election in less than two weeks or on November 11, 2023. 

“From every indication, it is difficult for us at Intersociety and SBCDHROs to be convinced that the Commission is genuinely organizing free, fair, secured and credible Governorship Election for the long suffering and peace loving People of Imo State.

” Instead, it is easily convincing and may likely be correct to say that Nigeria’s INEC is planning to ‘harvest and write results’ for the incumbent in the State. 

“The above is more so when it must not be hurriedly forgotten and that the January 14, 2020 Nigeria’s Supreme Court verdict that installed Hope Uzodinma as ‘Imo Governor’ remotely originated from ‘harvested results’ from 311 polling units in the State where voting either did not take place or was canceled as a result of widespread violence and gross malpractices in the State’s April 2019 Governorship Election.

The group stated that if things are done properly, “

true winner Of Imo Governorship Poll Will Garner 90,000-130,000 Votes As Maximum.

“It is not out of place for us to express deep fears that another round of “result harvesting and writing” is cooking in Imo. 

“Nigerians and other international democracy watchers will not be surprised to see the allocation of 500,000-1m (dead) votes as “total valid and lawful votes scored by the incumbent…winning a landslide”. 

“However, and truly speaking; going by several investigations done by Intersociety and the realities on the ground in Imo State, the true winner of the State’s Nov 11, 2023 Governorship Poll, in an atmosphere of “one-man-one-vote contest”, will not score more than 90,000-130,000 (living) votes. 

“This will be out of possibly total lawful votes cast of not more than 300,000. This projection was arrived at after putting into consideration the fears; chaos and bloodletting that have gripped the State since January 2021 in which more than half of the State’s 27 Local Government Areas are deeply affected and 65% or 1.8m (out of the State’s 2.4m PVC holders) of the registered voting population uprooted and forced out of their voting areas; leaving the State with only 600,000 eligible voters, out of which 300,000 may maximally vote.  

“Expect 500,000 “Results” And Above For The Fake Winner If ‘Harvested  And Written

Unless extreme lawful measures are timely taken, otherwise, Nigerians and other international democracy watchers should expect the return of the incumbent as “the winner” who polled “500,000-1m votes”.

” Such declaration, if made by INEC, is expressly expected to have emanated from “harvested and written results”. 

“This is also because it is an act of impossibility for the true and credible winner of the Nov 11, 2023 Imo Governorship Election to even score “160,000 votes and above”; not to talk of garnering “500,000-1m votes”. 

“Apart from over half of Imo State’s 27 Local Government Areas being adversely affected by the ongoing mass murders and destructions, estimated 1.8m of the State’s 2.4m PVC holders have been uprooted and forced out of their original voting locations and not less than half of the remaining 600,000 PVC holders terrified and forced indoors. 

“The Nov 6, 2021 Anambra Governorship Election is a clear case point where Prof Charles Soludo of APGA emerged as the winner with 112, 229 votes out of total lawful votes cast of 249, 631; representing 10.12 percent of the State’s registered PVC holders which stood at 2, 466, 638.

” The acutely poor voters’ turnout during the Anambra State’s Nov 6, 2021 Governorship Poll was as a result of politically motivated insecurity and other unsafe conditions which are three times lower than that of the present Imo State.

They added,: “the State of Imo also has lower number of registered PVC holders with 2,419, 922 as against Anambra’s 2, 4661, 638 as well as 4,758 polling units and 305 electoral wards as against Anambra’s 5,720 polling units and 326 electoral wards. 

“INEC has also announced that out of Imo’s 4,758 polling units, “it will not conduct election in 38 polling units”. The exact names and locations of the 38 polling units have remained publicly unknown.

“Our Interest is restoration of Sanctity Of the ballot box and Protection Of Imo Voters.  

Our priceless interest in Imo State is purely borne out of desire to have decency and sanctity of the Ballot Box restored and Imo voters and their properties secured and protected again in the State after the January 14, 2020 Nigeria’s Supreme Court verdict that installed Hope Uzodinma as Governor. 

“To this end, Imo voters must be protected and allowed to freely vote for Governorship Candidates of their choice on Nov 11, 2023 and their ‘living votes’ and properties protected. 

“Apart from ensuring their security and safety, the voting routes and environments and their residences and sensitive voting materials including result sheets (.i.e. FormEC8As) must also be secured and subversive elements within the security forces including deployed soldiers, police crack squads and ‘Ebubeagu killer militias’ and all armed non state criminal entities stopped from wrecking more havocs. 

“The restoration of sanctity of the ballot box in Imo; corrupted and bastardized following the January 14, 2020 Supreme Court judgment; is capable of ending the ongoing mass murders and property destructions that have ravaged the State since January 2021-leading to unlawful killing by drafted security forces and armed non state actors of combined total of over 2000 unarmed and defenseless citizens and wanton destruction of more than 1,600 civilian houses and tens of thousands of other “non military necessity” properties. 

“For more details, see Intersociety’s Special Investigative Report (Imo Mass Murders and Destructions), issued on May 21, 2023 and another: Who Is Killing Who Outside the law In Igbo Land, issued on August 28, 2023.

They expressed worry that “our Letters to INEC, NPF, PSC, Army And DSS Over Imo Poll Have not been acted upon.

“Intersociety’s letter to INEC Chairman was dated Monday, Sept 25, 2023 (submitted by our lawyers and received same day) and captioned: “Time Is Now For The Independent National Electoral Commission Under Prof Yakubu To Comprehensively Address Its In-House Challenges Threatening Impartiality And Credibility Of The Nov 11, 2023 Governorship Election In Imo State And Clear The Mess Highlighted Below” 

“Our letter to Chairman of the Police Service Commission and the Inspector General of Police was also dated Monday, Sept 25, 2023 (submitted by our lawyers and received same day) and captioned: To Ensure Participatory, Free, Fair, Credible And Secured Nov 11, 2023 Imo Governorship Election: Time Has Come To Transfer Senior Police Officers In Imo State And Zone 9 Police Commands And Disarm And Demobilize The Imo State Government Ebubeagu Militias And Armed Others“ 

“while that of the Chief of Army Staff, dated Monday, Sept 25, 2023 (submitted by our lawyers and received on September 26, 2023) was captioned “To Ensure Participatory, Free, Fair, Credible And Secured Nov 11, 2023 Imo Governorship Election: Time Has Come To Transfer the Commandant/Principal Officers And Field Operational Commanding Officers Of The 34 Brigade In Imo State And Keep The Imo State Government-funded Ebubeagu Militias And Armed Others Off From Polling Units And Result Collation Centers On Election Day”.

” A copy of our letter to Chief of Army Staff was also sent to the Chief of Defense Staff which was received on September 26, 2023)

“We also wrote the Director General of DSS, dated Sept 25, 2023 (submitted by our lawyers and received same day) and captioned “To Ensure Participatory, Free, Fair, Credible And Secured Nov 11, 2023 Imo Governorship Election: Time Has Come To Transfer The Imo State DSS Director And Other Principal Officers Including The State’s 27 LGAs’ Operational Officers-in-Charge And Offer Credible Intelligence And Assist Lawful Law Enforcement Operations Friendly To Public Security And Safety And Popular And Secured Voting In The State’s Crucial Governorship Election Fixed For Nov 11, 2023”.

“Intersociety further sent letters to the National Security Adviser and the Minister of Interior, dated September 25, 2023 and captioned: To Ensure Participatory, Free, Fair, Credible And Secured Nov 11, 2023 Imo Governorship Election: NSA And Minister of Interior Should Ensure That Our Important Letters To INEC Chair, IGP/PSC, COAS And DG-DSS Are Timely Acted Upon And Complied With For Purposes Of Public Interest And Sanctity Of The Ballot Box And Security And Safety Of Imo Voters, General Public And Their Properties.

” Physical copies of the proof of delivery are hereby attached in this Press Conference Text for purpose of setting the record straight.

  “Failure to thoroughly investigate and clear the strong allegations  that APC apologists and top officials’ relatives are made senior INEC officials in Imo and South-East including National Commissioners-and the INEC’s silence over them have continued to portray the Commission as an appendage or branch of APC ahead of Nov 11, 2023 Imo Governorship Poll

    “Avoid harvesting results in places where election or voting never take place (.i.e. INEC’s recently announced exclusion of 38 polling units)  in Imo on Nov 11, 2023 Governorship Poll or where election was held but canceled as a result of widespread violence or gross malpractices.

      “Calling for “No Result Sheets (.i.e. FormEC8As), No Voting” in the Imo’s Nov 11, 2023 Governorship Poll, adding that location of collation centers must be outside the arenas under the grip and undue influence of the Government of Imo State (.i.e. offices of LG Chairmen or Chairpersons)

  •         Imo voters and general public must not be kept in the dark by INEC over voting guidelines for the Nov 11, 2023 Poll
  •         INEC must urgently reverse all politically motivated staff postings, appointments and transfers ahead of the Nov 11, 2023 Governorship Poll.


 The Letter to INEC specifically requested and still request for transfer of Imo REC, Prof Sylvia Agu and eight heads of Imo’s INEC key departments; namely: Emmanuella Okpara (HOD-Voter Education), Mr. Raymond (HOD-ICT), Chinonye Osuji (Public Relations Officer), Dr. Fidelis Uguru (Acting Administrative Secretary), Agnes Elokpo (ICT Department), Okorie Esther (Acting HOD-Operations), Barrister Sunday Nwaigboko (HOD Legal) and  Mrs. Gloria Ogbuechi (INEC EO for Nkanu East in the 2023 Governorship Election in Enugu State, now posted to Imo State).  We are also not comfortable with the continued retention in Imo INEC of the following eleven Local Government Electoral Officers (EOs):  

“Emeka Okike Ukpa (Owerri West), Omeje Peter Ikebuchukwu (Nwerre), Nwabisi Theresa (Mbaitoli), Nnebue Adolph (Ezinihitte-Mbaise), Nnonyelum Benjamin (Ngokpala), Okorie Franklyn (Isiala-Mbano), Uzor Chikwendu (Okigwe), Nwachukwu Anyalewechi (Onuimo), Chukwuemeka Blessing (Orlu), Okafor Obiorah (Orsu), Uzoka Emmanuel (Oru East).

Key highlights in our letters to IGP, PSC Chair, DG-SSS and Chief Of Army Staff:

“Security and safety of Imo voters and protection of their votes and ballot boxes as our cardinal interest

“Timely overhaul of the Imo State and Zone 9 Police Commands including transfer of the Zone 9 AIG, Imo CP, Mohammed Barde, DCPs OPS/SCID, other heads and operational commanders such as State and LGA commanders of Police IRT’s Tiger Base, Anti Cultism, Anti Terrorism, Anti Robbery, Anti Kidnapping, STDs, SWAT, CTU, etc.

“Ensure that location of collation centers are outside the arenas under the grip and undue influence of the Imo Government and its top appointees and other public office holders in the State or from the State

“Avoid policing the harvesting and writing of results where voting never take place or was canceled over widespread violence or gross malpractices in the Imo’s  Nov 11, 2023 Governorship Poll

” Imo State Government officials and Federal lawmakers from the State or South-East must not be allowed to pocket Pre/Election Day policing

    “All forms of unlawful conducts by the Ebubeagu killer militias and other Government-linked unlawful armed persons or entities must be checkmated and stamped out on Election Day in Imo State including disarming and blocking them from nearing polling booths and result collation centers.

       “Timely transfer of the 34 Brigade Commandant at Obinze and other principal officers and operational commanding officers of the Nigerian Army formations in Imo State

       Also, they requested for  “Timely transfer of the Imo Director of DSS and other senior officers including ‘Officers-in-Charge’ of the Imo State’s 27 Local Government Areas and operational heads at the State’s DSS Directorate” among other demands 

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=91865

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