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INEC closes defence on presidential poll today

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), would today close its defence in the petition lodged by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) before the Presidential Election Tribunal against the declaration of President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples democratic Party (PDP), as winner of the April 16 election.

In the said petition, the petitioner was seeking the nullification of the polls alleging that the election was rigged and manipulated in favour of President Jonathan amongst other sundry allegations bordering on acts of malpractices and ballot stuffing.
CPC is also asking the tribunal to order a fresh election between its presidential candidate, Major General Mohammadu Buhari (retd) and Dr Jonathan.

However, the electoral body had through its witnesses maintained that the election was credible, free and fair while urging the court to dismiss the petition and upheld the result of the election.
One of its witness who testified yesterday, Professor Enoch Akobundu, a Deputy Vice Chancellor of Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike Abia State and the Collation Officer for Imo State adduced to the credibility of the polls in Imo State.
Counsel to the petitioner, Abubakar Malami (SAN) had asked the University Professor to take a careful look at Form EC8E (final result sheet containing results from the 21 Local Government Areas of the state) and tell the court whether or not the alterations made therein were duly counter-signed by him and the respective agents, in accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
In his response, the witness confirmed the cancellation on the form, but quickly explained that the changes in some figures were done in the full glare of all stakeholders in the election, including agents of some political parties who waited till the result was declared.
He said, “The alteration on the exhibit EPT 14 occurred before all the agents signed; the agents did not countersign the result sheet because, most of them did not wait till the final result was declared.”

Agreeing with INEC that the presidential poll in Imo was free and fair, Professor Akobundu said, “There was no shortage of election materials and no Presiding Officer or agent in the state was arrested throughout Imo state on the day of election as being alleged; all agents of political parties have free access to the collation centre where I was collation officer.”
In addition, he told the court that his appointment as collation officer for Imo was sequel to the criticism which greeted the initial appointment of the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Onwuliri, whose wife was the deputy governorship candidate of the PDP in the state.
So far, INEC had called three out of the 16 witnesses it intended to call to defend the outcome of the presidential election and the Commission from every indication would close its defence today.


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Posted by on Sep 28 2011. Filed under Elections 2011, INEC Politics, Latest Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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