INEC Report On APC Ward Congress In Imo, Out – Okorocha
From Sam Onwuemeodo, Owerri
– Confirms The Non-Provision Of The Sensitive Materials Including Result Sheets
Report of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Imo State, on the Contentious Ward Congress of All Progressives Congress, APC, in the State, on Saturday, May 5, 2018, has been released by the Commission, with the report clearly confirming the Contention that the sensitive materials including the result sheets, for the Congress were not provided.
The voluminous report signed by the Commission’s Administrative Secretary in the State, Barr. T.O.N Ongele also confirmed that the exercise was characterized “in its entirely with confusion and controversies as reported by the officers that monitored the Congress at the various Wards and Local Government Areas”.
On the conduct of the Congress, the report stated “the State Chairman of the Party, Chief Dr. Hillary Ekeh in his letter to the REC had indicated that the list of presiding officers, returning and electoral officers for the Congress in the various wards will be duly submitted to the REC’s office few hours before the election”.
The report continued “Given this, the Head of Election and Political Party monitoring had requested all the EOs to report at the State office at Owerri by 8.00am on Saturday morning to collect all the relevant details expected to be provided by the State Chairman as well as the checklist. At about 9.20am the REC put a call across to the Chairman of the Congress Committee, Chief Inibehe Okori, informing him that we were awaiting the list of contact persons.
“He confirmed that he was in a meeting with the governor and will get back to the REC as soon as he is through. When at 11.00am we did not receive the expected materials from either the State Chairman or the Chairman of the Congress Committee, the EOs were directed to dispatch their staff to the field and to proceed to their respective LGAs for monitoring” the report added.
The report further said “It is pertinent to state that the Ward Congress in its entirely was characterized with Confusion and Controversies as reported by the officers that monitored the Congress at the various wards and LGAs. At a point, we were told that the Congress Committee Panel that was posted to Imo State was swapped with that of Anambra State but no letter to that effect was received by the Resident Electoral Commissioner”.
The report continued “In some of the LGAs, the INEC monitors reported that result sheets were not provided for the Congresses and in some, electoral personnel were not seen. In some other instances, the INEC monitors were told on arrival that the Congress had been concluded. In some other LGAs there was no evidence that the Congress took place”.
The INEC report also contained reports from the individual Local Governments in the State. For instance, the Electoral officer for Mbaitoli LGA, Odilinye Mary Ngozi in her report dated 7/5/18, which she sent to the REC through the Administrative Secretary wrote “sequel to the directive given by the Department of Election and Party monitoring to monitor the Ward Congress of APC at the 12 wards in Mbaitoli LGA scheduled to hold on 5th May, 2018, I thereby redeployed the Staff to the various venue of the Congress which was at each ward Party offices to monitor the exercise”.
She further stated in her report “the Staff on reaching to the different Party offices discovered that they were all locked up. The Electoral Officer called and asked them to move to Coalition Centres. A point should be made that no result sheets or names of Planning Committee members or list of nominated Candidates were issued. No document of any kind had been given”.
For Isiala Mbano LGA, the EO, Mr. Okike Emeka in his report Stated “The All Progressives Congress, (APC) Ward Congress scheduled to hold at the various wards in Isiala Mbano LGA on the 5th May 2018, was marred with Controversies as reported by our Staff that were at the various venues to monitor the 12 Wards in the LGA during the Congress. There was no fixed time for the Congress and this left most people in the dark”.
He continued “We were told that from our letter that the Congress will take place at various ward Party offices, but the pictorial evidences showed that most party offices were under lock and keys. I wish to reiterate that internal democracy is the backbone of real democracy. Political Parties should always strive to play by the rule of the game and should try and resolve their differences before going for Congresses or elections as the case may be”.
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