From Abel Leonard, Lafia
The Nasarawa State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of frustrating their case at the governorship election petition tribunal.
The party alleged that despite the tribunal’s order, INEC officials at local government areas have vehemently denied them access for inspection of electoral documents. The PDP called for intervention and justice to enable it prosecute its case effectively.
The PDP Nasarawa State Spokesman, Malam Ibrahim Hamza, who addressed journalists in Lafia yesterday, expressed his concerns over the issue, noting that electoral officials given ridiculous excuses, thereby obstructing their legal team from diligently proving the party’s case through the examination of documents.
Hamza highlighted the peculiar situation in Karu Local Government Area, where the electoral officers allegedly changed the ballot papers used during the governorship election to align with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)’s prayers at the tribunal.
During the inspection process, the PDP claimed that electoral officers at some local government INEC offices failed to provide the required materials, citing incomprehensible reasons.
In the case of Karu LGA, the officers who had been reportedly absent from the office after the elections, but have now been busy and allegedly changing the ballot papers to tamper with evidence. The PDP also discovered that unused ballot papers were missing in the disputed areas, as the officers were clearing all used ballot papers.
The party further alleged that the actions of the electoral officers were deliberate attempts to falsify documents in favour of the APC, thereby covering up election malfeasance.
The PDP appealed to democracy supporters to call on INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in Nasarawa State, Dr. Uthman Ajidagba, and the commission’s Chief Administrative Officer in the state to prevent further erosion of confidence in INEC’s administration.