In the lead up to Saturday’s rerun senatorial election in Akwa Ibom state, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC)Yekini Nabena, has accused the Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission in state, Mike Igini of allegedly working for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
Speaking to newsmen Thursday in Abuja, Nabena told the electoral body to call Igini to order following his (Igini) alleged antecedents which saw him compromise, manipulate and swing the 2019 elections conducted in the state in favour of the PDP.
INEC had cancelled elections in the Essein Udim Local Government Area of the state and ordered a rerun scheduled for Saturday.
Nabena said, “The Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Akwa Ibom state, Mike Igini despite proven incidents of bias against the APC continues to preside over INEC in Akwa Ibom state. Igini controversially declared every candidate of PDP winner in 2019 elections.
“It is in record that Sen. Goodwill Akpabio challenged INEC and the Court of Appeal upheld his appeal, nullified PDP’s fraudulent victory and ordered retrieval of the certificate of return given to the PDP Senator by INEC. However the Court of Appeal ordered repeat election in only Essein Udim Local Government Area of the state, Sen. Akpabio’s LGA.
“Sen. Akpabio now a Minister for the Niger Delta has opted out of the repeat election citing his current higher responsibilities to the Nation and the continuous occupation of INEC office by a compromised REC.
“A clear proof of compromise is the case Sen. Akpabio’s state constituency where APC won and INEC refused to issue certificate of return till date. Infact without the order of court Mike Igini and INEC plans to repeat state constituency election in Essein Udim Local Government Area on Saturday.
“APC won a Federal House of Representatives seat in Cross River and INEC changed the REC for Saturday’s rerun. In Akwa Ibom the REC did well for PDP hence he is retained for all reruns where APC won.
“Infact the then operations head in 2019, Mr. Okereke who retired has been recalled and posted to Akwa Ibom to help bury APC electorally. Mike Igini has brought his blood relation, Mr.Vincent Ogene who is serving as an electoral officer in Anambra state to man his planned rigging in Essien Udim LGA of Akwa Ibom state.
“Hon. Nse Ntuen won Essien Udim state constituency election and was declared winner and returned elected by INEC’s Prof Ignatius Uduk but Mike Igini refused to give him certificate of return because he was of APC. The loser went to the tribunal and the PDP case was struck out. PDP appealed to court of Appeal which ruled its case was rightly struck out at the lower tribunal.
“In a twist INEC cross appealed stating that lower tribunal having struck out the PDP case should not have reordered that certificate of return be given to the APC winner. The Appeal court agreed meaning status quo as at date of first return was restored. Curiously, INEC interpretated this to mean it should conduct fresh election. Hence, without a court order Mike Igini has ordered fresh state Assembly election in Essien Udim LGA.
“Igini is personally campaigning for PDP, abandoned 31 Electoral Officers (EOs) and brought a cousin, Mr. Vincent Ogene.
From Delta state who is an EO in Anambra state and who did well for PDP in 2019 elections in Anambra state. INEC must urgently call its Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Mike Igini to order and stop this imminent electoral robbery.”