Lagos - The Save Abia Now (SAN), a pressure group, has called for the prosecution of Independent National Electoral Commission officers found culpable of removing results sheets and card readers from the commission's office in Umuahia.
The Legal Adviser of the Group, Sylvanus Nkoro, described the alleged acts as "mischievous, criminal and illegal."
Nkoro said it was a calculated attempt to cover up the aftermath of the Abia State Gubernatorial election which had been adjudged both locally and internationally as flawed with high level of electoral malpractice, irreguralities, ballot box stuffing and snatching.
He alleged that the materials the suspects attempted to take away are sensitive materials such as card readers and results sheets of the controversial LGAs, osioisoma, Obingwa, Isiala North where the results were cancelled due to irregularities but was forced to reverse itself by the State Returning officer Professor Ben Ozumba.
He said the organization had uncovered a perfected plan by an INEC technology executive in connivance with some highly placed political office holders in the state to open the INEC Data Bank and manipulate the figures in these stolen card readers to tally with the purported results released in these Local Government Areas.
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"The situation where INEC ICT staff conspired with some political parties to move sensitive INEC materials out of INEC office without the consent of the state Resident Electoral commissioner isto perfect their rigging plan," Nkoro said.
"Based on the recent statement by the INEC Chairman and the Acting Inspector General of police to fight electoral crime, we therefore demand for immediate transfer of these suspects to Abuja and prosecution of those erring officers and their accomplice and all the process of their
prosecution must be made open to the public," added Nkoro.
He said the people of Aba would resist any attempt to cover up this plans to tamper with evidence of vote irregularities by some INEC staff.
"The commitment of these bodies to fight electoral fraud will restore the public confidence in Sound democratic principles and public trust on the election umpire and the security agencies."
Dr Victor Ikpeazu of the People's Democratic Party was declared the winner of the Abia governorship poll.
- CAJ News