Abuja - The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said on Thursday that the allegations of rigging and hijacking of electoral materials in the Rivers governorship election were false.
The Commission stated this when it opened its defence before the State’s Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja.
The tribunal is sitting on a petition filed by the APC candidate, Dr Dakuku Peterside against the return of Governor Nyesom Wike of PDP as winner by INEC.
Counsel to INEC, Onyechi Ikpeazu said the commission would call witnesses to prove its claim before the tribunal.
Ikpeazu led one of the witnesses, Ebikoru Tebekaemi, in evidence before the tribunal.
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Tebekaemi, an electoral officer at the election, said he supervised the election at Obiakpo Local Government Area in the state.
He insisted that the election was duly conducted in 15 out of 17 wards in the local government area he monitored.
"My lords, it was only at ward 12 and 13, which are Rumuigbo and Rumokuta, that election did not take place. I was also not aware that people were seen at a football pitch thumb printing ballot papers in favour of Gov Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)," he said.
According to him, sufficient electoral materials were distributed across Obiakpor and other parts of Rivers state during the governorship election.
He tendered as exhibits a copy of the election result sheets of the Obiakpor LGA.
Meanwhile, the Justice Suleiman Ambrosa-led tribunal has adjourned till Friday to enable INEC to produce more witnesses.