We write to request, humbly, for immediate takeover and investigation of the said dispute. As you may know, sir, controversies have continued to trail the outcome of the peacefully conducted election into the Anambra Central Senatorial District in which Dr. Chris Ngige of the Action Congress of Nigeria and Professor Dorathy Akunyili of the All Progressives Grand Alliance are leading candidates.

The controversies started on Sunday, April 10, 2011, when the Returning Officer for the election, Mr. Alex Anene wanted to announce the total results collated at the District’s Collation Center in Awka. Petitions from the ACN and tensions stalled the announcement.

On Monday, April 11, 2011, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Anambra State, Professor Chukwuemeka Onukogu held a press conference in Awka and announced the appointment of a new Returning Officer for Anambra Central Senatorial District, Professor Okechukwu Asimone to replace Mr. Alex Anene, on the grounds that Mr. Anene had resigned. Professor Asimone declared the election inconclusive and ordered a rerun in four electoral wards in the Senatorial District.

But at 9:45pm same day, Mr. Alex Anene reportedly announced from  his “hide out” that the election was not inconclusive and that Dr. Chris Ngige of ACN won by scoring 68,208 votes against Professor Dorathy Akunyili of APGA who he said got 68,164 votes.

Professor Okechukwu Asimone had earlier, while declaring the election inconclusive, announced that Professor Dorathy Akunyili was leading Dr. Chris Ngige with 697 votes, that is to say Professor Akunyili got 66,278 votes and Dr. Chris Ngige got 65,581 votes.

These resulted to confusions, accusations and counter-accusations by the parties involved. To the greatest dismay of the Nigerian Public, the issue got blown out of proportion and politicized. Hotel rooms became collation centers where election results are announced, etc. Sequel to the foregoing, we launched our own investigations and consultations. Our consultations cut across community of informed individuals, including a Comrade-Resident Electoral Commissioner.

Consequently, we have resolved to demand the following from your good offices:

1.    That your Commission should takeover and credibly investigates the entire collated results from all the polling centers involving the said Senatorial race.

2.    That your Commission should summon the trio of REC (Professor Onukogu), Professor Asimone and Mr. Anene, as well as the collation officer for the District, alongside all relevant electoral materials in their possessions, including used and unused Form EC8As and other sensitive electoral materials used and unused.

3.    That to be thoroughly investigated are the validity or otherwise of the two pronouncements by the duo of Professor Okechukwu Asimone and Mr. Alex Anene over the purported declaration of Dr. Chris Ngige as the winner of the poll and the inconclusiveness of same.

4.    That your Commission should also investigate whether Mr. Alex Anene actually resigned or abdicated his statutory duties by reportedly ceasing all forms of communications with his REC while in the purported hiding.

5.    That your Commission should investigate the weighty allegations of bribery and inducements leveled against some persons by Mr. Anene as well as whether his roles in the entire saga are in line with terms of his employment or contract with Your Commission.

6.     That the roles played by the REC, including an accusation leveled against him by Mr. Anene to the effect that he compromised his office duties should be credibly investigated by Your Commission.

At the end of the said investigations, the following steps should be taken:

1.    A credible pronouncement to be made public by Your Commission so as to clear air on the true situation of things with respect to the matter under discussion.

2.    If the REC and Professor Asimone’s version of the pronouncements is found statutorily grounded, then, the date of rerun and its guidelines should be released immediately, but if in the contrary, then, steps necessary should be followed.

Finally, it is very unfortunate that inordinate ambitions and riotous behaviours by some politicians have messed up what would have been one of the most peaceful and transparently conducted Senatorial Polls in the just concluded NASS Polls. Very peaceful and seemingly transparent polls such as this have been eaten up by politicians’ pollutant viruses.

Among the three Senatorial contests in the State, the Anambra Central District appears to be the most peaceful and transparent. Your Commission should also beam its eagle eyes, if any, on some of its National Commissioners, more so when they have  been accused of peopling the Commission with some, if not many card-carrying members of the federal ruling party under the guise of “Electoral Officers” and “Returning Officers”. A case in point is Anambra State, where internalized and digital rigging was reportedly the order of the day especially in some, if not many river-line and rural areas during the NASS Polls.

 Finally, we respectfully seize this opportunity to congratulate Dr. Chris Ngige and Professor Dorathy Akunyili for their impressive performances during the poll and urge them not to resort to self-help mechanism of dispute resolution, but always insist and follow due process such as Court and dialogue. If Dr. Chris Ngige or Professor Dorothy Akunyili wins credibly at the end of the day, we shall congratulate and support either of them that so wins.

Yours Faithfully,
           For: Intersociety, Nigeria

 Emeka Umeagbalasi
 Chairman
 Board of Trustees
 Phone: +234(0)8033601078
 Email: botchairman@intersociety-ng.org
 Website: www.intersociety-ng.org

Comrade Justus Ijeoma
Head
Publicity Desk
Phone: +234(0)8037114869
   
Our Ref: Intersociety/Vol.02/04/2011/INEC/ABJ/NG

Professor Attahiru Jega
Chairman
Independent National Electoral Commission
INEC National Headquarters
Zambezi Crescent
FCT, Abuja
 

CC:
   The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Anambra State
 

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