Attahiru Jega, INEC Chairman

Independent National Electoral Commision (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Akwa Ibom, Austin Okojie, has reportedly fled from town after being prompted to release election materials that he has been withholding.

SaharaReporters reported exclusively on Saturday May 16, how the corrupt REC deliberately sabotaged efforts by the APC in Akwa Ibom to inspect election materials as ordered by the election tribunal.   

There is palpable tension in Akwa Ibom State following the continued refusal of the REC, Mr. Okojie, to release electoral materials used during the April 11 governorship polls to lawyers representing the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Umana Okon Umana, in accordance with the legally binding ruling from the recent tribunal.

The tribunal ordered Okojie to allow the petitioners to retrieve the election materials used in the April 11, 2015 Governorship election to forensic examination.

On Wednesday, the matter came up for hearing by lawyers representing PDP Governor-Elect, Udom Emmanuel, who was allegedly allocated almost a million votes.

They wanted to restrict the period granted to the APC for inspection of the INEC materials, the tribunal was informed of the disobedience to its orders. The matter has been adjourned to May 23rd, 2015 for hearing of the motion.

Mr. Okojie, the REC for Akwa Ibom, has abdicated his duty post and his current whereabouts remains unknown. In a recent interview, Chief Victor Iyanam, a former Attorney General in Akwa Ibom State and one of the counsel representing the petitioners, said he was convinced that the refusal of the REC to release materials to the petitioners, and their forensic experts, was deliberate and calculated to frustrate them.

SaharaReporters repeatedly attempted to contact Mr. Okojie for comment, however he did not return any phone calls.

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