Official activities at the headquarters of the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission Office, (DSIEC), Asaba, were Wednesday disrupted as All Progressive Congress, (APC), youths, women, and men from Antiocha North Local Government Area of Delta State besieged the commission with placards, protesting against governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the commission over last Saturday's controversial local government elections.
The APC protesters numbering over 200, barricaded the commission's entrance saying they were in the commission to protest against Governor Okowa and the commission for fraudulently replacing the APC councillorship candidate in Onicha-Olona ward 5, Mr. Chi Emmanuel Oweazim, winner of the Saturday's election with that of the PDP candidate.
According to the visibly angry placards carrying protesters with different inscriptions such as: "Gov. Okowa give us our stolen mandate". "Okowa is not a truthful governor, he strives in injustice". "Gov. Okowa test your strength and release the true Aniocha North ward 5 result." "DSIEC your time is up, DSIEC is a kangaroo election body". "Okowa you are fraudulent and disappointment to democracy in Delta state". "Okowa leave Aniocha North alone", and "What a shame Gov. Okowa, salaries that you did not pay is not enough for you. Bad leadership."
Speaking during the protest, Mr. Jude Gwadia, former President-General, Olona youths, who led the protest said the APC councillorship candidate in Onicha-Olona ward 5, Mr. Chi Emmanuel Oweazim, overwhelming won the Saturday's election, but Okowa in connivance with the commission manipulated the result and replaced Mr. Oweazim with that of the PDP candidate.
Displacing result sheets and other election documents used to declare the APC councillorship candidate in Onicha-Olona ward 5, Mr. Oweazim, by the returning officer, Mr. Jombo Michael, Mr. Gwadia, disclosed that as soon as the results were taken to the commission's headquarters, everything was changed and the PDP candidate was declared the winner of the election.
In a three pages petition addressed to the commission's chairman, signed on behalf of the APC candidate by C.E. Dumbili, Esq., managing partner, Reuben Izeze and Partners, obtained by SaharaReporters, wondered why an election overwhelmingly won by the APC candidate should be manipulated and declare the PDP winner.
"The fact that such false declarations emanated from your office has left us with the first responsibility of writing your commission this petition in the earnest believe that the said declaration was a mistake as otherwise would amount to an outright attempt to steal the mandate of the good people of Onicha-Olona ward 5 in Aniocha North, which will go a long way in destroying the standard of competence, credibility and independent that is ordinarily expected of your commission."
"Furthermore, it is for the avoidance of doubt that we wish to state the obvious and verifiable facts of the council seat election of Aniocha North LGA of Delta state, as it relates to Onicha-Olona ward 5 for the purpose of an immediate investigation and correction of your wrong declaration in this regard, Onicha-Olona ward 5 has a total of 8 polling units viz a viz 001 to 008."
"The peaceful elections which were held on Saturday the 6th day of January 2018 had the following breakdown of results as evidenced in the DSIEC form 009. The APC scored a total of 557 whilst the PDP scored a total of 466 coming behind directly the APC candidate, hence leading to the open declaration of the APC candidate as the winner of the council election. It is our client's instructions, that an immediate correction is made," the petition demanded.
Addressing the protesters on behalf of the commission's chairman, Mr. Mike Ogbodu, a man who identified himself as an official of the commission and was not on the seat, appealed for calm and promised that all the issues at stake would be looked into by the commission.