Pro-democracy and rights organisation, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), has warned the "integrity-challenged" Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure that nothing roguish happens to Enugu and Abia Saturday's Governorship results so that the states would not be set ablaze.
Commending the Collation Officers for Enugu, Prof Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe and Abia, Prof Nnenna Oti, for refusing to compromise their positions in the eyes of law, Intersociety warned that the results of the two governorship polls must not be tampered with or brutally suppressed.
The group which stated this in a release on Tuesday, signed by its principal officers - Emeka Umeagbalasi, Obianuju Joy and Chidinma Udegbunam, said the decision of the INEC National Headquarters to suspend the collation of the results involving Nkanu East and Nsukka Local Government Areas in Enugu State and Obingwa Local Government Area in Abia State and look into issues critically raised must not be a seized opportunity to subvert the sacred electoral wishes of the people of the two states.
According to the group, the task before INEC headquarters was a simple issue which is to determine the actual number of registered voters/PVC holders (eligible voters) and the number of accredited voters (actual voters) in Nkanu East and Nsukka in Enugu State and Obingwa in Abia State.
"Flowing from the above; how many accredited voters voted and were they greater or lesser in number than the number of registered/accredited voters? In other words: is it correct to say that the “30, 000 votes” padded and added in Nkanu East were greater or lesser than the number of its registered/PVC holders/accredited voters? In Obingwa, Abia State, is it also correct to say that the “72,000 votes” being smuggled in were greater or lesser in number than the number of registered/PVC holders/accredited voters?"
Intersociety advised that INEC must resist attempts to smuggle in magic results in Nkanu East and Obingwa.
"Intersociety has investigated and found that the real issues in contention and at the center of controversy involving Nkanu East of Enugu and Obingwa of Abia Governorship results’ conundrum are desperate attempts by gubernatorial incumbents in the two states to smuggle in magic results into the main results so as to outnumber and corner the majority results to their favoured candidates.
“This is more so when the manufactured results are strongly believed to be far above the total registered or accredited voters with PVCs in Nkanu East, Enugu State and Obingwa, Abia State. There was also a counter accusation by Enugu Government incumbents that the results of Nsukka Local Government Area were “awarded” or “manufactured” for Labor Party Candidate to the tune of “30,000 votes” as against “10,000” given to PDP Candidate; leading to alleged retaliation by the Enugu Government incumbents awarding “30,000 votes” to their preferred Candidate in Nkanu East Local Government Area.
"It is instructive to note that Nsukka Local Government Area is a cosmopolitan and most populated LGA in Enugu State, if not in the South-East. It is also one of the largest recipients of the monthly federated revenue allocations. Nkanu East, on its part, is a small rural area mostly populated by sedentary inhabitants; with a striking portion of its rural dwellers displaced by jihadist activities of the Fulani herdsmen.
"It was further discovered that the “30,000 magic votes” in Nkanu East constitutes more than half of its 15, 000 registered PVC/accredited voters. In Obingwa, Abia State, the “72,000 magic votes” being smuggled in constitutes three times higher than its’23,000’ PVC holders/accredited voters," it revealed.
Intersociety, however, warned INEC that it should try to redeem itself by ensuring that where the number of votes returned was more than the number of accredited voters was cancelled as it had done in the past elections. "It shouldn't abdicate the duty to the court and save the state resources that would be deployed in litigations and bribing the judges to maintain the sham."