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Rivers’ INEC Bars APC From Conducting Forensic Inspection Of Election Materials

By Nwaorgu Faustinus
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The All Progressives Congress, APC, its attention has been drawn to the refusal today by the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, for the APC and its governorship candidate in the last April elections in Rivers State, Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside to conduct forensic examination and analysis of election materials as per three separate Orders of the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja.

The party in a press statement signed by Mr Chris Finebone and made available to NF-Rports noted that, “would be recalled that the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja had handed three Orders, at various times, in which it was unequivocally embedded that the INEC must allow and facilitate the forensic examination of specified election materials for the purpose of tendering same before the Tribunal.”

The text of the statement reads: “By Tuesday September 1, 2015 the INEC represented by its External Solicitor, Julius Mba, Esq, Solicitors to the APC and those of the PDP held a meeting where they set out the modalities for the inspection which they scheduled to commence the next day.

However, on the morning of today [Wednesday, September 2, 2015], Julius Mba, Esq announced that the INEC would no more allow the scanning and cropping of ballot papers and other materials which are at the centre of forensic examination and analysis as ordered by the Tribunal. Every attempt to make the INEC External Solicitor and his clients to see reason has so far fallen on deaf ears.

“Consequent upon this glaring display of open disobedience to Orders of Tribunal, the APC lawyers and agents withdrew from the process as further participation would amount to legitimizing the illegality that INEC has imposed on the exercise.

“The APC would like to note that the present decision by INEC to disallow the scanning, photocopying and cropping of the materials amounts to a clear disobedience of valid Orders of the Tribunal and a means of taking away what the Tribunal explicitly granted our party and candidate in the aforementioned Orders. This is lucidly enunciated by the self-explanatory letter by the solicitors of APC attached herewith.

“We would like to urge the leadership of the INEC to quickly regain its sense of reason and do the right thing as ordered by the Tribunal without further delay.”