Dr. Goodluck Diigbo, HDP Governorship Candidate Goes To Court over National Assembly Elections in Rivers State.
Over 4,000 HDP Party Agents Precluded from National Assembly Elections, while praising HDP Agents for acting nonviolently, Dr. Goodluck Diigbo, HDP Governorship Candidate in Rivers State has already commenced legal action to seek redress and nullify the East and South East Senatorial Elections of 9th April, 2011. HDP Party symbol was also missing on the ballot paper.
Dr. Goodluck Diigbo, Governorship Candidate of Hope Democratic Party (HDP) has filed a petition to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC over the rigged National Assembly Elections in the South East and East Senatorial Districts in Rivers State.
At the same time Dr. Diigbo has instructed his attorneys to prepare to drag INEC to court within 48 hours if there is no prompt response to the petition for the nullification of the elections.
In a sworn-affidavit at the Rivers State High Court in Bori in support of the petition to the Director of Polls, INEC concerning gross violation of the electoral act 2010 (as may be amended) during the 9th April, 2011 National Assembly Elections in the East and South East Senatorial Districts of Rivers State, Nigeria, Dr. Diigbo demanded that the declaration of the 9th April results as non and void to the extent of the violation of the Electoral Act.
Dr. Diigbo insisted that INEC withhold the issuance of Certificate of Return to PDP Candidates known to be responsible for violation of the Electoral Act and to further order the conduct of a fresh polling to enable free and fair elections take place in the affected Districts. Dr. Diigbo also asked INEC to provide appropriate redress, initiate relevant action and punishment, so far as the rights and freedoms Nigerian citizens have been threatened and even, violated.
“Considering cogent and verifiable violations that have taken place in Rivers East and South East Senatorial Districts we have reasonable grounds to believe that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should apply the full weight of the law in respect of Electoral Offences, including but not limited to falsification and publication of invalid election results, Bribery and Conspiracy to commit electoral offences and improper use of electoral materials by electoral personnel and their co-conspirators,” Dr. Diigbo maintained.
Dr. Diigbo stated that nullification will substantially and positive affect the outcome of fresh polls and to wipe out the falsified elections to produce credible results for purposes of free and fair elections in Nigeria.
Dr. Diigbo demanded that on no account must anyone wishing to be announced or already announced by the INEC present, represent or parade himself or themselves as senator(s)-elect in the affected Districts until proper determination of the law suit or fresh conduct of National Assembly elections in the affected Districts.
According to details of violations, Dr. Diigbo noted as follows
We further declare and assert that:
1. Going by the Electoral Law, there are reasonable grounds to believe that returns were made for National Assembly elections that did not take place on the 9TH of April, 2011 to the Membership of the Senate and the House of Representatives in Rivers State East and South East Senatorial Districts;
2. That the Electoral Law suffered violation as the Accreditation and Voting by Open Secret Ballot did not take place at variously designated centres of the affected East and South East Senatorial Districts of Rivers State.
3. Against the Electoral Law, the purported results were not announced by the Presiding officers at variously affected designated Polling Stations.
4. In further violation of the Electoral Law, the Ward Returning Officers did not announce results at variously affected designated Wards' Collation Centres.
5. Still violating the Electoral Law, there was no announcement of affected results at variously designated Local Government /Area Councils.
6. Furthermore, in parts of East and South East Senatorial District, particularly in Andoni and Etche areas of Rivers State, the symbol of Hope Democratic Party (HDP) did not appear on the ballot papers for the 9th of April, 2011 elections to membership of the National Assembly of Nigeria.
7. Citizens or voters intending to vote with their voters' cards presented themselves at variously designated Polling Units and were told that there were neither ballot papers nor result sheet.
8. The INEC officers appointed to exercise the functions to conduct the said National Assembly elections did not perform their functions and duties as specified by Electoral Law 2010 (as may have been amended) and were subject to the direction and control of Peoples Democratic Party leaders and thugs that had taken electoral officers in Tai Local Government Area, Gokana Local Government and in certain wards of Khana Local Government Area to private homes to thumb print ballot papers.
9. PDP thugs in Rivers State and agents had connived with INEC electoral personnel to preclude more than 4,000 Polling Agents of the Hope Democratic Party from performing their civic duties as Polling Agents in the National Assembly Elections of 9th April, 2011 as provided by the Electoral Law. Thus, the HDP Polling Agents were denied the opportunity to sign the results of the Elections.