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``` ```Enugu: IPAC Tells INEC To Announce Collated Results ``` - Information - ECHOnigeria

ECHOnigeria Forum / Information / ``` ```Enugu: IPAC Tells INEC To Announce Collated Results ``` (1 Post | 373 Views)

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``` ```Enugu: IPAC Tells INEC To Announce Collated Results ``` by hdaveyork(m) : 8:34 pm

Enugu: IPAC Tells INEC To
Announce Collated Results
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March 18 guber election: Enugu
political parties ask INEC to
announce already collated results
from 17 LGAs without further
delay
Political parties in Enugu State
under the auspices of
Inter-
Party Advisory Council (IPAC)
have called on the National
Chairman of the Independent
National Electoral Commission
(INEC) Prof. Mahmood Yakubu to
direct the Resident Electoral
Commissioner (REC) in Enugu
State, Dr. Chukwuemeka J.
Chukwu and the State Returning
Officer, Prof. Maduebibisi O. Iwe
to as a matter of urgency
announce the already collated
results of governorship election
from the 17 local government
areas and declare the winner of
the election without further
delay.
IPAC which made the call during a
press conference in Enugu, on
Tuesday, stated that “any action
short of this will be outside the
law and could bring anarchy to
an already fragile situation,”
stressing that “INEC has no
power under our laws to review
collated results.”
Leaders of the political parties at
the press conference were Hon.
Chief Edwin Ikechukwu Alor of
Accord Party and State Chairman
of IPAC; Hon. Innocent Ezeoha of
the Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP) and Deputy Chairman of
IPAC; Dr. Afam Ani of APP; Barr.
Ken Ikeh of APM; Elvis Ugwoke of
ZLP who is the Secretary General
of IPAC; and Hon. Nnaemeka Oko
of AAC.
Others were Hon. Stella
Chukwuma of ADC; Hon. Dr. Mrs.
Chinyere Madike of ADP; Hon.
Louis Chiedozie Ugwu of NRM and
Hon. Sir Magnus Ezea of SDP.
The parties maintained that “the
results of the 17 Local
Government Areas (LGAs),
including those of Nkanu East
and Nsukka LGAs, were all
collated by the State Returning
Officer on March 19, 2023”
stating that “by the provisions
of the Electoral Act 2022, the
only other duty remaining for the
State Returning Officer, who is
acting on INEC’s behalf is to add
up the figures, announce them,
and declare the winner in line
with Section 65 and 66 of the
Electoral Act 2022.”
Describing the delay in the
announcement of the final result
of the March 18, 2023
governorship election in Enugu
State, which was won by the
candidate of the PDP, Dr. Peter
Ndubuisi Mbah, as “needless
confusion and restiveness” IPAC
said: It is our strong view that
the INEC State Returning Officer
has discharged his statutory
responsibility by collating the
results of all the 17 local
government areas, including
those of Nkanu East and Nsukka
Local Government Areas. The
remaining responsibility for the
State Returning Officer is to
announce results and declare the
winner. INEC cannot be a judge in
its own case, if any.”
The political parties stressed
that
“the law in Section 130(1) of
the Electoral Act is also mindful
to make provisions for the
adjudication of any complaint
against a return made by the
Returning Officer.
“Section 130(1) provides: No
election and return at an election
under this Act shall be
questioned in any manner other
than by a petition complaining of
an undue election or undue
return presented to the
competent tribunal or court in
accordance with the provisions
of the Constitution or of this Act,
and in which the person elected
or returned is joined as a party.
“The collation centre is not an
Election Tribunal or the law court
where redress is sought. The
State Collation Center is to
accept results as they come,
collate and announce them, and
ultimately declare the winner.
“Consequently, it is our strong
view that the INEC State
Returning Officer has discharged
his statutory responsibility by
collating the results of all the 17
local government areas, including
those of Nkanu East and Nsukka
Local Government Areas. The
remaining responsibility for the
State Returning Officer is to
announce results and declare the
winner. INEC cannot be a judge in
its own case, if any.
“We call INEC’s attention to the
case of the Presidential and
National Assembly elections
where the Chairman, Prof
Mahmood Yakubu stood his
ground, completed the collation
process and announced the
result despite all protests.
“Equally, the elections in Ebonyi
State, Rivers State and Lagos
State, which were fraught with
violence, ballot box snatching,
over-voting and all sorts of
complaints were declared despite
these shortcomings.
“So, we see no good reason why
the announcement of the final
results and declaration of the
winner in the Enugu governorship
election, which is adjudged
comparatively free, fair and
credible should be placed on hold
because of the desperation of a
few individuals and at the
expense of the masses who
freely exercised their franchise
and made a statement through
the ballot.
“We are, therefore, urging the
National Chairman of INEC, Prof.
Mahmood Yakubu to direct the
Resident Electoral Commissioner
(REC) in Enugu State and the
State Returning Officer to as a
matter of urgency do the
needful by announcing the result
of governorship election without
delay and declare the winner
with immediate effect. Any
action short of this will be
outside the law and could bring
anarchy to an already fragile
situation.
IPAC further maintained that
Enugu State governorship
election results from the 17 local
government areas of the state
were duly collated by INEC State
Returning Officer on Sunday,
March 19, 2023, reiterating that
the statement from INEC
National Headquarters
suspending collation of results in
one LGA in Abia State and two
LGAs in Enugu State is not
applicable to Enugu case because
there is no result that has not
been collated in the state prior
to the suspension by INEC.
Recall that the Enugu State PDP
through its Campaign Council had
disagreed with the INEC on its
decision to suspend the
announcement of the final
results and declaration of Dr.
Peter Mbah as the winner of the
Enugu State governorship
contest, stressing that the
election management body was
overreaching itself, as it could
not, by law, suspend the
declaration of an already collated
result.
The PDP equally also said INEC
was wrong to present the Abia
and Enugu cases as the same,
pointing out that “Putting the
Abia and Enugu situations in one
basket clearly shows that the
national headquarters of INEC is
mixing things up or has not been
properly briefed. There is
absolutely nothing like
outstanding local governments
as far as the collation process in
Enugu State is concerned.
“Unlike the situation in Abia
State, the results of the entire
17 LGAs of Enugu State, including
those of Nkanu East and Nsukka
LGAs, have been fully collated by
the Returning Officer, Prof
Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, on Sunday
the 19th of March. What remains
for the INEC is to sum up the
returns by the Local Government
Returning Officers and declare
our candidate, Dr. Mbah the
governor-elect.
“That is why we are saying that
INEC is overreaching itself; they
have no powers at this stage to
suspend the pronouncement or
declaration of the winner of the
election, which is our candidate.
“Section 64( of the Electoral
Act 2022 provides that where
collation has been completed as
in the present case of Enugu
State, the duty of the collation
officer, who collated the result is
to announce the result and make
a declaration. Therefore, having
collated the results from Nsukka
LGA and Nkanu East LGA, the
statutory duty and legal
responsibility of the State
Returning Officer is simply to
announce and declare the
results, as INEC cannot, by law,
suspend the declaration of result
already collated,” the PDP said.
On issues relating to
accreditation and votes cast in a
polling unit and the fate of such
votes where they exceed the
number of accredited voters in
such units, the PDP said such are
guided by Section 51(2) of the
Act.
“The position of the law is that a
Returning Officer has no power
to cancel any results at the
stage of collation. The only
option open to any person
dissatisfied with the process is
to resort to Section 130(1) of the
Electoral Act, which vests the
power to receive and adjudicate
petitions complaining of an
undue election or undue return in
an election in the tribunal or
court.
“As a matter of fact, we are
dissatisfied with the result from
Nsukka Local Government Area.
We are dissatisfied with the
results from Udenu, Isi-Uzo,
Ezeagu, and more. But is not for
us to take the laws into our
hands or indulge in self-help.
That is why we are ready to go
and interrogate those results at
the appropriate quarters
because we can no longer
complain as the collation has
been completed.
“INEC cannot choose the ones
you will collate to release the
result and the ones you will
collate and withhold the result”,
the PDP emphasised.
“We believe that the Returning
Officer for Nkanu East Local
Government Area has duly
complied with the provision of
Sections 64(4)(a)&(b) and
Section 64(a)&(d) of the
Electoral Act 2022.
”We consequently restate our
position that the only option left
to INEC acting through the State
Returning Officer for the Enugu
State Governorship Election
under Section 64(
of the
Electoral Act 2022 is to announce
the results and make a
declaration of the winner of the
election.
“We therefore call on INEC to
immediately announce the
summation of the 17 local
governments it has already
collated and declare Dr. Peter
Ndubisi Mbah the winner of the
March election”, the PDP
reiterated.
The PDP also expressed worries
that the INEC was already
overheating the Enugu polity by
the needless delay in the
pronouncement of the winner of
the governorship election.
“We will continue to caution that
INEC should not take the
patience of the electorate and
people of Enugu for granted. We
know what it took us today to
rein in their voluminous anger as
it relates to the delay in the
declaration of Dr. Peter Ndubuisi
Mbah as governor-elect and we
are calling on the INEC to cease
forthwith this foot-dragging and
declare our candidate the duly
elected candidate in the last
election” the PDP stressed.
The party also condemned what
it described as desperate and
hypocritical approach of the
Labour Party to the elections.
“In the instance, our Enugu East
senatorial candidate lost his
election to return to the Senate
to the Labour Party. It was the
same process that produced the
result that gave Labour Party
the victory that also produced
the winner of the governorship
election in the Nkanu East in the
same senatorial zone. But while
the Labour Party has accepted
the result for the Senate, they
are contesting the governorship
that the same process produced.
This is hypocrisy”, the party
concluded.
```
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https://
dailypost.ng/2023/03/21/enugu-
guber-ipac-asks-inec-to-
announce-collated-results/
  

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