by Ayobami Olopade
The Independent National Electoral Commission in Anambra State is already confirming the doubts of skeptics who assert that the November 16,17 and 30 governorship elections in Anambra state were shabbily conducted.
For four days, the commission has been unable to produce a list of permanent and ad hoc staff who prosecuted the elections as well as the voters’ register ordered for any ward, except for one in Aguata Local Government Area, as ordered by the gubernatorial elections tribunal.
The All Progressives Congress(APC), through its lawyers, had sought the permission of the Justice J K Kaigama-led election tribunal to inspect the election materials used for the elections by INEC which the tribunal granted last Wednesday by ordering the electoral commission to make available to the APC lawyers all election materials for inspection.
The court also granted the prayers of Emeka Ngige (SAN), leading a team of other lawyers for INEC to produce Forms EC8A,EC8B EC8C,EC8D, EC8G,EC8E (results sheets at all levels) used for the elections as well as the voters’ register for the three-phased elections.
However, for over four days since the APC lawyers began inspecting the election materials, some of the vital documents ordered for inspection have not been made available; including the required staff list, the voucher for payment of electoral staff, voters’ register among others.
While INEC officials have pleaded for patience in order for them produce the list today, a source close to the commission revealed that the list does not exist, saying “it is being put together now.”
Venting her frustrations at the INEC office in Awka for being asked to complete another form last Friday, an official of the commission, who was a Polling Assistant in Idemili North, declared “they told us that the arrested Electoral Officer for Idemili North has the list of all the staff who worked in the elections for Idemili North, so we cannot be paid until another list is constructed”.
On his part, Bona Oraekwe, a member of the APC legal team, “We will give them the benefit of the doubt till tomorrow as they requested.”