…Elections Tribunal receives 16 petitions in Jos.
by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State has expressed dissatisfaction over INEC officials who absconded with electoral materials (both sensitive and not-sensitive) and deliberately refused to turn-in the results of over 25 Polling Units for over 48 hours after close of polls.
The PDP Chairman, Hon. Chris Adukuchili Hassan, disclosed this during a Press Conference at the PDP SecretarIAT, Jos, on Monday, saying, “We need to draw the attention of the public to the fact that these acts of criminal conspiracy and sheer electoral brigandage and banditry were premeditated, hatched, calculated and executed with the collision, connivance and funding of the Chairman of Jos North Local Government Area, Hon. Shehu Bala Usman, Hon. Babayo Yusuf Gagdi and Hon. Aliu Adamu.”
According to him, “The entire state woke up on Sunday 19th March, 2023, to the disconcerting news of the disappearance of 35 Polling Units officials and results from Naraguta B Ward of Jos North Local Government Area.
“The results from these polling units were not uploaded to INEC result viewing portal, IREV, and the electoral officials for these Polling Units had absconded, as all their phone numbers were reportedly switched off.”
According to him, “This was confirmed by the Collation Officer of Naraguta B and the Electoral Officer of Jos North. This was accordingly to the initial reports and findings – that the deliberate delay was calculated and intended to serve as a buffer for the rigging of the gubernatorial result in favour of the APC candidate.”
He described the act as “shameful role played by the Chairman of Jos North, and will remain in history as one of the most ignoble, reprehensible and despicable acts in the political history of Plateau State,” adding that “The Chairman at various times, before the final collation, physically obstructed, intimidated, cajoled, enticed and maligned the staff of INEC at Naraguta B Collation Center and Jos North Collation Center and made himself quite disgracefully an advocate for the absconded electoral officials of the 25 Polling Units.
“We are aware of all his antics and tricks with his cohorts, on how their attempts to compromise officials of the Commission with monetary gifts and underhand tactics failed flatly and roundly,” he stated.
Hon. Chris Hassan stressed that, it took the outcry from the public and deliberate action by INEC and Security Agencies before some of the results were released in piecemeal and calculated to truncate the entire process.
The chairman explained further that, about 21 polling units were later collated after verification and confirmation, according to clear provisions of Electoral Act, 2022.
He called on the Nigeria Police to go after all the 3 Adhoc INEC Staffs at the 14 Polling Units and 14 Police Officers attached to these Polling Units, which was an act of conspiracy amongst all those involved, as all the 42 Adhoc staff in the 14 Polling Units switched off their phones as well as the 14 Police men attached to these Polling Units.
The PDP chairman further appealed to the security that for proper investigation and prosecution of these electoral offences, all the 56 conspirators and collaborators should be arrested and given the opportunity to explain their various roles in the botched attempt to skew and rewrite election results against the popular will and wishes of the people of Plateau State.
He questioned as to what role did the Chairman of Jos North play in the disappearance of all 42 Adhoc staffs and 14 Police personnel attached to the 14 polling units in Naraguta B?
According to him, there can be no end to this matter unless the police arrest and prosecute all persons involved, so as to serve as deterrent to all and sundry.
He called on the INEC to immediately correct the results of Plateau Central Senatorial Zone Candidate with reference to Kanam Local Government Area for over-voting, and corrections of the Senatorial results in Mangu as a result of computation of errors detected, and to immediately declare Amb. Gokuna Yohnna Gotom as the winner of the Senatorial election held on the 25th February, 2023.
He assured all PDP supporters and, indeed all Plateau citizens, that the mandate given to the Governor-elect, Barr. Caleb Mutfwang, is God-ordained and it is a strong and manifest reflection of the wishes of the electorates across the state.
He stressed that, “No amount of human and evil machinations and schemes can undo what God has begun in our dear state,” and called on all for calm, to be peaceful and prayerful as we await the good plans and projects that await Plateau in the months and the years ahead.
He congratulated the Governor-elect Barr. Caleb Mutfwang, and his deputy, Josephine Piyo, for the resounding victory at the just concluded polls in the state, and also thanked the electorates in the state for making a clear and unmistakable decision by voting for PDP in the Governorship election and the various Houses of Assembly seats across the state.
In another development, not less than 16 election petitions have been received by the Elections Tribunal sitting in Jos the Plateau State Capital.
The petitions so far received by the Tribunal have shown that only Federal House of Representatives has 11 petitions and the Senatorial seat with 5 petitions.
This was made known by Secretary of the Tribunal, Mrs Belemon, who noted that, as for now those were the petitions received, adding that, no petition from the Governorship and State House of Assembly has been received. This brings the total number of petitions received in the state so far to 16, which is now before the Tribunal in Jos.