The All Progressives Congress and its Delta State governorship candidate in the 2015 elections, Emerhor Otega, have petitioned the Acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Amina Zakari, over the use of card readers in the last election in the state.
The APC and its candidate accuse the electoral body of denying that the use of card readers in the April 11 governorship elections was mandatory.
The governorship election in Delta State is currently a subject of litigation at the State’s Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba, where the APC and Mr. Otega are challenging the victory of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Peoples Democratic Party.
In the litigation, INEC and its staff are joined as respondents.
The petition said INEC’s legal representative, D.D. DoDo, in a number of extracts, distanced INEC from the use card readers as the only method of accreditation in the April 11 Governorship election.
Mr. Emerhor and the APC alleged that, “INEC at the Delta State Tribunal through Messrs D. D. DODO, has abandoned the brief and official position of INEC as publicly stated and in its place, has filed responses that denies, repudiates and contradicts the mandatory use of card readers for the elections!”
The petitioners therefore expressed “shock and dismay that INEC’s legal counsel will go directly head on against INEC’s official position when only recently, the just retired Chairman of INEC, Prof Jega publicly reinstated INEC’s official position, confirming the mandatory use of Card Readers! We belief that Messrs DODO is misrepresenting INEC.”
The petition was filed on behalf of their counsel, S.M. Egbune.
They urged Ms. Zakari to uphold the institutional reputation of INEC and ensure its publicly known directive is not falsified by electoral officers “working in alliance with politicians to retain illegitimate mandate.”
The use card readers in the last elections was to detect falsification of results as the machine transmits data of accredited voters to the INEC central server real time.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission wishes to inform all Nigerians that Card Readers will be used for the April 11, 2015 Elections,” Augusta Ogakwu, Secretary to the Commission, said in a statement on April 6, days before the Governorship election.