…alleges violence, vote buying, forgery
Governorship candidate of the Accord in Rivers State, Chief Dumo-Lulu-Briggs has rejected the results of the March 18, 2023 Governorship and State Assembly elections in the state.
He called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to cancel the entire elections in the state and order a fresh exercise, failure of which he would be heading for the tribunal.
Chief Lulu-Briggs stated this at a briefing titled ‘Lest they die in vain’ to journalists in Port Harcourt on Friday.
He said the elections were marred and disrupted by killings, violence, voter intimidation and other forms of irregularities which are at variance with the electoral law and INEC regulations.
Lulu-Briggs said INEC had promised to conduct the March 18 poll in line with laid down law and guidelines, due to the strange events that greeted the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
“Based on INEC’s assurances, Rivers people came out in their numbers on March 18, 2023 to elect a new governor and new members of the state House of Assembly.
“But instead of ballot papers, they were served with various degrees of violence that resulted in deaths, bodily harm and destruction of properties,” he said
Lulu-Briggs stated that days to the governorship and House of Assembly elections, Accord House of Assembly members were kidnapped/harassed.
According to him, “The residence of Miss Nenubari Princess Nlenwa, the House of Assembly candidate of Accord in Tai Constituency ((Rivers State) was surrounded on the eve of the election by 30 men dressed in police uniforms.
“Their mission was to pick and lock her up and stop her from physically participating in an election in which she was a candidate.
“She escaped through the backdoor and spent the night in the forest. What a harrowing experience!
He accused INEC of allowing the ‘PDP strongmen to hijack the electoral process in most of the 6,866 polling units in the state and thwarted the electronic transmission of results in real-time.’
The Accord candidate added,” All over the state, PDP members in the company of security men allocated votes to PDP candidates by seizing the BVAS machines and uploading fictitious figures on the IREV.”
“On election day, I got feedback on how well I was performing but my votes were changed by the PDP in most of the places that I won.”
Continuing, he said,” In Oyigbo LGA, Ward 10, Unit 5, the Presiding Officer Bitrus Abigail Delyop had signed and sealed the result sheet showing that I won with 67 votes, APC two votes and PDP, four votes.
“This result was falsified and a new result uploaded on the IREV portal allocating 56 votes to PDP and 26 votes to APC. I was given Zero vote. This occurred in so many polling units across the State.”
Insisting that proper elections did not take place in Rivers on March 18, 2023, Lulu-Briggs said, “It was characterized by vote buying, result forgery, result sheet mutilation, serial thumb printing, etc.
“These happened not just substantially but on an excessive and systemic scale.
“In the light of the above and lest the dead die in vain, I call on INEC to cancel the entire elections of March 18, 2023 in Rivers State and hold a fresh governorship and House of Assembly elections.
“Failure to heed this call will leave my party and me no choice but to file a petition at the election tribunal to challenge this travesty.”