The group disclosed that the illegal documents were openly traded at the recently concluded Kogi State governorship election especially in Okene, Adavi and Okehi local government areas among others.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja Thursday on the alleged arbitrariness of Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the group’s President, Chief Christopher Ukwenya also called on the Federal Government to call outgoing Governor Bello to order on the political upheavals that the governor has lately created in the state.
“We call upon the INEC chairman to investigate and expose the new innovation in INEC Headquarters where candidates or their proxies can freely purchase original election result sheets through national commissioners for use on election day.
“If this is not done and very urgently too, Nigerians may lose more confidence in INEC whose image is already battered at the moment. “INEC Headquarters should distance itself from the distribution of pre-filled election results by investigating electoral officers and other INEC staff engaged in the evil practice. For example, BVAS machines were bypassed in Okene, Adavi and Okehi local government areas during the November 11, 2023 gubernatorial election in Kogi State.”
Chief Ukwenya said the Nov. 2023 governorship election was flawed and left much to be desired as the outgoing governor used the polls to sow seeds of discord between the people of Igala, Okun and Egbira who have lived together for a long time.
He described Governor Bello as a “disaster on Constitutional Democracy,” claiming that the governor allegedly portrayed “chauvinistic tendencies and ethnic bigotry,” in the handling of state affairs.
The forum called on President Bola Tinubu, relevant government agencies, Nigerians and the entire world to pay close attention to the ugly political developments in Kogi State with a view to curtailing the excesses of Gov. Bello in the state.”
The Advocate reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC had said that its senior officials deployed to Kogi State, North-Central Nigeria investigated the reported incident of results sheets filled in some polling units before commencement of voting exercise in the off-cycle Governorship polls in Kogi state.
INEC’s promise to investigate the electoral fraud followed the alarm raised by an election observer group, Yiaga Africa in respect of Polling Unit 004, Eni Ward in Ogori-Mangogo Local Government Area of the State, where pre-filled governorship election result sheets emerged at some polling units shortly before the November 11, 2023 governorship election.
But the INEC officials and returning officers drawn from University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, in Enugu State, went ahead to accept the contention result sheets which they relied upon to award victory to the All Progressive Congress, APC candidate.
The electoral fraud is currently being contested by the Social Democratic Party, SDP and its governorship candidate, Alhaji Murtala Ajaka at the State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting at Abuja.