OPINION: Wike,Dakuku and INEC; Who Wants The Child DEAD in Rivers State?


By: Oby Ndukwe

It’s no news anymore that the APC in Rivers state is contending not just with the PDP but with electoral body, INEC in a bid to prove it’s case beyond every reasonable doubt that there were no elections in Rivers state. While the APC led by Rotimi Amaechi dislodged the PDP at the centre, the party suffered a defeating blow in the state.
But the party will not take any of the results declared by INEC as the true reflection of the votes cast, if at all proper elections had taken place. The factors that led to the defeat of the APC in the state are numerous but mainly due to the influence of the presidency through the wife of former president Jonathan, Dame Patience who exercised all powers over the electoral body and the security agencies. That noy withstanding, the APC candidates are expected by law to prove that the elections held were not free and fair. It behoves on the party and it’s candidates to provide evidence before the tribunal Judges, even when the bulk of evidence needed to do so lie in the bosom of INEC. This is one of the flaws of the Electoral Act and the Nigerian Constitution, where a party is expected to obtain its evidence from the electoral body, which in turn is at the tribunal as a defendant or a respondent.
In this case, INEC is expected to prove that the results announced are a true reflection of actual elections held. While the APC is the petitioner, the rival PDP is in deep alliance with INEC as co-defendants or respondents. To retain their fragile victory, the PDP would do everything possible to protect the interest of INEC.

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More than three months after the elections and two months since the tribunals ordered INEC to allow for the inspection of materials said to be used for the elections, it’s been tales of frustrations, accusations and counter accusations. INEC officials in Rivers state led by the controversial Gezila Khan, the REC, has given strange reasons why the APC cannot access the materials. From the issue of power failure to sabotaged Generators, to engraved signatures and the contentious Voters’ Register; Khan and her gang are not willing to be anything neutral as enshrined in the law. The flagrant display of disobedience to constituted authorities and court orders is simply a pointer to the extent of their desperation to deny the APC justice at the tribunals.

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Simple logic would explain why INEC has decided to take sides with the PDP. The PDP candidate for the governorship election, Nyesom Wike has severally claimed that he beat Dakuku Peterside of the APC fair and square with a suspicious margin. But Wike and the PDP are not prepared for a second test of their popularity. Having failed to win or stop the petitions through technicalities, his legal team approached the Appeal Court seeking to get a reprieve against the decision of the tribunal to proceed with the petitions. But it was another brick wall, stronger than that which they occupy in Port Harcourt, that they met. The Appeal Court insisted that the trial should continue.

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While the APC battles to secure enough evidence to prove their case with several witnesses already testifying, INEC is also expected to provide evidence of proper elections conducted. While Dakuku and co are eager to inspect the materials in possession of INEC, Wike and co are kicking against the inspection of the materials even when it is a constitutional provision, it therefore becomes like the case of the biblical women who appeared before King Solomon with a child. One of the women was in support of Solomon’s decision to slash the child into two, meaning death; the other woman was totally against it because the child actually belonged to her. It was then clear to the king that the child belonged to the woman who did not want the child dead. That is the story of Solomon and his wisdom.
In the case of APC vs PDP, who wants the child dead?


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