A group, Alliance for Social Justice and Human Rights has called on the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu to, as a matter of urgency, prevail on INEC National Commissioner for Edo, Delta and Akwa-Ibom states, Dr. Mohammed Lecky Mustapha to submit all wards, local government areas and final election result sheets for Delta Central Senatorial District, ahead of Saturday, February 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections to avert looming crisis in the area.
In a petition signed by the activists, Edmund Atas and Comrade Williams Asama, Coordinator and Acting Secretary of Alliance for Social Justice and Human Rights respectively, and addressed to INEC Chairman, the group alleged that before the postponement of the February 16 election, some wards, local government areas and final result sheets for Delta Central Senatorial election were alleged to be in possession of some compromised INEC officials at Abudu in Edo state in a bid to rig the election for an opposition party candidate.
The group accused the INEC Commissioner of conniving with a former INEC staff who is a sister to one of the contending party candidate in recruiting security guards of the University of Benin as collation and returning officers for the Delta Central Senatorial Election.
The petition reads: “We are very much aware that employees of Federal Government Institutions were the cadre of citizens engaged by the commission as ad-hoc staff for the position of Collation Officers, Returning Officers and amongst others. However very large number of staff from Federal Institutions in Delta State such as the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE) Effurun, Federal College of Education (Technical), Asaba, Petroleum Training Institute and even staff of Federal Civil Service at the Federal Secretariat, Asaba, were denied engagements by INEC despite having applied and are also qualified for the positions but they refused to engaged as ad-hoc staff. For an election that would be conducted in Delta State they were denied the right of first refusal”.
According to the petition, “this despicable state of affairs is a deliberate ploy by Dr. Mustapha Lecky Mohammed to sadly give the positions to Staff of Federal Institutions from Edo State where he hails from with the intent of using them to rig the elections by fabricating non-existent results at collation of centers.
“It is a sad commentary that even security men from federal institutions like the University of Benin in Edo State got the jobs that Professors from Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE) in Delta State could not get just because Dr. Mustapha Lecky Mohammed wants to allegedly use them to engage in massive rigging. It is worthy of note that some of these ad-hoc Staff are believed to be partisan members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Edo State who do not even know the terrain of Delta State.
While calling on the INEC chairman to immediately redeploy Dr. Mustapha Lecky Mohammed, INEC National Commissioner for Edo, Delta and Akwa-Ibom states, the group urges agents of other political parties to be on alert as there are plans to preload card readers and engage thugs who will disguise using INEC reflector jackets in a bid to rig the election in favour of one of the contending political parties’ candidate.