The Civil Liberties Organisations, CLO, Akwa Ibom State has called on the Independent National Electoral Commissionm INEC, in the state to declare the result and the return of the governorship/house of Assembly election conducted on March 9, 2019 in Essien Udim Local Council of the state, which has been kept on hold.
The state chairman of the group, Franklyn Isong, at a press conference in Uyo on Monday, argued that the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner REC, Mr. Mike Igini, has not explained his inability to issue a certificate of Return to any of the candidates who contested the election in Essien Udim state constituency.
Isong further argued that it was necessary to declare the results now so that both the candidates and the constituents would know their fate regarding who won or lost the elections.
He maintained that with the situation at hand the people of Essien Udim were still in the dark to ascertain their representative.
The statement partly read: “The CLO demands that the REC, Mr. Mike Igini make a declaration on the result and the return of the election into the Essien Udim State constituency on 9th March 2019, by the commission.
“It is imperative that at the end of the election both the candidates and the members of the state constituency should know their fate as to who won and who is their representative; respectively.
“As it stands, the candidates, the citizens of the state constituency, the people of Akwa Ibom and the political parties who sponsored candidates in the election are in the quandary, not knowing the outcome of the election and what legal action to take in redress.
“The development is sad and unfortunate as it ought not to be in a democratic setting like ours where the provisions of the law are explicit on the functions of INEC and other institutions in the electoral system.”
Recall that the REC, Mr. Igini had on Thursday, last week, presented Certificates of Return to Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, his deputy, Moses Ekpo, and twenty-five Members-elect of the state house of Assembly, but left out that of Essien Udim State constituency.
Igini while issuing the return certificates explained that, “Reports from Collation Officers sent to the Essien Udim stated that election results of the local Government were signed under duress.”
Igini noted that the commission at the national level would handle the issue of Essien Udim state constituency.