Edo PDP Faults INEC On Edo REC, Insists On Police Prosecution

By DADA AYOKHAI

The Edo State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has faulted the recent shield provided for the Edo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Johnson Alaibo Sinikiem by the National body of the Commission and similarly insisted on Police prosecution.

The party in statement issued in Benin city and signed by it’s State Chairman Dr. Tony Aziegbemi draws the attention of the Commission’s Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to the statement by Mr. Festus Okoye, the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, which he considered as a cover up and ways to intimidate, coarse and prevent the police from concluding the ongoing investigation of Dr. Sinikiem.

According to Dr Aziegbemi, the PDP request to the police is to investigate and verify documents that Dr. Johnson Alalibo Sinikiem has been peddling as results of his imaginary Congresses and Primaries.

“I condemn in very strong terms, Okoye’s comments as being subversive, and capable of ridiculing the electoral body as a transparent institution.”

According to Dr. Aziegbemi, “There are no laws that insulates agents of INEC or any other State or Federal institutions from investigation and possibly, criminal trial, especially in a case of forgery.”

He said, “The petition is backed by facts and we had initially refrained ourselves, because the matter was before the court. However, now that the Appeal Court in its ruling last week affirmed that the issue of Congresses and Primaries are Political Party’s internal affairs, justice has been served in favour of the party, we challenge Dr. Sinikiem to defend himself against the very heavy proof of falsification that has been levelled against him.”

Edo PDP Chairman further challenged the Edo REC with a series of questions to provide answers to, which are: (i) What communication did he act on, regarding the addresses of venues approved by the PDP National Working Committee? (ii) What does the INEC guideline say about the organization of Congresses and Primaries of political parties? From facts at the disposal of the party, Dr. Sinikiem ignored communications from both the NWC and the office of State Chairman. As a matter of fact, he assumed the authority of our party. “

“For the avoidance of doubt, and without equivocation, Dr. Sinikiem has failed to defend his verbal claim that he monitored any parallel delegates congress and Primaries in Edo State.”

“PDP has records to prove that Dr. Sinikiem merely sat behind in INEC office and rubber stamped the forged papers that were passed to him by paid agents.

“In the spirit of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu’s determination to always deliver free, fair and transparent election, we call on him to support moves by the Edo State Commissioner of Police, to thoroughly investigate the allegation of falsification by the PDP against Dr. Sinikiem, the REC in Edo State. This is more important as the nation moves towards critical elections in 2023.”

“Sadly and painfully too, Dr. Sinikiem partisan role in the internal workings of PDP, has considerably festered division in the party.

“In the prevailing circumstance, where the police is being prevented from investigating and prosecuting Dr. Johnson Alaibo Sinikiem, we shall have no other option to the fact, that he used his position as the Resident Electoral Commissioner, to cause division, disaffection, in the manner an interested party will do, in what the Appeal court has now said is the internal affair of our political party.”

Dr Aziegbemi further remarked that the bribery allegations of the commission officials in the ongoing voters registration is a further prove of the activities of INEC in Edo State under the supervision of Dr. Johnson Alaibo Sinikiem.

Dr Aziegbemi had recently forwarded a petition to the Edo state police command accusing the Edo REC, Dr. Johnson Alaibo Sinikiem of forgery and falsification of results of Congresses and Primaries conducted by the various panels set up and sent to the State by the NWC of the party.

The petition, amongst other things, accused the REC of forgery and falsification of results of Congresses and primaries conducted by the various panels set up and sent to the State by the NWC of the PDP.

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