By Omonigho Odens
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Delta State House of Assembly candidate for Warri South Constituency II, Prince Mike Owhoyovwe Okumagba, has said that he will reclaim his stolen mandate the Election Petition Tribunal.
Okumagba made the assertion at a press conference held in Warri.
Okumagba who was flanked by APC Warri South LGA Secretary, Comrade Esiri Onodaro, Chief (Mrs.) Mary Obruche, APC State leader, chairmen, secretaries, women leaders, youths and leaders of the various wards said: “We shall seek redress in the Election Petition Tribunal and with the evidence/facts before us and God on our side, be rest assured that we shall reclaim our stolen mandate.”
Okumagba noted that 13 political parties contested for the Delta State House of Assembly Warri Constituency II Seat which comprises of Pessu Ward 7, Okere Ward 8, Igbudu Ward 9, Edjeba Ward 10, Okumagba 1 Ward 11 and Okumagba 2 Ward 12.
According to him, “across board, accreditation and voting was observed as opined by the Independent National Electoral commission (INEC) and the process was indeed hitch-free until some minutes past 2p.m.
“Reports from some of our Polling Agents show that the PDP had induced INEC’s Presiding Officers and its Ad-hoc Polling Officers to stop the usage of the Smart Card Readers (SCR) and went into manual voting.
“PDP in connivance with INEC, executed the so-called manual voting in Pessu Ward 7, Edjeba Ward 10 and Okumagba 1Ward 11 and parts of Igbudu Ward 9.
“It is worthy of note that the result we got from our party agents show that the APC was winning in Okere Ward 8, Igbudu Ward 9, Okumagba 1 Ward 11, Okumagba 2 Ward 12 and parts of Pessu Ward 7& Edjeba Ward 10.
“In Okumagba 2 Ward 12, precisely Polling Units 007,008 and 009, the Presiding Officers had announced/declared the result for the House of Assembly as APC 103, PDP 82; APC 96, PDP 70 and APC 102, PDP 55 respectively and upon the sorting/declaration of the Governorship, one Mr. Oyakor Omughelli Godspower led some PDP hoodlums aided by the Warri South Council Vice Chairman, Mrs. Ann Oniovosa to disrupt the process where they snatched the ballot boxes, went away with some Polling Unit Result Sheets and unused ballot papers already stamped and dated.
“In Pessu Ward 7, Edjeba Ward 10 and Okumagba 1 Ward 11, PDP in connivance with INEC official, pushed for the movement of the Ward collation centres to INEC Office along Esiso Road where the result were altered, falsified and changed to suit Mr. Matthew Poko Opuoru, PDP’s Candidate.”
Okumagba also said he will drag INEC to court over alleged connivance with the PDP not to use the Smart Card Readers during the just concluded Governorship and House of Assembly elections.
“We are going to court. We are also suing INEC. I have enough evidence to tender,” he boasted.
Okumagba pointed out that prior to the elections, INEC issued its regulations, guidelines and manuals 2019 to guide the specific elections.
“The legal framework guiding elections consist of the 1999 constitution (As Amended), the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended) as well as the regulations guidelines and manuals issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in consonance with Section 53 of the Electoral Act.
“Mandatory use of Smart Card Readers,(SCR) as outlined in Clause 10 of INEC’S document makes the use of the SCR compulsory. It is also an offence for any official not to use it.
“Moreso, voters whose fingerprints are not authenticated or where wrong pictures and details pop up on the SCR due to technical glitches ought not to be disenfranchised but they will be required to thumbprint the Register of voters and provide their phone numbers for audit purposes while Polling Agents, who represent the political parties will be consulted before such voters can receive ballot papers.