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Edo Police Command Detains INEC REC, Sinikiem Over Alleged Forgery, Conspiracy, Others

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The Edo State Police Command has detained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner in Edo State, Dr. Johnson Alalibo Sinikiem, over alleged forgery, conspiracy and unlawful assembly.

Sinikiem was arrested following a petition by the Edo State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Anthony Aziegbemi, to the Police Command, wherein he accused the INEC REC of forging primary election results, which a faction of the party tendered in filing cases at the Federal High Courts in Abuja and Edo State.

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In the petition dated 20th July, 2022, and addressed to the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Aziegbemi said: “I write this petition in my capacity as the State Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (thereinafter referred to as the PDP) against Dr. Johnson Alaibo Sinkiem, the resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Edo State.

“In preparation towards the conduct of the 2023 general elections, political parties are mandated under the Electoral Act to conduct congresses and primaries. It was in consonance with the Electoral Act that the National Working Committee of the PDP set up various panels to conduct the delegates’ congresses and the actual primaries for the selection of candidates nationwide.”

He continued: “In furtherance of the above assignment, my office formally wrote to Dr. Sinikem with my signature, intimating him of the respective dates, time and locations for the conduct of the delegates and primary elections across the State. Dr. Sinikiem in ignoring my correspondences and contrary to the processes set down by the National Working Committee (NWC)} of the PDP, purportedly monitored some primaries.

“Upon the conclusion of the Congress/primary election(s) exercise and after the respective panels set up by the NWC of our party had forwarded the results thereof to our national Chairman in Abuja, Dr. Sinikiem decided to appoint himself as the returning officer in respect of the primaries he conducted and monitored at unauthorized venues and accordingly forged the PDP primary election results in favour of aspirants who lost In the respective Constituencies and Senatorial Districts.

“The forged primary election results of the PDP are what enabled the aforesaid aspirants to file two separate actions in the Abuja and Benin Divisions of the Federal High Court. And this is what is currently fueling a new crisis within our state chapter of the PDP.”

He said that it is on the basis of the foregoing that “one cannot but submit that Dr. Sinikiem’s conduct of preparing, signing, stamping and executing primary election results of the PDP, without lawful authority or excuse is contrary to the provisions of the Criminal Code on forgery. We shall furnish the Command with credible evidence during investigation to buttress the allegations in this petition.

“In the interest of justice, adherence to the rule of law and to avoid the breach of public peace, I pray that the allegations in this petition be thoroughly investigated, and the suspect charged to court, if found culpable.”

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