The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ebonyi South senatorial candidate, Barrister Silas Onu, has described as fake the declaration of the All Progressives Congress, APC candidate, Professor Anthony Okorie Ani by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as the winner in the just concluded bye-election in Ebonyi south Senatorial election.
Reacting, Onu in a statement on Sunday, appreciated his supporters for believing in PDP and vowed to challenge the victory at the court of law.
According to him: “on Saturday 3rd of February, 2024, was a scheduled date for the bye-election to elect a new Senator for Ebonyi South Senatorial District. The build-up to this date was eventful and full of amazing experiences, especially with the visible show of love and acceptance for our great party and my candidacy – I am eternally grateful for these.
“In the build-up to the election, we also saw how institutions can become an obstacle to achieving the mandate given to them by law. We say this as a result of the shameful conduct of INEC, especially the Ebonyi State office that has literally become an extension of the APC in the State.
“When we held our congresses, we notified INEC as required by law and they deliberately and wilfully decided not to monitor our congresses for the election of delegates, citing factions within the PDP – one that only existed in the mind of the Resident Electoral Commissioner. ” We held our congresses and soon thereafter, the REC, working with some unknown elements who claimed to be “intending delegates”, instituted an action before the Federal High Court seeking the cancellation of our duly conducted Primary Election.
“This was certainly funded by the APC and with the complete collaboration of the Federal High Court Judge. The case was one that should not survive 10 minutes on any court docket as the law is visible even to a blind person that only an ASPIRANT who physically participates in a primary election can question the outcome of such an election.
“The judge pretended not to understand that from the prayer/reliefs sought in the Originating Summons, it is the Primary Election that was being questioned by people referred to as “intending delegates”. He went on to create legal standing for them and purported to have also cancelled our primary election and ordered that none should even hold – against the clear provisions of law that courts cannot stop the holding of elections.
“This corrupt judge was cleverly used to interfere with the conduct and outcome of the said election. The result of the election interference by the Judge was clear yesterday as only 58, 075 voters came out to vote from the total registered voters/PVC collection of 484, 259 in the 5 LGAs of Ebonyi South.
“So many of our voters were told that the PDP was no longer on the ballot as “Court had disqualified Silas Joseph Onu”. People gave up on the process, hence the very low turnout on the election day.
“That was not enough for INEC and the APC, they went further to ensure that election did not take place by deliberately circumventing the BVAS in virtually every polling unit after some level of accreditation had been done. So, where a particular polling unit had an accreditation of 100 voters, they deliberately and forcefully hijacked the ballot papers and thumbprint without accreditation.
“Then write a result that indicates they had won that polling unit with 1000 votes. This was not done by mistake or due to lack of knowledge – it is the new way that INEC rigs elections for the government. Follow the drift. At the collation centres, INEC Collation Officers openly claimed to have cancelled results from all polling units where there was over-voting without completing Form EC40G.
” Then proposed to share the accredited votes between political parties. When we refused to partake in the heist, they simply harvested the valid accreditations from these cancelled polling units (which were more than 90% of all the polling units across the 5 LGAs) and allotted them to the APC, leaving other political parties with zero votes in the cancelled polling units.
“Basically, after claiming that they cancelled votes for over-voting, they actually gave APC all the actual accreditation from such polling units, irrespective of where these accredited voters cast their votes. If all the results with over-voting were actually cancelled for all parties, there was no way the total remaining votes would exceed 10, 000 in all the 5 LGAs.
“So, INEC basically allocated accredited figures in polling units where results were cancelled to APC and that is how they emerged – stolen votes. I must commend my co-candidates of APGA and Labour Party, Hon. Ifeanyi Eleje and Hon. Linus Okorie for their resilience and for scoring legitimate votes just like me. If you put together our votes, there is no way that APC will win if the cancellations were allowed to be out of the figures calculated.
” In all, we give glory to God Almighty for the grace given to us before, during and after the sham that INEC called election – it was a pre-determined event, carefully and methodically planned by INEC for APC. Looking at what is obtainable in our Election Petition Tribunals, it will be a total waste of time to engage in any venture of attempting to prove the obvious in this judicial theatre. Therefore, it will be apt to say that power comes from God and God does not bless evil or partake in it. May the will of God be done in Ebonyi South – peace is paramount in all that we seek. I can assure you all that I have never lost my peace throughout this electioneering period. I know that God is working for His own Glory and no man or authority can stop what God has decreed.
“To you, our teeming supporters, you are the true heroes as you have shown your resilience and love for the PDP by staying away from a sham process, especially those of you whose ballot papers were invalidated after you cast your votes for us. Also, special thanks to those of you who were beaten up and chased out of your polling units for telling voters that PDP was still on the ballot – your sacrifice will not be in vain as time will heal you and convict those who abused state powers against you.
“Even as they stole your accreditation, they have not stolen your love for us – they know that their “victory” is fake and they have also openly bragged that President Tinubu also stole his mandate. What a nation. As for the Federal High Court Judge, if it means that chasing him out of the Bench is the only thing that we can get for his shameful participation in election interference, we will pursue it with all our might”, the statement added.