CLO Asks INEC to Conclude Essien Udim Constituency Election

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Okon Bassey in Uyo

The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Akwa Ibom State chapter has expressed concern over the delay by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare the winner of the Essien Udim Constituency in the March 9 State House of Assembly election.

The Chairman of Akwa Ibom CLO, Mr. Franklyn Isong made the demand at a news conference he addressed in Uyo yesterday, tasking the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Mike Igini to declare the result of the election.

Former Senate Minority Leader and the senatorial candidate of All Progressive Congress (APC) in the February 23 National Assembly election, Senator Godwill Akpabio is from the Essien Udim State constituency.

The INEC had presented Certificate of Returns to the state governor-elect, Mr. Udom Emmanul; his deputy, Mr. Moses Ekpo and 25 members of the State House of Assembly elected under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

However, Certificate of Return has not been presented to any candidate or political party representing Essien Udim State Constituency during the ceremony held at the INEC State Office along Udo Udoma Avenue, Uyo.

At the news conference, Isong regretted that the REC “has not provided any explanation for not issuing a Certificate of Return to any of the candidates who contested the election into the Essien Udim State Constituency.

“It is imperative that at the end of the election both the candidates and members/citizens of the State Constituency should know their fate as to who won and who their representative is, respectively.

“As it stands, the candidates, the citizens of the State Constituency, the people of Akwa Ibom State 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.

He described the refusal of the INEC to declare the result of the election as sad and unfortunate, which according to him, was an anathema in any democracy and an attempt to subvert people’s will.

Isong said such political logjam should to be in a democratic setting like Nigeria where the provisions of the laws are explicit on the functions of INEC and other institutions in the electoral system.