On 2nd April, 2015 the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) issued a public notice informing all Nigerians that card readers would be mandatorily used in accreditation of voters in the Governorships/Houses of Assembly elections scheduled to hold throughout the country on April 11, 2015. The information was repeated by a circular issued by the INEC on April 6, 2015 to the effect that wherever the card reader developed any fault, the election should be postponed till the following day.

In response to our recently launched Election and Tribunal Monitoring Project, some concerned Nigerians have forwarded a petition to our network with reference to the recently concluded Governorship Elections in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States. In our investigation of the petition, we confirmed the use of card readers in the Governorship Elections held in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States, in compliance with INEC directives. We also confirmed that the card readers used for accreditation in the elections transmitted captured figures to the central server of the INEC in Abuja.

In the case of Akwa ibom State, card readers used for the accreditation of voters, 437,128 registered voters were transmitted to INEC central server in Abuja while 292,878 accredited permanent voters card were transmitted for Rivers State in the same election. The INEC has since authenticated the numbers transmitted by card readers used for the election in both states.

In brazen contravention of several provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom State, Barrister Austin Okojie, falsely declared that 1,158,624 people voted in the Governorship and House of Assembly Elections in Akwa Ibom State, leaving a difference of 721,496 in excess of the actual card readers figures of accredited voters. In a similar vein, the Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dame Gesila Khan, declared 1,228,614 total votes, contrary to the figure of 292,878 accredited voters recorded in the INEC central server in Abuja. This is in excess of 935,736 votes.

Local and international observers who physically observed elections in both States had, immediately after the elections, called for the cancellation of elections in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States. The conduct and outcomes of the elections were declared to be flawed, below standard and inconsistent with provisions of the electoral Act, 2010. An online newspaper, Premiumtimesng, in its publication of Saturday, April 9, 2015 titled; River’s Nyeson Wike a goner; INEC document exposes fraud by PDP, INEC in guber poll, confirmed allegations contained in the petition forwarded to our a network and findings of our independent investigations.

In view of the foregoing, we are by this petition demanding the immediate arrest and investigation of Akwa Ibom REC, Barrister Austin Okojie and his Rivers State counterpart, Dame Gesila Khan for fraudulent manipulation of the results of the governorship election in both states. Once the investigation is concluded, you are required to forward the case file to the INEC with a view to having them prosecuted pursuant to section 150 of the Electoral Act.

TAKE NOTICE that if our request is not acceded to within 14 days of the receipt of this letter, our network will be compelled to approach a competent court of jurisdiction for the purpose of compelling you to discharge your statutory duty in the circumstance.

Yours Sincerely,
Olanrewaju Suraju