By SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN CITY-NATIONAL Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof.Atahiru Jega has sacked two Electoral Officers attached to Oredo and Orhiomwon Local Government Areas of Edo state in the March 28 Presidential and National Assembly elections over alleged involvement in the disappearance of result sheets provided for elections in those areas.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Edo State, Mr Mike Igini who disclosed this during a meeting with leaders of both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state also said that some officers of the commission are being interrogated over alleged malpractices in the last elections, adding that those involved may face prosecution.
Igini disclosed further that after a meeting with the INEC Chairman in Abuja, the Commission decided that elections will be conducted in those areas where they had to postpone the elections due to late arrival of voting materials and disappearance of result sheets.
He said rescheduled elections will hold in the entire Orhiomwon Local Government Council, six wards in Uhumwonde, some wards and units in Ikpoba Okhai, Ovia North East, Ovia South West and Oredo Local Government Areas. While explaining that the winner of the Edo South senatorial election will emerge through a simple majority, the REC stressed that the winner of the senatorial election can only emerge after elections are held in these areas.
Just as he added that “Orhiomwon election is also very important because apart from the senate, we also have a House of Representatives seat at stake in that area. So the result will also be determined after the Orhionmwon and Uhumwonde elections” adding that card readers will be used for the Saturday elections across the state.
However, the areas he mentioned did not go down well with the PDP leaders including the state chairman of the party, Chief Dan Orbih, former Deputy Governor, Lucky Imasuen and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who insisted that election held in some parts of Orhiomnwon therefore the results should stand.
The tension in the hall heightened when the PDP leaders engaged in war of words with their APC counterparts when they made allegation and counter allegations about alleged ploy to rig the elections using some Electoral officers. The PDP leaders later excused the REC to enable them attend a meeting somewhere else.
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