We have been jolted to the realization that Mr. Mike Igini the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Akwa Ibom State who conducted the most discredited election in the State having successfully dwarfed the record of infamy of his kinsman and predecessor Barrister Austin Eni Okojie, is unrelenting and shamelessly defending what is clearly indefensible.
Mr. Igini alleges in a new release signed by the Public Affairs Officer of INEC in Akwa Ibom State Mr. Don Etukudo, that the APC in Akwa Ibom State and Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON (Minister designate) have launched a media campaign to demonise him. The statement decries the “unbalanced reportage of the proceedings of the election petition tribunal”.
It is important to inform Mr. Mike Igini that ALL the allegations leveled against him by the APC several weeks and months before the elections have been confirmed as true. The daily revelations from the Tribunals in Akwa Ibom State are replete with confessions, hard documentary and video evidence pointing to the irresistible conclusion – that the February 23 and March 9, 2019 general elections in Akwa Ibom State left horrible and embarrassing imprints suggestive of a largely compromised exercise orchestrated by Mr. Mike Igini.
The officers who revealed the sham in Essien Udim and Obot Akara Local government areas were recruited by Mr. Igini as adhoc staff. The Returning Officer (RO) for Essien Udim where Senator Akpabio comes from was employed by Mr. Igini. The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) for Essien Udim was unequivocal when he stated that the results presented and eventually announced by INEC were different from those generated on the day of the elections in Essien Udim. These and many more are pieces of evidence that were not controverted and cannot be controverted by habitual press releases.
This is no media campaign. These are valid issues that interests Akwa Ibom people and Nigerians as a whole. These are issues that cast a huge shadow of doubt on the touted integrity quotient of Mr. Mike Igini. It is INEC Akwa Ibom state and Mr. Mike Igini who have patronized the media most. Beyond the need to continuously defend himself and deflect criticism, Mr. Igini has deployed the media to demonize APC in Akwa Ibom State referring to its candidates in the last elections who have filed Petitions at the Tribunals as going to “make noise, attract sympathy and look for appointment from President Buhari”.
It is true that under Mr. Igini’s watch and instructions, INEC Akwa Ibom State blatantly disobeyed the orders of the Tribunal to allow APC and its Candidates inspect materials used in the conduct of the March 9 elections. It took a written petition by Counsel to APC and a threat by the Tribunal to invoke Section 77 of the Electoral Act for Mr. Igini to reluctantly allow access, in piecemeal, to APC to obtain certified true copies of voters’ registers even when they were paid for.
It is no longer news that Mr. Mike Igini single-handedly played the role of a terribly compromised umpire, a prosecutor and polluted arbiter of sorts in the election of February 23 for Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District.
INEC in Akwa Ibom State under Mr. Mike Igini’s watch as Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) has exhibited undistinguishable semblance and striking affinity with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State.
Is it not shameful and condemnable that Mr. Mike Igini could, in an arrogant display only suggestive of vaulting ambition, immoral partisanship and tainted integrity – leap over and above INEC hierarchy to make far-reaching policy statements; statements which have today been roundly denied and Igini invariably disowned by his superiors and employers – statements which by suspicious coincidence form the bedrock of the Petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his spurious claims all pointing to a “server” which Mr. Igini single-handedly promoted, popularised and knew about?
We call on the Chairman of INEC and security agencies to immediately investigate Mr. Mike Igini and his atrocious activities as REC for Akwa Ibom State and his relationship with the “server” claims of the PDP.
Barr. Imo Akpan
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