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APC chieftain petitions INEC to sack Akwa Ibom REC

A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress in Akwa Ibom State, Blessing Agbomhere, has petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission to terminate the appointment of its state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mike Igini, over allegation of sabotage and partisanship within 48 hours.

Agbomhere accused that INEC REC acted in gross violation of the Electoral Act by sabotaging the senatorial elections of Senator Godswill Akpabio after he maliciously supervised the cancellation of his votes.

The petition is coming four days after Igini threatened to file a N1bn libel suit against Agbomhere over his continual persecution and alleged defamatory statements.

Igini had sworn to proceed to the court if Agbomhere, a zonal organising secretary of the APC South-South, failed to retract his defamatory statements and tender an apology to him in four major television stations and five newspapers.

The Akwa Ibom REC, in the pre-litigation notice prepared by his team of lawyers led by Chief Clement Onwuenwunor (SAN), alleged that the APC chieftain had in a television interview he granted on June 29, accused him of not only working for the Peoples Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom State, but also acting as a ceremonial consultant to Governor Udom Emmanuel.

A fiery Agbomhere, who dismissed the threat of N1b suit, told newsmen on Friday that he had written to the National Chairman of INEC, Prof Yakubu Mahmood, for Igini’s dismissal.

In the letter made available to our correspondent, the South-South zonal organising secretary accused Igini of “incessant acts of biasness, injustice, sabotage and malevolence meted out on the All Progressives Congress in Akwa Ibom State.”

According to him, Igini had, since his deployment, sabotaged and worked against the Akwa Ibom APC even when his position as REC forbade him from becoming partisan or supportive of any political party.

Agbomhere wrote in his petition that Igini deserved to be dismissed after his flagrant violation of Sections 26 and 120 of the Electoral Act of 2022.

The statement read, “From the foregoing facts we have just made available to you, Mr. Chairman, there will be no gainsaying that Mr. Mike Igini, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom State, has been compromised, shown partisanship and regrettably so, abused his office as an INEC official, hence we make the following prayers to you:

“That Mr. Mike Igini is not fit and proper to remain as the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner of the State. This is because a free and fair election begins with a free and fair process. Hence Mr. Igini has compromised, he, therefore, lacks the capacity to conduct or supervise any election in the state.

“That Mr. Mike Igini be sacked and dismissed within 48 hours from the time of receipt of this petition.

“That Mr. Mike Igini be committed to the relevant authorities for prosecution for the violation of Section 26 of the Electoral Act of 2022.

“May I remind you, Mr. Chairman, that the integrity of the Commission is greatly at stake here as this issue has generated not just state-wide protests, but also nationwide concerns by both members of our party and the generality of Akwa Ibomites and Nigerians. We believe that Mike Igini is not the only INEC REC in Nigeria, hence his position should not bring disrepute of any sort to the Commission neither should same be used as an oppressive tool against the All Progressives Congress or any other political party.

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