The Kogi Central senatorial candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Natasha Akpoti, has alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission used ballot papers with 2015 stamp for the just concluded National Assembly election.
She alleged that the ballot papers used in the election were the same with those already in circulation and reported to INEC.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Thursday, Natasha said the election conducted in Kogi on February 2019 epitomised everything wrong in Nigeria’s electoral processes.
“It showcases the inadequacies in our security system which grossly affects our democracy, especially as it pertains women in politics.”
Akpoti said she and her supporters were molested and threatened by security agencies on the instruction of Governor Yahya Bello.
“The violence led to intimidation; I and my supporters were harassed before, during and post elections. On the eve of the elections, I was denied entrance into the state by Governor Yahaya Bello’s Government House police led by his Aide de Camp. I had to take a detour from Abaji via Nassarawa, Keffi and Benue.
“On arriving Okene at 9am, I met the same men who disarmed my security. They sent away my security personnel and blocked my vehicle from moving using tires and bricks. It took the efforts of the Force Headquarters instructing the Okene Area Commander to free me and my personnel.”
“Yesterday (Wednesday), the mother of Enesi Ojo (our youth leader who was murdered by Kogi APC thugs) was mercilessly beaten up for reporting the matter to the police and was asked to keep away from pursuing the case of her son’s murder.
“The woman who led the Ihima Women protest against the perpetuated violence in Ebiraland also narrowly escaped death by a whisker when masked men with guns stormed her home.”
She added that two brothers in Adavi LGA were also stabbed for voting SDP at the polls.
Akpoti said she had enough evidence to win her case at the tribunal to prove allegations of manipulation and rigging.
“Ballot boxes were snatched and destroyed, some by fire. Card readers where stolen and many tampered with to accept without verification and in many places, card readers were not used at all.
“Pre-thumbprinted ballot papers were stuffed into the ballot box. Breach of the INEC security measure was evident with the use of 2015 stamps.”
“Multiple voting by illegally acquired PVCs was used in their thousands by APC Kogi State; impersonation by people voting more than 10 times with different cards.
“SDP agents were harassed and chased out of many polling units in Okene, Ogori-Magongo, Ajaokuta and Adavi LGAs where collaborations with the INEC staff enabled APC Kogi to rig and shamefully falsifying SDP agents’ signatures into the result sheets. The aforementioned and more are provable by hard concrete evidence. “
Akpoti expressed belief in the judiciary as the last hope of the common man and trust that the rule of law shall be applied in defending the people’s mandate at the tribunal.