The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called for thorough investigation of fake result sheets production in Port Harcourt, Rivers, ahead of the Dec. 10 legislative rerun elections in the state. In a statement, INEC vehemently condemned the act and called for not only the arrest of the suspects and their sponsors but also for their immediate prosecution. The Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, made the call in an interview with newsmen on Sunday in Abuja. Oyekanmi also urged the security agencies handling the matter to ensure that suspects already arrested in connection with the matter and their sponsors were prosecuted.
“The commission has heard the news about the arrest of nine people with fake result sheets in Port Harcourt. INEC wants to appeal to security agencies that the culprits should not just be arrested, they and their sponsors should be prosecuted,” Oyekanmi said. It was reported that the police in Rivers had arrested a syndicate involved in the printing of fake result sheets purportedly to be used in the rescheduled rerun elections in the state. The report added that the director and staff members of the printing press, Help-Mate Consult, located in Port Harcourt allegedly involve in the printing of the fake result sheets were arrested by the police. Oyekanmi said that the INEC had no relationship in any way with the printing press and its arrested director on the production of the fake results sheet.
“INEC does not have any relationship with the said company or any other one in Port Harcourt on the production of results sheets for the election.” Oyekanmi also denied the allegation that the production of the fake election result sheets was with the connivance with INEC and a political party to rig the Dec. 10 election. “INEC will never connive with any political party to do such a thing to destroy the credibility of our elections. “Our system is too strict and complex for anybody to successfully to do such a thing. It is not easy to break into the process,” he said.
He, however, said that the commission, having successfully conducted elections Edo and other places, would do what it could to make the election free, fair and credible in Rivers. “From our own possibilities, we are willing, ready and able to conduct the election in a credible manner. “We are appealing to political parties, and politicians to please play by the electoral rules and guidelines. “If they play by the rules and allow INEC to do its job, the election would be peaceful and credible,” Oyekanmi said. INEC had last week announced the plan to conclude the pending re-run election in Rivers on the Dec. 10.