The African Democratic Congress (ADC) in Imeko – Afon Local Government Area of Ogun State has alleged that a total of 6,053 ballot papers for the rescheduled Saturday House of Representatives election in the area have not been delivered, less than 10 hours to the poll.
The party claimed that the records from its agents at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Office showed that a total of 62,853 ballot papers were released from the state office for Imeko-Afon LG but lamented that at the Imeko-Afon INEC office, only 56,790 ballot papers were physically sighted and counted by its agent, agents of other political parties and security personnel.
In a petition by the trio of Alhaji Jimoh Aremu Olaifa – ADC candidate Yewa North/Imeko-Afon Federal Constituency, Hon. Kayode Elegbede – ADC chairman, Imeko-Afon LGA and Mr. Ben Ibikunle – ADC agent – Imeko Afon LGA, they claimed there is a “shortage of 6,053 ballots papers” and demanded for the return of the ‘missing’ 6,053 ballot papers.
The Petition was addressed to the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), INEC, Ogun State and copied the National Chairman INEC, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, State Chairman of ADC and the National Chairman of ADC.
The Petitioners urged the state REC to use his good office to ensure that the missing 6053 House of Representatives ballot papers for Imeko-Afon are produced immediately to safeguard the credibility of the election.
The petition reads: “We the undersigned are writing to officially bring to your notice that a total of 6,053 ballot papers for the Saturday 23 House of Representatives election in Imeko Afon LG were not delivered to the Imeko-Afon INEC office and up till this time the said ballot papers are not accounted for.
“Records from our agents at the Ogun State INEC office showed that a total of 62,853 ballot papers were released from the state office for Imeko-Afon LG.
“However, at the Imeko-Afon INEC office, only 56,790 ballot papers was physically sighted and counted by our agent, agents of other political parties and security personnel leaving a shortage of 6053 ballots papers as above.
“Interestingly the same number of 62,843 ballot papers released for the Presidential and senatorial elections was physically sighted and counted by all concerned at the INEC office, Imeko Afon.
“We hereby strongly demand that you used your good office to ensure that the missing 6053 House of Representatives ballot papers for Imeko-Afon are produced immediately to safeguard the credibility of this election and nip in the bud ongoing speculation that can threatened law and order in the local government.”
But reacting, the Head of Department, Voter Education and Publicity, Mrs Adenike Tadese,
said there is no cause for alarm as the box containing the ballot papers for Imeko Afon was sealed, untampered and opened in the presence of all stakeholders with all witnessing it that the shortfall was not the result of theft or missing, but a case of an error (of counting) from the manufacturer.
Mrs. Tadese added that the petitioners were only trying to make mountain out of a mole hill as the number of registered voters in the area are not up to the number of available ballot papers for the House of Representatives election in Imeko Afon LGA.