The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom state has announced that it will not take part in the rerun election holding in Essien Udim local government on Saturday January 25.
The party cited bias by INEC as the reason for its withdrawal.
The Appeal Court in Calabar ordered a rerun for the Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial district, Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara/Essien Udim federal constituency and Essien Udim state constituency. But the party argued that the court did not order a rerun or supplementary election for Essien Udim state constituency.
Addressing a press conference in Uyo after a meeting of the State Working Committee of the party, the chairman of APC in Akwa Ibom state, Mr. Ini Okopido, said the party will not take part in the rerun for any of the positions.
“Mike Igini, (the Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC) has shown unprecedented bias as INEC REC. If he conducts any election, APC will always withdraw. We don’t have any confidence in him. We are so dissatisfied by the conduct of INEC in Akwa Ibom, so we have withdrawn,” chairman of the party announced.
Okopido said the party had substituted Senator Godswill Akpabio, who was her candidate for the Akwa Ibom North West senatorial election with Obongemem Ekperikpe Ekpo.
He said the party’s candidates for Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara/Essien Udim federal constituency was ready for the election but will no longer participate in the rerun because of the obvious bias of INEC in the State.
The party chairman however, said that neither the tribunal nor the Appeal Court ordered a rerun or supplementary election for Essien Udim state constituency but was shocked to find INEC list Essien Udim state constituency for the rerun.
INEC had declared the APC candidate for Essien Udim state constituency, Mr. Nse Ntuen winner of the election but at the same time failed to issue him with a certificate of return.
Nse Ntuen while addressing journalists on Friday at APC secretariat in Uyo said neither the tribunal nor the Appeal court ordered a rerun for the House of Assembly election which he was declared winner.
He said the rerun called for Essien Udim state constituency by the Mike Igini led INEC was illegal.
“There is nowhere in the judgment that the Appeal Court ordered a rerun or supplementary election for Essien Udim state constituency. The rerun for Essien Udim state constituency is an illegal act, that is why I cannot be part of it”, he said.