• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Kogi election update: SDP candidate alleges election rigging, vows to skip legal battle

Our elders, please tell Muritala Yakubu to stop disgracing Igala land

In a bold revelation following Saturday’s election in Kogi State, Murtala Ajaka, the Social Democratic Party’s (SDP) governorship candidate, voiced strong concerns about irregularities and potential rigging in the electoral process.

During an exclusive interview on Channels TV’s ‘The 2023 Verdict: Off-Cycle Elections,’ Ajaka didn’t mince words as he accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of complicity in the alleged malpractices.

Ajaka’s claims of rigging:

According to Ajaka, the election in the central region witnessed widespread irregularities, claiming that there was no actual voting across the five local governments. Instead, he asserted, results were fabricated, and sheets were handed over to his opponent, Yahaya Bello.

“In Okene local government, they turned out over 130,000 votes, haba! And INEC accepted that result, and what is on the BVAS is less than 30,000,” Ajaka expressed, raising serious doubts about the transparency of the electoral process.

Doubts on INEC’s credibility:

Expressing dismay at INEC’s role, Ajaka pointed fingers at the electoral body, stating, “If they don’t do a checklist and investigate their officials that went to Kogi State and allow this to stand, I doubt if there will be an election in 2027.”

The SDP candidate also highlighted the potential consequences, suggesting that if such irregularities persist, the nation could face a situation worse than Somalia.

Read also: Kogi governorship election results in figures

No confidence in legal redress:

Despite having evidence of the alleged rigging, Ajaka asserted that he wouldn’t pursue legal action. “What am I going to court to do when the same INEC that did this is going to come as a witness to defend what they did? So it is a waste of time,” he explained.

Expressing disappointment, Ajaka warned of potential repercussions: “If the INEC chairman allows this to stand, they are looking for trouble in Nigeria.”

INEC responds:

In response to the allegations, INEC announced fresh elections in some wards due to irregularities. Mohammed Haruna, a National Commissioner, acknowledged the issues, stating that elections would be re-conducted in the affected areas following the suspension of voting in nine wards.