A pro-democracy group, Akwa Ibom Democracy Watch (AIDW), has alleged that the current Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Mike Igini, has compromised his role as an independent umpire in the upcoming general elections.
In a petition dated February 7th, 2019, addressed to INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, copies of which were sent to journalists, the group said the actions violated the Constitution of the Federal Republic, Electoral Act, Code of Conduct by Public Officers, Electoral Conventions, Rules and Regulation.
In the petition, which was signed by its President, Amanam Uko and Director, Policy and Democracy, Donald Noah, the group urged the INEC chairman to redeploy Igini so as to restore peoples trust in the electoral process.
The group said: “Due to numerous verbal and documented complaints against this REC, we were constrained to do a check on him and alas, to our chagrin, monumental cases of having compromised himself, have been established.
“Even if one can ignore the fact that he was a very close ally of late Barrister Oronto Douglas, who in his life time, was a PDP Chieftain and top aide of Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and got his appointment as REC via this partisan route, his antics and palpable steps to favour PDP are clearly unacceptable in the Nigeria of our dream!
The group catalogued Igini’s wrong-doings to include name dropping, fictitious petition against the All Peoples Congress (APC), Akwa Ibom Chapter, open support for the Peoples Democratic Party and the February 6, 2019 Peace Accord event.
According to the group: Igini has always boasted that when the INEC chairman was serving as the Executive Secretary of TETFUND, the current Governor of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Wike, was the Hon. Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Education, and therefore, his supervisory official and boss and that the two struck a robust relationship that involved monetary issues, power-wielding and cover-ups that subsists up till today.
On the Peace Accord signing event, AIDW said “This was fully a Gov. Udom Emmanuel/PDP activity. The Government House MC, Mr. Raphael Edem, was the MC, Government House protocol and security officers also played same roles!
“The result was that Mr. Nsima Ekere, APC Governorship candidate, was refused access on arrival, on the flimsy and childish excuse that he arrived after Gov. Udom Emmanuel was already seated.
“All explanations by the APC candidate that he was coming directly from another election-related activity, which was organised by the Methodist Church, fell on deaf ears.
“Mr. Igini forgot or pretended not to know that for the purpose of that event, Mr. Udom Emmanuel was a candidate, not a governor and that the protocol of the governor being already seated holds no water,” the group said.