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Again, the Akwa Ibom APC has come up with a scam to deceive the public, blackmail the Commission and score cheap political points and sympathy. The latest of their ploy is that a staff of the Commission was arrested with “recalibrated card readers” which suggest to them that Mike Igini is engaging Card Reader Technicians “to help him valid his doctored 2019 elections in Akwa Ibom State”.
The Commission is aware of their devious scheme to sell their cheap narrative and would have ignored this latest effort but it needs to inform the general public as follows:
Mr. Ejike Nwankwo is a staff of the INEC, Akwa Ibom State and works in the ICT department who are the custodian of the Commission’s Card Readers.
He was stopped by the Police on a routine Stop-and-Search on Friday 17, May, 2019 at about 3pm and four (4 nos) empty Smart Card Readers were found in his car trunk. He was not arrested on Sunday by 2am as mischievously alleged by the Akwa Ibom State APC.
The four empty card readers were used for training of Ad-hoc Staff by the officer during the elections.
The four Card Readers do not have data in them that could have influenced or affect the process or outcome of the elections.
The officer took ill immediately after the 2019 General Elections and was hospitalised at St. Athanasius Hospital, Uyo. He battled for his health for about a month.
Because of the illness, the officer could not return the Card Readers to the ICT department but left them in his car which was taken to the mechanic by his brother-in-law while the officer was in the hospital.
In the hierarchy of reporting, the officer does not report directly to the Commissioner but to his Unit Head who reports to his Head of Department who then reports to the Commissioner.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mike Igini Esq, has been away from the State and country to South Africa and Malawi where he delivered lectures preparatory to those countries’ elections and could not have engaged anyone for any unwholesome purpose as alleged.
Nigerians may recall that when an INEC vehicle on a legitimate duty was involved in an accident at Abak, the Akwa Ibom State APC instead of sympathizing with the Commission, went to town with a wild story that it was conveying ballot papers thumb printed in favour of APC on its way to being burnt at Uyo.
Among many other instances of mischief against the Commission, the APC also alleged that they were denied access to inspect election materials as ordered by the Election Tribunal even when they were the one that rebuffed invitation to inspect same materials.
The Commission is aware of the Akwa Ibom State APC vile campaign of calumny against it. It will, however, not be detracted but remain committed to the furthering of democratic ideals and the conducts of free, fair and credible elections.
This clarification is made purely in the interest of the general public.
Public Affairs Officer,
INEC Akwa Ibom State