Hon. Rita Orji, lawmaker representing Ajeromi-Ifelodun Federal Constituency of Lagos State, has debunked allegations made by the All Progressives Congress, APC and its candidate, Mr Kolawole Taiwo that she is parading fake results from the February 23 elections held in the area.
Taiwo’s allegation, which was published in The Guardian Newspaper, April 8, 2019, stated that Orji “claimed to have won the election based on the lead she already established with not less than 3,000 votes from the already collated results”, adding that “there are still over 43,000 votes yet to be counted before the collation was stopped.”
Hon. Orji, who believes that the claims were intended to indict her over the constituency’s election that was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, described the allegations as malicious and preposterous.
INEC is yet to declare the winner of the Federal House of Representative election that was held at Ajeromi Ifelodun Federal Constituency on February 23.
The APC candidate is saying that the over 43,000 votes which he claims are yet to be collated in the constituency would help him emerge winner of the contest.
But Orji, in a swift reaction, refuted the claims by Taiwo, especially the allegation that she claimed to have been leading with over 3000 votes in the election.
In a statement made available to our Correspondent, Orji refuted the allegations,
saying: “Our attention has been drawn about a publication made on the 8th of April, 2019 on the Guardian Nigeria newspaper and we will like to respond and clear some of the statements made, also clear the air and make our position known.
“The statement, ‘While the incumbent lawmaker and candidate of major opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rita Orji, is claiming to have won the election based on the lead she already established with not less than 3,000 votes from the already collated results’, we hope to clear this assumption which isn’t from us that the lead from the result sheets we had from polling units from all wards stamped by INEC and signed by party agents showed a clear lead with high margin and this is after alterations have been done in various wards and polling units yet the candidate of the PDP Hon. Rita Orji still led with such margin. (Evidence are available from result sheets issued our party agents on the field).
“Also, it was said that “her opponent and candidate of ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Kolawole Taiwo, a 3-term member of Lagos State House of Assembly, claims there are still over 43,000 votes yet to be counted before the collation was stopped.”
“Now, this claim we find malicious and preposterous. There isn’t any evidence to back this up. Can he provide the polling units and wards that make up this 43,000 votes they claim or where was it gotten from? Also if they say elections were stopped and that outrageous figures were not counted, why wasn’t the counting continued if that were to be the case as alleged by them? (Rivers is a clear case of an election count being stopped and continued at a set date. Also if I may ask, were elections not held for Senate and president on the same day and time?
“Why weren’t those other elections declared inconclusive and result produced for these same places they claim a rerun should be held? Let him provide the units and then we will respond with the results, they must make sure that electoral materials are intact to prove the winner, not assumptions.”
She, however, lamented that “We find the report alarming to say that the commission had called for a stakeholders’ meeting in the area to determine whether a supplementary election should be conducted or the remaining result is declared. Who are the said stakeholders? Is this in any way according to the electoral act? How can the commission ask that and where did they get such information gotten? We didn’t get any invitation of such. Now the glaring fact from this statement shows that there are already declared results and the rest is in their possession and being withheld from being declared.”
Hon. Orji however, queried the ground on which the election was declared inconclusive. “We wish to ask the following questions, on what ground was the election declared inconclusive? Weren’t results issued for those wards that were withheld by the electoral officer? Why weren’t they declared? It shows that the conduct of those in charge of the election held on the 23rd of February 2019 was in clear violation of what the Electoral Act 2010 stipulates and also shows some form of conspiracy within the APC and INEC.”
She also affirmed that “The court ruling and judgment given by the High Court in Abuja mandating INEC to declare the result is a clear vindication upon the presentation of evidence as regards this case and we hope they carry out this verdict and in good fate.
“We are ready to head to the court to call for an injunction and the release of electoral materials used during the election for our analysis and perusal in making our case if the need to prove that we won the election and are the clear choice of the people.
“We are not ready to join issues with riggers because their mission was inconclusive that is why they are looking for how to drop their already written results.
“The election in Ajeromi-Ifelodun was heavily monitored and we are ready with any evidence needed. We are not in for propaganda, they should provide facts and figure to their claims and declare the results polling units by polling units and announce the winner as directed by the court”, she concluded.