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Defeated aspirant writes PDP NASS appeal panel over conduct of primaries in Cross River


CALABAR – Dr Julius Okputu, a PDP aspirant has petitioned the National Assembly Electoral Appeal Panel to reject the Dec. 7 senate primaries result in Cross River North Senatorial District.
Okputu’s petition came on the heels of another petition by Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egbe to the panel over the conduct of a similar exercise in Cross river Central senatorial district.
Okputu in his petition dated Dec. 10, signed by his Counsel, Mr Utum Eteng said: “Our client vehemently rejects the conduct of this exercise on nine grounds.’’
He alleged that he was denied a copy of the delegates list used in spite of his persistent request.
“It is unthinkable and undemocratic that a ruling party would conduct a primary election in this 21st century without making available to the contestants and the public, the list of delegates/voters for inspection.
“Dr Okputu presented himself for election as the candidate of our party and was physically present at the Ogoja venue of the primary.
“The conduct of the said primaries by the state PDP officers was not transparent.
“It was clearly against the spirit of Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 and Article 28 and 30 of the PDP guidelines for the primaries 2014.
“Apart from the tension and sponsored violence to scare away our client’s delegates, delegates thought (to) be his supporters were prevented from entering the hall to cast their votes.”
According to him, “apart from the Obudu delegates disallowed, his delegates, supporters from Yala and Obanliku and Ogoja were also disallowed.
“And surprisingly the umpires kept reading names from different piece of papers as no official list was displayed. There was no INEC representative at the venue.
“Our client went ahead to challenge an impostor who represented himself as INEC representative to oblige him a copy of the list given to him by the party for the delegates primary, he ran away and never surfaced again.”
He alleged that there was no accreditation of delegates before the voting commenced.
Okputu also stated: “The list of delegates used was uncertain, unknown and changed intermittently.
“The electoral materials were not disclosed or displayed for inspection and the result of the exercise was not announced and up till now our client has not been given a result signed sheets showing the scores.
The petitioner, therefore, called on the Appeal Panel and the National Chairman of the PDP to review the outcome of “this undemocratic and manipulated primary election.”
Okputu, also former Commissioner for Environment in Cross River, also urged them to conduct a more transparent, free and fair primary election using neutral party officers. (NAN)

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