A civil society organisation, Centre for Transparency Advocacy, on Tuesday called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to complete the collation of results of the Imo North senatorial election and declare a winner.
The centre’s position was made known by its Director, Legal and Documentation, Ohazuruike Tochukwu, at a press conference in Abuja.
Senatorial election and supplementary polls were held in the senatorial district on February 23 and March 9 respectively.
The electoral body was said to have set up a committee to ascertain the authenticity of allegations of misconduct during the election.
Tochukwu told reporters that a senator who is claiming to have won the election was discovered to have printed his own result sheets and started claiming that he has been declared winner.
He also called on INEC to report officially to the acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and ask that criminal investigation and prosecution should be initiated against the senator and the returning officer.
He said, “INEC, should in this circumstance, do the only right thing which is to complete the collation of results and make a declaration and return a winner.
“INEC should know that where this type of criminal act is allowed to go unpunished, politicians will in subsequent elections print their own result sheets and then struggle for who the returning officer will declare.
“It will permanently destroy the credibility and sanctity of our elections. This evil introduced by this senator must be nipped in the bud.
“INEC must rise to the occasion and be firm in getting to the root of this matter.
“Every and any person found to have a hand in faking an INEC result sheet must be recommended for prosecution to serve as deterrent to others.”
Tochukwu said while grappling with other challenges which the last elections threw up, INEC could not allow the “avoidable criminal challenge to rear his ugly head.”
He added, “This monstrous head must be cut off now and not tomorrow.
“Nigerians should also rise in defence and commendation of the commission when it takes such bold and unprecedented steps to save our democracy.
“We also call on INEC to make the findings of the committee public so that Nigerians can understand and appreciate what it has done.
“This will also ensure that rumours and speculations are not used by enemies of our democracy to misinform and misdirect the public.”