Ahead of this Saturday, May 23, 2015 local government elections in Rivers State, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has denied releasing the voters register to the State Independent Electoral Commission for the exercise.
The Administrative Secretary of the commission, Mr. Roy Oburu, who was reacting to reports that the commission had released the voters register to RSIEC, stated this in a statement in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
Oburu explained that INEC refused to release the documents, which would enable voters to choose their council chairmen and councilors in strict adherence to a High Court order, which ruled that the status quo be maintained pending the determination of a suit challenging the jurisdiction of the High Court on a matter brought before it.
The statement read, “The attention of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Rivers State has been drawn to the news item on the release of voters’ register by the commission to Rivers state Independent Electoral Commission, RSIEC.
“INEC wishes to state categorically that at no time did INEC Rivers release voters’ register to RSIEC as alleged in the news item been aired by some media houses. To put the records straight, INEC, Rivers received a letter on the 28 day of April, 2015, on the pendency of the suit between PDP vs INEC and 40RS from E.C. Aguma counsel to PDP.
“When the matter came up on the 29th of April, 2015 before the learned trial judge, Justice Akande of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, counsel to the 2nd and 3rd respondents B.E. Nwafor SAN, informed the court that they had gone on appeal challenging the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court to entertain the matter and therefore urged the court to adjourn the matter sine die”.