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Voters

AS CONTROVERSY continues to trail alleged printing of fake sensitive materials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Rivers State, the State House of Assembly has condemned the action of those involved, calling for thorough investigation. Considering a motion brought by member representing ONELGA I, Hon Christian Ahiakwo and seconded by Hon Chrisom Promise, representing Oyigbo constituency, yesterday, the House adopted the prayers of the motion and also went ahead to resolve that the Rivers State government do investigate, if the building where the printing press is situated at 12 Isiokpo Street, D/Line, Port Harcourt is fit for commercial purposes. Moving the motion, Ahiakwo, stated that it is shocking that some persons were caught on Saturday printing INEC sensitive materials ahead of the scheduled December 10, 2016 rerun elections in the state. The lawmaker described the action as condemnable and shameful, arguing that it shows those involved were not prepared for elections in the state. He said: “This shows the level of preparedness of some persons who see elections as door-die. It is shameful to the people
of Rivers State. This shameful act presents a recipe for chaos and crisis in the state if not properly handled.” He, therefore, prayed that “the Rivers State House of Assembly do condemn the printing of fake INEC sensitive materials for the December, 10, 2016 rerun election in Rivers State. “That the House do urge the security agents to properly investigate the matter and prosecute those behind the act. “That the House do call on the National Assembly, to investigate INEC’s involvement or otherwise, pursuant to section 88, 89 of the 1999 constitution (amended). And any other orders that the House will deem necessary.” Opening debate, Leader of the House, Hon Martin Amaewhule said evil will continue to prevail over good if those in position to speak on such issues fail to do so. “This action is one that directly affects us as an Assembly. Those who will fill the vacant seats here will come from that process and if the process is marred, it will only make a mockery of our democracy”, he said. He called for the adoption of the prayers, stressing the need for the House to condemn any act that will bring an outcome that will not emanate from the people. He also emphasised that the matter should not be swept under the carpet and urged the security agencies to thoroughly investigate the matter and prosecute those found culpable. He described the motion as apt, adding that the House will continue to speak against any evil against the state. Also debating, Deputy Speaker, Hon Marshall Uwom described the action as despicable and condemnable, saying it was capable of causing crisis in the state. He said the world is watching to know the outcome of the matter. He further called for the investigation of the property used for the alleged printing. On his part, Hon Nathaniel Uwaji, representing ONELGA II, called for action from the House. He said the House should look beyond the rerun. “If the problem is not properly handled, it will spill to 2019. This issue is not for PDP or APC’, he stated. Commenting, Speaker, Rt Hon Adams Dabotoru Dima stated that the House will not fail to condemn any act capable of undermining democratic principles in the state. 12 lawmakers present at the sitting all voted in favour of the prayers of the motion. The House later adjourned to November 15, this year. Briefing Assembly Press Corps after the sitting, Chairman, House Committee on Information and Training, Hon Sam Ogeh, stated that the motion was necessary to ensure that the matter is not swept under the carpet. “Now APC is saying what they are saying, PDP is saying what they are saying, but as a Legislature, we are saying that the very act we saw is condemnable. Whoever perpetrated it, is condemnable. We have also asked the Police to come and investigate this matter. Every matter in this state cannot be trivialised or politicised. “We want to identify with the President of this country, Muhammadu Buhari, who said he is fighting corruption. The House wants to support him for the first time on this, to carry out a thorough investigation. This House wants to use this very incident to test his will when he says he is fighting corruption”, he stated.


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