Yahaya Bello

The Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, on Friday, walked out of the stakeholders meeting of the Kogi State Independent Electoral Commission, INEC.

They walked out in protest against the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Professor James Apam, who they accused of receiving bribe from Governor Yahaya bello as the November governorship election approaches.

The spokesman for the Council, Ibrahim Itodo, said that the walkout was to protest the continued stay of the REC in spite of a request for his removal.

Asked what the issues were with the REC, Itodo said that the issue bothered on the REC hobnobbing with the state government without regard to the interests of political parties, who are critical stakeholders in the election.

According to him, all efforts to get the REC’s attention always fell on deaf ears “as he always asked us to provide evidence of any sharp practices.”

IPAC and the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP in the state had last week called for the immediate removal of the state REC.

The group said that the enthusiasm, trust and hope with which Apam was received into the state were no longer there, urging INEC to redeploy him immediately.

“The REC has his second office in Government House, where he frequently hibernates in utter disregard for decorum, calling and tenets of the office he occupied as an unbiased umpire.

“The current REC has set a very gloomy standard, by being the first Kogi State REC to be publicly smeared with the accusation of collection of huge sums of money as a bribe from the state government to tinker with electoral processes in favour of the APC candidates.

“All the recent elections in the state were massively rigged in unguarded public glare by thugs of the ruling party in uniforms without any attempted investigations,” he alleged.
However, in reaction, the REC said that he was not shaken by the IPACs action.

He said, “I am here to do a job and I will continue to do just that, so I am not moved.”

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