The National Rescue Movement, NRM, one of the political parties that participated in the March 9, 2019 House of Assembly elections in Anambra State, said it has mobilised 15 lawyers to challenge the declaration of candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, as winner of the Idemili North State Constituency election in the state.

Rising from a joint meeting of the state and local government executive committee of the party held in Ogidi, headquarters of Idemili North on Thursday, the candidate of the party for the state constituency election in Idemili North Constituency, Barr Onyeka Martin Chukwuemeka, described the election as a fraud.

“I cannot call what took place in Idemili North on March 9 as an election, because, there were many irregularities that went contrary to the electoral law. From what we gathered from polling booths and agents that worked for our party in all the polling units, we realized that people were bullied to vote against their will.

“In Nkpor, for instance, we gathered that some thugs employed by APGA, went from polling unit to polling unit beating people up; and forcing them to vote against their conscience. After the election, some of our agents, who refused to pen their signatures to the result sheets were beaten and forced to do so. This is unacceptable.

“In Umuoji, about 15 boys or more believed to have been employed by APGA brought in already thumb printed ballot papers, and changed the one that was already cast by voters; in order to give APGA candidate undue advantage.

“In many areas in Idemili North, INEC official in collusion with APGA resorted to manual voting as against the use of card readers. The essence of introducing the card reader is to check malpractices. If, therefore, the card reader is not working, then, electoral system is faulty. This is not right in a democratic setting. This is why we are calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the Federal Government, FG, to look into the case and declare us winner of the election.

“People of Idemili North deserve the best, they know the kind of representative they want; and that is the reason they voted us in large numbers. We won the election but our party was short-changed with the collusion of INEC officials and APGA mercenaries; and placed us at the second position. So, after our joint meeting today, we felt that we cannot afford to disappoint our teeming supporters, who came out in great numbers to vote for us.

“We have concluded that we’re approaching the court because, we want INEC to declare us winner of the election. We’re already gathering our team of lawyers to prosecute the matter in the court; about 15 of them, including 2 senior advocates. We’re very confident because we have very good case. Apart from reclaiming our mandate through the court, we will ensure also that all those involved in subverting justice, and stealing the mandate of good people of Idemili North, are prosecuted and punished as provided by the prevailing laws.