The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, of denying journalists access to the collation centres for the Edo governorship election.
Prince Dayo Adeyeye, PDP National Publicity Secretary, in a statement early Thursday morning accused the ruling party of undermining electoral process.
The spokesman had in an earlier statement said the APC and INEC were planning to rig the election overnight.
His latest statement reads: “As part of plans to manipulate the results of the Edo State gubernatorial election, officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in tandem with security agents are denying journalists access to the INEC Collation Centre in Benin City.
“This action is a manifestation of the plots hatched by the All Progressives’ Congress, APC, to manipulate the election results about which we have raised alarm several times.
“Furthermore, this action demonstrates the contempt and disdain which the ruling APC, has for the media, which is the fourth pillar of democracy.
“We call on INEC and the relevant security agencies to reverse this ill-advised decision and to grant journalists access to the INEC Collation Centre to enable them carry out their professional duties of monitoring the elections.
“We urge Nigerians to counsel INEC, APC and the relevant security agencies to desist from further perpetuating actions capable of derailing law and order in the State.”
Meanwhile, INEC, Wednesday night suspended the collation of results for the Edo State governorship election.
Edo State Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC, Sam Olumekun, confirmed that the collation of the results would resume on Thursday.
Olumekun made the announcement at the collation centre in Benin after a closed-door meeting with a National Commissioner and two Resident Electoral Commissioners at 11.20pm on Wednesday.
Although he did not give reasons for the shift, the development may not be unconnected with the late arrival of results from the 18 local government areas of the state.
Security remains tight at the INEC office, while movement to the area had been restricted to only accredited officers and staff.