INEC deploys officials to oversee inspection of materials in Rivers


Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dame Gesila Khan

THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday said it has deployed three administrative secretaries to Port Harcourt to oversee the inspection of materials used during last general elections.

The Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dame Gesila Khan, told journalists in Port Harcourt yesterday that there was nothing new about deployment of national officers to the state to oversee certain administrative assignment, saying that during the presidential and governorship elections, three national commissioners were respectively sent to the state.

She said: “The head office (INEC Abuja) decided to draft three administrative secretaries as support so that we can meet up with the time and I think you have seen them. We should conclude this exercise (inspection of election materials) before the tribunal comes to an end. We are human and if you are told to produce 1,000 copies today, you will produce them.

Even machine breaks down not to talk of man. So, we are going to put in our best and that is what you have seen there. We do not have challenge because the members of staff are willing, the visiting team is on the ground and I am here.

We were here on Saturday, Sunday and this means we are working.” Khan, who declined to comment on her recent detention and interrogation by the Department of State Security (DSS), denied she had been transferred out of Rivers State.

According to her, even if she would be transferred, there is nothing wrong with that because she is an employee of government who could be moved from one place to another at any time.

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) said the refusal of Khan to comply with the law prompted INEC national headquarters in Abuja to send a task force to the state to deliver the materials as ordered by the tribunal.

It said the detention of Khan by the DSS was justifiable because her decision to be evasive in order not to release materials used in the last elections to the APC and to avoid complying with tribunal orders on inspection of materials were deemed of grave nature capable of negatively affecting the peace, tranquility and security of the state and nation.

The APC Secretary, Media and Publicity Committee, Godstime Orlukwu, said the party believes the DSS that Khan was never detained. Rather, the DSS invited her for questioning having been convinced that her actions and deliberate inactions constituted serious threat to the security of Rivers State and, by extension, that of the country.

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