Plans to challenge the outcome of the Senate presidency election in court on grounds that the ballot papers used in the poll had barcodes are not dying down despite efforts made by some ranking senators to pass it as being transparent.
Last week, Sunday Sun had exclusively reported plot by 22 All Progressives Congress (APC) senators to deflect to the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), following the tension created by the election of the presiding officers in the 10th Senate.
In the event that the 22 senators make good their threat, the opposition would have 72 senators while the APC would be left with 37.
This notwithstanding, former Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, had in a viral video debunked reports that the ballot papers used in the 10th Senate election were doctored with barcodes, saying that “there was no funny business conducted on the floor of the hallowed chambers during the June 13 election held to determine who becomes the Senate President.”
His words: “Let me be honest with you, the election in the Senate was very transparent. Senator Akpabio won the election. It was free; it was fair. I congratulate the Clerk of the National Assembly. I congratulate the Clerk and all the staff of the Senate. You know, I cannot lie against my conscience. Akpabio won the election hands down.”
Insisting on the transparency of the exercise, he said that there are no two senates in the history of the Senate. “There is only one Senate. June 13 was the day we decided to have one Senate,” Kalu said
But some of Kalu’s colleagues who spoke to our correspondent disagreed with him, predicting that the tenure of the newly elected Senate President Akpabio would not be completed.
In fact, two of the Senators from the Northeast insisted that the election of the 10th Senate presidency was manipulated against the candidature of Senator Abdul’aziz Yari.
One of the senators who pleaded anonymity said: “Even though the election has been held and Akpabio emerged, there are still questions surrounding his victory. The ballot papers were tampered with and compromised. The ballot papers were serially barcoded such that the idea of secret balloting never existed. Some senators were forced to vote against their will. These actions were not only undemocratic, but unconstitutional and embarrassing.
“A lot of senators who voted for Akpabio did so under compulsion and threat. They never wanted him to be President. We are interested in telling the world how barcode was used to rig the election. Why should an electoral process be tampered with? Until it is determined there would be too many other questions to answer in the 10th Senate. This is the first time ballot papers will have barcode. Akpabio won’t last as Senate President.”
Also, two senators from the Northwest, one from Southwest and Southeast respectively who spoke to our correspondent shared the same opinion
They said: “An election that was supposed to be secret ballot was manipulated and compromised. We believe that the right thing must be done to avoid international embarrassment. What happened on the June 13 was against the Senate rule. You can’t have a Senate president that came on board illegally. We will challenge the process and make sure that the electoral processes are not tampered with in the future.”