Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Tonye Cole, says his Party is being hindered from challenging the outcome of the State’s governorship election.
Cole in an interview with Channels Television on Monday, said the violence unleashed on Rivers APC members is a scheme to waste the Party’s time regarding the election petition.
Recall on March 21, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Siminialayi Fubara, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the winner of the March 18 governorship election.
Fubara polled 302,614 votes to defeat Cole who scored 95,274 votes, but the APC and its governorship candidate rejected the result of the election.
But according to Cole, as reported by Information Nigeria on Monday, he was slapped and injured in the fracas that broke out at the INEC office in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital.
The altercation ensued when Cole and his supporters arrived at the INEC office to inspect materials used for the election.
Some PDP members who were already at the INEC office reportedly insisted that both parties must inspect the materials at the same time, a situation that resulted in violence.
The APC candidate speaking on what transpired, said his Party has not received the expected cooperation from INEC as regards the election materials.
“It seems as if there is a calculated plot to prevent us from presenting a reasonable petition,” he said.
“It is either we are being prevented from gaining access to CTC documents that we need to build our case or we are being prevented directly so that we can run out of time.
“Both of them are tied together. First, our lawyers were arrested. All the evidence we are building was taken. We spent Saturday and Sunday trying to retrieve all of these.
“We retrieved them on Sunday. On Monday morning, we spent time trying to get documents. We have not gotten the documents, instead we were shot at, harassed, stoned and wounded.
“Another day (Monday) has gone. At what point are we going to have time to prepare for the petition that we must submit?
“We haven’t received the cooperation that we expected from INEC at all. I have no idea why INEC has been silenced. Why did the REC refuse to take my call?”