Tonye Cole, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Rivers State has said he is prepared to prove that his party won the March 18 governorship poll in the state, The Punch reports.
Telescope.ng gathered that he insisted that the entire process was hijacked and fraught with irregularities to favour the ruling party.
Cole claimed while speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt, the state capital on Sunday on the release of three lawyers filing proceedings at the election tribunal for the party and bail granted five of their support staff.
He alleged that there was a special police group working for the State Governor christened ‘Wike Police’ as well as a ‘Wike Police Station’, saying the wicked activities of this group are a threat to democracy and must be stopped.
Cole stated: “It has been a very disturbing process and very traumatic for our democracy. It started with the arrest of our lawyers that were preparing for the tribunal. All evidence, their drafts and their written script were seized. And that was too dangerous. Living those things in the hands of unknown persons was too dangerous because that carried the base of our case.
“And so we had to start putting pressure on the police, the Nigerian Bar Association, the media, everybody got involved because we have never seen a thing like this in Nigeria. It took over 36 hours, including sleeping here (Police Station), refusing to leave before we can just say that some justice has been done.”
On the claims by the police that three of the party’s lawyers arrested along with five of their support staff on Saturday night were allegedly printing documents and fake INEC documents, he described it as flimsy.
“How you print fake INEC documents inside a hotel, I have no idea. They claimed that there were some issues with hacking, I don’t know how you can hack any kind of information. So at the end of the day, I think it was very flimsy.
“What was said was that they had a tip, and based on that they went in and arrested lawyers. And it blew up in their face,” he said.
Cole insisted that the Independent National Electoral Commission must accede to the party’s demand by releasing the necessary Certified True Copies of elections documents it asked for to enable them to present their case at the tribunal.
According to him, “What we had to make sure was necessary to be released was all the evidence from EC8, EC8A, EC8B. These are the agents’ copies of the evidence that we had an election.
“If you take those and it disappears, then it means that APC was not in the fields at all, and we couldn’t allow that.”
On the police inviting INEC to inspect some documents allegedly seized from its lawyers, he noted that an electoral umpire that will be a defendant cannot look at its drafts and files.
He said: “We are very vociferous in saying that INEC will be a defendant and so cannot look at the draft, cannot look at what we are working on and cannot see into the computers, into our files because they will be a defendant.
“And the police agreed with us as they were the ones who took a look at it and verified that everything was okay on the legal part of it. So that INEC who is going to be a defendant when we get to the tribunal cannot see our argument because that will be too bad.”
Cole further said that the recent arrest and seizing of documents from lawyers are being orchestrated by a special police unit clearly aimed at stopping the party from approaching the tribunal.
He said: “The first that was this was a weekend. It was another calculated attempt to stop us from going to the Tribunal. And the people who arrested us and this must be on record. Enough is enough.
“There is the group that they call ‘Wike Police and a Wike Police Station’, and it must stop. We cannot have two separate police groups. The first group are the ones that went. “And they are the same group that was used for hijacking elections. They are the same ones that are used to arrest all our people.”
“When we had the election, this same group were the ones that went to arrest candidates. This must stop. We cannot have one particular group of the Nigeria Police Force and another group of the police.”