October 8, 2021
By: Hafsatu Z Bangura
The main opposition party All Peoples Congress (APC) has on the 7th October 2021 held a press conference at its headquarters over the alleged malpractice of the just concluded Koinadugu councilor Elections for Ward 155 of which allegedly accusing NEC officials to have tampered with the said election result.
The All Peoples Congress National Secretary, Ambassador Dr. Alhaji Osman Foday Yansanneh in a press statement release said the National Electoral Commission (NEC) is unfit to conduct the 2023 Elections with regards to the situation that happened in Koinadugu which saw evidently of a tampered election result in Ward 155 councilor elections.
He said the manner in which NEC conducted the elections is rather unsatisfactory and one that clearly shows malpractices from NEC officials and the ICT Staff of tampering of results of which they demand a recount of votes but NEC refute to this hereby contesting the votes and a legal court action over Electoral fraud.
According to him Koinadugu is a strong hold for the APC as the Koinadugu people gave the APC a resounding Victory. He said that during these elections APC polling agents caught NEC staff directly tampering with results and altering them in favor of the governing Sierra Leone’s People Party (SLPP).
He further noted that during the tally process for the councilor for Ward 155, the ICT Staff tampered with the results for station (1), at the MCA Primary School in Fumbakoro in favor of the SLPP. Also, the correct scores which were 09 for SLPP and 083 for APC for that station, signed by NEC officials, polling agents and observers, were fraudulently entered by a NEC staff as 149 for SLPP, leaving the APC votes the same affected the final outcome of the bye election for Councilor for Ward 155, the Reconciliation and Result Forms (RRF) clearly confirms the facts.
Mr. Yansanneh said they produced copies of the RRF signed by NEC officers and polling agents which carried the same figures as those on the original copy in NEC’s custody, yet the presiding commissioner, Edmond Alpha from the Southern Region who was sent to oversee elections in the North refused to make the necessary Correctionc before making the provisional announcement of the results.
He said raising the issue with the commissioner proved to be unfruitful as the said commissioner told them to raise objections with the commission of which Dr. Yansanneh did in a letter addressed to the Chairman of the commission on 5th October 2021, regrettably, the Chairman ignored the evidence we provided and went ahead on Wednesday, 6th October 2021 to confirm the fake results of which gives a constitutionalized Electoral fraud being perpetrated by a collusion of NEC officers and Known SLPP operatives.
He further on stated that on Sunday 3rd October 2021 during the Tally process for the District Council Chairman election in kabala, the Assistant Director of Operations, Northern Region, Mr. Paul M Damba was caught tampering with results in favor of the SLPP when he criminally changed the SLPP result from 069 to 169 for polling center code 06096, MCA Primary School, Alkalia (Station 1).
Ambassador Dr. Alhaji Osman Foday Yansanneh said another instance of fraudulent activity happened at the same polling center and location (Station 3), the NEC officers swapped the figures, instead of recording APC 122 and SLPP 088, they recorded APC 088 SLPP 122. This discovery forced Commissioner Edmond Alpha to correct the numbers and Mr. Damba, the electoral crime perpetrator was removed from the electoral process pending further investigations.
He said these incidents and a number of others, including electoral disruptions perpetrated by government ministers on polling day were also reported by the National Electoral Watch (NEW).
“What the Commission has demonstrated is the highest degree of electoral fraud that renders the process irrelevant if NEC officials can stoop so low and change results with impunity, this will not only undermine the confidence in the ability of NEC to conduct credible elections, it will also threaten the peace and stability of this country,” Dr. Yansanneh noted.
He further added that “we therefore demand a recount of the votes for Ward 155 based on the NEC certified RRFs be conducted with a view to making sure that they reflect the will of the Koinadugu electorate; identify and take appropriate actions against the NEC officials involved in the perpetration of electoral fraud; and getting the National Electoral Commission to respect the law and best international electoral practices. The APC will utilize all legal and reasonable means at our disposal to continue to seek redress.”
Dr. Richard Konteh known as the Unifier said this is rather a devastating and sad look for the commission and the All Peoples Congress will not hold back the will of the people of stolen votes and fraudulent malpractice hence legal action will be taken against NEC and its officials.