UNICAL: SUG Candidates petition Electoral body over inconclusive election.

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The Vice Chancellor

University of Calabar,
Calabar
Thru:
The Dean,
Students affairs division
University of Calabar,
Calabar.
Thru:
The chairman,
Electoral Petition committee,
University of Calabar,
Calabar.

A PETITION FOR THE CANCELLATION OF THE 2018 SUG ELECTIONS ON GROUNDS OF GROSS ELECTORAL MALPRACTICES

We, the undersigned aggrieved candidates in the just concluded 2017/2018 SUG election held on the 24th of April 2018 do rescind the outcome of the electoral process based on the facts, grounds and evidence supplied hereunder, and pursuant to the provisions of section 53(1) of the SUG constitution 2014 (as amended).
GROUNDS, FACTS AND EVIDENCE
1) The election was held simultaneously with semester exams
2) The time provided for the electoral process was not exhausted
3) More than 90% of the total eligible voters were disenfranchised
4) Voting pins of eligible voters were still sent a day after the elections
5) Agents of candidates were not afforded the opportunity of verifying and signing the election results.
6) No official publication of the result of the election was made by the Calabar University Electoral Committee (CUECO) which is contrary to the provisions of section 51(8) of the SUG constitution 2014 as amended.
7) Voting website was manifestly compromised and hijacked by unknown forces.

BRIEF FACTS IN SUPPORT OF GROUNDS FOR CANCELLATION
1) By virtue of section 51(3) of the SUG constitution “the right of any student of the university to vote and be voted for shall not be denied or abreached by any means, for any reason whatsoever”. This translates to mean that no circumstance whatsoever shall operate to hinder any eligible voter from exercising his/her franchise at the election. We submit therefore on this point that, the conduct of the SUG election which ran simultaneously with the semester exams conducted in some faculties viz: Faculty of Biological sciences, Arts, Management Science, Education etc deprived a large chunk of eligible voters from participating.
2) The CUECO’s approved time for the election which was proposed to run from 10:00am to 2:30pm was fouled by the untimely stoppage of the voting site by 11:00am and was continually breached from time to time until 2:00pm. Evidence of such suspension of the voting site hereby annexed as annexure 1 & 2. A corollary to this is the receipt of Permanent Voters Code (PVC) by eligible voters 24 hours after the supposed conclusion of the election. Evidence of such receipt is hereby attached as annexure 3.
3) A considerable number of eligible voters estimated at 90% were deprived of their voting rights by reasons of facts contained in paragraphs 1&2 of our grounds. This is evident in CUECO’s publication containing a list of total eligible voters and the purported total number of votes cast on the election. Evidence showing the total number of eligible voters is hereby attached as annexure 4.
4) As representatives of candidates in every democratic electoral process, agents are entitled to attest to the free and fair electoral process by appending their signatures against their candidate details on the election result sheet. This has been a long time practice in the university of calabar until 2018 SUG elections where agents were not granted the opportunity of verifying the contents of the election results sheet and appending their signature thereto. This is strange as there was no means of quality, free, fair and transparent ascertainment of the entire process. What we have at our disposal can be best described as exercise of CUECO’s discretion and not a true reflection of a democratic process.
5) The SUG constitution provides in section 50(8) that all election results must be announced immediately after counting, thus, the refusal by CUECO to make public the election result suffices as evidence of manipulation of the entire election process.
6) The voting website was manifestly compromised and hijacked by unknown forces which robbed the control of the entire electoral process from CUECO leaving same in the hands of unidentified individuals. This is evident in the time to time suspension of the voting site, change in internet Protocol (IP) addresses and other breakage in the voting website. Communications with members of CUECO revealed this.

RECOMMENDATIONS
1) Cancellation of the April 24th 2018 SUG elections on grounds of gross electoral malpractices and irregularities which are supported by a plethora of evidence adduced.
2) The university management should provide a more secured website for the conduct of a fresh election.
3) The website administrators should be removed and replaced with new ones
4) The university security unit should desist from further threat, intimidation and victimization of any kind to the candidate and their supporters.

CONCLUSION
While we appreciate the kind agenda of the Vice Chancellor anchored on Students, we anticipate a 48 hour response to address the above raised issues or recourse would be made to litigation as we are limited by the SUG constitution as to time of action.
Attached herewith are hand written signatures of all the aggrieved candidates who participated in the elections.

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