The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has broken its silence over a trending report making the rounds on various social media media platforms suggesting that the candidate of the Labour Party (LP) Peter Obi, won the presidential election in Rivers State.
Recall that the electoral umpire had announced that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, won the presidential election in the South-South state.
INEC had said Tinubu polled 80,239 votes to win in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, while Obi scored 3,829 votes to come second in the council.
However, Premium Times, in a report, said the LP flagbearer won the presidential election in Obio/Akpor LGA, according to results uploaded on the INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV), and ultimately emerged winner of the exercise in Rivers.
In a chat with LEADERSHIP on Monday in Abuja, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi said Premium Times reserves the right to publish reports on various issues, adding that he respects press freedom.
Oyekanmi, however, said the report of the news outlet was “prejudicial” since the matter is before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.
He said: “While Premium Times reserves the right to publish reports on various issues, it is a known fact that when a matter is before a court, no one, including a media organisation, should comment on it.
“What the media house did by publishing a report on a matter before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal was, unfortunately, prejudicial. It shouldn’t have been done. I don’t know why they did it or what their intention is.
“It is for this reason that I cannot comment on it.”