Tonye Cole, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress or APC in Rivers State, has said that the People's Democratic Party or PDP in the state paid thugs N15,000 each to attack and prevent him from accessing INEC's state secretariat in Port Harcourt.
Cole said he had gone to the commission's office at Aba Road to collect certified true copies of the commission's materials that he needs to challenge the outcome of the March 18 governorship election at the state election petition tribunal.
INEC had declared PDP's Sim Fubara as the winner of the election, which Cole believes was rigged.
Cole made the allegation while talking to journalists at the APC secretariat in Port Harcourt on Monday. He said the thugs, who he believes are working for the PDP, attacked his convoy and injured him with a stone.
"We are supposed to be in a democracy, and one of the tenets of democracy is that after an election, INEC, supposedly being an impartial umpire, will have documents. These documents are [supposed to be] available to everybody who participated in an election, and these are critical documents we will have to take to an election tribunal," he said.
Cole also accused INEC of colluding with the PDP to deny him access. He said since last week Friday, when his team requested the material, INEC had failed to make any available to him and his team.
"Friday, we were at INEC; they have not given us a single document. We said we are coming back today, and because we said it on live TV, PDP organised thugs to prevent us from getting to the INEC office," he alleged.
"They have been paid N15,000 per day, which we have done an investigation and found out so; they can come and prevent us from getting CTCs from INEC."