I Didn’t Declare Abia North Senatorial Zone Result – Returning Officer

imageTHE returning officer [RO] for the Abia North in last Saturday’s Senatorial election, Dr. Chukwugozie Ihekwuaba has said that he did not declare any result for the election which INEC has published.

According to Ihekwuaba, who alleged that he has been receiving threat calls since after the election said he could not in his good conscience append his signature on the documents said to have been presented to him as the result.

Addressing journalists in Umuahia Thursday evening, Ihekwuaba said that there was widespread manipulation of the National Assembly elections in the zone which prompted him to recommend a re-run of the senatorial election in the zone.

He said apart from results from Arochukwu and Ohafia Local Government councils, which were recounted at the INEC state headquarters, results from other councils of Bende, Isukwuato and Umunneochi were manipulated and he disassociated himself from them.

He claimed that fake INEC documents such as result sheets were filled and later substituted with original ones.

In Ohafia council, according to him, there were massive irregularities which prompted youths and hoodlums to take over the place with sporadic shooting renting the air.

The protest against the Ohafia and Arochukwu result led the INEC REC to set up a committee that recounted the results of the two councils but results of the other councils where more irregularities were alleged were not reviewed.

“After looking at Arochukwu and Ohafia results, there was a massive irregularity. Security operatives were also aware because they were also taking their notes. So I found it very difficult to append my signature on the manipulated results.

“My report to INEC REC was that we do a re-run and get security operatives to guide the results so that whoever wins will take it. In some cases, ballot boxes were removed. I am not aware of any result declared. I did not declare any result.

“Apart from Arochukwu and Ohafia council results which were recounted at INEC headquarters, I did not accept any other result”, the associate professor of Computer Engineering said.

When contacted, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the State, Prof. Selina Oko said she has no constitutional power to cancel any election result or organize a re-run.

According to her, she was under pressure from the INEC headquarters to send the results to meet the seven days deadline and she had no choice to send the results submitted to her.

She advised aggrieved candidates to take their case to the law court which is the appropriate place to seek redress.

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