LP accuses INEC of manipulating Abia South senatorial results in favour of Abaribe

ABIA SOUTH senatorial district candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Chinedu Onyeizu, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of irregularities and manipulation of election results in favour of the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA), Enyinnaya Abaribe.

Speaking on Arise TV on Saturday March 4, Onyeizu maintained that INEC officials connived with Abaribe to declare him winner of the senatorial election.

The LP candidate alleged that election did not take place in more than 108 polling units in the senatorial district.

According to Onyeizu, the INEC returning officer for the district, Georgina Ugwuanyi, initially declared the election inconclusive.

He said, “What I experience on Saturday is a travesty of justice. We have a scenario where the electoral umpire who is known as the returning officer had come on air to declare the election inconclusive because over 108 polling units in my stronghold area did not experience any form of election.

“Earlier in the morning INEC had called all the collation officers and told all of us that the elections are inconclusive. And then five hours after, we see the same lady come back to the zonal collation office to declare Abaribe the winner of the election.

“So what we are still battling with is that we want to know what really happened between the time she had the election inconclusive and five hours later when she returned to say that she was instructed from Abuja to declare Enyinnaya Abaribe winner of the election.”

Onyeizu emphasized that electoral materials were not available in some units, while some others had issues with the unavailability of result sheets.

“Electoral materials didn’t get to some places, while in some places voting happened but there was no result sheet to enter the result of the election,” he said.

He pointed out that there were disparities between the numbers collated in polling units and those announced at the collation centre of the senatorial district.

The LP candidate explained, “In addition to this challenging development, the result sheets that were made available to us that she used to declare senator Abaribe the winner, when you tabulated the results on local government level, it sums up to 38,000 votes, while mine is 43,000.

“The level of irregularities and abuse of office that was demonstrated by Professor Georgina Ugwuanyi, the returning officer, is unprecedented.






     

     

    “When you collate the result sheet at the polling units level, the numbers are different from the total number of votes cast at polling unit levels from the number collated at the collation centre. As they collated at local government centres, people are incentivized to do the wrong things and manipulate the figures. The numbers collated were different from what was announced.”

    He called on the INEC chairman to declare the election inconclusive and organize another election to ensure that Nigerians are not disenfranchised.

    “I want to use this medium to tell professor Mahmood to reflect on the decision his institution is making, and he should think about the implications of these decisions, especially in the democracy of Nigeria going forward.

    “We call on INEC and the government to come back and conduct supplementary election in the 180 polling units in the senatorial zones where election couldn’t hold. And we are talking about disenfranchising 40,000 registered voters,” he said.

    Stories with punches holding the powerful accountable. His determination to speak out against corruption and influence the conversation in Nigeria, the surrounding region and the continent inspires him.

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