THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Returning Officer for the Abia State Governorship Election, Professor Nnenna Oti, has revealed that she was offered money to manipulate the result of the poll.
She made the revelation on Wednesday, March 29, while being welcomed by the management, staff, and students of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), where she serves as Vice Chancellor.
The collation of results for Obingwa Local Government Area (LGA) was briefly suspended by INEC, causing tension amongst the electorate and stakeholders in the state, before Labour Party (LP) candidate Alex Otti was declared winner of the election.
Oti stated that before the final declaration of the result, she was promised a huge sum of money to change the mandate of the voters.
She said she stood on her ideals and principles not to short-change anyone and ensured that the will of the people of Abia prevailed and that their votes counted during the election.
“As an electoral officer, I have never in my life participated in any election, but duty came calling, I made my enquiries from Abuja,” she said.
“If I perish, I perish, they came with their threats, they came with their money, they came with their intimidation.”
She asserted that she has never defrauded anyone and declared that under her leadership, votes must count, and the people’s mandate will be upheld.
The result declared by the returning officer saw Otti score 175,467 votes to win the election, defeating the candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Okey Ahiwe, who got 88,529 votes.