Dr. Michael Otu, the INEC returning officer for Orumba North LGA, has faulted the collated governorship election results he gave to the State Returning Officer, Prof. Florence Obi, on Sunday.
Dr. Otu, while presenting the results to Prof. Obi at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) State Headquarters in Awka, the state capital, stated that he was forced to sign the results.
He said he didn’ t accredit the results and accused the INEC official who was assigned to him of colluding with those who thwarted the election.
Dr. Otu said that no election was held in the entire Ihiala local government region, and that he had been tear- gassed and was on the verge of collapsing.
He claimed he signed the result under pressure as a result of a situation provoked by policemen.
” I signed a report I didn’ t believe in. I signed it under duress. I was tear gassed. I was locked in the toilet, until a policeman smuggled me out.
” I could not even go out to ease myself. They were monitoring me up and down. At a point, I saw that my life was in danger, so, I had to sign the results they prepared. I called out to my colleagues to tell them that I was in danger here” , he stated.
The electoral officer, who did not reveal her name while responding to the claim, accused the returning officer of not being knowledgeable about collating election results.
” This man here has said so many things against me. But I observed that he has no experience in collating election results.
” This man does not know his left from his right. The result is full of mutilation. He does not know the difference between conducting elections and collating results” , she stated.
The APGA’ s agent, Victor Umeh, claims the collation officer was ” hired to sabotage the election. ” He claimed that his party had won the LGA election. He goes on to say that Otu’ s story has no foundation.
Prof. Florence Obi acknowledged that she is aware of the situation that took place in the local government area.
” This is the only local government I had a distress call from and I had to call the commissioner of police and tell him that the lives of my staff are in danger, ” she stated.
The Commission has taken a break to allow its officials to investigate the documents and charges made by Dr. Otu about the Orumba North Local Government Area.
In addition, INEC announced on Sunday that no election was held in the whole Ihiala local government.