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Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Politics Africa: INEC returning officer recounts how thugs coerced him to announce Okorocha as the winner


INEC returning officer recounts how thugs coerced him to announce Okorocha as the winner
The Returning officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the Imo West Senatorial District election, Innocent Ibeawuchi, yesterday said that Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State gave him one hour to announce him winner of the Imo West senatorial election.
Ibeawuchi made this known to journalists in Owerri, when he explained that he was still afraid for his life as well as his family members.
Narrating his ordeal in the hand of Okorocha, he said, “A group was discussing how they will rig the election while I was gathering information.
“As I was on my way into my office three persons accosted me and asked me to hand over the materials to them. They even called their boss but I told them that I can’t. “
“Apart from that, the card readers most of them were not working. The even tampered with the sensitive materials. There are around seven to eight local government areas that we had massive rigging and compromises.”
Some of the local government areas he mentioned were Ideato North and South local government areas, Isu, Njaba, Oru East, Oru West and Ohaji/Egbema.
“It is for this reason, that I told them that I want to cancel the results. If you remove these areas there will be a rerun.”
When asked those who attacked him, he said: “The thugs are working for the APC, they pounced on me and started beating me. One boy told me that he will kill me if I refuse to write the results they wanted.”
On how the governor Okorocha put fear in him to announce the result, he said: “Okorocha came into the collation center and told me that the news is everywhere and that I should announce the results. Okorocha told me that he gave me one hour to write the results. But I told him that it is not true that we have not announced the final result.”
The returning officer mentioned that “I wanted to cancel the results because, massive rigging and compromises were the reasons for which I wanted to cancel the results.
“You know that any desperado will not rest until he gets you. My family is in God’s hands. I am afraid now.”
Efforts to get Governor Okorocha’s reaction as at press time had not yielded fruit. Vanguard 

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