- An INEC returning officer has claimed that he was threatened to declare Governor Rochas Okorocha as winner of Imo West senatorial district poll
- The returning officer said the governor gave him one hour to announce the result despite massive rigging in different LGAs of the district
- The INEC officer also claimed that some of the thugs of the APC threatened to kill him if he fails to declare Governor Okorocha as winner
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)'s returning officer in Imo West senatorial district, Innocent Ibeawuchi, claimed that he was threatened by thugs to announce Governor Okorocha as winner of the senatorial poll in the district.
Ibeawuchi, who spoke with journalists in Owerri on Monday, February 25, said thugs threatened to kill him after he noticed rigging in the state and refused to continue the collation process, Vanguard reports.
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.
"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.
“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.
“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."
The returning officer said Governor Okorocha also stormed the collating centre to intimidate him into declaring him the winner.
According to him, Okorocha came into the collation center and told him that the news is everywhere and that he should announce the results. He said the governor gave him one hour to write the results.
"But I told him that it is not true that we have not announced the final result. 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,” he said.
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Governor Okorocha is yet to react to this allegation from the INEC officer.
Recall that Legit.ng earlier reported that there was a mild drama at the Imo West collation centre after the Returning Officer in the centre stopped collating results and announced that he has been directed to return to Owerri immediately.
The returning officer, Professor Ibeawuchi, said due to the urgent call from Owerri, the state capital, he will postpone announcing the rest of the result till Monday morning.
Governor Okorocha, who is the All Progressives Congress (APC)'s senatorial candidate, however, stormed the collation centre in the early hours of Monday after Ibeawuchi stopped announcing the results.
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