Ohuabunwa rejects Abia North election result, petitions INEC

Sen. MAO Ohuabunwa, the PDP’s Senatorial Candidate in Abia North Senatorial District in Saturday’s National Assembly elections, has rejected the result of the poll.

Ohuabunwa told newsmen in his  Umuahia residence on Tuesday that INEC breached the Electoral Act by announcing the results after declaring the election inconclusive.
He said that the commission had on Sunday rescheduled elections in about 100 polling units in Arochukwu, Ohafia and other Local Government Areas of Abia.
According to him, the elections were rescheduled for Sunday and later shifted to Monday in the areas where they could not take place on Saturday.
“We mobilised our people and they trooped out to cast their votes only for us to hear that INEC announced a winner, when it had yet to conclude the exercise.
“This is unacceptable to us and we demand that the election be cancelled and fresh election conducted in the 100 polling units.
“I am rejecting the result totally and calling on INEC to conduct elections in the remaining polling units.
“There are over 100 polling units with at least 60,000 voters in those areas, which is my own area,” Ohuabunwa said.
He said that he had petitioned the commission to do the needful by conducting election in the remaining polling units it declared inconclusive.
“I do not care if somebody wins but the process must be clean and conclusive,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Returning Officer for Abia North, Mr Chinedu Nnamdi,  on Monday declared Sen. Orji Kalu the winner of the election, having polled 30,805 votes.
Nnamdi said that Chief Nnamdi Iroh of the Labour Party came second with  27,540, while Ohuabunwa came third having polled 15,175 votes.
Ohuabunwa said that the commission would have disenfranchised 60,000 voters in the area, who were prepared to exercise their franchise but for the lapses on the part of INEC.
He said that when the INEC officials could not come with the materials around 3pm, due to the lack of vehicles, he gave money to hire 12 buses to assist in the distribution of materials from the Local Government headquarters to the polling units.
“After waiting for a long period of time for materials, many people became worried and agitated and some of them went back home.
“Election did not start until about 4pm, while the Bimodal Voter Verification System machine was bypassed in the sending of results at the local government level,” Ohuabunwa said.
He expressed disappointment that the commission deceived the people with the impression that the BVAS would help to eliminate rigging of elections in the country.
“Unfortunately, this is the worst rigging I have ever seen,” the former lawmaker said.
He said that the Electoral Act empowers INEC to review any petitions before it within seven days.
“At the end of the window period we will weigh other options available to us, if we are not satisfied,” Ohuabunwa said. (NAN)

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