INEC denies falsifying Abia election result
The Independent National Electoral Commission has refuted a report accusing its Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, of attempting to skew the results of the governorship election in Abia State.
According to Strenuous Blog, the Returning Officer for Abia, Nnenna Oti, claimed that she was forced to do the wrong thing.
“The INEC Presiding Officer Abia State, Nnenna Oti, had this to say…”, according to the portal. Professor Nnenna Oti from Afikpo here. I am the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, and the people’s mandate will be respected. I’ve spent my entire adult life pursuing the ideals of good governance. We will adhere to these principles. The pastor in me (she is a Pastor with the RCCG) and the mother in me will not let me do anything that will jeopardize our children’s future. I will do what is right in the eyes of God and man!’
“Then to the shock and surprise of everyone in the hall, she said that the INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu personally called her and gave her directives on guidelines to follow in ensuring that Abia governorship election results were collated based on some criteria but that on her own she has decided that the will of Abia voters would not be subverted under her watch.
“At that point, she requested that the Administrative Secretary read the message she claimed came from INEC headquarters in Abuja.”
In response, INEC Chairman’s Chief Press Secretary, Rotimi Oyekanmi, said in a statement on Tuesday that the only communication sent to the state Returning Officer was the commission’s directive suspending further collation of results.
Oyekanmi explained “The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu never called the Returning Officer to give her a directive. Rather, the Returning Officer wanted the official communication on the Commission’s decision to suspend the collation of results in Abia State.
“The Chairman then directed that pending the delivery of the hard copies, the soft copies of the Commission’s letter be forwarded immediately to the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Enugu State and the Administrative Secretary of Abia State.
“The Returning Officer for Abia State then directed that the content of the letter should be read aloud by the Administrative Secretary in the presence of agents of political parties, observers, the media, and security personnel at the Collation Centre.
“This is what is now being mischievously interpreted as a directive to the Returning Officer on some phantom criteria at variance with the approved guidelines. There is nothing like that.
“The content of the letter is the same as the Commission’s Press Release dated Monday 20th March 2023 which has since been uploaded to the Commission’s social media platforms and is already in the public domain.
“The public should disregard the story as fake news.”