Former gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in Abia State, Etigwe Uwa, SAN, FCIArb has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to immediately declare the Governorship Candidate of the Labour Party, Dr. Alex Otti as winner of the election in the state.
Mr. Uwa said the people of Abia State have spoken through their votes in the 17 local government areas of Abia State.
He noted that the results released so far show that the aggregate of votes secured by Dr. Alex Otti of the Labour Party Governorship Candidate is at least 94,000 votes more than that polled by its closest rival Mr Okey Ahiwe, the Peoples Democratic Party Candidate.
Mr Uwa made this known in a statement made available to our correspondent on Tuesday.
According to him, “Abia State is in the news for the bad reason.
“The people of Abia State have spoken through their votes in the 17 local government areas of Abia State. The results released so far show that the aggregate of votes secured by Dr. Alex Otti the Labour Party Governorship Candidate is at least 94,000 votes more than that polled by its closest rival Mr Okey Ahiwe, the Peoples Democratic Party Candidate.
” Only one Local Government Area result (Obingwa) is yet to be announced.
“In Obingwa LGA, it is alleged that the collation centre was invaded by thugs and the electoral officers held hostage and were being pressurised to announce result in the excess of 90,000 votes which is more triple the average number of votes cast in each of all the other local government areas of Abia State. Thankfully, the said officials have been successfully evacuated and released from the hold of their captors.
“This is a repeat of exactly what happened in 2015 when Obingwa and one another local government area were used to upturn the election results from 15 other local government areas. The beneficiary of that action in 2015 was the PDP and the current Governor of Abia State, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu who are again in the forefront of this attempted electoral fraud.
“The Returning Officer and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, are urged to immediately note as follows :
“1. Section 47(2) of the electoral act provides that “To vote, the Presiding officer shall use the smart card reader or any other technology that may be prescribed by the commission for the accreditation of voters to verify, confirm or authenticate the particulars of the intending voter in the manner prescribed by the Commission. ”
“2. Section 47(3) of the act provides that ” where a smart card reader or any other technology deployed for accreditation of voters fails to function in any unit and a fresh card reader or technology device is not deployed, the election in that unit shall be cancelled and another election scheduled within 24 hours if the commission is satisfied that the result in that Polling Unit will substantially affect the final result of the election and the declaration of a winner in that Constituency concerned.
“Based on the results released so far, Dr. Alex Otti leads Okey Ahiwe of the PDP with over 94,000 votes. Reliable information so far obtained is to effect that only 26,400 persons were accredited for election in Obingwa local government area using card reader.
” Accordingly, even if all the votes cast in that local government area were ascribed to Okey Ahiwe of the PDP, the Labour Party Governorship Candidate, Dr Alex Otti would still win the election.
“Section 47 makes it mandatory for accreditation to be done via smart card reader or other technological means.
“Given that the total amount of voters accredited in Obingwa local government area via BVAS is approximately 26, 000 and any other results more than this must be cancelled and Dr. Alex Otti currently leads his closest rival Okey Ahiwe of the PDP with 94,000 votes.
“INEC is urged to direct that Dr Alex Otti be immediately declared the winner of the Abia State Governorship Election, 2023,” he stated.
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