I will make sure that those who are trying to manipulate the Ogbaru federal constituency election result are disappointed
BY BONIFACE OKECHUKWU, Awka
Tension is mounting very high in Ogbaru federal constituency, Anambra state, as a result of the delay by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in announcing the winner of the federal constituency election.
Meanwhile, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in the state, Dr. Elizabeth Agwu has declared the federal constituency election inconclusive citing the inability of the commission to conduct elections in some polling units in the area during the February 25 presidential/National Assembly Polls.
She also lamented that some of the result sheets where votes scored by some of the political parties in the area during the polls were mutilated using tipex.
She stated that she had to set up a review team headed by the administrative secretary, Mr. Ibe. U. Ibe to carry out a thorough review of the results by sourcing the results as uploaded on the INEC server to enable the commission know the actual votes scored by the various parties, and, also the polling units where elections where not conducted.
She said, “I have received so many petitions concerning Ogbaru federal constituency election.
“The result sheets presented to me were mutilated with tipex and, there are polling units elections could not be conducted there, so the election in Ogbaru federal Constituency is inconclusive.
“I will make sure that those who are trying to manipulate the Ogbaru federal constituency election result are disappointed. I will not allow anybody, no matter how highly placed to thwart the votes of the people.
“I would have handed over the EO to the police, but, I have set up a team that is headed by the administrative secretary and the team is looking into the results to give me what is exactly the scores of the parties, and, areas where election did not take place.
“When they (administrative secretary’s) submit their report, I will now send it to my boss at the INEC national headquarters, and, my boss will direct me on what to do; if I should go ahead and declare the candidate who is leading, I will do that, but, if we should conduct a re-run election, we will do that because the margin of the lead is slim compared to the score of the candidate who came second”.
Meanwhile, giving insight into the findings of his team the administrative secretary stated that a make-up elections should be conducted in 45 poling units in the federal constituency before the actual winner can be determined.
He stated that the affected 45 polling units included those that elections did not hold in them due to non-deployment of electoral materials and others where over-voting were recorded leading to the cancellation of their results during the February 25 poll.
Checks at the INEC state headquarters in Awka showed that while the candidate of the Labour Party, Hon. Afam Ogene is already leading with a total of 10,339 votes, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Hon. Arinze Awogu is trailing him closely with a total of 9,125 votes.
It was further learnt that the people of the federal constituency are now complaining against the delay by the electoral umpire in concluding the election, expressing worry that the delay is to create room for possible manipulation of the results.