Former governor of Abia State,Orji Uzor Kalu, has urged the INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega to investigate the case of alleged impersonation of INEC officials during the National Assembly and Presidential elections in Abia State.
A petition addressed to Jega and signed on Kalu’s behalf by K.C Nwufo, SAN and Associates, stated that the election was inconclusive and invalid by reason of corrupt practices and non compliance with the provision of the Electoral Act.
Kalu who contested for the Abia North Senatorial district on the platform of the Progressives Peoples Alliance, PPA, said “the elections were flawed with irregularities and impersonation Jega should investigate the issues raised.”
The petition reads in part that “The said Abia North senatorial district comprises five local governments with the Ohafia local government headquarters designated as the headquarters of the district, while one Dr. Ihekweaba Chigoziem, an associate professor was appointed the returning officer by INEC.
“The returning officer discovered palpable irregularities and corrupt practices in many of the results from the said local government areas. These irregularities were recorded by both security agents and INEC members of staff in Umuahia, the Abia State capital.
“Consequently, a committee was set up by the Abia State resident electoral commissioner, where upon the committee discovered to its chagrin, numerous irregularities in the result which showed that the results could not have originated from the field of election.
“The committee delved into the exercise of investigation to fish out those involved in the corrupt practices and irregularities and further to ascertain the extent and effect on the entire process and the appropriate action to be recommended to the resident electoral commissioner and the returning officer.
“The said exercise of the committee continued up to the first day of April 2015, and as such, the returning officer never collated the results nor declared any of the candidates winner. The returning officer was thus shocked to be informed that one of the candidates had been declared winner of the election by him.
“As an associate professor who has his reputation and integrity to protect, the returning officer quickly deposed to an affidavit at the Federal High Court, Umuahia, refusing making any declaration on April 2, 2015.
“It is in the light of the foregoing that we have been consulted to write this petition for you to use your good offices to investigate this matter with the seriousness it deserves. The culprits, who are members of staff of INEC and their cohorts should be fished out and brought to book with the offences of impersonating the returning officer under section 122(2) of the Electoral Act, 2010as amended.
“It is pertinent to note that it is the sole duty of the returning officer to declare the result under section 68 of the Electoral Act.”
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