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Monday, April 13, 2015

Gov T.A Orji, Metuh Force Abia Returning Officer To Reverse Cancellation

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The Peoples Democratic Party has rejected the cancellation of the governorship results in three local government areas of Abia State.

Governor Theodore Orji, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, Minister of State for Defence, Col Austin Akobundu, and some executives of the PDP in the state stormed the INEC office in Umuahia – venue of the collation exercise for the election – to demand the reversal of the decision.

The state Returning Officer and Vice Chancellor, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, had cancelled results of Isiala-Ngwa North, Osisioma and Obimgwa Local Government Areas, citing widespread electoral malpractices, violence, ballot box snatching and reports of independent foreign observers that monitored the exercise.

Announcing the cancellation, Ozumba said, “We are here to uphold the rule of law and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. By the power vested in me as the state collation and returning officer, I hereby cancel results from the following local governments; Obingwa, Isiala-Ngwa North and Osisioma.

“This is based on the evidence before me and the provisions of the constitution and Electoral Act.”

Ahamdi Nweke, the APGA agent at the collation center had argued that there were no elections in Osisioma LGA, coupled with cases of electoral violence and ballot box snatching in other places.

The PDP agent, Solomon Ogunji, while reacting to the cancellation, said it was unheard of that result of an election would be cancelled based on evidence from foreign observers and social media.

According to him, his party will not accept the decision.

Abaribe insisted that the collation exercise would not continue until the decision was reversed.

Meanwhile, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Selina Oko, left the collation center and held a closed-door meeting with the Governor, Metuh and Abaribe.

Ozumba attempted to continue with the collation exercise, but was stopped by PDP stalwart, who had flooded the venue, insisting that the exercise could not continue until their demands were met.

Ozumba was left with no option than to leave the collation center, bringing the collation exercise to a halt.

During the course of the forced break, Nweke granted a press interview, where he accused the PDP of electoral violence, malpractice and falsification of results.

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