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‘Diversionary plot’ | ‘sheer criminality’ — Imo government, PDP clash over alleged CVR irregularities

  The Imo government and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have have disagreed over allegations of irregularities in the recently-concluded...


The Imo government and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have have disagreed over allegations of irregularities in the recently-concluded continuous voter registration (CVR) exercise in the state.


Ikenga Ugochinyere, spokesperson for the Conference of United Political Parties (CUPP) and PDP candidate for of Ideato north/south federal constituency, had recently alleged that there are inconsistencies in the list of new voters in Imo and accused the state government of complicity.


However, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had said no new name has been added to the voter register, adding that clean-up exercise to weed out ineligible registrations is ongoing.


Also reacting to the allegation at a media briefing, Declan Emelumba, Imo commissioner for information, said Ugochinyere should be arrested for making “fraudulent claims” against the government.


“INEC has issued an official statement on the above and has gone further to list the names of the states that entered fictitious registration of voters and Imo state is not on that list,” he said.


“Ugochinyere must have either hacked INEC server and doctored documents there-from or forged the document he was brandishing. This is criminal and it is important that he should be immediately arrested for questioning.


“It is on good authority and from verifiable data from INEC that Omuma ward had close to 10,000 registered voters under that period (2014) and for 2019 elections when their son contested as a governor, they registered over 23,000 because many indigenes from the ward came home to register to support their son who was contesting the election.


 “Also, the 2023 elections as it is expected may have garnered over 20,000 more registered voters comprising students and staff of the state polytechnic at Omuma from different parts of Nigeria residing in Omuma.


“The tepid reference by Ugochinyere to a pending ‘secret court action’ in a federal high court in Owerri against the use of BVAS — the porous allegations against the governor was to insinuate that the ‘secret court action’ was filed by an agent of government.


“Unfortunately, an investigation into the suit-claim revealed that the NBA stamp used in filing the suit belongs to a lawyer who is a very close associate of former governor Emeka Ihedioha, the paymaster of Ugochinyere. Therefore, there is no doubt as to where the whole concoction is coming from and why.


“In the same vein, the allusion by Ugochinyere that the INEC office at Omuma has been burnt and that residents have fled the community because of insecurity clearly vindicates government’s position that PDP was behind the insecurity in Imo state, Orlu and Omuma in particular, for political gains.


 “If the claim was true, the president could not have gone to Orlu to commission projects; the Catholic bishops wouldn’t have held their conference in Orlu. This is a clear manifestation that Imo has gone past that and insecurity is over in Imo state.


“It is clear that Ugochinyere and his co-travelers’ antics are diversionary meant to perfect the fraudulent activities of PDP and to divert attention from their evil plots against the 2023 elections.”


Responding in a statement on Saturday, Collins Opurozor, the Imo PDP publicity secretary, criticised the state government over the call for Ugochinyere’s arrest, and insisted that there were irregularities in the CVR exercise.


“Imo PDP, therefore, warns that no attack, threat or harassment of Ikenga Ugochinyere by the failed regime of APC in Imo State will be tolerated. Not a single hair shall fall from his head, not a scratch found on his body,” the statement reads.


“For Imo PDP, it is sheer audacity in criminality for the Governor to still find his voice to issue threats, when by now he is supposed to be telling Nigerians his role in this treasonable offence which seeks to truncate our democracy.


“We commend the shrewdness and dexterity brought to bear by our candidate in exposing the monumental electoral malfeasance, and we are deeply elated that Nigerians and lovers of democracy all over the world are in sync with us in our demand for justice to be done in this matter and perpetrators of this sleaze brought to book.”

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