The Imo State government and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state on Saturday disagreed over the mastermind behind the alleged irregularities in the voter’s list in the state.
The Spokesman for the Conference of United Political Parties (CUPP), Ikenga Ugochinyere, had claimed during the week that the voter’s list for Omuma Ward contained fictitious names.
Governor Hope Uzodimma is from Omuwa.
The CUPP accused the state government of complicity in the alleged fraud.
The state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Declan Emelumba, who addressed journalists at a press briefing in Owerri, described the allegation as reckless, irresponsible and seditious.
Emelumba said the allegation “could only have come from a jaundiced and mischievous mindset.”
He called for the immediate arrest of Ugochinyere, who is the PDP’s candidate for Ideato Federal Constituency in the 2023 elections.
“On the claim that Omuma ward had fewer than 6,000 registered voters in 2014, I have it on good authority from verified INEC data that the ward had almost 10,000 voters as at 2014 and had 23,000 registered by 2019.
“This is obviously because many indigenes of the ward came home to register to be able to vote for their son, who was contesting the governorship election.
“It is therefore clear that Ugochinyere either hacked into INEC’s server and doctored documents therefrom or forged the document he was brandishing.
“Either way is criminal and it is important that he is immediately arrested for questioning,” the commissioner said.
The PDP Publicity Secretary in the state, Collins Opuruozor, who responded to Emelumba’s reaction, said the party would not tolerate any attack, threat or harassment of its candidate by the state government.
“Not a single hair shall fall from Ugochinyere’s head, nor a scratch found on his body,” Opuruozor said.
He urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to carefully look into the allegation, saying that it was a treasonable offence and capable of truncating the country’s democracy if proven to be true.
He also challenged the security agencies to carry out painstaking investigations into the matter, vis-a-vis the governor’s alleged involvement in the saga.
“We commend the shrewdness and dexterity brought to bear by our candidate in exposing the suspected monumental electoral malfeasance,” the PDP spokesman added.
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