Professor Meshach Umenweke, who served as Returning Officer in last Saturday’s elections in Anambra South senatorial district, has claimed that he only declared the candidate of Young Progressives Party (YPP), Ifeanyi Ubah, winner to save his life.
In a letter he wrote to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Umenweke recanted the earlier declaration and said that the election was inconclusive.
The letter dated February 25 and addressed to the Anambra Resident Electoral Commissioner read in part, “That there were skirmishes within the compound of the Nnewi North Local Government Area (headquarters) where the results were being collated between the police and some thugs who sought to gain entrance to the area of collation. The situation was volatile, intense and charged.
“The police had to spray tear gas to disperse the thugs and supporters, most of who waited nearby. There was inadequate security in the collation arena. There was the imminent danger to my person given the situation at hand to delve into the merits of the petition at the material time.
“Sequel to the above, I hereby declare the result of the elections into Anambra South Senatorial seat which I pronounced yesterday (Monday) inconclusive.”
Ifeanyi Ubah of the YPP had in the earlier announced result, defeated two brothers, a serving senator, Andy Ubah and his younger sibling, Chris Ubah.
The development in Anambra South appears similar to what happened in Imo West senatorial district, where the returning Office claimed he announced incumbent Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, winner of the senatorial election in the zone under duress.
However, while the Returning Officer for Anambra South, has recanted his earlier pronouncement, and said the election was inconclusive, in the case of Imo, Okorocha has remained winner as declared.
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