The Abia State Government has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately remove the state Returning Officer, Mrs Nnenna Otti.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy Abia State, Eze Chikamnayo alleged that the INEC Returning Officer share familial ties with the Labour Party governorship candidate, Alex Otti.
Abia State Government also knocked the LP candidate for alleging that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor Okezie Ikpeazu are plotting to rig the governorship election.
Chikamnayo accused Otti of brandishing false claims and instigating innocent citizens, adding that the LP candidate is attempting to use strong-arm tactics, blackmail, and violence as instruments for what he termed as fraudulent power acquisition.
The statement reads: “The Government of Abia State and indeed all peace loving Abians has now become convinced that Mr Alex Otti, one of the contestants in the just concluded Gubernatorial elections of 18th March, 2023, is going about brandishing false claims and instigating innocent citizens in his futile bid to continue his notorious resort to armtwisting, blatant blackmail and violence as instruments for fraudulent power acquisition.
“First, If Alex Otti and his wishful co – conspirators are Democrats, they will admit that it is illegal to stampede INEC Nigeria to announce a winner while the process of collation of results is still ongoing.
“Secondly, INEC should use the BVAS Machines to check the figures on the Result Sheets Form EC8As for all the Local Government Areas. By so doing, they will find that the entire Results being brandished by Mr Alex Otti and his cohorts are falsified and thus cancel all the false results. INEC WILL NOT SINGLE OUT ONE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OUT OF SEVENTEEN TO SATISFY MR ALEX OTTI.
“Thirdly, Labour Party’s rigging was massive and mind-boggling. Pray, where did Alex Otti get those figures they are brandishing in Arochukwu LGA, Ohafia LGA, Umuahia North LGA, Umuahia South LGA and Osisioma LGA ?
“Fourthly, the Returning Officer, Mrs Nnenna Otti is alleged to be Alex Otti’s Cousin. She must be removed immediately as she cannot continue to sit as a Judge in her own matter. Her open display of sentiments during the collation process has given her out as a participant not an unbiased umpire.
“Therefore, if there is any such thing as REVIEW OF RESULTS, INEC should review all the Local Governments or cancel the entire state election and of course remove the returning officer Prof Otti; who is a cousin to one of the Candidates.
“It was because the Returning Officer, Mrs Otti has obvious vested interest and bias which facilitated changing of results that she has collated Local Government Areas that promote her Candidate, Mr Alex Otti while calling for a so called review of the traditional strongholds of the Peoples Democratic Party.
“Such blatant and flagrant disregard for equity, justice and fairness is a threat to Democracy, peace and security of our Dear State.
“INEC WILL NOT BE DISCRIMINATORY. INEC will apply same rules to every Local Government Area involved in this Gubernatorial Elections without bias and or preferential treatment to any individual or Political Party.”