I was not coerced to declare Ubah winner — Returning Officer for Anambra South Senatorial election

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 1 March 2019 | 638 times

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• Ifeanyi Ubah

The Returning Officer for last Saturday’s Anambra South senatorial election, Prof. Meshach Umenweke, has described as false a publication in one of the national dailies quoting him as saying that he was forced to declare Dr Ifeanyi Ubah of Young Progressive party (YPP) as the winner of Anambra South Senatorial zone election.

The newspaper report had claimed that Prof. Umenweke in a letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) claimed the election was inconclusive, adding that he was forced to declare Ubah the winner.

The report also said that Umenweke in the purported letter recanted his earlier declaration of the candidate of the party as the winner of the poll.

Ubah ran against Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Chris Uba of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Senator Andy Uba of All progressives Congress (APC).

A statement on Thursday by Prof Umenweke, of the Department of Public and Private Law, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, said he was not coerced in any way to announce the election results. He called on any aggrieved candidate to seek redress in court.

The statement reads in part: “Notwithstanding the contents of my letter dated the 25th of February, 2019, I never at any point said that I announced the results of the Anambra South senatorial election under duress.

“No gun or knife was pointed at me at the material time of the election results announcement. The election tribunal remains the constitutionally recognised means for any aggrieved party.

“In the light of no evidence before me to support the claims of the writer of the petition, I hereby reaffirm my declaration that Mr. Ifeanyi Ubah, the candidate of YPP is the winner of the election Anambra South senatorial election.”

While noting that no reports were received by the collation officers involved in the election after extensive investigations were carried out, Umenweke noted that his declaration of the exercise as inconclusive was to enable him debrief the seven local government collation officers on the issues raised in the petition by the PDP candidate and to investigate the claims.

Source: News Express

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