Following the September 9 verdict of the National and State Assembly Election Petition tribunal sitting in Umuahia, Abia State, on Abia North Senatorial District election, Abia Frontiers (AF), a non-partisan group, has called on appropriate authorities to prosecute Senator Mao Ohuabunwa of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for committing electoral fraud during the 2019 National Assembly polls.
The group claimed that Ohuabunwa, who was then a sitting Senator and candidate of the PDP in the poll, had instructed his police details: Inspector Micheal Antai and Sergeant Okwudiri Ndukauba to snatch election ballot materials from officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on their way to deliver them to INEC office in Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State during the February 23 election.
“Ohuabunwa, who was thereafter arrested, interrogated and released on bail at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Abia State, filed an application before a Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, Abia State with suit no: HU/25M/2019 and the case was dismissed on 3rd June, 2019 by Justice C. C Thomas Adiele,” the group disclosed.
According to the group’s Chairman, Chief Adams Njoku, the embattled former legislator, also sent his cohorts to waylay INEC officials at College of Education road, Arochukwu before the election materials were hijacked and transferred to a black Hilux van owned by Ohuabunwa and the culprits zoomed off.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Njoku, stressed that upon the dismissal of the suit filed against the Nigeria Police Force by Ohuabunwa on infringement of his human right, the police have the authority to put Ohuabunwa under check to prevent him from causing mayhem in future.
He said: “We are surprised with the judgment of the tribunal. During the National Assembly election, Ohuabunwa was responsible for snatching electoral materials with the assistance of his police details and thugs.
“The judgment is not only worrisome and unfortunate, but unacceptable and biased.
“We are optimistic that the appellate court will review the position of the lower court in a bid to correct the anomaly” .
While urging the Nigeria Police Force to transfer the case of electoral fraud against Ohuabunwa from the Federal Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) Abuja to State Criminal and Investigation Department (SCID) Abia State for continuation of investigation, Njoku charged the electorate to shun violence and social vices during and after polling.