Fred Itua, Abuja
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23rd Imo North Senatorial District, Ndubueze Patrick, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to replace the Returning Officer, Prof. D. O. Ohajianya.
He said the replacement has become necessary in view of the pending declaration of a winner, five months after the election.
But Senator Ben Uwajumogu has countered their demand. He told Daily Sun that he won the election and accused the PDP candidate of working with the INEC to frustrate his return to the Senate.
Speaking through his media aide, Emeka Ahaneku, Uwajumogu said any aggrieved person should approach the Tribunal, rather than deploying delay tactics to frustrate him.
The PDP candidate, speaking through Tochukwu Ohazuruike, Director, Legal and Documentation, Centre for Transparency Advocacy, said the purported documents being paraded by Uwajumogu were not genuine.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters was on Monday stormed by Senator Ben Uwalimogu and a motley crowd of thugs that he could hire threatening breakdown of law and order if the Commission did not issue him with a certificate of Return.
“On 23rd February, 2019, Senatorial election in Imo North Senatorial District was declared inconclusive and subsequently an election was ordered by INEC to hold on 9th March, 2019 for the entire two Local Government Areas and a few other polling units.
“While collation was still ongoing, the Returning Officer, Prof. D. O. Ohajianya attempted to make declarations. He was stopped by PDP party agents who got wind of the action and stormed the venue where the declaration was to be made.
“INEC is insisting that election into the Imo North Senatorial seat has not been completed and there has been no return made hence there is no Certificate of Return for any person.
“We call on INEC in exercise of their inherent powers to appoint another Returning Officer to complete the collation of results for the election and make the appropriate declarations.
“We also urge the Commission to file an appeal against the judgment of the Federal High Court because there may not be an election in Nigeria again if politicians can print their own election results and declare themselves as winners.”