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Alleged Imo voter registration fraud: PDP, Imo govt, lawmakers trade words

By Charles Ogugbuaja and Collins Osuji (Owerri)
19 September 2022   |   4:20 am
Following allegation of mass voter registration fraud in Imo State, last week, the state government, Imo chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as well as lawmakers from Orlu zone of the state have citicised the “whistle blower.”

Kinsmen flay CUPP spokesman over allegation

Following allegation of mass voter registration fraud in Imo State, last week, the state government, Imo chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as well as lawmakers from Orlu zone of the state have citicised the “whistle blower.”

The spokesperson of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), Ikenga Ugochinyere, had, last week, accused the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, of masterminding recently concluded voter registration exercise, conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), with fictitious names in his area in Omuma, Oru East Local Council, from 6,000 to about 46,000 registrants.

Ugochinyere also accused Uzodimma of secretly filing a suit, by proxy, at the Federal High Court, Owerri, challenging the use of electronic voting machines, also known as Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), to be used by INEC in next year’s general elections.

Reacting to the development, the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, members of the state legislature from Orlu zone and some groups condemned Ugochinyere, calling for his arrest.

In defence, Emelumba said: “INEC has issued an official statement on the matter and has gone further to list names of the states that entered fictitious registration of voters, and Imo is not on that list.

“Ugochinyere must have either hacked INEC’s server and doctored documents there or forged the document he was brandishing.”
He noted that it is criminal, and that the CUPP Spokesperson should be arrested for questioning.”

Emelumba also accused Imo PDP of secrete involvement in what Ugochinyere did. He said: “By all intent and purposes, the action of Ugochinyere was hatched by PDP in Imo to embarrass the state government in an attempt to take the shine of the successful presidential visit to the state.

“This is because it is difficult to explain why Ugochinyere had to engage in such baseless lies just a day after the official visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Imo.”

Meanwhile, a statement at the weekend, signed by the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in the state, Collins Opuruzor, reads: “PDP, therefore, warns that no attack, threat or harassment of Ugochinyere by the failed administration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state will be tolerated. Not a single hair shall fall from his head, and not a scratch would be found on his body.

“For Imo PDP, it is sheer bold criminality for the governor to issue threats, when he is supposed to be telling Nigerians his role in this treasonable offence, which seeks to truncate our democracy.”

However, the lawyer, who was accused of filing a suit at the Federal High Court, Owerri, O. J. Abazie, has dismissed the allegation, saying that another lawyer borrowed his professional stamp, but could not explain what it was used for.

ALSO, Ugochinyere’s kinsmen, under the aegis of the Orlu Caucus Members of the Imo State House of Assembly, have declared him unwelcome in Orlu Senatorial District of the state. This followed the alarm he raised over alleged falsification of voter register in Omuma ward in Oru East Council of Imo.