The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, has alleged that the ruling party in Abia State is working round the clock to compromise the Assistant Inspector-General, AIG, of Police, Zone 9, Umuahia, Mr. Usman Gwary, to release unconditionally the six members of staff of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, arrested in Umuahia for allegedly attempting to take away seven card readers and result sheets from the Commission’s office.
But the PDP in a quick reaction, dissociated itself from the activities of the INEC staff.
Quoting an impeccable source at Zone 9, the party said the PDP had offered irresistible and mouth watering sum of money to the AIG to release the suspects and kill the report.
The party also noted that the missing card readers and result sheets were deployed in Obingwa Local Government Area, where a whopping 82,240 votes were credited to PDP against 1,952 votes for APGA, even when elections did not take place in the area.
However, sources at INEC said that no card reader was used for accreditation in Obingwa, Osisioma, Ugwunagbo and Isialangwa North local government areas during the governorship poll.
The list of arrested INEC staff includes the Head of ICT Dept., Engr. Herbert Ejiofor, Mr. Nnamdi Nwabuko, who was driving the materials out of INEC office at the time of his arrest, Amauche Ebi Dike, Charles Mba, Nkem Ichita, Uche Enyioma, Innocent Dire, all members of staff of the ICT department and the Secretary to the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Esther David.
Meanwhile, Abia State chapter of PDP has dissociated itself from the activities of some INEC staff who were arrested with some card reading machines illegally removed from the Commission’s state headquarters in Umuahia.
Abia PDP said it roundly condemned such an act and blamed it on the main opposition party in the state, APGA, which had earlier accused PDP of being behind the removal of the card readers, which it alleged were meant to be used to rectify the controversial votes from Obingwa Local Government Area.
But PDP said the report of the illegal removal of the card readers from Umuahia INEC was like a thunder bolt for the PDP in the state.
Speaking in a press briefing at the party’s state headquarters in Umuahia, the party’s Secretary, Mr. Charles Eseonu, said it “must have been a planned act orchestrated by enemies of free and fair elections in the state.”