BREAKING: Abia Gov Storms Obingwa Collation Office With Police, Thugs Hold INEC Staff Hostage
In a shocking turn of events on Sunday, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has stormed the election collation centre of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Obingwa Local Government Area of the state in a suspected attempt to disrupt the collation of results of Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
NewsNGR reports that Governor Ikpeazu, accompanied by the Abia State Commissioner of Police and a group of supporters, barged into the collation centre on Sunday in a style that put election officials and observers in a panic mood.
The governor stormed the collocation centre after the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, reportedly directed the election officer in charge of the Obingwa collation centre to move results from the LGA to the state collation office in Umuahia, following reports of alleged attempts to alter the results.
Ikpeazu’s visit reportedly followed Yakubu’s directive that results from the LGA be collated in the presence of the State’s Returning Officer.
While the governor and the police eventually left the collation center, some unidentified political thugs remained at the Obingwa collation centrer and prevented the election officers from relocating to the Umuahia collation office.
The thugs are demanding that the results of polling units in the LGA be announced before being transferred to the state office.
Our correspondent reports that electoral officers, journalists, and election observers were also denied entry and exit from the collation centre.
The incident caused tension at the collation center, with election officials and observers fearing for their safety.
NewsNGR had earlier reported that one of the candidates in the election, Alex Otti of the Labour Party, had raised the alarm about alleged plots by the governor in connivance with some “compromised INEC staff” to alter results of about four Local Government Areas, including Osisioma, Aba North, Aba South and Obingwa LGA, where the governor hails from.
While Governor Ikpeazu is not a candidate in the election by virtue of his inability to seek a third term, his former Chief of Staff, Okechukwu Ambrose Ahiwe, is the candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).