Imo Government and the PDP in the state have disagreed over the mastermind behind the alleged irregularities in the INEC voter registration in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Spokesman for the Conference of United Political Parties, Ikenga Ugochinyere, recently raised an alarm, alleging that the register for Omuma Ward, which is Gov. Hope Uzodimma’s place, contained fictitious and fraudulent names.
The party accused the State Government of complicity in the alleged fraud.
In a reaction at a newsbriefing on Saturday in Owerri, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Declan Emelumba, described the allegation as reckless, irresponsible and seditious.
Emelumba said that the allegation “could only have come from a jaundiced, mischievous mindset”.
He called for the immediate arrest of Ugochinyere, who is the PDP’s candidate for Ideato Federal Constituency in the 2023 elections.
“On the claim that Omuma ward had fewer than 6,000 registered voters in 2014, I have it on good authority from verified INEC data that the ward had almost 10,000 voters as at 2014 and had 23,000 registered by 2019.
“This is obviously because many indigenes of the ward came home to register to be able to vote for their son, who was contesting the governorship election.
“It is therefore clear that Ugochinyere either hacked into INEC’s server and doctored documents therefrom or forged the document he was brandishing.
“Either way is criminal and it is important that he is immediately arrested for questioning,” the commissioner said.
Responding to Emelumba’s reaction, the state PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr Collins Opuruozor, said that the party would not tolerate any attack, threat or harassment of its candidate by the State Government.
“Not a single hair shall fall from Ugochinyere’s head, nor a scratch found on his body,” Opuruozor said.
He urged INEC to carefully look into the allegation, saying that it was a treasonable offence, capable of truncating the country’s democracy, if proven to be true.
He also challenged the security agencies to carry out painstaking investigations into the matter, vis-a-vis the governor’s alleged involvement in the saga.
“We commend the shrewdness and dexterity brought to bear by our candidate in exposing the suspected monumental electoral malfeasance,” Opuruozor said.
PDP PaIaver: Dan Orbih explains return of N122.4M allegedly paid to NWC members by Ayu [Details]
The Peoples Democratic Party National Vice Chairman (South-South), Chief Dan Orbih, has shed more light on the return of N122.4 million paid into the accounts of its National Working Committee, NWC members by its national chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu saying that it smelt like bribe money.
Infopowerng had reported that six national officers of the PDP had returned various sums of money on the claim that it may have been part of a plot to compromise them concerning issues in the party.
Apart from Orbih who returned N28 million paid into his account reportedly without his knowledge or prompting, other NWC members who returned the money were the National Vice Chairman (South-West), Olasoji Adagunodo; Deputy National Chairman (South) Taofeek Arapaja and National Women Leader, Prof. Stella Affah-Attoe.
While Arapaja got N36 million, Adagunodo, Orbih and Effah-Attoe got N28.8 million each.
Orbih in an interview explained why he and others decided to return the money.
He said, “I was never in any meeting when that approval was given. We also established that they should say the date the meeting took place when that approval was given.
It was also observed by all those who returned money that their decision to return the money was based on the story reported in The Nation Newspapers that the money was a bribe,” Orbih said of the money reportedly authorized by the national chairman.
“So, the issue that the money was not a bribe or a bribe is neither here nor there. That was why we set up a panel to find out how that information got to The Nation Newspapers that the money was paid. That was it. There is nobody that is under trial.
“Yes, a panel was set up not to put anyone on trial but to investigate the source of the story in The Nation Newspapers.
In actual fact, one of the members did say that this was not the first time payments made to people are in the media as the vouchers under Adamu Muazu were even published in the Newspapers.
He said there’s nothing unusual in this type of information leaking to the press.
“It may well be that even the administrative staff may be responsible for the leakage because one of them went to Arise TV to justify the payment.
We want to know the source because having been informed by the NWC members that this is is not the first time such would be leaked because there was even some money paid to some NWC under Muazu, the vouchers were even published.
“So, we need to know the source of the leakage of the information, that was why we set up the committee.
Nobody is under probe, either the people who paid back the money nor those who didn’t pay back the money. Nobody is under any investigation.”
Speaking on the claim that the payment to the NWC members wasn’t a bribe, Orbih said, “Well, it’s not an allegation, we stated in our letter that this money is being returned based on the stories in the Newspaper that the money paid was a bribe.
“They came to the meeting to say, well it was not a bribe, there were narratives in the text messages in the alerts saying that it’s allowance.
“But most of us who were present and who had alerts on their phones showed that there was no narrative accompanying the payment. So, there’s no way they would have know from heaven that the money was for allowance.
“The only available information to them at the time that money was paid was the story in The Nation saying that it was a bribe. Some said that after consultation with their family members they decided to return it.
“Others said that after consultation with friends and embarrassment of people who heard the bribe share of the money.
They felt it was not right because the impression outside was that the money was meant to bribe members from probing into the money collected for forms.”
JUST IN: I’m Not Aware Of Tinubu’s Whereabouts – Keyamo
The Spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress campaign council, Festus Keyamo, on Wednesday night said he was not aware of the current location of the party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
This is even as he dismissed speculations that the former Lagos State governor travelled out of the country to seek medical assistance.
Keyamo, who made the clarification when he appeared on Channels Tv ‘Politics Today’, stated that only mischief makers are gravely concerned about Tinubu’s whereabouts, adding that nobody makes a fuss when the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, travelled to Dubai.
He said, “Our candidate is not in the country currently and I don’t have any information on where he is. I know he will be back in a couple of days but I don’t know the particular day.
“He is also not on a medical trip; I don’t have such information. It is not true that we have not started campaigns because the candidate is sick and is not around.”
When asked if the recent video was posted on social media to prove a point, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment responded that: “As far as I am concerned it was done in real-time and posted on his Twitter handle.
It is not to prove that he is alive, we are not trying to prove anything to anybody. Our candidate is not struggling to prove himself to anybody.
People who are close to him know that he is an avid cyclist, he does that all the time, and it is his regular routine.
“I think what we want to prove this period is to correct mischievous enquires by mischief makers. We want to prove that the tail doesn’t wag the dog, it is the dog that wags its tail.
“It is not every time you ask mischievous questions, we would be struggling to prove ourselves. We are not dancing to the tune of the opposition.
We have our tune and music and we would do with it whatsoever we like. We are not going to be reacting all the time to what the opposition is doing with mischief.
“We are all aware that the Presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, travels to Dubai all the time, I don’t see any media intensity on what he is doing in Dubai.
Whenever he travels, nobody remembers him until he comes back a week or two later. They know he is the candidate to beat and so the search light is on him and we are proud of that.”
Wike reappoints Dr. Danagogo as SSG
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has reappointed Dr. Tammy Wenike Danagogo, as Secretary to State Government.
The Governor’s decision was contained in a press statement signed on October 5th, by the Special Assistant on Media to the Rivers State Governor, Kelvin Ebiri.
The statement sighted by Africa Update, reads: “His Excellency, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, the Executive Governor of Rivers State has approved the re-appointment of Dr.Tammy Wenike Danagogo as the Secretary to the Rivers State Government (SSG). The appointment takes immediate effect.”
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