An All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate who contested for House of Representatives seat in Ezza South / ikwo federal constituency at the just concluded Presidential/National Assembly election, Comrade Chinedu Ogah, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ebonyi state of collecting huge amount of bribe to rig out his party in the 2019 general elections.
Comrade Ogah particularly accused the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state Prof. Godswill Obioma of collecting the sum of N300m from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential and House of Representatives candidate to reduce his votes and that of President Muhammadu Buhari in his constituency during this year’s general elections.
He also alleged that another INEC Official was given a bribe of N300,000, while some others were found with huge amount of money from the same source.
He further said the INEC reduced the vote of APC with over 15000 votes.
Briefing journalists in Abakaliki, Ogah called on the security agencies to investigate the corruption and bribery activities of INEC in Ebonyi.
He said: “REC collected N300m. What we are asking REC is that if he claims that he is innocent of this, why should he now fill EC40G form on April 4, 2019, claiming that up to 31,000 votes was cancelled in Ikwo but he used 3000 plus to declare someone winner.
“If such a thing happened, is it not inconclusive, but such a thing did not happen. But he did that because he want to make sure that he deliver the money he has collected.
“There was no violence in Ikwo, and non of the presiding officers filled a form indicating that they canceled the election, but because he really want to execute the corrupt job and bribe he collected, he decided to reduce president Buhari’s votes and that of mine.
Ogah also alleged that the REC humiliated Ezza South Electoral Officer who refused to succumb to their irregularities.
“The REC also slapped the EO of Ezza south because the woman was telling him that the election result was reduced at the National and Presidential election. He beat her, collected her phone and handed it to the DSS and her phone is still with the security agents till date and when the agents of the House of Assembly and the agent of the President talk, they beat them, so we want to ask you, REC what proves that you are innocent? What shows that you are a professor, if all these act of corrupt practices are committed by you,” he stated.
Ogah however, urged the INEC Chairman to look into allegations and weed those destroying his reputation.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner Prof. Godswill Obioma while reacting to the allegations denied collecting any bribe of N300m from any candidate or political party during the election.
He also said he was invited by the Special Presidential investigative Panel (SPIP) but was never arrested as was rumoured.
His words, “my attention was drawn to a statement made by Chinedu Ogah that I took a bribe of N300million. I deny it in its entirety. I didn’t receive any bribe and I couldn’t have received it. As INEC REC, I carried out my duty free and fair. I am not partisan, so I did not at all receive any bribe.
“If I was arrested, would you have spoken to me? SPIP actually invited me over the allegation of N300million bribe and asked me to make statement. They are re- inviting me and they are still making investigations and as much as they invite me, I will go and make statement.”
Ebonyi REC however said he would declare the petitioner winner if the tribunal nullifies the results of the election Ezza South/Ikwo federal constituency.