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I Was Held Hostage For 16 Hours, I Declared Okorocha Winner Under Duress —– Returning officer

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Returning Officer for the Imo West Senatorial District election on Saturday, Prof. Innocent Ibeawuchi, has said he was forced to declare Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State the winner of the poll.

Ibeawuchi said he caved in to pressure by the supporters of Okorocha, the All Progressives Congress candidate for the poll.

Okorocha, according to the result released by the Returning Office, polled 97,762 votes to defeat Jone Onyereri of the Peoples Democratic Party with 68,117 votes and and All Progressive Grand Alliance’s Osita Izunaso, who scored 30,084 votes.

Ibeawuchi, who spoke with newsmen, said he was held hostage from 7pm on Sunday till 11am on Monday.

He said because he feared for his life, he had to announce the result.

He, however, said the election was inconclusive because of fraud in eight local government areas.

He said he was rescued after he had announced the result by policemen and soldiers.

Ibeawuchi said: “I was compelled to announce the result, which was inconclusive.

“I am a man of integrity and it is not true that the governor slapped me but I was held hostage by agents working for him.

“I was manhandled and I thank God I came back alive.”

But Okorocha dismissed the allegations, insisting he deserved to win the election.

Okorocha, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, described Ibeawuchi as “a bloody liar who may be acting a script”.

He said: “Having won in nine out of the 12 local government areas announced, we heard that they were trying to move the result sheets to Owerri but when we demanded an explanation, the man (Ibeawuchi) said he was tired and didn’t feel safe, when nobody was threatening him. At the end, we discovered that he didn’t have the declaration sheet. I wonder where this is taking us. I hope INEC would change this system because we will resist them if they try it in the next election.

“They should examine the returning officer to know his mental state. If he doesn’t have a mental illness, then he must be a criminal to ever think of that. How could someone ask you to change the result of an election he has already won? My score is above 90,000 and the nearest to me is slightly above half of it, when you combine both Jones and Izunaso’s votes. They can’t match or contest against me in Imo State not to talk of Orlu zone.

“I asked the Resident Electoral Commissioner here to quickly correct these anomalies. The returning officer is a bloody liar who may be acting a script.”

BIG STORY

BREAKING: Abuja Group Obtains APC Nomination Form For Obaseki [PHOTO]

Gbemileke Ajayi

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An Abuja based group, Obaseki Mandate Forum (OMF) on Wednesday secured All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship re-election nomination form for the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.

The chairman of the forum, Chief Nathaniel Momoh obtained the nomination form from the party’s National Secretariat on behalf of Governor Obaseki, few hours after another aspirant; Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has picked his nomination form.

Addressing newsmen after the purchase of the form, Momoh said electorates from the 18 local government councils of the State, party members, apolitical citizens, and residents in the State and Abuja joined forces together to pick the nomination and expression of interest form for the governor.

The forum said their decision was informed by Obaseki’s Stirling performance in the last four years which he said has proved that the governor has the capacity to move the State forward, in spite of the many challenges and distractions that have manifested in various forms.

According to Momoh, “this form, willfully and freely purchased by the people represents the mandate of the Edo people – young and old, city-bred and rural dwellers, who are witnesses to the gradual transformation of their communities by the steady advancement of governance that touches the life of the people.

“This form represents the buy-in and acceptability of majority of Edo people, both at home and in the diaspora, who tasked themselves to ensure that their mandate is secured in the candidature of Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, for the September 19, 2020 governorship election in Edo State.

“This form further signposts the will of the people and defeat of any kind of imposition plotted or being plotted against the Edo people. By this purchase, the good people of Edo State have spoken with one voice and have decided to entrust their mandate on His Excellency, the hardworking incumbent Governor, Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki to continue with his developmental strides”.

The forum maintained that “Obaseki is not just an APC project. It is also the project of the market woman in Uselu Market, the trader in Aviele, Council of Chiefs in 05050, then 18 years and above student in Owan, the fruit trader in Iruekpen, that meat seller in Agenebode, that palm wine tapper in Esan, the cassava farmer in Ikpeshi, and many others who stood solidly behind His Excellency”.

Momoh then said that Obaseki’s, “is not a project for a gang of elites, who seek to whet their appetite with political power, relevance and undue control of the resources of the State, but one for the masses and well-meaning individuals passionate about the progress and development of the State.”




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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Ize-Iyamu Collects APC Governorship Form

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Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu on Wednesday collected the nomination form for the governorship ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja.

Edo state governorship election is slated for September 19, 2020.

Details shortly…




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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Redeemed Church Pastor Ize-Iyamu Emerges Edo APC Governorship Candidate, Obaseki Dumped

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Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has emerged the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo.

Ize-Iyamu, a former Secretary to Edo State Government (SSG), emerged on Tuesday night in Abuja through a consensus arrangement.

The Pastor of Redeemed Christian Church of God(RCCG) was presented by chairman of the screening committee, Senator Francis Alimikhena, the representative of Edo North Senatorial District.

Other members of the screening committee were a former Edo Deputy Governor, Lucky Imasuen; Gen. Cecil Esekhaigbe; ex-Speaker of Edo House of Assembly, Thomas Okosun; former Minority Whip of the House of Representatives, Samson Osagie; ex-member of the House of Representatives, Patrick Obahiagbon and the current Deputy Leader of the House of Representatives, Peter Akpatason.

Details shortly…




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