BY VICTORIA OJEME
ABUJA-The returning officer for Ika North during the National Assembly polls in Delta State, Dr Godwin Avwioro, has disclosed that he was forced to announce the result at gun point.
Avwioro also told newsmen in Abuja that a serving Nigerian ambassador to Sierra Leone was attacked and seriously beaten up by thugs during the election which was marred by irregularities.
The Returning Officer, who spoke on the circumstances that led to the cancellation of the election in the area, explained that agents of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Accord Party, AP, forced him to announce the Accord Party candidate as winner in the election characterized by irregularities penultimate Saturday.
Dr Avwioro disclosed that names of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, members and other ad-hoc staff trained for the purpose of the elections were substituted with those of the children, brothers, and friends of partisan individuals in order to perpetrate irregularities in some of the wards during the polls in the state.
“I went round and observed all these and other irregularities at the collation point so I had no choice than to cancel the results from Ika North Federal Constituency of Delta State,” he said.
Continuing, Avwioro said it was when his mother’s life became threatened, following his refusal to do their bidding, that he was forced to announce the result in favour of Accord Party.
“At that point, I had no choice than to announce the result in favour of Accord Party. I had to do it to ensure the safety of my mother whose movement was also being monitored by four young men in a black jeep in front of my mother’s residence,” he said.
On his purported arrest by the Police in Asaba, the Returning Officer said he was not detained by the security agency.
Avwioro disclosed that he was kept by the police as a decoy to shield him from being attacked by the desperate PDP and Accord Party agents.