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I didn’t force INEC to declare result at gun point, Sen Orji tells Otti

The immediate past Governor of Abia State, and the Senator representing Abia Central district, Chief Theodore Orji, has denied ever coercing the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) under gun point, to doctor the result of the 2015 Abia governorship poll in favour of the incumbent Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu.

Sen. Theodore Orji

Orji who made the denial was reacting to an allegation by the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance ( APGA), Dr. Alex Otti, that he ( Orji) allegedly stormed INEC headquarters in Umuahia while the results were being collated and forced the Resident Electoral Commissioner ( REC) to reverse the cancelation of the results from Obingwa and Osisioma Councils.

The Senator who spoke to newsmen in Umuahia immediately after Otti’s claim was amplified on a radio programme said the APGA candidate lied and had only resorted to cheap blackmail having lost out at the poll.

Orji who spoke through his Liaison Officer, Hon. Ifeanyi Umere threatened legal action against Otti if he failed to retract the claims.

He explained that contrary to the allegation, at no time did he storm INEC office and forced the REC to declare a false result at gun point.

According to him, he only went to protest the action of the State Returning Officer who rashly cancelled results from Obingwa and Osisioma LGA after they had been declared by the respective Returning Officers at the councils.

He argued that as a former Administrative Secretary of the electoral umpire, he was fully aware that it was only the court and not a Returning Officer that had the powers to nullify an already declared result(s).

The senator said he only went to INEC to remind the REC of the illegality of the State Returning Officer’s action after which she cleared from INEC headquarters in Abuja which also faulted the action and directed that the error be reversed.

He said it would be wrong for Otti or anybody to assume that his mission at the INEC office amounted to intimidating the electoral body to alter the outcome of the poll in favour of his preferred candidate.

Orji said he had already directed his legal team to analyse the claims by Otti and take necessary legal actions.

He warned politicians to desist from bitter politics and campaign of calumny and focus on issues instead of running down their opponents using falsehood.

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