Written by on March 21, 2023

The Independent National Electoral Commission has debunked a report accusing its Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, of attempts to distort the governorship election results in Abia State.

A portal, Strenuous Blog, had quoted the Returning Officer for Abia, Nnenna Oti, as alleging that she was being forced to do the wrong thing.

Responding to the claims, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, in a statement on Tuesday, said the only communication sent to the state Returning Officer was the commission’s directive suspending further collation of results.

Oyekanmi explained:

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu never called the Returning Officer to give her a directive. Rather, the Returning Officer wanted the official communication on the Commission’s decision to suspend the collation of results in Abia State.

The Chairman then directed that pending the delivery of the hard copies, the soft copies of the Commission’s letter be forwarded immediately to the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Enugu State and the Administrative Secretary of Abia State.

The Returning Officer for Abia State then directed that the content of the letter should be read aloud by the Administrative Secretary in the presence of agents of political parties, observers, the media and security personnel at the Collation Centre.

This is what is now being mischievously interpreted as a directive to the Returning Officer on some phantom criteria at variance with the approved guidelines. There is nothing like that.

In fact, the content of the letter is basically the same as the Commission’s Press Release dated Monday 20th March 2023 which has since been uploaded to the Commission’s social media platforms and is already in the public domain.

The public should disregard the story as fake news.”

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