Imo Government and the PDP in the state have disagreed over the mastermind behind the alleged irregularities in the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) list in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Spokesman for the Conference of United Political Parties, Ikenga Ugochinyere, recently raised an alarm, alleging that the CVR list for Omuma Ward, which is Gov. Hope Uzodimma’s place, contained fictitious and fraudulent names.
The party accused the State Government of complicity in the alleged fraud.
In a reaction at a newsbriefing on Saturday in Owerri, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Declan Emelumba, described the allegation as reckless, irresponsible and seditious.
Emelumba said that the allegation “could only have come from a jaundiced, mischievous mindset”.
He called for the immediate arrest of Ugochinyere, who is the PDP’s candidate for Ideato Federal Constituency in the 2023 elections.
“On the claim that Omuma ward had fewer than 6,000 registered voters in 2014, I have it on good authority from verified INEC data that the ward had almost 10,000 voters as at 2014 and had 23,000 registered by 2019.
“This is obviously because many indigenes of the ward came home to register to be able to vote for their son, who was contesting the governorship election.
“It is therefore clear that Ugochinyere either hacked into INEC’s server and doctored documents therefrom or forged the document he was brandishing.
“Either way is criminal and it is important that he is immediately arrested for questioning,” the commissioner said.
Responding to Emelumba’s reaction, the state PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr Collins Opuruozor, said that the party would not tolerate any attack, threat or harassment of its candidate by the State Government.
“Not a single hair shall fall from Ugochinyere’s head, nor a scratch found on his body,” Opuruozor said.
He urged INEC to carefully look into the allegation, saying that it was a treasonable offence, capable of truncating the country’s democracy, if proven to be true.
He also challenged the security agencies to carry out painstaking investigations into the matter, vis-a-vis the governor’s alleged involvement in the saga.
“We commend the shrewdness and dexterity brought to bear by our candidate in exposing the suspected monumental electoral malfeasance,” Opuruozor said.