Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Former Leaders, ECOWAS Parliament, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, has described the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS machine as a scam.
Ohuabunwa who stated this during a press conference in his Umuahia residence, regretted that while innocent Nigerians trusted BVAS based on the assurances by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, election riggers were busy perfecting their rigging strategies knowing that BVAS would not work.
According to Senator Ohuabunwa who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Saturday’s senatorial election in Abia North, contrary to earlier promises by INEC, election results were not uploaded from polling units.
He accused INEC of creating room for the manipulation of the poll result by not using BVAS during collation.
The former Leader House of Representatives, regretted that the high hopes of the people before the election had been dashed due to non-use of BVAS.
“I thought BVAS would help stop rigging but now rigging is worse than ever. We trusted BVAS not knowing there was no BVAS,” Ohuabunwa lamented.
He said that voting materials did not get to Arochukwu and Ohafia federal constituency which is his stronghold until around 4:00 pm on Saturday, thus leading to the late commencement of polls.
“I totally reject the result of Abia North senatorial election and I call for a fresh exercise.”
Ohuabunwa alleged that non use of BVAS in collation of election results; deliberate disenfranchisement of his supporters; and resort to manual collation as reasons for rejecting the result.
He said there was no election in over 100 polling units in his stronghold, alleging it was orchestrated to disenfranchise his supporters and ultimately suppress his votes.
He further lamented that even while voters in the affected areas re-assembled on Monday, February 27 for a re-run poll as directed by INEC, the Returning Officer contrary to Electoral Act rushed to announce the results.
Ohuabunwa who said the number of voters in the disenfranchised units was over 60,000, which was far more than margin of win, called for the cancellation of the entire exercise and investigation of the Returning Officer who he accused of compromise.
Senator Ohuabunwa who said he had already lodged his complaint with INEC, said he would explore other legal options to seek redress.
The immediate-past Secretary to Abia State Government, Dr Eme Okoro, who was at the briefing expressed total disappointment over the action of the Returning Officer for Abia North senatorial election.
He cautioned INEC against colluding with any dark force to subvert the will of the people.
Okoro said INEC deceived the people with BVAS, accusing the electoral umpire of betraying the confidence reposed in him.
Similarly, former Commissioner for Small and Medium Enterprises, Gab Igboko, said the results obtained from polling units were different from the ones manually collated by INEC, alleging wide scale manipulation.
Ikengaonline had reported that Senator Orji Uzor Kalu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was announced winner of the race according to the result announced by the Returning Officer.