Ben Ezechime, Enugu
The collation Officer for Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State, Dr. Nnaemeka Ogbene, has denied reports that he connived with a political party in the State to cause irregularity in the election exercise and thwart election results.
He made the denial in a statement issued on Monday against the backdrop of allegations of doctored results from the LGA which were being contested by the Labour Party (LP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
The result showed that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candudate, Peter Mbah scored over 30,000 votes, which the other parties said it was far more than all the registered voters in the LGA.
Ogbene described the news as untrue and an attempt to tarnish his image and reputation.
He said: “This is just an unfounded allegation targeted at tarnishing my priceless image.
“I hereby sincerely, refute the allegation, and state categorically that I was never part of any such deal.”
He said he was unbiased in line with the electoral principles.
“I was unbiased in discharging my duties. I was not enticed, induced or cajoled in anyway by any political party to commit any electoral crime in favour or against any political party in the said election.
“I am a man of unquestionable character who will never subscribe to any electoral crime.
“My integrity records are unambiguous and devoid of any blemishes.
“As the Local government collation officer, I only collated the results that came to my office which have already passed through the previous stages of collation (polling unit and Ward stages), without manipulation(s) or any attempt for such.
“I challenge INEC and other concerned institutions (persons) to investigate this case critically and unearth the truth about my involvement in the allegation,” he said.
He tasked INEC and relevant authorities in the process to conduct proper investigation into the allegation against him.
“I, therefore, call on the entire people of Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria and the world at large, to kindly disregard any such news involving me as an accomplice in the Governorship election of Enugu State held on 18/03/2023,” Ogbene said.
Meanwhile, following the allegations of irregularities of the Nkanu East results INEC had adjourned further announcement of the governorship results to Monday March 20.