The Imo State Government has called for the arrest and questioning of one Ikenga Ugochinyere for claiming that Voter Registration in Omuma, the home Ward of Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State was inflated with fictitious names.
The Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon. Declan Emelumba made the call on Friday September 16, 2022 during a media conference that “ignoring the spurious and seditious outburst of Ugochinyere will amount to condoning criminality.”
He therefore called on the relevant security agencies to “immediately arrest the said Ugochinyere to find out from him how he obtained the voters register he has been parading before the public even when the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC is still at the stage of Automated Biometric Verification of Systems, which must be concluded before an official voters register can be released to the public.”
The Commissioner said that “INEC has issued an official statement on the above and has gone further to list the names of the States that entered fictitious registration of voters and Imo State is not on that list.”
Emelumba therefore expressed worry that “Ugochinyere must have either hacked INEC Saver and doctored documents there-from or forged the document he was brandishing,” noting that “this is criminal and it is important that he should be immediately arrested for questioning.”
Denying the claim by the same Ikenga Ugochinyere that Omuma Ward has fewer than 6000 registered voters in 2014, Emelumba said “it is on good authority and from verifiable data from INEC that Omuma Ward had close to 10,000 registered voters under that period and for 2019 elections when their son contested as a Governor they registered over 23,000 because many indigenes from the Ward came home to register to support their son who was contesting the election.”
He continued: “Also, the 2023 elections as it is expected may have garnered over 20,000 more registered voters comprising students and staff of the State Polytechnic at Omuma from different parts of Nigeria residing in Omuma.”
Highlighting what he called “the tepid reference by Ugochinyere to a pending ‘seccret court action’’ in a Federal High Court Owerri against the use of BVAS,” Emelumba said that “the porous allegations against the Governor was to insinuate that the ‘secret court action’ was filed by an agent of Government.”
Emelumba further explained: “Unfortunately, an investigation into the suit-claim revealed that the NBA stamp used in filing the suit belongs to a lawyer who is a very close associate of former Governor Emeka Ihedioha, the paymaster of Ugochinyere. Therefore there is no doubt as to where the whole concoction is coming from and why.
“In the same vain the allusion by Ugochinyere that the INEC office at Omuma has been burnt and that residents have fled the community because of insecurity clearly vindicates government’s position that PDP was behind the insecurity in Imo State, Orlu and Omuma in particular for political gains. If the claim was true, the President could not have gone to Orlu to Commission projects, the Catholic Bishops wouldn’t have held their Conference in Orlu. This is a clear manifestation that Imo has gone pass that and insecurity is over in Imo State.
“It is clear that Ugochinyere and his co-travelers’ antics are diversionary meant to perfect the fraudulent activities of PDP and to divert attention from their evil plots against the 2023 elections.”