How PDP denied me victory, by APGA senatorial candidate
CANDIDATE of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) for Abia North Senatorial District in the March 28 election, Dr. David Ogba Onuoha-Bourdex has told the Abia State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, how the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) allegedly manipulated the election in favour of its candidate, Chief Mao Ohuabunwa who was declared the winner.
He told the tribunal while being cross examined during the hearing of his petition that was consolidated with the one filed by former state governor and Peoples Progressive Alliance (PPA) candidate in the election Chief Orji Uzor Kalu who, like Bourdex, is challenging the poll result.
While testifying before the tribunal headed by Justice Adeniyi Onibanjo, Bourdex claimed that he won the election by scoring majority of the lawful votes but that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) returned Ohuabunwa based on fictitious results.
Onuoha-Bourdex submitted that based on the inflated results, even dead persons were brought back to life to vote in the March 28 senatorial election in Abia North, saying, “If you look at the voters register, you will find that even dead people voted. The dead woke up, voted and thereafter returned to their graves”.
He said that in certain polling units Ohuabunwa’s votes were inflated in the result sheets and that “at Ovukwu Polling Unit 002 in Arochukwu LGA Ohuabunwa (the first Respondent) scored 56 votes but the figure was inflated on the mutilated Form EC8B to read 156; in 003 instead of 42 votes he scored, 142 was recorded and in 004 where he scored 24 votes the result was inflated to 124”.
He also submitted that the pattern of inflation of votes was followed in Ohaeke, Ohafor 11, Arochukwu 11, Eleowa/Ihechiowa, Ututu, Isu, Arochukwu 111 and Ikwun Ihechiowa, all in the LGA.
He also submitted that in Ohafia LGA that has eleven wards and where INEC credited his PDP opponent with 13,756 votes, two wards namely; Ndi Elu and Ndi Agbor in Nkporo where elections did not hold, produced 7,538 votes and were recorded in favor of him.
While urging the tribunal to declare him the rightful winner of the said election, the APGA candidate asserted that it was wrong for INEC to award Ohuabunwa victory because the PDP candidate did not score the highest number of lawful votes cast.
Onuoha-Bourdex who disagreed with counsels to Ohuabunwa and the INEC, Chiefs Donald Den-Wigwe, SAN and Livy Uzoukwu, SAN, who separately put it to him that his depositions were false, reiterated that the election was manipulated to favour the PDP candidate.
He said, “I won the election, if the votes were properly computed, I scored 37,115 lawful votes while the respondent who was declared winner got 28,800 votes. The figures were sourced from the collated votes from the polling units in possession of my polling agents across the five local councils that constitute the Abia North senatorial zone”.
According to him, the irregularities in the computation of the results caused the wrongful declaration of Ohuabunwa and that it was due to the connivance of some officials of INEC in the manipulation of the results that prompted the refusal of the Returning Officer (RO) to sign the results that led the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) to set up a panel to investigate the matter.
His words, “After the committee finished the review of Arochukwu and Ohafia, it became obvious from their report that the results from the two councils were heavily falsified in favour of PDP and at that point, Ohuabunwa and his associates resisted the continuation of the examination of the remaining councils of Bende, Isuikwuato and Umunneochi and therefore stalled the exercise at that point”.
When the RO for the election, Dr. Ihekweaba Chukwugoziem whom the tribunal subpoenaed to appear that day was called by the petitioner’s counsel, Chris Uche SAN, he only submitted documents and was not cross examined.