In a startling revelation, perhaps the first of its kind since Nigeria’s latest 24 years old democracy, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Returning Officer in the Abia State governorship election, Prof. Nnenna Oti, has disclosed how she was offered a bribe to manipulate the election results.
“As an electoral officer, I have never in my life participated in any election, but duty came calling, I made my enquiries from Abuja…
“If I perish, I perish, they came with their threats, they came with their money, they came with their intimidation,” Oti said.
But she stood on her ideals and principles not to short-change anyone, according to her, and ensured that the votes of Abia people counted during the election.
Her words, “I didn’t start today; I stand here before God, Jesus Christ. I have never defrauded anyone, all l did was to declare the riot act as follows: Under me, votes must count. Under me, the people’s mandate will be upheld because I, Professor Nnnena Oti, can never do evil.”
Alex Otti was declared the governor-elect last Wednesday, but there were four days of tension as the collation of the results for Obingwa Local Government Area (LGA) were briefly suspended by INEC.
While being welcomed by the management, staff and students of the university, the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Owerri, stated that before the final declaration of the result, she was induced monetarily to tinker with and change the outcome of the election, but she fiercely resisted.
The declared results by the returning officer saw the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Alex Otti score 175,467 votes to defeat Okey Ahiwe and Enyinnaya Nwafor, who got 88,529 and 28,972, respectively.