I was threatened, induced financially to manipulate Abia guber results – INEC returning officer

Nnenna Otti, the returning officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the recently concluded Abia governorship election has recalled how she was threatened and pressurised to upturn the will of the people.

As the March 18 statewide exercise was coming to an end, results indicated that Alex Otti of the Labour Party (LP) took early lead. Tension aroused when the collation of results from Obingwa local government area were briefly suspended over attack and invasion of INEC local government office in the council by suspected thugs in the area.

Ms Otti, the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Imo State, while being welcomed by the management, staff and students of the institution, narrated her ordeal on Tuesday.

She explained that she was threatened, intimidated and offer huge sums of money to manipulate the 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,” Ms Otti said. “If I perish, I perish, they came with their threats, they came with their money, they came with their intimidation.

“I didn’t start today; I stand here before God, Jesus Christ. I have never defrauded anyone, all l I 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 Otti, can never do evil,” she added.

Mr Otti polled 175,467 to trounce Okey Ahiwe of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who came a distant second with 88,529 votes.