Returning Officer Denies Declaring Ubah Winner under Duress

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By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

The Returning Officer for Anambra South Senatorial election in Saturday, February 23 poll, Prof. Meshach Umenweke, has denied the publication by some national dailies that he declared the candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Mr Ifeanyi Ubah, winner to save his life.

Prof. Umenweke, in a letter addressed to the Anambra State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji, said that the publication by the national dailies were untrue.

He said: “I never at any point said that I announced the result of the Anambra South Senatorial election under duress nor in the mode that is implied (by the newspapers).

“No gun, no knife was pointed at me at the material time of the election result announcement. The election tribunal remains the constitutionally recognised means for any aggrieved party,” he said.

Umenweke had on Sunday announced Ubah of the YPP as winner of the Anambra South Senatorial election over Chris Uba of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Nicholas Ukachukwu of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

The Nnamdi Azikiwe University professor, who worked as the returning officer in the election, said: “By virtue of the foregoing, I hereby re-affirm my declaration that Mr Ifeanyi Ubah the candidate of the YPP is the winner of the Anambra South Senatorial seat.”