#AnambraDecides: ‘Thank God I’m alive’ — collation officer claims he ‘signed result under duress’

Michael Otu, the collation officer for Orumba north LGA of Anambra state, has claimed that he signed the result for the area “under duress, threat and coercion”.

Otu said this on Sunday while presenting the outcome of the election in the LGA.

The collation officer, who said he doesn’t believe in the result, accused some of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials attached to him of conniving with those who disrupted the process.

He especially accused one Comfort Omoregie, an electoral officer (EO), of manipulating the electoral process.

“My experience, I must say, was very pathetic. Well, I thank God that I am alive,” he said.

“I want to categorically, unequivocally tell you that there was no election to the best of my knowledge and with the evidence I am going to buttress herein.

“The total acclaimed voters are 93,608 with 18 polling units. I signed this document under duress. I don’t believe in it; it is not my will. There was no meeting of the mind within myself, the electoral officer sitting here (Omoregie), and the assistant collation officer who I thought was to work with me. I saw that I was surrendered by enemies who brought thugs to kill me.

“I signed the result under duress, threat and coercion. I was so traumatised. I have evidence. Even the police who came with her saw that I was under duress. They surrounded me the whole night after I was teargassed. I almost collapsed and as a BP patient, since 1 o’clock till now, I have not eaten, I have not drank water.

“After the teargas, they broke and smuggled her into the toilet and locked me. I remained with the teargas until the police people broke the place and smuggled her and ran to her car. While I ran with her thinking I will be secured, the police people cocked guns and they stopped me.”

However, Omoregie denied the allegations, and accused Otu of being inexperienced.

“If you observe this man for 30 minutes, you will know that he is not composed. He has never had an experience on how to collate result,” she said.

After presentation by the officials, they were asked to leave after which Florence Obi, returning officer for the state, said the commission will hold a meeting with party agents on the outcome of election in the LGA.

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