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Oshiomhole told his SSS detail to push me out of his office – Okorocha

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Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha says he has had enough of insults from National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole.

Okorocha, who is the Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum, a forum of all APC governors, described Oshiomhole as an ingrate who allegedly recklessly abuses the position that he helped him attain.

He accused the party boss of conniving with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deny him the Certificate of Returns for the Imo West senatorial seat after the commission declared him winner in the 2019 general election.

Also, the governor said that instead of showing remorse for his actions, Oshiomhole has continued to heap insult upon insult on his person.

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Okorocha cited an example of an instance where the State Security Service (SSS) security detail attached to Oshiomhole pushed him out of the party chairman’s office on the instruction of his boss.

Asked what he would do should he meet Oshiomhole in person, Okorocha told Vanguard:  

We will chat as usual. What will I do to him? The last time I saw Oshiomhole was when I went to his office and he sent his SSS man to insult me in his office, before the governorship candidate of Akwa Ibom, the NDDC guy, Obong Nsima Ekere, who also reacted against the gentleman. An SSS was pushing me out as a governor from his office. So, I’ve taken enough insults from Oshiomhole and all those that are planning this evil.

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The Herald recalls that Professor Innocent Ibeawuchi, Returning Officer in Imo, told newsmen shortly after declaring Okorocha winner that he did so under duress.

“I was compelled to announce the result which was inconclusive. I am a man of integrity and it is not true that the Governor slapped me, but I was held hostage by agents working for him. I was manhandled and I thank God I came back alive,” Sahara Reporters quoted Ibeawuchi as saying.

INEC subsequently withheld issuance of Certificate of Returns to the governor.

But Okorocha said that INEC unjustly believed the Returning Officer’s story without hearing his own side in the spirit of fairness.

Speaking on the contentious Certificate of Returns, Okorocha said:

Last week, I wrote a letter to INEC officials myself informing INEC about their wrong doings and illegal actions; withhold my certificate on mere allegations, which was never investigated. INEC on its own believed the report of its Returning Officer without verifying the authenticity of such allegation. So, there was no issue of fair hearing at all, whether I committed the offence that their person alleged.

However, what is important here is that INEC doesn’t have the power to withhold a certificate of return, having declared a result. Both the certificate of return and the declaration is just one subject matter. The other one is ceremonial because the result has been declared. It has become obvious that the INEC Chairman is up to a game with the Chairman of APC, who are bent on frustrating my senatorial ambition. I have given enough time to INEC officials to do the needful and issue me my certificate of return, all to no avail.

My case has witnessed a lot of drama. INEC that made a submission to the tribunal in Owerri has gone back to withdraw the submission it made. The submission they made was defending the declaration by INEC, which is normal. But because that submission was seen to be in my favour, INEC has gone back to say they will withdraw the submission, which is also out of time.

Furthermore, the APC National Chairman has allegedly approached the tribunal to also ask to withdraw the submission of the party. What INEC is doing is the same thing the APC is doing. So, this tells you that there is a game going on. I wonder what they will do with the certificate. If they don’t give me the certificate, who will they give it to?

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John is a University of Lagos-trained journalist. His views are always the end products of a deliberate search for information and knowledge. He has read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. He is an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming. If you know the capitals of 45 African countries by heart, then you are exactly like him.

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