Professor Ike Uzochukwu, the state of Abia’s resident electoral commissioner (REC), has voiced worry about alleged threats made against him.
Uzochukwu, who presided over the state’s presidential and national assembly elections, went into hiding during the elections.
Following the elections on February 26, Uzochukwu was visibly absent from the INEC offices in Umuahia for the results collation. His absence lasted for a long time until an Administrative Secretary, Clement Oha, who said he had just arrived in Abia, said he had been asked to take over in the REC’s absence.
According to Vanguard, Uzochukwu revealed his whereabouts on Tuesday, March 7. In Uzochukwu stated in a statement that he was abducted and detained by security forces for an offense that was not disclosed to him. He further claimed that his security personnel had been withdrawn and that his Police orderly had been detained. He continued, saying that his life was “now in great danger.”
Professor Uzochukwu, who accused the Administrative Secretary of usurping his authority, stated that the results of the presidential and national assembly elections were tallied while he (REC) was absent.
He also questioned the integrity of some of the reported results, claiming that some of the candidates returning in the polls may not be the genuine winners because the results were not collated in accordance with the National Election Act and INEC rules.
“The job station of the REC was the incident room,” Uzochukwu explained. I was there from Saturday, February 25th, 2023 till roughly 2 a.m. on Sunday, February 26th, 2023. On Sunday, February 26th, 2023, just before the elections, at around 13:00pm, I was kidnapped and falsely imprisoned by the Abia State Department of State Services (DSS) and Police.
Officials from the Abia State Department of State Services and the Abia State Police forcibly removed me from my hotel room as he prepared to return to the INEC State Office (having worked from Saturday, February 25th, 2023 until around 5 a.m. on Sunday, February 26th, 2023).
I was detained in their respective facilities without a warrant.
arrest, along with my Personal Assistant (PA). The DSS and Police details that were attached to me were also removed, and the Police details were retained. I swiftly sent an email to the Chairman of the Commission (INEC) after being freed on bail by the Abia State Police on Tuesday, 28th February 2023 at around 5pm, expressing my surprise at the DSS and Police activities against me.
My offense has yet to be reported to me. I have been deprived of crucial information contained in my personal laptop, official files, and other personal items, all of which are still in the custody of the Abia State police.
Due to the trauma and toxic atmosphere I was in, I had to leave for the hospital on Thursday, March 2, 2023 for a check-up.
Both the Abia State DSS and the police were involved. My life is in significant danger because I am no longer accompanied by a security detail.”
Uzochukwu asked for an investigation into parts of the national assembly elections, questioning their credibility.
“Given my kidnapping and hence absence, election results reported in some zones may not have met the basic conditions as stated by the Election Act, 2022. In some of those elections, the declared winner(s) may not be the true winner(s). I hereby request a review of the results in accordance with Section 65 of the Electoral Act 2022, which empowers the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to review the result(s) declared by the Returning Officer (RO) within one week of the declaration declared, if the declaration declared is incorrect.
by a Returning Officer is in violation of the rules of the law, regulations and standards, and election manual. In my absence as Resident Electoral Commissioner, the collation and return of winners were completed while the Administrative Secretary usurped and seized my role.