Again, INEC collation officer in Rivers alleges threat to life

Again, INEC collation officer in Rivers alleges threat to life

Charles Adias, INEC collation officer for Rivers in the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections, raised the alarm again on Sunday in Yenagoa over the unending threat to his life.

Mr Adias, the vice-chancellor at the Federal University Otuoke, Bayelsa, suspended results collation during the elections because of the alleged threats.

He alleged that some supporters of one of the political parties were after his life and those of his family members despite having nothing to do with the conduct of elections and the computation of results.

The collation officer said those accusing him of rigging the elections in Rivers were circulating his photograph and personal details on social media and calling on party members to deal with him.

He stated on Sunday that while he was aware of the challenges of being a collation officer, he decided to weather the storm because of his commitment to the growth and development of the political process in Nigeria.

“As statutorily designated, I received reports of collated and announced results from local government area council collation officers.

“I collated votes scored by each political party from Forms EC8C into Form EC8D and entered the votes scored in the spaces provided,’’ he stated.

He added that the local governments collated results made up the state’s summary, which he cross-checked with the Collation Support and Result Verification System secretariat for computational accuracy.

Mr Adias stated he followed all lawful processes in announcing results before party agents, INEC officials, security personnel and observers

He stated that thereafter, he began to receive several phone calls and text messages threatening, abusing and insulting his person and family on February 26 while on his way to Port Harcourt to report to duty.

He added that he did not know that his photograph and phone number were already in circulation on social media, alleging that he influenced votes and scores of candidates by manipulating the BVAS machines.

“On getting to Port Harcourt, I informed the Resident Electoral Commissioner about my experiences, which he condemned and promised that my safety was assured.

“He pledged that INEC would do something about it,’’ Adias stated.

Mr Adias stated that after collating results for three local government areas on February 26, he retired to his hotel room to prepare for the following day, only for the threatening calls and messages to continue.

“I managed to bear it till the following day when I set out to collate results for 18 more local government areas.

“At the end of the hectic process, the results for Obio/Akpor and Degema Local Government Areas were not ready.

“Considering all that had happened, I decided to adjourn the collation of results on February 28 and insisted on a press conference.”

He said this was to inform everyone of the threats which might affect the collation exercise.

“I insisted that until INEC addressed the issues of misinformation and blackmail and defined the roles of SCOPE, I would not go on with the exercise.

“My request was granted, and INEC held a press conference debunking all the misinformation and disinformation. Thereafter, the collation continued, and the exercise was completed.

“There is no truth in the rumours that had been peddled. It is just a figment of the imagination of their bearers to what end I cannot really ascertain,’’ Mr Adias stated. 



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