For their alleged roles in the
subversion of the will of the people of the Oguta and Ohaji Egbema
council areas, through armed thuggery, brigandage and snatching of
ballot materials, the All Progressive Grand Alliance governorship
candidate, Rochas Okorocha, has called for the immediate arrest and
prosecution of Joan Nzeribe, the wife of former senator Arthur Nzeribe,
and Goodluck Opiah, the speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly.

Mrs Nzeribe is being accused of
masterminding thuggery, voter intimidation and other electoral offences
around the Oguta Ward A area while Mr Opiah is accused of hijacking
electoral materials using militants and uniformed security men during
the governorship and state House of Assembly elections.

Speaking on the issue, an aide of Mrs
Nzeribe, who initially declined to comment but later spoke anonymously,
said the allegations were false and challenged Mr Okorocha to release
the video clips he alluded to earlier this week. A source at the New
Face of Imo campaign office in Owerri, who introduced himself as Mr
Nwachukwu, dismissed the allegations against the speaker as “the usual
antics of the opposition.”

However, while deploring the
complicity of some security agents in the electoral malpractice and the
inability of the law enforcement agencies to prosecute arrested
electoral offenders, Mr Okorocha urged the security agencies to
reassure Imo state residents of their neutrality and fairness in
today’s governorship supplementary poll in the state.

Seeking fairness

Mr Okorocha said, “I urge the security
agencies to be fair in this election, to avoid plunging Imo State into
chaos. A lot of top government officials have been seriously indicted
in electoral malfeasance, yet they walk the streets free. Those
arrested are released even before any charge is brought against them.
Sometimes I wonder if the security agents are really the solution or
the problems themselves. In any case, I beat my chest to say that in a
free and fair election against me, Ohakim cannot poll up to 10,000
votes from the entire Imo State.”

The APGA governorship candidate went
on to alert the public and all concerned that fake ballot papers were
already in circulation. To prove his point, Mr Okorocha displayed fully
thumb-printed fake ballot papers recovered by soldiers on Sunday. It is
being alleged that illegal thumb-printing continues ahead of Friday’s
supplementary poll.

Mr Okorocha said his lawyers were still consulting on whether to
take legal action against the supplementary election, which he
described as a constitutional aberration and a bad precedent that would
haunt Nigeria in the future. He urged INEC to have a re-think on the

/* Style Definitions */
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;

Latest reports and results from Imo State polls at