M.N. Umenweke, a professor and Returning Officer for Anambra South Senatorial District in the February 23 Presidential and National Assembly election, said on Thursday he was not under pressure to declare Ifeanyi Ubah the winner of the senatorial contest.

Mr Umenweke made the statement in a letter to the Resident Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC) in Anambra, obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Akwa, the state capital.

He said he was neither threatened with gun nor knife and did not declare under duress.

He said the earlier letter where he declared the election inconclusive was to enable him debrief the seven local government collation officers on the issues raised in the petition of February 23.

The Professor of Law said Election Tribunal remained the constitutionally recognised means for any aggrieved party in elections.

“Within this interval, I have made extensive inquiries and investigation from the seven local government collation officers and none received any report from the wards in the form of Form EC40.

“Consequently, none of them generated any Form EC 40 G1, no reports whatsoever were received by the Local Government Officers involved in the Anambra South Senatorial Elections, no such report was given to me.

“In the light of the above, there is no evidence to support the claims of the writer of the petition of February 23.

“By virtue of the foregoing, I hereby reaffirm my declaration that Mr Ifeanyi Ubah, the candidate of Young Progressives Party (YPP) is the winner of the Anambra South Senatorial seat.

“My letter of February 25 is hereby withdrawn,” he said.

Ifeanyi Ubah was announced as winner of the contest with 87,081 votes after beating Chris Uba and the incumbent, Sen. Andy Uba to second and third places.

(NAN)

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