From Paul Ibe, Enugu

As Nigeria counts down to its general election scheduled for next month, the Enugu state governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Okey Ezea, has raised the alarm over alleged hoarding of Permanent Voter Cards by members of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state.

The governorship hopeful, who stated this after the inauguration of his support groups in Enugu alleged that large number of the PVCs were in the custody of PDP members, who got them through some fraudulent INEC officials in council Areas.

Ezea, said information made available to him on Monday revealed that the Independent National Electoral Commission’s INEC electoral officer in Igboeze South council Area, where he hailed from, came to Enugu last weekend and collected PVCs for three wards.

He added that he was reliably informed that the said electoral officer, a woman (names withheld) later sneaked into Igboeze South on Sunday and handed over the PVCs of one of the wards to the chairman of the PDP in the locality.

The APC governorship candidate said he immediately contacted the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Professor Eze
Onukaogu, who promptly summoned the woman to the INEC office in Enugu.

According to the APC chieftain, the woman, who was afraid as a result of the discovery of her unholy action, called the PDP chairman from the INEC office in Enugu, pleading with him to return the PVCs as her job was on the line.

Ezea disclosed that the PDP chairman returned the PVCs to INEC on Tuesday.

“As I speak with you here, they have returned the PVCs, the PVCs were returned on Tuesday.”

The gubernatorial candidate equally cited another case where a member of the APC went to the secretariat of Udenu Local Government Area at Obolo-Afor to collect his PVC, and was told to first submit his temporary voter card.

He said the APC member went home to retrieve the temporary voter card, but on his return to the council secretariat to collect the PVC, he was referred to another unnamed woman in Obolo town.

Ezea said the APC member got the woman’s number, contacted her on the telephone and requested his PVC but the woman stopped picking his calls.

“I even collected the number and called the woman myself with another identity and told her that I want to collect my voter’s card, but she has remained evasive,” he added.



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