Senator Mao Ohuabunwa has expressed disappointment with the failure of Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machine during the conduct of the 2023 presidential election. Ohuabunwa said many Nigerians had believed the BVAS machine would put an end to manipulation of election results, but turned out to be the worst rigging strategy.

He denied the reports that he was allegedly arrested by security agencies for trying to buy votes during last week’s National Assembly polls, describing the reports as satanic stories assembled by his opponents.

The former Leader, ECOWAS Parliament, contested last Saturday’s senatorial election in Abia North on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He lamented that contrary to earlier promises by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), election results were not uploaded through the BVAS to INEC server.

According to him, the deliberate delay and failure to do this, gave room for the manipulation of poll results at the various collation centres.

Ohuabunwa, who addressed a press conference in Umuahia, accused INEC of using BVAS to deceive innocent contestants who believed the innovation would actually help checkmate rigging not knowing it had made things worse.

“I thought BVAS would help stop rigging but now rigging is worse than ever. We trusted BVAS not knowing there was no BVAS,” he lamented.

He noted further that voting materials did not get to Arochukwu and Ohafia federal constituency which is his stronghold until around 4:00 pm on Saturday, thus leading to the late commencement of polls.

“I totally reject the result of the Abia North senatorial election and I call for a fresh exercise,” he said.

Ohuabunwa alleged non-use of BVAS in collation of election results, deliberate disenfranchisement of his supporters, and resort to manual collation as reasons for rejecting the result.

He said there was no election in over 100 polling units in his stronghold, alleging it was orchestrated to disenfranchise his supporters and ultimately suppress his votes.

Senator Ohuabunwa further lamented that even while voters in the affected areas re-assembled on Monday, 27 February for a re-run poll as directed by INEC, the Returning Officer contrary to Electoral Act rushed to announce the results.

Ohuabunwa said the number of voters in the disenfranchised units was over 60,000, which was far more than margin of win, therefore, called for the cancellation of the entire exercise and investigation of the Returning Officer who he accused of compromise.

He said he would seek legal redress to correct the anomaly.

On the reports that he was detained by security agencies for indulging in vote buying, Senator Ohuabunwa described the report as fake.

Ohuabunwa also denied the reports that he engaged the services of cultists during the Senatorial contest.

He urged his supporters to remain calm as every anomaly allegedly perpetrated during the Abia North Senate contest would be corrected.

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