17th April, 2011
The University of Benin chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in Benin City has said Paul Iroghuma, the lecturer facing charges for alleged electoral fraud, is not a member of the union.
Iroghuma was alleged to have received N5 million to rewrite result in favour of a PDP candidate during the National Assembly election held on Saturday, 9 April.
He was recruited as INEC ad-hoc staff for Ovia South West Local Government National Assembly election.
In a reaction to protect the integrity of the union and the academic community, ASUU in a statement following media reports, said Mr. Paul Irhoghuma’s name does not appear in any document or record of the union.
It added that lecturers engaged for INEC job are in three categories which he ( Irhoghuma ) does not fall into and wondered how he got enlisted for the exercise.
The signed statement by the Unionâ€™s chairman Anthony Emina, and circulated in Benin noted: â€œIt is hereby stated for the information of the general public that the lecturer who is said to have perpetrated the electoral fraud in question is not a member of ASUU-Uniben. His name does not appear in any of the documents of the union.
â€œHe is therefore not in any of the categories. Since the matter is already in court, one is constrained in making comments. However, it is important to state that the alleged electoral fraud is highly condemnable and it is so condemned by ASUU-Uniben.
â€œIt is hoped that in this matter the relevant authority while allowing the law to take its course and for fair fearing should ensure that the perpetrator is made to feel the full weight of the law if found guilty.â€
Irhoghuma was arrested and remanded in prison custody in Benin for allegedly falsifying election results in Ovia SouthWest during the National Assembly Election.
The Returning Officer in the controversial National Assembly election in Ovia South West Local Government will remain in Oko Prisons, Benin till 21 April 2011, the next adjourned date in a suit filed against him by the Edo State Commissioner of Police.
Iroghuma who was arraigned at the Magistrate’s Court 2 in Benin City before Magistrate I.V. Iyoha was charged with tampering with the results of the National Assembly election in the Local Government Area.
The charge sheet no MIGN/36c/2011 against him reads: â€œthat you Paul Iroghuma â€˜mâ€™being an INEC Collating/Returning Officer, on the 10thy day of April, 2011 between the hours of 9am and 4pm at Iguobazuwa Local Government Collating Centre, in the Iguobazuwa Magisterial District without lawful excuse acted in breach of your official duty by tampering with the results of the candidate of the political parties that contested election into the House of Representatives for Ward 8 Ugbogui in Ovia South West Local Government Area as indicated on the INEC Result Sheet S/No: 3085 (Form EC 8C(1)) by awarding ACN 520 votes, APGA Nil vote, CPC 10 votes, ANPP 15 votes and PDP 10,261 votes as against the authentic scores of the candidates in the Ward 8 Ugbogui Election Result Sheet /No: 396 (Form EC 8B(1)) as follows ACN 1,036 votes, APGA Nil votes, CPC Nil vote, ANPP Nil votes and PDP 1,313 votes and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 123 (1) of the Electoral Act as Amended LFN 2010.
Count II: â€œthat you Paul Iroghuma â€˜mâ€™ being an INEC Collating/Returning Officer on same date, at about 4.pm at same place, in the aforementioned Magisterial District, without lawful excuse, acted in breach of your official duty by publishing the election result into the House of Representatives in Ward 8, Ugbogui on the INEC result sheet with S/No: 3085 (Form EC 8C(1) as follows: ACN 520 votes, APGA Nil vote, CPC 10 votes, ANPP 15 votes and PDP 10,261 votes knowing same to be false and which were at variance with the authentic result of ward 8 Ugbogui in the INEC election result sheet S/No 396 (Form EC8b(1))as follows ACN 1,306 votes, APGA Nil vote, CPC Nil vote, ANPP Nil vote and PDP 1,313 votes and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 123 (4) of the Electoral Act as amended LFN 2010.â€
The Prosecutor in the case is Cpl Amale Sale while the Investigating Police Officer is Supol Bashiru Oroghu.
Iroghuma was alleged to have received N5 million to rewrite the result in favour of the PDP candidate during the National Assembly election.
By Yomi Obaditan – Benin City