Professor James Akpam, Kogi State Resident Electoral Commissioner, has claimed that the voice in an audio file, in which he allegedly expressed concern about being pressured to rig the Kogi West Senatorial election against Dino Melaye in February 2019 was doctored.
Akpam speaking in a telephone conversation on Channels Television‘s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, on Friday, maintained that the audio was superimposed.
“I’m not under any pressure to work against any candidate,” he said.
When asked if the voice in the audio was his, he replied: “it was superimposed”.
“I suppose someone must have got my picture, but then that wasn’t my voice, and I’ve also gone through the transcript. What they are saying is not true, if not for some mischief,” he stated.
In the audio released on November 1 by Natasha Akpoti, Social Democratic Party candidate in the November 16 governorship election in Kogi, Akpam was heard telling someone on the other end of what seemed to be a phone call, that Melaye won the poll by 17,000 votes.
“The guy [Dino Melaye] won neatly,” the official was heard saying.
He also said that there was “suddenly pressure” on him to doctor the results so that Melaye would lose the election.
Melaye, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate eventually won the election and was confirmed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Read Also: SDP, Akpoti To Approach Court For Postponement Of Kogi Guber Poll
However, his main challenger, Sam Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC), challenged the outcome of the election, and the state Election Petition Tribunal overturn Melaye’s victory.
The Court of Appeal, which upheld the decision of the tribunal, ordered that another election be held within 90 days.
The election has been scheduled to hold alongside the gubernatorial poll next Saturday.
Some political parties set to participate in the election have called for Akpam’s removal, over allegations of being partisan ahead of the election.