THE Chief Press Secretary to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Mr. Godwin Adindu, has described as a hoax Dr. Alex Otti’s claim last Friday that he escaped an assassination attempt at his Maitama guest house in Abuja.

In a statement, Adindu said the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) guber candidate in the April 11 election was “merely trying to whip up sentiments to attract the sympathy of security agencies and the electoral tribunal to his disastrous petition, as his lamentation is the cry of a drowning man.”

Otti had addressed the media in Umuahia last Friday, when he alleged that his private guest house in Abuja was attacked and a policeman attached to the place killed by unknown gunmen.

However, Adindu said his enquiries from the Force Public Relations Officer (FPPRO), Mr. Emma Ojukwu, revealed that the incident did not exactly take place at Otti’s guest house, neither was the said Special Protection Unit (SPU) officer killed at the reported venue.

“I have spoken with the Force PRO, Mr. Emma Ojukwu, and he confirmed to me that there was an attack in the Maitama area, where Otti’s private guest house is, but that the attack was not exactly at his residence and that the policeman killed was not killed in his residence,” he said.

“FPPRO Ojukwu also confirmed that some houses were attacked but not Otti’s guest house, that the APGA guber candidate was not even around at the time of the incident. The Force PRO was firm that the attack was not targeted at Otti or his guest house.

“The FPPRO confirmed that the policeman was killed in the building housing NESTOIL, which is a totally different compound from where Otti’s guest house is located.

“Otti’s claim is part of his grand plan to influence the tribunal through ‘emotional pressure’ to move the sittings to Abuja. All his clandestine moves are already well known to the PDP in Abia and will be thoroughly checkmated.”

He accused Otti of “diversionary tactics to whip up sentiments and move attention from the main issues at the tribunal. Abia has been relatively peaceful and there has been adequate security for the tribunal and the temporary residence of the officials.”

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