The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s returning officer for Saturday’s governorship election in Imo state, Mr. Francis Chukwuemeka Atunta, Monday evening announced the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Emeka Ihedioha, winner of the governorship election.
Otunta, who is Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Umundike, Abia State, stated that Ihedioha polled a total of 273,404 over the 190,364 votes garnered by his closest rival and governorship candidate of the Action Alliance, AA, Uche Nwosu.
While giving a breakdown of results from the 27 local government areas in Imo State at the INEC office along Port Harcourt road, he said Ifeanyi Araraume of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, 114,676; Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress, APC, polled 96,458 even as Accord Party, AP’s Ikedi Ohakim polled 6,846.
Otunta said, “We have been working since Saturday to elect a credible governor for Imo State. The total registered voters is 2,221,008; Accredited voters is 823,743.
“The total votes cast is 714,35; rejected votes 25,130; total valid votes is 739,485.”
The returning officer, while declaring Ihedioha as winner of the polls, said, “I, Francis Otunta, hereby certify that I am the returning officer for the Imo state elections. That the election was contested and the candidates received the following votes.
“Ihedioha Emeka of PDP, having satisfied the constitutional requirements, is hereby declared the winner.”
The Governor-elect is a former deputy speaker of the house of representatives.
Reacting to his defeat, Nwosu, who is a son-in-law to the incumbent Governor Rochas Okorocha, said, “The constitution is clear that for a candidate to be declared a winner, he must have the mandatory 25 percent spread in at least two-thirds of the number of local government areas in the state.”
He held that Ihedioha had earlier pointed out that for one to be declared a winner of the election, he must have met the mandatory 25 per cent spread in the votes, at least, in two-third of the number of Local Government Areas where the election was held.
“In this instance, the candidate of PDP did not meet the requirement as he scored the mandatory spread in only 12, whereas it should be 18,” he said.
Nwosu further alleged widespread irregularity in the three local government areas of Aboh Mbaise, Ahiazu and Ezinihitte.
His words, “This result is totally unacceptable and I’m calling on INEC to declare the election inconclusive and arrange a fresh election within seven days as stipulated by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”