The Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party on Sunday cried foul as Governor Hope Uzodimma, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, was declared the winner of Saturday’s governorship poll in Imo State by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The electoral body affirmed Uzodimma’s re-election, having won in all the 27 local government areas of the state.
The governor clinched a second term in office after scoring a total of 540, 008 votes, the commission stated.
In Kogi, the candidate of the APC, Usman Ododo, was declared the winner of the election with 446,237 votes.
Announcing the result late Sunday night, the state Returning Officer, Prof Johnson Urama, said Ododo was closely followed by the Social Democratic Party candidate, Muri Ajaka, who scored 259, 052 votes.
Dino Melaye of the PDP garnered 46,362 votes; Leke Bejide of the African Democratic Party, 21,891; and Adejo Okeme of the LP 567.
The total number of registered voters was 1,932,474, and accredited voters numbered 794,500.
Achonu also alleged compromise on the part of the security personnel, adding that “recorded evidence abound such as that of a police officer who voters beat for attempting to snatch a ballot box.”
He commended the LP supporters for their steadfastness in the face of provocation and assured them that they would get justice at the courts.
He stated, “Our democracy was raped in the full glare of security personnel, whose salaries we pay from our commonwealth.
“Collation was suddenly moved from the ward to LG centres, and only APC agents were allowed to enter, while agents of other parties were locked out.
“And to you, my supporters, thank you for your doggedness and steadfastness; you fought hard, and I am proud of you all.
“I have not lost hope in the judiciary; there are so many men of integrity therein, and we shall reclaim our mandate.”
He condemned the assault and detention of the LP Chairman in the state, Mr Callistus Ihejiagwa, at the state collation centre and called for the immediate arrest of those who manhandled him.
“My party chairman was beaten up at the collation centre, as is evident in a widely circulated video. And instead of arresting those who beat him, the police arrested and detained him.
“Let’s save the drift into anarchy; let’s save our country and her democracy. There was no election yesterday, and we call on the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, to cancel the purported results,“ Achonu said.
Also, the deputy governorship candidate of the LP, Tony Nwulu, said that the security agents allegedly provided security to the INEC staff and APC members to subvert the will of the people of the state.
Speaking to journalists on Saturday night, he claimed that electoral materials had been diverted to all the LG secretariats “where rewriting of the election results were allegedly ongoing.’’
Nwulu claimed, ‘’There was no election in Imo State on Saturday. What happened was the electoral materials’ diversion to the people’s homes and the LGA council headquarters. In all this, the police, army, and DSS provided security to the actors.
“They came with vast sums of money to the polling units for votes buying, but the Imo people rejected them. They now resorted to snatching electoral materials and diverting them to the homes of individuals and the LG headquarters, where they are currently rewriting the results.
“In all these things, the police, army, and DSS are providing security to the APC members and staff of INEC in these disgraceful acts. We have all the records. We are informing Nigerians that there was no election in Imo state on Saturday.
“As we embark on the Next Level of Shared Prosperity, rest assured that your interests will remain at the forefront of my administration.
“I extend a hand to my fellow contenders from other parties, urging them to join me in a united effort to build and uplift our only dear State. In the spirit of inclusivity, we will operate a government that transcends political differences for the benefit of all.’’
Meanwhile, a female youth corps member who served as an ad hoc worker in Mbaitolu LG was reported missing, and the BVAS and results in her possession had not been recovered.
While presenting his result, the local government collation officer, Dr Bolaji Olaleye said the youth corps member did not respond to phone calls, heightening fear that something terrible might have happened to her.
However, The PUNCH called a number given by Olaleye, but a female who answered terminated the call without responding to questions.
Olaleye told The PUNCH, “I don’t know what happened to the female corps member, but we couldn’t locate the BVAS and results sheet in her possession, which led to the cancellation of the election in ward three polling units.”
But the Kogi State chapter of the SDP called for the cancellation of the results in Okene, Okehi, Ogori Magongo, Adavi, and Ajaokuta LGs, as well as in some parts of Lokoja alleging corrupt practices, vote-buying and over-voting.
In a statement on Sunday, Morka said the announced and uploaded results so far showed Ododo “maintaining a landslide lead in Kogi West and Central, with a competitive showing in Kogi East.”
“We are keenly aware of intense pressure, including violent threats on INEC staff, by agents and supporters of trailing opposition parties aimed at unduly influencing or disrupting ongoing collation of results in the state.
“We urge INEC to stand fast in the discharge of its constitutional duty to deliver free, fair and credible election in the state and ensure that the freely exercised will of the Kogi electorate prevails,’’ the party spokesman stated in a statement.
In Bayelsa, hundreds of PDP supporters staged a protest in Yenagoa, the state capital, on Sunday, demanding that the results of the election conducted in Nembe-Bassambiri, Nembe LG, should not be brought to the collation centre.
The results indicated that the PDP candidate, Governor Douye Diri, had polled 137, 909, the APC candidate, Timipre Sylva, had 73, 503 and LP candidate, Udengs Eradiri, scored 703.
But the PDP supporters stormed the INEC office to protest elections in the APC strongholds, particularly the Nembe LG, where Sylva got 22,248 votes.
He called on INEC and the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Obo Effanga, to reject the results from Nembe-Bassambiri, insisting that voting did not occur in the community.
Emelah said, “We are here to tell the world that election is not violence. Election is a serious responsibility. Everyone that is having electoral rights ought to cast his vote.
“But what is happening in Nembe-Bassambiri is not acceptable because you cannot disenfranchise eligible voters and coerce INEC to do your bid. A level playing ground should be provided to every adult of voting age to cast his or her vote.
“We know that there was no election in Nembe-Bassambiri. So, because of that, we are talking to INEC to discard that result. And if at all, let them revisit the Bassambiri issue and ensure that everybody has the right to vote.”
Also speaking, the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Diriyai Dambo, SAN, described the incident in Nembe-Bassambiri as “a rape of democracy.’’
He claimed that the party’s supporters who were travelling to Nembe ahead of the governorship polls on November 10 were allegedly subjected to a life-threatening situation.
Dambo said that balloting was not conducted in Nembe-Bassambiri, particularly in constituencies 2 and 9, and that fake results were written and posted on social media.
A man identified as George Sibo reportedly died Sunday afternoon in Twon-Brass, the headquarters of the Brass LG, after he was attacked by a mob believed to be APC supporters.
It was learnt that the deceased, a PDP supporter, was attacked at the governorship election collation centre at the council area headquarters when results from some wards in Constituency 2 were being submitted.
Sibo, popularly called “Kobo-Kobo”, was said to be an indigene of Twon-Brass and an aide to a politician from the local government.
A member of the state House of Assembly representing Brass Constituency 1, Daniel Charles, condemned the gruesome killing of the man.
He urged security agents to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of the dastardly act immediately.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Asinim Butswat, said he was awaiting the details of the incident from the area commander in Brass LGA