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INEC Renders The Governorship Election In Anambra Inconclusive

INEC Renders The Governorship Election In Anambra Inconclusive 

There will be a supplementary election On November 9

By Omotayo Olutekunbi

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has put the Anambra gubernatorial election on hold, declaring the vote “inconclusive.”

The results of 20 of the 21 local governments have been released, with Ihiala being named the best.

Due to logistical issues and insecurity, the poll in Ihiala was canceled, according to the electoral umpire.

Chukwuma Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) received 103,946 votes in 20 out of 21 LGAs declared on Sunday, November 7, followed by Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who received 51,322 votes.

Andy Ubah, candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC), received 42,942 votes.

Soludo has won in 18 of the 20 LGAs that have been announced so far.

The current gap between Soludo and Ozigbo is 52,624.

The LGA of Ihiala has 148,407 registered voters, according to the collation officer.

Florence Obi, the Returning Officer for the election, cited key constitutional clauses before pronouncing the election inconclusive.

On Tuesday, November 9, a supplementary election will be held in Ihiala.

Ahmadu Umar, the collation officer for Ihiala LGA, said that there had been no election in the whole LGA.

Returning Officer Obi says: “The outstanding result is for Ihiala LGA, where for various reasons, the commission could not deploy materials yesterday. Consequently, based on constitutional considerations and provisions of the Electoral Act, as well as revised regulations and guidelines for the conduct of election issued by the commission, supplementary election is indicated for Ihiala local government area.

“First, section 179(2) of the constitution provides for a candidate to secure both the highest number of votes cast and 25 percent of the votes cast in at least two-third of the LGAs in the state to be declared the winner of the governorship election.

“Therefore, it is important to complete the election in Ihiala LGA to make this determination.

“Also, section 179(3) of the constitution provides that a runoff election shall take place if no candidate meets the requirement of subsection 2 of the section.

“Such a runoff shall be between the candidate with the highest number of votes and one among the remaining candidates who secured a majority of votes in the highest number of LGAs in the state. This further underscores the importance of conducting election in Ihiala LGA so that we shall cover all the LGAs to make the declaration.

“Secondly, section 26 of the Electoral Act envisages the postponement of an election where there is a cogent and verifiable reason to do so, especially threat of breach of the team. One major reason for not deploying for election in Ihiala on Saturday, 6th November, is due to security threats which led to staffing and transportation constraints, among others.

“Finally, clause 47 of the revised regulations and guidelines for the conduct of elections provides that supplementary election shall be conducted when the commission, due to logistical challenges, is unable to deploy on Election Day.

“Given the foregoing, it becomes imperative to bring Ihiala LGA at par with the other 20 LGAs in this election before we can make a valid declaration or take any further action based on the extant law.

“Therefore, I, professor Florence Banku Obi, in my capacity as returning officer for this election, hereby announce the suspension of the process of collation of results and declaration of a winner until a supplementary election is held in the 326 polling units in Ihiala LGA of the state.”

The election had been peaceful throughout the state, with reports of vote buying—a common occurrence in Nigerian elections these days—as well.

In other places, there was also occasional violence. For example, Dr Michael Otu, the Returning Officer for Orumba North LGA, alleged thugs invaded the Local Government collation center and nearly murdered him.

In the midst of teargas fumes, Orumba claims he was forced to sign a forged, disfigured results sheet.

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