The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared the the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Barr. Peter Mbah as winner of the governorship election in Enugu State.
Mbah’s declaration came after days of controversy over the results from Nkanu East Local Government Area.
According to the Returning Officer, Prof. Maduebibisi Iwe, collation was taken over by the INEC national headquarters in Abuja after those of them in Enugu could not have a common ground.
He stated that after a review of the process, the votes for the PDP was reduced from 30, 350 to 16, 956.
LP now has 157, 552, while PDP polled 160, 895 votes to emerge winner, Iwe said.
Frank Nweke of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, came third with 17, 983 votes.
He then declared the PDP candidate, Mbah as the Enugu State governor-elect.
The INEC state Collation and Returning Officer, Prof Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, said that Mbah polled a total of 160,895 votes to defeat the closest contender, Chijioke Edeoga of the Labour Party, who polled a total of 157,552 votes.
Iwe, who is the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Umudike, said, “That Mbah of the PDP having scored the highest number of votes cast and having satisfied the requirements of the law is hereby declared the winner and he is returned elected.”
He said that the total number of registered voters in Enugu State is 2,112,793; the Number of accredited voters is 381,971. The total valid votes cast is 358,463; Rejected votes are 9,088 while the Total votes cast are 367,551.
Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission had on Monday suspended the collation of results and declaration of the winner of the poll following allegations of over-voting and results manipulation in Nkanu East and Nsukka Local Government Areas of the state.
Labour Party State agent, Dr Eugene Edeoga on Sunday during the collation of local government election results, raised objection over the result of Nkanu East Local Government. He had claimed that the result of the local government was heavily padded to manipulate the outcome of the election in favour of the PDP candidate.
He insisted that the result of the local government should be cancelled.
Subsequently, the PDP State collation agent, Dr Festus Uzo also made similar allegations about Nsukka LGA, where the candidate of the labour party was leading with over 30,000 votes.
Consequently, on Monday following a series of protests from both supporters of the Labour Party candidate and the PDP candidate, the INEC national headquarters suspended the collation to review the results of the two local government areas in the issue.
However, on Wednesday night, the INEC returning officer, Prof Iwe said “this afternoon I was requested to return to Enugu that the commission has concluded and resolved the issues in Nsukka and Nkanu East. We received a particular petition about Nsukka and Nkanu East local government.
“The petition against Nsukka was overruled by the commission. However, the petition about Nkanu East was sustained.
“The commission found that there was over-voting. From 30,350 the commission reduced it to 16,956 votes for PDP.
“The Labour Party was 1,855, after review, it became 1,864 votes that is the summary of what happened in Abuja. And based on the fact that the petition of Nkanu East is sustained we call on the collation officer of Nkanu East to come forward to collate the results of the Nkanu East.”
Reacting, the labour party agent, Dr Eugene Edeoga, said “I am glad that the case made against Nsukka is not sustained. And the case made against Nkanu East was sustained.
However, the rule is that when over-voting is established and the non-use of BVAS in the election had been established, the penalty is a cancellation. I want to ask whether the rules have changed.”
The returning officer, however, said that this is the decision of the electoral commission.
However, having won the Nkanu East local government, the PDP candidate has now won nine local governments with Edeoga of LP taking eight local government areas.
Local Government Areas won by Mbah of the PDP include Udi with a total of 13,633 votes while LP polled 10,109 votes; Ezeagu PDP polled 7,576 votes while LP scored 5,949; Aninri PDP scored 6,520 while LP scored 3,431 votes; Uzo-Uwani with 7,298 votes to defeat LP with 5,257 votes; Enugu South with 10,557 votes while LP scored 7,438 votes; Awgu with 10,668 votes against LP’s 5,462 votes; Nkanu West with a total of 8,382 votes against LP’s 2,577 votes and Nkanu East with PDP scored 16,956 and LP scored 1,855. In Enugu East, 12,405 while PDP 12,803
LGAs won by LP include “Igbo-Eze North with 9,955 votes while PDP scored 8,738 votes. Igbo-Etiti with 11,941 votes, PDP 8,959 votes; Oji River with 7,747 while PDP scored 7,365 votes; Isi-Uzo with 12,518 votes and PDP polled a total of 6,381. Nsukka with 30,294 while PDP scored 10,886; Enugu North with a total of 9,610 votes while PDP scored 9,333; Igbo-Eze South with 9,680 votes and PDP polled 4,691 votes. In Udenu Labour Party won with a total of 11,315 votes while PDP scored a total of 10,148 votes.”