How INEC, Victor Umeh ‘settled’ Anambra central rerun
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) seems to have put the issue of the controversial Anambra Central senatorial district contest to rest.
It declared a former chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Victor Umeh, winner of the Saturday election, which has generated so much controversies, and legal entanglements.
Prof. Charles Esimone, the Returning Officer, who announced the result of the poll, said Umeh scored 64, 878 votes in the election which took place in seven local government areas of Anambra namely, Njikoka, Awka North, Idemili South, Dunukofia, Awka South, Anaocha and Idemili North.
A breakdown of the results showed that in Njikoka, APGA got 11, 506 votes while All Progressive Congress (APC) got 158.
In Awka North, APGA and APC scored 7,572 and 81 votes respectively while in Idemili South, APGA garnered 4,647 votes against APC’s 104 votes.
Also in Dunukofia APGA scored 7, 307 votes while the APC got 124.
APGA also swept Awka South with 12,384 votes against its closest rival APC which got 231 votes, while in Anaocha council area, APGA and APC got 12, 245 votes and 120 votes respectively.
In Idemili North, APGA won with 9,218 votes.
Esimone, who is Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, said the number of registered voters in the seven local government areas were 745, 828 out of which 67, 872 were accredited.
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Minister of Labour and Productivity, Sen Chris Ngige came a distant second with 975 votes while Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) came third with 116 votes.
Recall that Ngige announced on the eve of the election that he had earlier informed INEC of his withdrawal from the election, and that his party, the APC has forwarded the name of another candidate to represent the party in the election.
Ngige stated that he would take INEC to court for fielding his name as a candidate in the election.
According to him, it was a plot to humiliate him, and clear the way for Umeh to emerge winner of the election unopposed.
Other parties that got votes were the Mega Progressive Peoples Party (MPPP), 111 votes; Labour Party (LP), 95; National Conscience Party (NCP), 72; Alliance for Democratic Congress (ADC), 57; United Progressives Party (UPP), 55; Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), 48 and Action Congress for Democrats (ACD), 33.
Reports indicate that votes were cancelled in four polling units in Awka South where there were cases of over voting and in Agulu, Anaocha council where people where accredited manually.
Different court judgments had trailed the Anambra Central senatorial district election, creating a legal jigsaw, and doubts whether the electoral body was right in fixing a date for another election.
While a Federal High court had declared Dr. Obiora Okonkwo of the PDP as senator for the vacant Anambra central Senatorial zone.
The declaration followed a judgment by Justice John Tsoho over a motion on notice brought before him by Dr. Okonkwo.
However, with three separate Appeal Court rulings on the issue, on the eve of the date INEC had fixed for the poll, the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court set aside its December 12 judgement naming Okonkwo, as the rightful candidate to occupy the Anambra Central senatorial seat.
This cleared the coast for INEC to proceed with the election. The court said its previous judgment which was based on the consent of parties could not be viewed as a final judgement on the matter.