PDP, Ohanaeze youths pressure INEC to declare Mbah winner
Hopes that a governor-elect will emerge in Enugu State from Saturday’s election was dashed, yesterday, as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced suspension of collation of results, following a petition by the governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Chijioke Edeoga.
Collation of results in the 17 councils, which started on Saturday, had gone on into midnight on Sunday, when LP brought up allegations of discrepancies and irregularities in the conduct of the election at Nkanu East Council, which returned over 30,000 votes in favour of PDP candidate, Peter Mbah.
The party had complained that while the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) accredited 7,000 voters in the area, over 30,000 actually voted, stressing that the development was inconsistent with stipulated laws guiding the conduct of the exercise and called for a review.
The observation held up the exercise for some time as agents of different political parties threw up arguments in favour or against the issue, leading to the state Collation Officer, Prof. Ofo Iwe, asking parties to put their position in writing and submit to his office before 8: 00 a.m., yesterday. He, thereafter, adjourned to continue, yesterday.
However, Edeoga had, on Sunday, written and submitted a petition to the commission where he alleged serial irregularities and fundamental flaws in the conduct of the governorship election, particularly concerning Nkanu East Council of the state.
He had alleged non-usage of BVAS in the conduct of the election in the council.
When the Enugu Collation Office reopened, yesterday, the state Collation Officer, Prof Iwe, told party agents, observers, journalists, among others, that the matter had been escalated to INEC headquarters, Abuja, adding that he received a complaint from another political party concerning the conduct of election in Nsukka, as well as another, supporting the outcome of the process in Nkanu East.
Iwe, however, stated that he would not continue with further collation, citing a statement from Abuja headquarters of the Commission over the Enugu imbroglio.
MEANWHILE, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Enugu State, has petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare its governorship candidate, Dr. Peter Mbah, winner of last Saturday’s governorship election in the state, saying it is the only option going by provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.
The PDP’s stance was contained in a complaint letter to the state Returning Officer, Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, and signed by the PDP state Collation Officer, Dr. Festus Uzoh.
The PDP observed that Section 64(8) of the Electoral Act 2022 provides that where collation has been completed, as in the instant case, the duty of the collation officer is to announce the result and make a declaration.
MEANWHILE, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council (OYC), yesterday, urged INEC to declare Mbah winner of the governorship election in Enugu State.
National President of the youth wing of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Okwu Nnabuike, in a statement, said that Mbah won the election.
He asked INEC not to further delay the final declaration of the results.