BEVERLY HILLS, March 13, (THEWILL) – Owelle Rochas Okorocha, the controversial Governor of Imo State has accused the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Imo State, Professor Francis Ezeonu of partiality in declaring Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, winner of last Saturday’s governorship poll in his state.
THEWILL notes that Ihedioha did not meet the mandatory 25% spread across 2/3 of the 27 local government areas of the state as required by the constitution.
Okorocha said Professor Ezeonu “Wrecked democracy in the state in the manner the poll was conducted, adding that he has shown that he was brought to Imo after the 2015 election to return PDP to Power in the State.”
At least two other leading candidates in the poll have dismissed the results as announced by INEC, claiming electoral fraud and irregularities.
Ihedioha polled 273, 404 votes ahead of Uche Nwosu, the candidate endorsed by state governor Rochas Okorocha, who got 190, 364 votes with Senator Hope Uzodinma of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, polling 96, 458. Nwosu and Uzodinma were in the APC but split when Nwosu lost the APC ticket.
A statement by Okorocha’s spokesman, Sam Onwuemeodo, said he spokes when thousands of youths protested the outcome of the election at Government House.
“That the REC had acted illegally by ignoring the provision of the Constitution that makes it mandatory for a Candidate to have 25% in 2/3 of the Local Governments in the State by announcing the PDP Candidate, Emeka Ihedioha who only met the requirement in 9 Local Governments instead of 18 LGAs which is 2/3 of 27 LGAs winner.
“The governor also wondered why the REC should accept the outrageous figures from the three Local Governments of Mbaise including Aboh Mbaise where the PDP Candidate had 64,219 votes, Stating that the figures from the three LGAs in Mbaise Constituted 50 percent of the total votes got by the PDP Candidate in the State with 27 LGAs.
“The governor maintained that Uche Nwosu, the governorship Candidate of Action Alliance, AA, won the election and has the required spread by having 25% in 21 out of the 27 LGAs in the State, and remarked that the REC is working to set the State on fire.
“The governor also regretted that the REC has become a willing tool in the hands of those fighting him, adding that for the REC to have ignored the Constitutional provision for the announcement of the winner of the governorship election only explains his desperation to announce the PDP Candidate winner,” the statement said.
THEWILL recalls that INEC is withholding issuing a Certificate of Return to Okorocha as Senator-elect because the electoral officer that declared him winner said he acted under duress and blackmail by the governor.
“In my own case, my Certificate has not been issued and I wonder why INEC will withhold my Certificate for a frivolous reason, without hearing from me. I am not a violent person and those who know me know that. This is why we have peace in Imo State. He could not have done that under duress with the watchful eyes of the Police, DSS and party agents. I am not unmindful of the facts that those who are fighting me from Abuja are anxious to see me removed as a Senator. I urge INEC to do the right thing immediately by releasing my Certificate,” he said, according to the statement.