Anambra rerun: Ex-APGA chair, Umeh, wins

Independent National Electoral Commission has declared Mr Victor Umeh of All Progressives Grand Alliance winner of January 13 Anambra Central Senatorial rerun election.

Umeh, a former National Chairman of APGA, beat 13 other candidates, including current Labour and Employment Minister, Mr Chris Ngige of All Progressives Congress, with a wide margin to emerge senator representing Anambra Central.

Ngige had asked his supporters to boycott the election, saying he had written to INEC to inform it of his withdrawal from the race.

The minister wondered why the electoral body “mischievously included his name on the list of contestants” after he had since January 2016 written the electoral commission that he had withdrawn from the race. 

He threatened to sue INEC for trying to ridicule him and use his name to give credibility to the election.

The rerun was conducted in seven local government areas, which are Njikoka, Awka North, Idemili South, Dunukofia, Awka South, Anaocha and Idemili North. 

APGA candidate won in all the seven areas.

Voter turnout was poor, with only 9.1 per cent of voters accredited casting their vote. 

But the conduct was generally peaceful. A court earlier disqualified Peoples Democratic Party which had won the election in March 2015 from fielding a candidate in the rerun.

The election of its candidate, Mrs Uche Ekwunife, was annulled by the Court of Appeal on the grounds that she was not properly nominated by her party. Her effort to revalidate her candidacy was rebuffed by various courts, including the Supreme Court.

Declaring the  result of the rerun, Returning Officer, Mr Charles Esimone, said Umeh scored the highest number of votes cast with 64,878 (95.6 per cent of the votes cast) and was therefore returned elected.

Esimone, who is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, said the total number of registered voters in the seven local government areas was 745, 828 out of which only 67, 872 (9.1 per cent) were accredited.

Ngige, APC candidate, was second with 975 votes while Progressive Peoples Alliance came third with 116 votes.

Other parties are the Mega Progressive Peoples Party, 111 votes; Labour Party, 95; National Conscience Party, 72; Alliance for Democratic Congress, 57; United Progressives Party, 55; Green Party of Nigeria, 48 and Action Congress for Democrats, 33.

Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Anambra, Mr Nkwachukwu Orji, thanked voters, election officials, observers and journalists for contributing to the success and peaceful conduct of the election.

 

Punch

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