Bickering over NASS results in Abia | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Bickering over NASS results in Abia

Posted: Apr 2, 2015 at 1:18 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Emeka Okafor / Reporter, Umuahia


Soon after the conduct, collation, and release of results for the 2015 National Assembly election in Abia State, a chain of contestations over the outcome of the NASS election results from the State appeared.

Orji and Abaribe

Orji and Abaribe

INEC in Umuahia had on Sunday, 29th March, announced the Abia Central Senatorial Zone result which declared Governor Theodore Orji the winner. The result which was announced at about 10; 36pm by the INEC Returning Officer, Prof. Innocent Aja Okoro, declared that Governor Orji having received the highest  number of 65,653 votes  stood elected.

His closest rival, Chief Emmanuel Ahamdi Nweke, APGA candidate, received 46,770 while the APC candidate at the election, Hon. Acho Obioma, scored 10,204.

However, on the heels of the declaration of the serving Senator, Enyi Abaribe, as the winner for Abia South, was a protest carried out by youths from Ukwa East/South Local Government Area, Monday, to register their grievances over the conduct and outcome of the NASS election

From the result announced by the INEC Collation Officer for Abia South, Dr. Ikechukwu Okwulehie, Senator Abaraibe of the PDP scored 101,433 to beat Chief Chris Nkwonta of the APGA, 70,502.

The result for Abia North Senatorial Zone where the PDP candidate, Hon. MAO Ohuabunwa contested against  the Former governor Orji Uzor Kalu of the PPA and Chief David Ogba of the APGA has not been released as at press time.

However before the declaration of Governor Orji as the Senator-Elect for the Abia Central Senatorial seat in the evening, the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), governorship candidate, Dr. Allex Otti, had at the noon kicked against the conduct of the NASS election in the State.

Dr. Otti while reviewing the conduct of last Saturday’s election in the State accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of using State machinery to allegedly manipulate the results to their favour.

“I will like to start by saying that there is no doubt that INEC, particularly at the very senior level, has planned to organize a freer and more credible election. The concept of the Card Reader and the Permanent Voter Card (PVCs) was meant to eliminate electoral malpractices that have to do with identification and authentication of voters.

“Unfortunately, in few places the Card Readers failed. We have issues were INEC staff did manual accreditation; the election has just been held, there are places where election did not hold. It was very clear that from the results coming in from the polling units have it that the votes for the Senate and the House of Representatives, that APGA was leading in most of the units where votes were counted.

“But what has happened is that a whole lot of electoral malpractices, in some polling booths, Council Chairmen, specifically Isiala Ngwa South and North, Aba North, and Ugwunagbo, Ohafia, Osisioma and Arochuku made sure that credible results did not come out of those places, particularly in collation centres.”

He further disclosed that APGA has written a formal letter to the National secretariat of INEC, copied to the State, maintaining that APGA was not going to accept results declared where elections were not held or result Sheets altered or changed.

Governor Orji had, alongside his wife, Mercy, at exactly 4:10pm, cast their votes for the Presidential and National Assembly elections at Ugba Community Primary School, Ugba Ward 1, Umuahia North Local Government Area.

Daily Independent observed that although the Presidential and National Assembly elections in the State were generally peaceful, they were delayed by late arrival of materials and technical hitches in some areas.

Shortly after being accredited at about 11am, the Governor while addressing journalists noted that late arrival of materials and the non-functioning of the machines were some of the obvious constraints noticed on the side of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He also observed that there were mix–ups in the electoral materials which delayed the exercise in some units. The Governor however commended the electorate for turning out in their numbers to exercise their civic responsibility and for being patient despite the challenges. He noted that the process was devoid of rowdiness and marked by orderliness. The Governor had earlier visited the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Celine Oko, to complain about the malfunctioning of the card readers as reported in some polling units across the State.

In her response, Prof. Oko said the commission was aware and was making effort to overcome the problem, adding that the incident form will be used to capture those rejected by the card readers.