The Independent National Electoral Commission has been accused by Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, the Peoples Democratic Party candidate in Imo State Governorship election of conspiring to rig the just-ended poll in favor of the incumbent Governor Rochas Okorocha.
INEC had declared the April 11 poll in the state inconclusive and a supplementary election was held last Saturday in areas where elections did not hold or were cancelled due to irregularities.
According to INEC, Okorocha, who was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, won in 20 out of the 23 Local Government areas in the state where the supplementary election was held. He polled 31,326 votes in the supplementary election, while Ihedioha garnered 13,624 votes.
But the final tally of the results showed that incumbent Governor Okorocha polled a total of 416,996 votes out of the total 806,764 valid votes cast in the election.
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Ihedioha, the PDP candidate garnered a total of 320,705 while Emmanuel Ihenacho of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) came a distant third with 28,434 votes.
Ihedioha, who is Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, in his reaction, however, said he was not prepared to congratulate Okorocha because the election was marred by massive irregularities perpetrated by the APC candidate.
“In spite of instances of identified electoral malpractices, including the arrest of over 25 members of staff of Imo State INEC, who conspired with the opposition party to manipulate and change the results of the elections already declared in favor of the PDP, incident of swapping of PDP votes in favor of the APC, all of which eroded the validity and credibility of the exercise, INEC has gone ahead to declare the APC candidate as the winner”.
However, he maintained that as a law-abiding citizen, he acknowledged the declaration of the results by INEC. PDP would deliberate on the details of the results and act appropriately in future, he added.