The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu State, Peter Mbah, has won the 2023 governorship election in the state.
Mr Mbah polled 160,895 votes to defeat his closest challenger, the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Chijioke Edeoga, who scored 157,552 votes.
The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Frank Nweke Jr, garnered 17,983 votes to come a distant third, while the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Uche Nnaji, placed fourth, with 14,575 votes.
The Returning Officer for the election, Maduebibisi Iwe, announced the result at State Collation Centre of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday night at exactly 10: 47 p.m.
“That Mbah Peter Ndubuisi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), having satisfied all the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes in the election, is hereby declared the winner of the election and is returned elected,” Mr Iwe declared.
The returning officer, who is the vice-chancellor of the University of Agriculture Umudike, declared the result after completing the collation of results from two local government areas of the state which were earlier suspended by INEC over alleged irregularities.
The two local government areas are: Nkanu East and Nsukka.
INEC had explained that the suspension was to enable the commission to carry out a review of the disputed results from the council areas.
But on Wednesday, the commission announced that the review had been completed and the collation would continue at the collation centre on Wednesday.
Mr Iwe, the returning officer, said the petition against the Nsukka Local Government Area was overruled by INEC during review of the results, while that of Nkanu East Council Area was sustained.
He said the commission, consequently, reduced the result from 30,350 votes earlier given to the PDP candidate to 16,956 votes, after its review of the results.
The commission, during the review, also increased the LP candidate’s initial score of 1855 votes in the council area to 1864 votes, according to the returning officer.
He said, contrary to earlier allegations by the LP agent, Eugene Edeoga, that the BVAS machine was not used during the exercise in the council area, the commission established that the machine was used.
The returning officer, however, said the commission only discovered that there were some infractions in the election in the council area.
But the LP agent, Mr Edeoga, opposed the decision of the INEC, insisting that the commission ought to have cancelled the election in the Nkanu East Council Area, in line with the provisions of the 2022 Electoral Law because of “infraction” during the process.
In response, the returning officer , said the decision was taken in Abuja headquarters of the commission which relied on the review of the materials used for the election in the council area.
The PDP agent, on his part, argued that the LP agent’s earlier position that there were cases of voting in the area, implied an admission that BVAS machine was used in the exercise in the area.
He urged the returning officer to go ahead and announce the result of the governorship election in the state so that those dissatisfied with the outcome could seek redress in the court of law.
In the final result announced on Wednesday night , the PDP candidate won in nine council areas, while the LP candidate won in eight of them.
The nine council areas where Mr Mbah won are Uzo-Uwani, Udi, Ezeagu, Aninri, Nkanu West, Enugu South, Awgu, Enugu East and Nkanu East, where he hails from.
The LP candidate won in the following eight council areas: Igbo-Eze North, Oji River, Igbo-Etiti, Igbo-Eze South, Nsukka, Udenu, Enugu North and Isi-Uzo, where he comes from.
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