The INEC Returning Officer for Abia State, Benjamin Ozumba, has declared Saturday’s governorship election inconclusive.
Addressing journalists in Umuahia on Monday, Mr. Ozumba explained that the total number of registered voters in areas where elections did not hold or were cancelled was higher than the margin of difference between votes garnered by the candidate of the PDP, Okezie Ikpeazu, and that of the APGA, Alex Otti.
The affected polling units are in some parts of Osisioma, Ugwunagbo, Aba North, Aba South, Isialangwa South, Isialangwa North, Umuahia North, Umuahia south, Ohafia Arochukwu and Umunneochi Local Government Areas.
Before the election was declared inconclusive, the result accepted by the electoral officers showed the PDP candidate had polled 248,549 votes while the APGA candidate scored 165,406 making a difference of 83,053.
A total of 177,000 votes were cancelled in some polling units in the local government areas. The figure is greater than 83,053 votes which is the margin between Messrs. Ikpeazu and Otti.
Although the Electoral Act 2010 does not provide for “inconclusive” elections, it provides for postponement of an election as reflected in the marginal notes as well as actual provision of Section 26 (1).
Section 21 (1) says “Where a date has been appointed for the holding of an election, and there is reason to believe that a serious breach of the peace is likely to occur if the election is proceeded with on that date or it is impossible to conduct the election as a result of natural disaster or other emergencies, the Commission may postpone the election and shall in respect of the area, or areas concerned, appoint another date for the holding of the postponed election provided that such reason for the postponement is cogent and verifiable.”
Below is the results already accepted by INEC from the 17 LGAs in Abia.
PDP = 7133
APGA = 5686
PDP = 3032
PDP – 4,580
APGA – 5,973
PDP =82, 240
Total for PDP= 248,459
Total for APGA= 165,406