Cancelled poll: Defeated senator demands re-run in Abia north

Senator Mao Ohuabunwa
Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (Photo Credit: twitter page)

Mao Ohuabunwa, a serving senator and the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia North Senatorial District, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to order a re-run election in the areas where the exercise was cancelled.

Mr Ohuabunwa made the call in a statement he issued in Umuahia, the Abia capital, on Wednesday, saying that no winner emerged at the end of Saturday’s election in Abia north.

He contended that Orji Kalu, the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), was not declared the winner of the poll.

The lawmaker said the Returning Officer for the election, Charles Anumudu “did not declare anybody winner of the contest.”

According to him, “the total number of cancelled votes was far bigger than the margin of lead.”

He said: “Announcing Kalu winner of Abia North Senatorial contest is a joke taken too far.

“The total number of canceled votes is 76,889, while the margin of victory is 10,402 votes.

He said the difference between the margin of victory and canceled votes was 66,487 votes, adding that INEC could not have validly declared any candidate the winner of the poll.

He said the returning officer only read out the figures and number of votes polled by all the candidates.

“He never declared Kalu winner,” Ohuabunwa said.

He therefore called INEC to cancel the results, allegedly manipulated in favour of Mr Kalu, and order a re-run election in the affected area to enable a winner to emerge.

“The result did not emanate from the polling units because no results were declared at that level.

“Nkporo in Ohafia Local Government Area (LGA) recorded 21,360 canceled votes in 32 units of two Wards of Ndi Elu 15 and Ndi Agbo 17.

“Arochukwu LGA (Ohuabunwa’s LGA) recorded 31,284 canceled votes, while 72 out of 149 polling units were canceled.

“Elections were cancelled at the polling units in Abia State University, Uturu campus in Isuikwuato LGA, with about 19,563 registered voters disenfranchised.

“That was more than the margin of victory of 3,708 votes recorded for the LGA,” Mr Ohuabunwa said.

In a reaction, Chigozie Achibie, the Head, Voter Education and Publicity of INEC in Abia, said he was “not in a position to say whether or not the result of the election was declared.”

“Ohuabunwa knows where to direct his grievances,” Mr Achibie said.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Ohuabunwa had earlier issued a statement rejecting the result of the election, which credited 20,801 votes to him and 30,203 votes to Mr Kalu.

(NAN)

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