The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Blyden Okanni of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner of the Ngor Okpala State Constituency bye-election in Imo State.
Dennis Akoh, the INEC Returning Officer for the election, announced this in Owerri on Sunday.
Mr Akoh said Mr Okanni polled 9,248 votes to defeat his closest rival, Emeka Nwachukwu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 7,161 votes.
Mr Akoh, a professor at the Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwor in Ebonyi State, said the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Christopher Nwaiwu, came third with 501 votes.
He said out of the 11 candidates that contested the bye-election, the only female and candidate of the National Rescue Movement, Joy Nze, got 15 votes.
The returning officer said 18,083 voters were accredited for the poll, out of 94,118 registered voters in the area.
He said the total valid votes cast were 17,280, while 582 votes were rejected.
The election, however, was marred by violent attacks on INEC officials.
Some of the election officials were said to have been abducted, blindfolded, and taken to an unknown destination where they were reportedly forced to participate in illegal thumb-printing on ballot papers.
“We have noticed with great worries an abduction of some of our ad-hoc staff with the election materials towards the end of the polls.
“While the earlier violence started with the snatching of election materials it ended with the abduction of our staff, ballot papers and materials. Some of our abducted ad-hoc staff were blindfolded and taken to an unknown destination where they were compelled to thump print the ballot papers,” the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Imo State, Chukwuemeka Ezeonu, was quoted as saying on Saturday.
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