Mr Mbah polled 160,895 votes to defeat his closest challenger, the LP candidate, Chijioke Edeoga, who scored 157,552 votes.
The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Frank Nweke Jr, garnered 17,983 votes to come third, while the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Uche Nnaji, was fourth, with 14,575 votes.
This newspaper also reported that Maduebibisi Iwe, the returning officer for the election, 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.
Collation of the governorship election results from the two council areas – Nkanu East and Nsukka – were suspended by INEC, on Monday, after the LP party agent, Eugene Edeoga, alleged, in a petition to the commission, that the Bimodal Voter Registration System (BVAS) machine was not used during the election in the Nkanu East Council Area and that there was a case of over-voting.
His PDP counterpart, Festus Uzo, made a similar allegation against results from Nsukka Council Area.
However, INEC overruled Mr Uzo’s petition during a review of the results, but sustained that of Mr Edeoga, the LP agent, according to the returning officer.
Mr Iwe, a professor and the vice-chancellor of the University of Agriculture Umudike, said although the commission established that the BVAS machine was used during the election in Nkanu East Council Area, it discovered that there were cases of over-voting in the area.
The commission, he said, consequently reduced the result from 30,350 votes earlier given to the PDP candidate to 16,956 votes, after its review of the results from the council area.
It also increased the LP candidate’s initial score of 1,855 votes in the council area to 1,864 votes.
The returning officer subsequently declared Mr Mbah winner of the election.
Reacting, the LP said it would not accept the results, arguing that the 18 March governorship election was marred by “widespread and wholesale rigging, intimidation of voters, doctoring, mutilation and manipulation of the results.”
In a statement on Thursday by its spokesperson in the state, Onuora Odo, the LP restated its position that the BVAS machine was not used in the conduct of the election in Nkanu East Council Area and that the results from the area were “padded”.
“It is also on record that in the course of the collation of results, the results of Nkanu East showed monumental disparities between the number of registered voters and the total number of votes, but the obviously compromised INEC decided to disregard the provision of the Electoral Act and went ahead to declare the conspicuously padded results despite complaints from the opposition parties,” the LP said.
It claimed that the declaration of the result was intentionally delayed to “pave way for further manipulations,” adding that the party has decided to register its dissatisfaction over the “electoral irregularities and malfeasances activated and actuated by heavy financial inducements.”
“Let it be known that our great party is poised to deepen the root of democracy in Nigeria and cannot fold our arms and allow this level of the electoral heist to go unchallenged.
“In due course, the position of the party will be made known as we have started assembling our facts together to do the needful. Surely, this is a rape of democracy,” it added.
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