The Labour Party’s candidate in the April 11 governorship election in Delta State, Chief Great Ogboru, has again rejected the declaration of the Peoples Democratic Party’s flag bearer, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, as governor-elect, saying “The rigging is too senseless to ignore”.
The LP candidate, who addressed a press conference at his Abraka country home on Thursday, said his party would ensure the upturn of the results as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission at the election tribunal.
Ogboru also said the party’s house of assembly candidates would go to the tribunal to contest reclaim their mandates.
The Returning Officer for the election, Bio Nyananyo, announced in Asaba, the Delta state capital that Mr. Okowa polled 724,680 votes to beat Ogboru, who got 130,028. The All Progressives Congress’ O’tega Emerhor came a distant 3rd with 67,825 votes
But Ogboru said, “Okowa did not score majority of lawful votes cast in the election and did not also meet the relevant constitutional provisions.
“It is our firm belief that the return of Okowa as governor-elect does not reflect the democratic will of the majority of our electorate. His said return in based on electoral irregularities and malpractices that cannot be ignored by any unbiased umpire”, he said.
The LP candidate insisted that in most of the places where votes were recorded for his PDP counterpart, the card reader was discarded as against the position of INEC, which he said declared that where card readers could not be used, voting should be suspended.
“We in the Labour Party went into the election trusting that INEC would deploy and use the card readers as enshrined in its 2015 guidelines for election officials. Regrettably, some officials of INEC violated the guideline and its further reassurance to our disadvantage”, he added.
He pointed out that the use of card readers was restricted to Delta-Central senatorial district, where they were used for accreditation and collation of votes.
He said, “This implies that every vote we received is genuine, lawful, valid and legitimate.
“In a curious summersault, card readers were overwhelmingly not used in Delta North and South. The election was conducted arbitrarily as dictated by PDP chieftains, who took over the duties of INEC personnel in those two senatorial districts and parts of central.
“By that singular action, some INEC officials once again allowed ‘toxic votes’ to be used to defeat the people’s will. These votes are unlawful and invalid”.