The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate in Imo State governorship election, Emeka Ihedioha, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, officials of conspiring to rig the polls in favour of the incumbent, Governor Rochas Okorocha.
It would be recalled that INEC had declared the April 11 polls in the state inconclusive and a supplementary election was held on Saturday in areas where elections did not hold or was cancelled due to irregularities.
Following the collation of results, Mr. Okorocha, who was the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), won in 20 out of the 23 Local Government areas in the state where the supplementary election was held, polling a total of 31,326 votes, while Mr. Ihedioha garnered 13,624 votes.
The final tally of results showed that the incumbent polled a total of 416,996 votes out of the total 806,764 valid votes cast in the election.
In second place was the PDP candidate with 320,705 and Emmanuel Ihenacho of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in distant third with 28,434 votes.
In his reaction, Ihedioha, who is Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, said he was not prepared to congratulate Mr. Okorocha because the election was marred by massive irregularities perpetrated by the APC.
He said, “In spite of instances of identified electoral malpractices, including the arrest of over 25 members of staff of Imo State INEC, who conspired with the opposition party to manipulate and change the results of the elections already declared in favour of the PDP, incident of swapping of PDP votes in favour of the APC, all of which eroded the validity and credibility of the exercise, INEC has gone ahead to declare the APC candidate as the winner”.
However, he maintained that as a law abiding citizen, he acknowledged the declaration of the results by INEC, but added that PDP would deliberate on the details of the result and act appropriately in future.