Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia has called for the nullification of the declaration of Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe as the winner of Abia South Senatorial election of Feb. 25.
Ikpeazu, who is the Abia South senatorial district candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election, also faulted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s declaration of Sen. Abaribe as the winner.
Abaribe contested the election under the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), and according to INEC, he scored the highest votes in the election in which 108 polling units could not vote.
The Returning Officer of the election, Prof Georgina Ugwuanyi had early morning on Tuesday declared the election inconclusive but returned in the afternoon to announce winners.
Ikpeazu, who spoke through the PDP senatorial election collation agent, Mr Charles Esonu, noted that there were over 200, 000 voters in the 108 polling units where the election did not hold.
Ikpeazu said that the affected areas had a cumulative voter population of over 200, 000 which was more than the votes scored by the parties.
He described the declaration as a “charade and brazen display of partiality” because the number of voters who did not vote was more than the total votes scored by the parties.
He expressed shock that the INEC Returning Officer still went ahead despite protests from party agents, to declare winners in an inconclusive election which INEC had earlier scheduled a date for.
Ikpeazu said that over 50,000 PDP supporters could not vote due to non-provision and late arrival of electoral materials in most of the polling units in the six local government areas of the constituency.
He also alleged that complaints by the PDP agents over the manipulation of election results and bypass of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) were ignored by INEC officials.
He described INEC’s action as “irrational, biased, undemocratic” and demanded an urgent nullification of the declaration of a winner in an inconclusive election.
Ikpeazu also called for the immediate rescheduling of election in the 108 polling units in the constituency where voting could not hold.