Imo: INEC was reckless, fraudulent to have declared Ihedioha winner ― Oshiomhole
•Demands arrest, prosecution of Returning Officer
Basking in the euphoria of the Supreme Court judgement which declared the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Senator Hope Uzodinmma as the winner of last March governorship election in Imo state, national chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on Friday described the Independent National Electoral Commission, ( INEC) earlier declaration of the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Emeka Ihedioha as governor-elect as reckless and fraudulent.
He made the remarks at a press conference in Abuja. He equally called for the arrest and prosecution of the INEC Returning Officer in the election, Professor Francis Ogbonaya Otunta.
In the results declared by Professor Otunta, Ihedioha polled 273,404 votes to defeat his closest rival, Uche Nwosu of the Action Alliance, AA, who polled 190,364 votes, while Senator Hope Uzodimma of the All Progressives Congress, APC, scored 96,458 votes.
The Supreme Court in their unanimous judgement, however, added the results of 388 polling units to the APC candidate and asked INEC to issue Senator Uzodinmma Certificate of Results.
Oshiomhole told newsmen that INEC ought not to have declared the PDP candidate winner of the election as he claimed that the main opposition party did not score two-thirds of the votes in the 27 local government in Imo state as stipulated in the 1999 Constitution.
He said:”Truth be told, by the time the Imo governorship election was conducted and Emeka Ihedioha was declared the winner, you do not have to be a law student to know it was fraudulent. Every Nigerian knows that it is a constitutional provision, the Nigerian constitution states clearly and Courts are bound to interpret laws according to the constitution.
”No court has power to bend the 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended. It is clearly stated that to win the governorship seat of a state, the candidate must not only score the highest vote in that election, the candidate must necessarily have two-third of local government areas to qualify to be declared the winner of the governorship election in each of the 36 States of the Federation.
”In the case of Mr. Emeka Ihedioha and I invite you to ask INEC to make available to you the results. It shows clearly that even at the time Ihedioha was declared the governor, he did not score two-third in the local government areas.
”Imo state has 27 local government areas and he scored votes only in 12, two-third of 27 is 18. He has huge deficit of 6 local government areas, which Ihedioha or any other person must necessarily have to be able to be declared the winner of the governorship election. The collation officer, a professor of mathematics curiously did not know that 12 was not two-third of 27 local government areas and proceeded to unlawfully declare Emeka Ihedioha as governor of Imo state.”
The APC chairman who dismissed the call by the PDP national chairman, Uche Secondus that the justices of the apex court must reverse themselves further called for the arrest of the Returning Officer in the March 2019 election.
”In a society that is committed to fairness and rule of law, that returning officer ought not only to be dismissed, he ought to have reported himself to the security how he arrived at the decision to declare Emeka Ihedioha as governor.
“It has been the philosophy of PDP particularly from 2003 after the 1999 elections to arrogantly ask their agents or activists to manipulate INEC to add vote and tell the loser who would have been the winner to go to court and challenge the results, if he is not ready to accept the fraud perpetrated between INEC and PDP.
“That was exactly what they did in the case of Imo and I think that was the height of irresponsibility on the part of INEC.