Charles Soludo, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), may have swept 17 out of the 21 local government areas of Anambra State in the governorship election held on Saturday, but his hefty lead is not yet officially guaranteed to eventually become a victory.
Soludo is ahead of Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), his closest rival who has won only a local government area, with over 45,000 votes.
However, INEC has refrained from returning him as the governor-elect of Anambra State, as the collation officers for Ihiala and Orumba North said elections did not hold in their local government areas.
WHAT WAS SAID
Speaking to Professor Florence Obi, the returning officer, at the INEC collation center in Akwa, Dr Michael Otu, a lecturer of commercial law at the University of Calabar and collation officer for Orumba North, described his experience as very pathetic.
“To be very frank with you, I want to categorically and unequivocally tell you that there was no election to the best of my knowledge and with the evidence I am going to buttress herein,” he said.
According to Otu, there were 93,608 registered voters in Orumba North.
“Although I signed this document under duress, I don’t believe in it. I don’t believe in it, it is not my will,” he added.
Ahmadu Umar, the collation officer for Ihiala LGA where 148,407 voters had registered, did not state the reason the governorship election was not held in his area.
WHAT THE RULE STATES
Meanwhile, for a winner to emerge, the margin between two leading candidates must exceed the total number of registered voters of the polling units where the election was cancelled or was not held.
“Where the margin of win between the two leading candidates is not in excess of the total number of registered voters of the polling unit(s) where the election was canceled or not held, the returning officer shall decline to make a return until another poll has taken place in the affected polling unit(s) and the results incorporated into the existing one,” INEC states on its website.
WHAT THE FIGURES SHOW
With results from 20 local governments declared, Soludo polled 103,946 votes, while Ozigbo has 51,322 votes. Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has 42,942 votes.
This leaves a gap of 52,624 votes between Soludo and Ozigbo. However, there are a total number of 148,407 registered voters in Ihiala.
Since the regsitered voters (148,407) are more than the current margin between the first and second candidates (52,264), there was no way INEC could announce a winner.
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