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…LP clears Enugu polls

…Obi suffocates Okowa in Deltal

…It’s sign Nigerians’re fed up — Abia Elders

…As  INEC official shot dead in Delta

THE Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Mr Peter Obi is already sweeping like a hurricane in the South-East and South-South states with major upsets recorded in many states.

The impressive performance of both Obi and the Labour Party in Saturday’s elections took many by surprise as those who underestimated him, paid for it at the polls.

The Presidential and National Assembly elections conducted last Saturday showed most candidates, who contested on the platform of the LP, in the South-South and South-East winning their elections courtesy of Obi.

LP clears Enugu polls

In Enugu State, Labour Party won all the Presidential and National Assembly polls conducted last Saturday, except for Enugu West Senatorial district where Mr Osita Ngwu of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was declared the winner for the Senate position.

Enugu East Senatorial district was, however, not conducted due to the death of the LP candidate, Oyibo Chukwu, who was killed two days before the election.

In the Presidential poll, Mr Peter Obi won Enugu State with 428,640 votes, followed by the PDP with 15,749; the APC with 4,772; APGA with 1,548 and NNPP with 1,808.

The Enugu State Collation Officer, Prof Madu Iwe said that the number of registered voters in the state remained at 2,112,793 and accredited voters for the poll were 482,990.

Ugwuanyi defeated by LP

On the National Assembly results, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of the PDP lost Enugu North Senatorial district to Chief Okey Ezea of the LP with Ezea polling 104,492 votes against Governor Ugwuanyi, who gathered 46,948 votes.

Labour Party candidates who won the House of Representatives seats include Prof. Paul Nnamchi for Enugu East/Isi-Uzo federal Constituency; Mr Sam Atu of Enugu North/Enugu South federal Constituency; Mr Dennis Agbo of Udenu/Igboeze north federal Constituency.

Others are Chidi Obetta of Nsukka/Igboeze south federal Constituency; Chijioke Nwodo of Igbo Etiti/Uzo-Uwani federal Constituency; Chijioke Okereke of Oji River/Agwu/Aninri federal Constituency; Mr Sunday Umeha of Udi/Ezeagu Federal Constituency.

Obi leading in 15 Anambra LGs so far declared

Similarly, in Anambra State,  Peter Obi has won in 15 local government areas from the results officially announced by the INEC in the state.

Obi also won in Aguata LGA, the hometown of Governor Charles Soludo, scoring 37,478 out of the 40,387 votes cast, beating his closest rival, the candidate of APGA, who scored 712.

The LP candidate also won in Dunukofia LGA, the hometown of a business mogul, Chief Arthur Eze, scoring 18,715 out of the 20,198 votes cast. The PDP scored 428 votes.

Six council areas are still being awaited.

Peter Obi wins in Abia

The LP also made inroads into Abia State as its presidential candidate, Mr Obi won the presidential election in the state.

Obi, who cleared the 17 council areas, scored 327, 085 votes ahead of Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, who came a distant second with 22,676 votes.

The APC candidate, Bola Tinubu, crawled behind with 8,914 votes, followed by the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, which got only 3,943 votes.

According to the results collated by the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Alex Ekwueme University Abakaliki, Professor Abel Ezeoha, the number of registered voters in the state was 2, 120, 808.

He gave the number of accredited voters as 384,468, while the valid voters were 381,683.

According to the State Collation Officer, the total number of rejected voters were 11,646.

Obi suffocates Okowa in Delta, wins 11 LG s

In Delta State, the LP presidential candidate is suffocating the PDP’s Vice Presidential candidate, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa by winning 11 of the 16 council areas announced out of the 25 Local Government Areas by the INEC.

His closest rival, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP has won in six local government areas of the state.

The council areas where Obi won are Ika South, Aniocha North, Ethiope West, Oshimili North, Ndokwa West, Ukwuani, Aniocha South, Ethiope East, Sapele, Ndokwa East and Oshimili South Local Government Areas as announced by the various LG Returning Officers.

Atiku won in Ika North-East, Bomadi, Patani, Warri North and Burutu. 

Elumelu bows to LP’s Okolie

Also, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr Ndudi Elumelu lost Saturday’s election to Labour Party’s candidate for the Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency, Mr Ngozi Okolie.

Okolie was declared the winner by the Returning Officer for the Federal Constituency, Professor Kenneth Abaraibe, at the INEC collation Centre in the Oshimili South Local Government secretariat.

The LP candidate scored 53, 879 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mr Ndudi Elumelu who polled 33, 466. 

Similarly, the candidate of the PDP, in the Ethiope Federal Constituency, Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu, clinched the House of Representatives seat for the constituency.

Ibori-Suenu, daughter of former Delta State Governor, Chief James Ibori, was elected and secured 20,814, while her closet rival, Halims Agoda of the APC polled 15,172 votes

In the Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituency, the PDP candidate, Mr Nnamdi Ezechi clinched the House of Representatives seat for the constituency.

Ezechi polled 22,622 votes while the APC candidate, Chief Johnson Opone scored 14,958.

Obi wins in Edo 

Hurricane Obi also swept through Edo State where the LP candidate has been declared winner in the state.

INEC’s collation officer in Edo State, Prof. Nyaudoh Ndaeyo said Obi polled 331,163 to win the state, while the APC candidate, Bola Tinubu scored 144,471. The PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar came third by scoring 89,585, Rabiu Kwakwanso of the NNPP scored 2,743, while the ZLP scored 4082.

Ndaeyo said 603, 894 voters were accredited out of the 2,501,081, who registered for the exercise, the valid votes were 581,266, rejected votes were 19,129, and the votes cast were 600,395.

The 12 LGs won by Obi include Igueben, Esan Central, Esan North-East, Egor, Esan South-East, Esan West, Uhunmwonde, Orhionmwon, Ovia South-West, Oredo, Ikpoba-Okha and Ovia North-East, while APC won in six LGAs of Owan West, Owan East, Akoko-Edo, Etsako Central, Etsako West and Etsako East.

At the end of the collation agents of LP, PDP and APC, of the 18 participating political parties, signed the collated results.

LP wins senatorial seat in Edo

The same feat was recorded in Edo State where the Labour Party candidate, Mr Neda Imasuen, won the Edo South Senatorial District election.

Imasuen was announced the winner of the contest defeating both the APC and PDP.

Announcing the results, yesterday, INEC’s Returning Officer, Professor Julius Obasuyi said Imasuen polled 167,250 votes while his closest rival, Mr Matthew Iduoriyekemwen of the PDP garnered 61,749, while Valentine Asuen of the APC scored 57,933. 

Obi’s victory sign Nigerians are fed up —Abia Elders

Reacting to the impressive performance of the Labour Party in Saturday’s elections, the Abia Elders Consultative Forum attributed it to the failure of the two major political parties in the country.

Chairman of the forum, ArchBishop Princewill Ariwodor, in a chat with Vanguard, said it was a demonstration of people’s disenchantment with the mega parties.

Ariwodor said: “The mega parties have failed the people. They have betrayed the people enough and they have no other choice than to go for a total change.

“So, the Labour Party provided the platform for the needed change. This is the first time people are coming out en mass to vote.

“This is a demonstration of how bitter the people are over the rape of democracy in the country. The mega parties have abused democracy.

“And if this was not demonstrated, politicians won’t learn their lessons. People are prepared to demonstrate more if their mandate is tampered with.

“They are prepared to show their bitterness if any attempt is made to subvert their will.”

INEC official shot dead in Delta

Meanwhile, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in Delta State, Rev. Monday Udoh-Tom, yesterday, confirmed the killing of an election official after Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections in the state.

Udoh-Tom, who spoke with newsmen in Asaba, stated that the unnamed official was shot on his way to deliver election results on Saturday at Ukwani Local Government Area of the state.

The REC said: “There was an attack in Ukwani LGA where one of our staff was shot on his way with the election results after the election.

“The gunmen opened fire at their bus and unfortunately killed the INEC official and others sustained injuries.

“The other ad hoc staff who were injured were identified as members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC.

“The NYSC corps members are now receiving treatment, but we are planning on how to move them to a hospital in Asaba,” Udoh-Tom.”

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The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja on Friday set aside the judgement of the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal that annulled the victory of Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party during the July 16, 2022, Osun State governorship election.

The Osun tribunal had annulled Adeleke’s victory and affirmed Gboyega Oyetola of All Progressives Congress as the authentic winner of the poll.

The PUNCH reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission had returned Adeleke as the winner of the poll.

INEC said Adeleke polled 403,371 votes to defeat then-incumbent Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of the APC, who got 375,027 votes

But Oyetola and the APC rejected the result of the poll and headed for the tribunal.

In its January 27, 2023 majority verdict, the Justice Tertse Kume-led tribunal annulled Adeleke’s victory and declared Oyetola the winner of the poll.

However, a minority judgment by Justice B. Ogbuli affirmed Adeleke as the winner of the poll.

Displeased, Adeleke and the PDP headed for the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal heard the appeal on March 13 and reserved its judgment.

But the court of Appeal on Friday set aside the tribunal judgement.

Meanwhile, the court proceeded on five minutes break and will deliver its final judgement after it reconvenes.

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Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has called on Muslims in Nigeria and the world to use the holy month of Ramadan to seek spiritual guidance and sacrifice for the cause of peace.

Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate in the just concluded elections, gave the advice in a statement personally issued by him on Thursday in Abuja.

Abubakar, who welcome the Muslim faithful in Nigeria and across the globe to the year 2023 month of Ramadan, said the basic tenets of the holy month were about sacrifice and devotion in worship to God.

He said that for Nigerians, the fasting month at a critical time in the country and for individuals and as a people.

Abubakar said the month of Ramadan had come to all as a blessing from the Almighty with an opportunity for people to wash away their worries, doubts, and hopelessness.

“It Is quite clear that the essential principles of this holy month are what is needed to heal our wounds, both as individuals and as a country.

“First is the importance of sacrifice not just to our families and the people around us but to the cause of peace.

“Secondly, is the requirement of piety from us all in the worship of God.

“I, therefore, enjoin all Muslims in Nigeria and the world over to use the benefits of this holy month of Ramadan to seek spiritual guidance, as I wish us a happy Ramadan fasting,” Abubakar said.

He prayed God to count citizens’ sacrifices in this holy month as acts of worship. (NAN)

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A National Youth Corps member, Jamiu Aremu, who was part of the ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Lagos State, has lamented over the brutality he suffered at the hands of voters protesting against the failure of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System to upload results during the governorship and state House of Assembly elections in the state.

Aremu, while narrating his ordeal to PUNCH Metro, said the encounter left him with swollen and bruised lips and bloodied eyes, among others.

It was learnt that Aremu, alongside other INEC ad hoc staff, were attending to votes at Polling Unit 082 in the Okota area of the state when they experienced difficulties in using the BVAS machine to upload the results.

In a bid to ensure transparency in the electoral process, the corps member said he asked party agents at the polling unit to follow him to the INEC office where he could get an alternative means to upload the results.

Noting that the party agents did not oppose the suggestion, Aremu said the voters protested against the suggestion and accused him of attempting to use the claim on the faulty BVAS to manipulate the outcome of the results.

He, however, noted that the angry voters descended on him as he and his colleagues attempted to leave the polling unit for the INEC office.

Aremu said, “At the end of the voting, I calculated the votes and I gave the party agents their copies of the result. The situation then became tense when we wanted to start uploading the results. I don’t know what happened to the BVAS machine, but it was complaining about the camera quality.

“This happened around 9pm and I assumed that it was because it was dark. So, I told them I could not upload the results and suggested that the agents should follow me to our centre so that we can get it done over there.

“Immediately I made the announcement, I left with my two other colleagues to join the bus. My colleagues thought I had joined the other bus but some of the voters cornered me and insisted that I must upload the result. I tried to call the military officers that accompanied us but they could not hear me as they also left with the buses.

“At that point, some people started slapping me; they collected my two phones and prevented me from calling for help. They also accused me of collecting N13m to claim that the machine was faulty.”

Aremu said the angry voter took him to a dark spot away from the polling unit to brutalise him, adding that it took the intervention of some policemen who stormed the premises to rescue him from the mob.

He added, “When the policemen arrived, they fired two shots and the people dispersed. That was how they were able to rescue me. It was not too long before the military men also came and that was how the police handed me over to them. They were the ones that took me to the INEC office in Oshodi Local Government secretariat.

“When I got there, I was told to go and treat myself and bring the medical bill. My face was swollen with a bloodied eye. I could not sleep that night as my body was aching. The following day, I went to a private hospital to treat myself but the INEC officials told me to get myself treated in a government hospital. When I eventually got there, I was told to get a police report which I did yesterday.”

The spokesperson for INEC in the state, Nike Oriowo, said the case was reported to the commission.

She said, “The Electoral Officer in Oshodi/Isolo Local Government said the corps member was attended to and given rendered support. She also informed him to come to the office on Friday.

“We told our officers during a meeting on Wednesday to look into the wellbeing of the corps members that were involved in the exercise. We will not allow any one of them who were maltreated to be left unattended. According to the electoral officer, the police have started investigating the incident.”

However, the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, could not be reached for comment as calls made to his number were not answered.

He had yet to reply to a text message sent to his mobile number as of the time of filing this report.

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