By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—Member representing Orlu/Oru East and Oguta federal constituency, Chief Jerry Alagboso was yesterday, announced winner of the February 23 National Assembly election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Announcing the result, the Returning Officer, RO, Professor Innocent Chimezie Madufor said that Alagboso of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, scored a total of 21,223 votes to beat his closest rival, Edwin Okechukwu Ihenacho of All Progressives Congress, APC, who scored 20,051,
“Jerry Alagboso of the PDP, having satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected”, Professor Madufor said.
Speaking to journalists after the announcement, Chief Alagboso expressed gratitude to God that his mandate was eventually restored.
“I am very grateful to God. When you go to war and win, you must be very happy. I believed early enough that justice must be done to any problem we have in Imo State as far as election is concerned.”
He recalled that on February 23 when collation of results was going on at Orlu, some overzealous aides of the governor and those he called “hop-step and jump politicians”, decided to overwhelm the RO.”
According to Alagboso, the RO, out of palpable fear, was overwhelmed into taking some decisions which he would not have taken. he has taken his current stand out of the new realities of facts
“There is every reason to believe that the RO has taken his current stand after carefully studying the facts and realities. I am happy that at the end of the day, justice has been done to the ele.
ctorate, who came out and voted massively for me, as a candidate of PDP extraction”, Alagboso said.
In his opening speech, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Professor Francis Ezeonu, recalled that although INEC had brand the poll as “inconclusive”, we had to revisit our books.
According to the REC, after checking the results from the polling units, INEC realized that some of the units cancelled, actually had results.
“The reasons adduced for the cancellation of results in polling units, was the non-use of the card reader. On a closer examination of the results from the polling units, up form 8D, we realized that some of the polling units that were said to be cancelled, actuality had results”, the REC said.
After taking some time to properly tutor the contestants and party faithful, who were present, Professor Ezeonu said that “it is therefore assumed in this instance that all the cancelled results, due to manual accreditation, scored zero”, adding that the Returning Officer was not well guided and that was responsible for the error.
“We have therefore invited you this morning to enable the Returning Officer to conclude his job”, Ezeonu said.