Governorship poll: Imo Youth Council petitions Ag. CJN over Ihedioha’s victory

THE Imo Youth Council (IYC) has submitted a petition to Ibrahim Tanko, the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) over the declaration of Emeka Ihedioha of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the March 9  governorship election in the state.

INEC had declared Ihedioha of the PDP the winner  having secured a total of 273,404 votes.

Ihedioha will be among other govrnors-elect to receive certificate of returns on March 27.

Following Ihedioha in the poll result was Uche Nwosu of the Action Alliance (AA) who had  190,364 votes while Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress had  a total of 96,458 votes.

According to the petition signed by the President of the group, Ikechukwu Obiora and the Speaker, Samuel Chukwubukem, the Imo youths group noted that the declaration of Ihedioha as the winner was a clear violation of the constitution.

This the youths said the decision  should be reversed before it “escalated into a full blown constitutional crsisi” in the state.

The acting CJN was urgd to influence INEC towards respecting the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution that apply to the emergence of a winner in a governorship election.

The Imo youths council alleged that the electoral commission violated the constitution when it declared the PDP candidate as the governor-elect.

“The statistics of the result of the governorship election showed that the PDP candidate did not score the percentage of vote required to be declared as governor-elect.,”

“We, the youths of Imo state and other well- meaning Imolites have observed with grave concern, the flagrant disregard of the Nigerian Constitution by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the governorship election of Imo State,” the petition read in part.

“We are therefore as Concerned Youths of Imo State soliciting your intervention to prevail on INEC to withdraw the purported declaration and order a fresh election to avoid impending Constitutional crisis”.

In respect to this, the youth group is demanding that a second election need to be conducted in Imo State.

The petitioners quoted section 179, subsection 2, of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution which stipulated the parameter for determining the winner of a governorship election of two or more candidates.

    “A candidate for an election to the office of Governor of a State shall be deemed to have been duly elected where he has the highest number of votes cast at the election; and he has not less than one-quarter of all the votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of all the local government areas in the State.”

    In default to these stipulations the law says there would be another election.

    The incumbent governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha, said on March 9 that the PDP candidate had “only met the requirement in nine Local Governments”  of the 27 LG in the state.

    He insisted that Ihedioha is supposed to have had one-quarter of all the votes cast in at least 18 LG against the nine he got.

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