© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Imo governorship election: Over voting trails result of 388 polling units where APC claimed victory
VOTES cast presented by the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the 388 polling units, where the party claimed its results were not collated in the Imo governorship election, is trailed with over voting and questionable figures, The ICIR can report.
After the Supreme Court sacked Emeka Ihedioha of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the PDP and its candidate had approached the apex court to review the ruling it gave last month. However, the APC and its candidate are circulating contentious results from the 388 polling units where they alleged that their votes were not collated.
An analysis of votes from the 388 polling units exclusively obtained by The ICIR shows that the number of votes allotted to the APC in 215 polling units is higher than the number of permanent voter cards (PVCs) collected in the designated polling units by 15,167 votes.
The Supreme Court had through a seven-man panel led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Mohammed on January 14 sacked Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the governor of Imo state and declared the candidate of the All Progressive Party (APC), Senator Hope Uzodinma as the duly elected governor of Imo state.
The analysis of result from the 388 polling units claimed by the APC further shows that in 222 of the polling units, the votes allotted to both APC and PDP is higher than the number of PVCs collected in the designated polling units. In one polling unit, Umualum Vill. Sq. Eziama, the number of votes allotted to the APC is higher than the total number of registered voters in the polling unit.
Also in three polling units: L.A. Sch. Obudi II, Central Assembly Squar Umushim II, and Umuhieofo Town Hall, the number of votes recorded for APC and PDP are higher than the number of registered voters.
Interestingly, analysis from the results further shows that except for the APC and PDP no other political party out of the remaining 69 political parties that were on the ballot paper including Action Alliance (AA) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) earned any vote in the contentious 388 polling units.
Many Nigerians have questioned the rationale of the judgement of the apex court to sack Ihedioha. A human rights lawyer, Abdul Mahmud said the election held on March 9, 2019, was pervaded by electoral malpractices in favour of the candidate of APC, Uzodinma.
“2019 Imo governorship poll was rigged by security forces and thugs in 388 PUs in favour of APC,” he said on his social media handle.
He added that PDP failed to defend its case at the Supreme Court while it relied on the judgement of the court of appeal and the state electoral tribunal.
He justified the Supreme Court’s verdict on the basis that PDP did not challenge the evidence provided by the APC.
“Did the Supreme Court do the right thing? Law is a strange being, guided by rules of evidence: on the basis of the unchallenged evidence of the APC, the Court acted right,” Mahmud added.
Another human right activist, Chidi Odinkalu said the result claimed by the APC was strewn with mathematical and electoral impossibility, which the Supreme Court chose to accept and believe.
“In Umualum Village Square Unit in Eziama Okpala, for instance, in which there were only 462 registered voters, Uzodinmma claimed that he scored 819 votes, while Ihedioha had seven, which would have been a turnout of at least 178.57 per cent.
“In Central Assembly Square, Umuasa in Obudi/Oro Ward, where there were only 449 registered voters, Uzodinmma claimed 780 votes, with four votes for Ihedioha, reporting a turnout of 174.61 per cent. In another unit in a primary school in the same ward, with 591 registered voters, Uzodinma claimed 586 votes, with nine allotted to Ihedioha, a total of 595 votes, or 100.01 per cent.
“In several polling units where the INEC certified that there was no election or that voting had been cancelled due to violence, Uzodinmma produced his own results with humongous turnouts and over 95% of the votes allocated to him,” Odinkalu said.