INEC declares Ododo winner of Kogi poll

THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Usman Ododo, winner of the governorship election held in the state on Saturday, November 11.

Ododo, a former auditor-general of local governments in the state in the administration of the incumbent Governor Yahaya Bello defeated the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dino Melaye, and his Social Democratic Party (SDP) counterpart, Murtala Ajaka, by a wide margin.

He polled 446,237 votes, Ajaka won 259,052, and Melaye garnered 46,362 votes.

#KogiDecides2023: Collation of results to commence at 10 a.m.

Imo Guber Poll: Uzodimma clears all 27 LGAs

Bayelsa poll: Collation adjourned for three hours

Eighteen candidates participated in the exercise.

The INEC, through its returning officer in the state, Johnson Urama, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, declared Ododo the poll winner Sunday night.

Ododo’s victory came amidst the expectation that elections would be held in parts of the state where the INEC suspended election because of malpractices.

Both Melaye and Ajaka rejected the election and called for its cancellation while it was ongoing on Saturday.

The INEC confirmed the malpractices and ordered fresh elections in the affected locations on Saturday, November 18.

However, the commission said the fresh election was subject to the returning officer’s decision on applying the Margin of Lead Principle, which implies that if the margin of lead in the election is more than the number of registered voters in the polling units where the election is yet to hold, the returning officer could declare the candidate with the highest votes the winner.

With Ododo’s declaration as the winner, the election will no longer take place.



    Bello’s tenure expires on January 26, 2024, when Ododo is expected to take the oath of office.

    The election in Kogi is one of the three off-cycle governorship polls held today.

    The other two states having the election are Imo and Bayelsa.

    The ICIR reported Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello boasting after casting his vote in his hometown of Okenne that his party’s candidate, Ododo, would win the election.


    Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's The ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022 and has been the organisation's News Editor since September 2022. Contact him via email @ [email protected].

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