The election in Abia South was referred to as the "worst form of travesty" by the electoral umpire, according to Chinedu Onyeizu.
On Monday, Chinedu Onyeizu, the Labour Party's (LP) candidate for the Abia South Senatorial District in the recently-concluded National Assembly elections, requested that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) rerun the election in over 100 polling places in the district where, in his opinion, voting did not take place.
Onyeizu further alleged that Prof Georgina Ugwuanyi, the election's returning officer, had declared Enyinnaya Abaribe, the district's sitting senator, the winner of the election after receiving instructions from Abuja. This, according to the LP candidate, happened right after the returning officer declared the election to be unreliable.
Abaribe, who served as Abia State's deputy governor from 1999 to 2003, is thought to be one of the National Assembly's landlords; he has been the red chamber's representative for Abia South since 2007.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) received 28,422 votes, placing second to Abaribe of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), who received 49,693 votes overall to defeat Onyeizu, who received 43,903 votes.
The LP candidate, on the other hand, claimed on Monday that the electoral umpire had committed the "worst form of travesty" in the Abia South election.
Onyeizu stated on Channels Television's Sunrise Daily breakfast program, "We are looking at a scenario where I won my election as the candidate of the Labour Party in Abia South and then on Tuesday, when the election results were just being tallied, the INEC Returning Officer for Abia South Senatorial Zone declared the election inconclusive because over 108 polling units in my stronghold did not experience any form of election.
"Every collation officer agreed with INEC's stance. Only for her (Ugwuanyi) to return after five hours bearing more than five trucks packed with soldiers and mobile police to declare a victor. On this, we have videos.
"She claimed in a video that she had received orders from Abuja telling her to go back to the zonal collation office and declare Senator Abaribe the winner of a close election.
"We want to know what changed after she declared the election inconclusive for five hours."
The LP candidate claimed that the returning officer deprived over 40,000 registered voters who were expected to cast ballots in more than 108 polling places in his strongholds of their right to vote.
"As a candidate, I condemn these statements, and I'm pleading with INEC and INEC Chairman Professor (Mahmood) Yakubu to act morally. No directive from Abuja may override the Election Act's crystal-clear constitutional requirements.
You don't suddenly wake up and call one of the candidates the winner if the margin between the announced winner and the first runner-up is smaller than the entire number of registered voters with PVCs, he said.
At places like Aba North and Aba South where people have gathered their PVCs and are prepared to cast ballots, he asked a rerun. "I'm requesting a rerun or the holding of supplemental elections in certain regions so that we can all have a clear explanation on who wins," he added.
According to Onyeizu, results from polling units have already been compiled and will be presented before the tribunal.
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