PDP’s Mao Ohuabunwa wins Abia North Senatorial election

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Sunday declared Mao Ohuabunwa of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, winner of Saturday’s re-run election in Abia North Senatorial District.

The Returning Officer of INEC, Ojike Nwankpa, said Mr. Ohuabunwa polled 26,009 votes to defeat candidates of the Progressive Peoples Alliance and All Progressives Grand Alliance, Orji Kalu and Bourdex Onuoha, who polled 25,814 votes and 13,633 votes respectively.

The candidates of the All Progressives Congress and Labour Party, Nwanna Okoro, and Oji Nwachukwu, polled 976 votes and 147 votes, respectively.

Mr. Nwankpa, who announced the result on Sunday, declared Mr. Ohuabunwa the winner for polling the highest number of lawful votes cast.

Mr. Nwankpa had at the end of collation of results on Saturday night declared the election inconclusive.

The Head, Education and Publicity of INEC in the state, Edwin Enabor, said “the returning officer erroneously declared the re-run election inconclusive.

“This was wrong. In a re-run election, a winner must emerge by simple majority.

“The margin of lead vis-a-vis the number of registered voters does not arise in a re-run election”, Mr. Enabor said.

The National and House of Assembly Tribunal in Umuahia had affirmed Ohuabunwa’s election.

But the Court of Appeal, sitting in Owerri, reversed the judgment and ordered a re-run election in Abia North Senatorial District.

Meanwhile, the state Chairman of APGA, Augustine Ehiemere, has described the result as a sham, saying that “it`s all fraud and unacceptable to us.”

Mr. Ehiemere said in a telephone interview that “PDP is in control of the instrument of power and the local government councils where election results are manipulated.”

The PDP state Chairman, Emma Nwaka, however, expressed delight over the result of the re-run election.

He said the result had affirmed Mr. Ohuabunwa’s victory in the March 28, 2015 general elections.

Mr. Nwaka faulted the returning officer for initially declaring the election inconclusive, saying that one could not have an inconclusive election in a re-run election.

Results of re-run election for House of Assembly in Aba North, Arochukwu, Ikwuano, Isialangwa South, Osisioma, Umuahia South and Umunneochi state constituencies are being awaited.