INEC Declares Ihedioha Winner of Imo Guber Poll

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the governorship election in Imo state.

Francis Otunta, returning officer for the election, said Ihedioha polled 273,404 to beat his closest rival, Uche Nwosu of the Action Alliance who polled 190,364.

Nwosu has rejected the results, arguing that there ought to be a rerun because the PDP candidate “did not meet the constitutional requirements”.

Ihedioha, the Imo governor-elect, was deputy speaker of the House of Representatives between 2011 and 2015. He had contested against Rochas Okorocha in 2015 but lost the election.

Okorocha had tipped Nwosu, his son-in-law, to succeed him despite strong opposition, and backed his decision to decamp to the AA when he lost the gubernatorial ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The gubernatorial result comes as more blow for Okorocha, whose name was deleted from the list of elected senators by INEC over claims the returning officer, Innocent Ibeabuchi, was forced to declare him winner.

Prof Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of INEC, had kicked against this, saying the commission would not issue certificates of return to those announced as winners in areas where electoral officials were forced to declare results.

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