Charles Soludo Wins Anambra Governorship Election

Professor Soludo was the APGA candidate in the election.

 

Professor Charles Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has swept to victory in the Anambra governorship elections, winning 19 of the 21 local government areas of the state.

“That Charles Chukwuma Soludo of APGA, having satisfied the requirements of the law is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected,” said the Independent National Electoral Commission’s Chief Returning Officer for the poll, Professor Florence Obi, in announcing the outcome on Wednesday morning.

Candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (Mr Valentine Ozigbo) and Young Progressives Party (Senator Ifeanyi Ubah) each won a local government.

But the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Andy Uba, was unable to win any local government in the election.

Soludo, 61, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, secured 112,229 votes, twice more than his closes rival – PDP’s Ozigbo to be returned as winner of the election.

Ozigbo had 53,807 votes while the other two frontline contenders – Uba and Ubah scored 43,285 and 21,261 votes respectively.


VIDEO


Breakdown of votes by the four frontline parties according to LGAs

S/NLGAAPCAPGAPDPYPPREMARK
1AGUATA4,7739,1363,7981,070APGA
2ANAMBRA EAST2,0349,7461,380559APGA
3ANAMBRA WEST1,2331,9181,401357APGA
4ANAOCHA2,0856,9115,108868APGA
5AWKA NORTH7551,908840381APGA
6AWKA SOUTH2,59512,8915,498919APGA
7AYAMELUM2,4093,4242,804407APGA
8DUNUKOFIA1,9914,1241,6801,360APGA
9EKWUSIGO1,2372,5701,857727APGA
10IDEMILI NORTH2,2915,3582,312902APGA
11IDEMILI SOUTH1,0392,3122,016752APGA
12IHIALA3438,2832,485344APGA
13NJIKOKA3,2168,8033,409924APGA
14NNEWI NORTH1,2783,3691,5116,485YPP
15NNEWI SOUTH1,3073,2432,2261,327APGA
16OGBARU1,1783,0513,445484PDP
17ONITSHA NORTH3,9095,5873,781682APGA
18ONITSHA SOUTH2,0504,2812,253271APGA
19ORUMBA NORTH2,6724,7871,847655APGA
20ORUMBA SOUTH2,0604,3941,672887APGA
21OYI2,8306,1332,484900APGA
TOTAL21 LGAs43,285112,22953,80721,261APGA
Total Registered Voters2,466,638
Total Accredited Voters253,388
Total Valid Votes241,523
Total Rejected Votes8,108
Total Votes Cast249,631

No Retreat

Soludo’s victory comes on the heels of a toughly contested election that spilled into a supplementary poll over security concerns in one of the 21 local government areas – Ihiala.

[READ ALSO] Charles Soludo: 9 Key Things To Know About Anambra’s Governor-Elect

As the usual practice, election results were trickling in a day after the election and those from 20 local government areas were collated, except Ihiala.

Party agents, reporters, and observers, among others, had waited until the early hours of the third day (Monday) for a winner to be declared before events took a different turn.

Rather than declaring a winner, Professor Obi announced the suspension of the collation exercise despite announcing the total votes scored by the contenders in the 20 LGAs collated so far.

She went on to announce that a supplementary election should be conducted in the 326 polling units across Ihiala, saying this was in line with the provisions of the Constitution.


Breakdown of votes by all 18 political parties

 

S/NPARTYVOTES
1A2,054
2AA83
3AAC588
4ADC324
5ADP773
6APC43,285
7APGA112,229 (WINNER)
8APM301
9APP139
10BP186
11LP2,802
12NNPP117
13NRM213
14PDP53,807
15PRP437
16SDP842
17YPP21,261
18ZLP2,082
Total Registered Voters2,466,638
Total Accredited Voters253,388
Total Valid Votes241,523
Total Rejected Votes8,108
Total Votes Cast249,631

The former banker was elected as the next Chief Executive of Anambra on his second race to govern the state. He first contested in 2009 on the platform of the PDP.

The build-up to the election was characterised by serious campaigning in an atmosphere filled with security concerns and uncertainty.

Amid these concerns, the Federal Government considered declaring a state of emergency in the state to ensure the poll would proceed as scheduled.

It took the deployment of some 43,000 police officers and hundreds of other security agents, including soldiers for the election to be held.

A police officer wields a gun at a polling unit on November 6, 2021. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television
A policeman wields a gun at a polling unit on November 6, 2021. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

Soludo’s victory means he will be succeeding Willie Obiano who is in the final months of his second term and that APGA will be retaining power in the state, which it has governed since 2006.

Threats Defied

After weeks of uncertainty and mounting tension, the election held peacefully as the electorate went to their respective polling units to vote for the candidates of their choice, defying security threats.

Observers monitoring the election, however, reported incidents of vote-buying and failure of accreditation devices – Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), among others.

The device failure was also experienced at the governor-elect’s polling unit in Aguata Local Government where he waited for over five hours before he could vote.

A combination of photos capturing the election at different polling units. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

This initially sparked tension at the polling station as just one person out of the 717 registered voters was able to vote, about one and half hours into the election.

Elsewhere, the other frontline candidates voted without any glitch recorded.

Uneasy Quest

In events that led to the election, it was an uneasy quest for Soludo in his journey to succeed Obiano as the next governor of the state.

Following a series of drama accompanied by the crisis within APGA and conflicting judgements resulting from the party’s primary, INEC finally recognised Soludo as APGA candidate and Ibezim Onyekachukwu Gilbert as his running mate on August 19.

This followed a judgement of the Court of Appeal in Kano which set aside the judgement of the Jigawa State High Court on the party’s leadership and nomination of candidates.

More than a month later, APGA officially flagged off its campaign for the election, and Soludo was presented the party’s flag to officially recognise him as its candidate – bringing an end to all disputes relating to the party’s candidacy.


Watch the presentation of Soludo as APGA’s flagbearer below

 


At the event held six weeks before the election, Soludo began his acceptance speech with a song titled ‘Who Can Battle With The Lord?’ after which he thanked the party leaders and members for their support all through the events that led to his emergence as the party’s candidate.

“The next thing that should happen in Anambra will be to consolidate the wonderful works that are ongoing, especially under the 16 years of APGA in Anambra State,” he promised.

INEC Suspends Collation Of Results For Anambra Governorship Election

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the collation of results for the Anambra State governorship election.

INEC’s Chief Returning Officer for the election, Professor Florence Obi, announced this on Monday at the commission’s head office in Awka.

Party agents, reporters, and observers among others had waited until about 12:15am for the declaration of a winner before events took a different turn as a result of Professor Obi’s announcement.

“We have collated results from 20 out of 21 local government areas,” said the chief returning officer who doubles as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar in Cross River State.

Rather than declaring the winner of the election after announcing the total votes scored by the participating parties, Professor Obi said a declaration would only be made after a supplementary election was conducted in the remaining local government – Ihiala.

She added, “The outstanding results are for Ihiala Local Government Area where for various reasons, the commission could not deploy materials yesterday (Saturday).

“Consequently, based on Constitutional considerations and provisions of the Electoral Act, as well as revised regulations and guidelines for the conduct of election issued by the commission, a supplementary election is indicated for Ihiala Local Government Area.”

The Returning Officer for the Anambra State governorship election, Professor Florence Obi, and others in Awka on November 7, 2021.

 

She, therefore, announced that a supplementary election would be conducted in the 326 polling units across Ihiala on Tuesday, November 9.

Ihiala is the only one of Anambra’s 21 LGAs where elections could not hold.

“Clause 47 of the Revised Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of elections provides that supplementary elections shall be conducted where the commission due to logistic challenges is unable to deploy on Election Day,” Professor Obi said.

“Given the foregoing, it becomes imperative to bring Ihiala Local Government Area at par with the other 20 local government areas in this election before we can make a valid declaration in this election or take any further action based on the extant laws.

“Therefore, I, Professor Florence Banku Obi, in my capacity as Returning Officer for this election, hereby announce the suspension of the process of collation of results and declaration of a winner until a supplementary election is held in the 326 polling units in Ihiala Local Government Area of the state.

“I have conferred with the commission, being the body that fixes the date for the election, and the commission has decided that the supplementary election will take place on Tuesday, 9th November 2021. Therefore, the collation of results shall resume thereafter.”

She appealed to party agents and the people of the state to support INEC during the supplementary election to ensure that the election “is brought to a satisfactory conclusion, for the good of the people of Anambra State, the people of Nigeria, and to the Glory of God”.

Results were announced for all other LGAs with the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Charles Soludo, winning in 18 of the 20 LGAs for which results were declared.

Similarly, candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Valentine Ozigbo, and Young Progressives Party (YPP), Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, each won a local government.

But the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Andy Uba, was unable to win any local government in the election.

See the breakdown of the results announced so far before collation was suspended:

 

S/NLGAAPCAPGAPDPYPPREMARK
1AGUATA4,7739,1363,7981,070APGA
2ANAMBRA EAST2,0349,7461,380559APGA
3ANAMBRA WEST1,2331,9181,401357APGA
4ANAOCHA2,0856,9115,108868APGA
5AWKA NORTH7551,908840381APGA
6AWKA SOUTH2,59512,8915,498919APGA
7AYAMELUM2,4093,4242,804407APGA
8DUNUKOFIA1,9914,1241,6801,360APGA
9EKWUSIGO1,2372,5701,857727APGA
10IDEMILI NORTH2,2915,3582,312902APGA
11IDEMILI SOUTH1,0392,3122,016752APGA
12IHIALANo ElectionNo ElectionNo ElectionNo ElectionNo Election
13NJIKOKA3,2168,8033,409924APGA
14NNEWI NORTH1,2783,3691,5116,485YPP
15NNEWI SOUTH1,3073,2432,2261,327APGA
16OGBARU1,1783,0513,445484PDP
17ONITSHA NORTH3,9095,5873,781682APGA
18ONITSHA SOUTH2,0504,2812,253271APGA
19ORUMBA NORTH2,6724,7871,847655APGA
20ORUMBA SOUTH2,0604,3941,672887APGA
21OYI2,8306,1332,484900APGA
TOTAL42,942103,94651,32220,917
Total Valid Votes229,521
Total Rejected Votes7,841
Total Votes Cast237,362

Anambra Governorship Election In Photos

A combination of photos capturing the election at different polling units. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

On November 6, thousands of electorate in Anambra trooped to their various polling units to elect their preferred candidate to succeed Mr Willie Obiano as the governor of the state.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced that voting in the election would commence by 8:30am and end by 2:30pm.

Hours into the poll, the electoral umpire extended the time to conclude voting as a result of a failure of the accreditation devices – Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), in some polling units.

Amid the sorting and counting of ballots in many polling stations, the election will continue at other units where hitches were recorded.

While some polling units welcomed large crowds who came to exercise their civic responsibility, others witnessed a low turnout of voters.

Highlights of the poll in various parts of the state are captured in the pictures below:


Election Eve

LIVE UPDATES: Anambra Governorship Election – 18 Candidates In Race To Succeed Obiano

 

It’s election day in Anambra State.

Welcome to our live coverage of the poll which will determine who succeeds Governor Willie Obiano as the leader of the state.

Eighteen political parties and candidates are in the governorship race and voting is expected to take place across more than 5,000 polling units spread across the 21 local governments of the state.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said ahead of the election that there are 2.5 million registered voters and 5,720 polling units in the state but there will be no voting in 86 of them because there are no registered voters there.

Channels TV is on the ground in the state to bring you updates as the election progresses.

You can catch the latest updates by refreshing this page. You can also watch our live coverage on TV via DSTV – Channel 420, or in the UK on Sky channel 518. You can also follow the coverage on our livestreams on YouTube or Facebook.


That’s all for today, don’t forget to join us tomorrow for more updates on the election. Thank you.

CLICK HERE FOR FRESH UPDATES ON THE ELECTION…


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5:28 pm: Soludo finally votes after over five hours

Charles Soludo casts his vote on November 6, 2021.
Mr Soludo is the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the election.

VIDEOS: Reactions Trail Election


4:15 pm: Andy Uba Wins Polling Unit

APC governorship candidate, Senator Andy Uba, has won the election held at Ward 16 Polling Unit 17 in Uga, Aguata LGA, where he voted.

Uba polled 80 votes, while Professor Charles Soludo (APGA), Senator Ifeanyi Ubah (YPP), and Mr Valentine Ozigbo (PDP) scored 10 five, and two votes respectively at the polling centre.

Mr Andy Uba, a Candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the 2021 Anambra governorship election, cast his vote on November 6, 2021.
Senator Uba is the APC candidate in the election.

4:04 pm: Voting ends at the polling unit in Umudim Ward 1, Nnewi North LGA. Electoral officials have begun to sort the ballot papers.

Electorate look watch electoral officials sort the ballot papers after voting ended at this polling unit.

3:50 pm: Voting ends at Senator Andy Uba’s polling unit, sorting and counting have begun.

Officials are sorting and counting the ballot papers after voting ended at this polling unit.

NEWS FLASH: INEC Extends Voting Time Over Failure Of Devices

Update on #AnambraDecides2021

TEXT OF A PRESS STATEMENT BY THE RESIDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER, ANAMBRA STATE ON OPENING AND CLOSING OF POLLS FOR THE ANAMBRA STATE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION, SATURDAY 6TH NOVEMBER 2021*

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the period for opening and closing of Poll from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. This revised closing time applies to areas where Polling Units opened after the commencement period of 8:30 am.

In line with existing regulations and guidelines of the Commission, any intending voter who is on the queue by 4:00 pm shall be allowed to vote. All Polling Unit staff must comply with this directive.

The extension of time arose out of several field reports that voters have had problems with accreditation. The Commission is currently investigating the reason the accreditation devices, Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), have worked perfectly in some Polling Units, but not in others.

In some of the cases, it would seem that this resulted from software glitches. Our technicians have already built an update to the devise software to prevent further challenges. The update is currently being installed in the concerned BVAS and we request voters, candidates, and agents to be patient and allow our technical staff to solve the problem.

The Commission wishes to reiterate that in cases of sustained malfunction of the BVAS, the Presiding Officer must inform the voters and polling agents that accreditation and voting for the affected Polling Unit shall continue tomorrow or at another time determined by the Commission.

With this extension of time and the recommencement of accreditation where the BVAS consistently malfunctions, the Commission assures that no voter will be disenfranchised.

Our deployment has also been adversely affected by transportation challenges in some locations. It must be noted that on account of security concerns, some of the transporters that were mobilized and collected 50% of their sign-on fee backed out at the last moment, leaving some of our ad-hoc staff stranded.

Also, some of the trained ad-hoc staff backed out at the last moment. The Commission is on top of these challenges and extant regulations and guidelines will be applied on a case-by-case basis.

Consequently, we are harvesting areas where voting will realistically no longer take place today, including places where substantial disruption has occurred, to enable a possible recommencement of voting at another time, in line with extant laws and the regulations and guidelines of the Commission.

We appeal to all voters, candidates, stakeholders communities, and political parties to remain calm and law-abiding. We assure you that the Commission is determined to make all votes count.

Thank you.


 

3:40 pm: Voting has ended, and counting is ongoing at the polling unit at the Community Primary School in Amawbia, Awka.

3:12 pm: Only 27 people out of the 717 registered voters at Professor Charles Soludo’s polling centre – Isuofia Ward, Polling Unit 002 – have cast their ballots.

Amid the anger and frustration triggered by the failure of the accreditation device, the governorship candidate who is yet to cast his vote says it makes no sense to vote when his crowd of supporters have yet to vote.

Professor Charles Soludo at his polling unit.

2:21 pm: Voting is still ongoing with a large turnout of voters at polling units 001, 002, 003, 004, and 020 at Otolo Ward 2, Umuenem Hall in Nnewi North LGA.

The electorate want INEC to extend the voting time as a result of the delay in the commencement of the exercise and the malfunctioning of the BVR machine.

A crowd of voters at the polling units.

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Security Highlight

The election is ongoing amid tight security as personnel of the police, Nigerian Army, and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), among others, patrol various parts of the state.

No case of violence has been reported so far.


12:57 pm: Professor Charles Soludo is already at his polling unit. He expresses disappointment over the technical issue of the bimodal verification device. However, the governorship candidate is hopeful that the situation will improve.

Professor Charles Soludo at his polling unit.

12:46 pm: Obiano Votes In Aguleri, Urges Electorate To Come Out

Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, is among the first voters to cast their ballots in the ongoing governorship election in the state.

He was accompanied by his wife, Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano, to the Ward 4 Polling Unit in Otuocha where the couple went through a rapid accreditation process before casting their votes.

Governor Obiano and his wife at their polling unit.

 

Addressing reporters shortly after casting his vote, Governor Obiano appealed to the people of the state to come out and perform their civic duties, saying that the voting exercise would only last for a few hours.

He commended the voting process, describing it as fast and easy. The governor is also optimistic that the entire exercise will be free, fair, and credible across the state.


Special Moment

A physically challenged woman, Catherine Egbuche, is one of the voters at the Community Primary School, Amawbia, Awka.

Catherine, 70, said she came out to vote for her preferred candidate even though she has yet to receive her gratuity as a pensioner.


12:25 pm: Mr Valentine Ozigbo, a candidate in the election, has just voted at Polling Unit 10 located at Social Centre in Amesi Ward, Agauta LGA.

Another governorship candidate, Valentine Ozigbo, votes in Aguata LGA.

12:15 pm: Senator Andy Uba casts his ballot after being accredited to vote at his polling unit in Ugah, Aguata LGA.

Senator Andy Uba casts his vote.

11:59 am: One of the governorship candidates in the election, Ifeanyi Ubah, casts his vote at Polling Unit 20 Otolo Ward 1, Nnofor Hall in Nnewi South LGA.

He says he is satisfied with the turnout of voters who trooped out en masse to exercise their civic franchise.

Senator Ifeanyi Uba is pleased with the process so far.

11:38 am: At the polling unit 005 located on the premises of the Central School in Isuofia, the turnout is impressive, and voters are desirous to cast their votes.

But the digital capturing device is having a problem and only one person has been able to vote in the election.

A crowd of voters at the polling unit.

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10:58 am: The problem with the bimodal verification device is resolved at Unit 2, Umueze Isuofia in Aguata LGA. Concession is given to the elderly and pregnant women.

10:42 am: Voting is ongoing at the polling unit of Senator Andy Uba in Ugah, Aguata LGA.

A man is about to cast his vote at the polling unit.

10:34 am: Accreditation and voting are ongoing at polling units 10,11,12,13 and 15 located at the Social Center in Amuwo village, Amesi in Aguata LGA. Mr Valentine Ozigbo is expected to vote at one of the polling units.

An elderly man casts his vote at one of the polling units.

10:12 am: At Unit 2, Umueze Isuofia in Aguata LGA, there’s been a problem with the bimodal verification device as the major functions of the device are not working.

These include thumbprint recognition and facial capturing. As of 9:56am, only one of the 717 people registered has been captured and was able to vote. Voters are becoming restless, saying they are already losing confidence in the process.

A crowd of stranded voters at the polling centre.

10:01 am: Electoral officials have just arrived at the polling unit of Senator Andy Uba in Ugah, Aguata LGA.

Electoral officials getting prepared for the exercise.

9:58 am: Electoral officials have just arrived at Otolo Ward 2, Nnofor Hall, Nnewi North LGA. This polling centre is where Senator Ifeanyi Ubah is expected to vote.

Electoral officials getting prepared for the exercise at Otolo Ward 2, Nnofor Hall, Nnewi North LGA.

9:54 am: Voters at the polling unit of Senator Andy Uba in Ugah, Aguata LGA, are still awaiting the arrival of the electoral officials.

However, this man, a civil servant, says he has nothing to worry about as that has always been the situation in the past.

This man says the situation is similar to what happened in past elections.

9:50 am: Accreditation and voting have yet to commence at Otolo Ward 2, Umuenem Hall in Nnewi LGA as electoral officials have just arrived at the polling centre.

According to them, the late arrival is due to the delay in the distribution of materials from the RAC centre at Nnewi High school.

Electoral officials have just arrived at the venue of the election.

9:40 am: The Nnobi Road in Nnewi is deserted as residents remain indoors. There is no vehicular movement, and nobody is seen walking on the road.

A screenshot of a deserted Nnobi Road.

9:34 am: The first vote is cast at Unit 2, Umueze Isuofia in Aguata LGA.

The first voter is accredited before casting his ballot at this polling unit.

9:30 am: Professor Charles Soludo is expected to vote at Unit 2, Umueze Isuofia in Aguata LGA. While electorates trooped in early enough, electoral materials arrived at the venue at about 8:40 am.

No security official was present at the venue as of the time. Accreditation exercise using the new technology of the bimodal verification system seems cumbersome as it takes more than five minutes for a voter to get accredited.

Voters lament that this will negatively affect the speed of the exercise as the closing time for voting is 2:30 pm.

Electoral Officials preparing for the election.

VIDEOS


9:04 am: Voting commences at Unit 10, Amawbia 1, Community Primary School, Amawbia, Awka.


8:31 am: Electoral officials prepare for the exercise at Polling Unit 10, Amawbia I, located within the premises of the Community Primary School, Amawbia in Awka.


8:20 am: Military personnel mount a checkpoint along the Ozubulu Road in Nnewi.

Patrol vehicles of the Nigerian Army are seen at a military checkpoint along the Ozubulu Road in Nnewi.
A soldier stops a car approaching a checkpoint in Nnewi.

8:11 am: At the polling unit of Senator Andy Uba in Ugah, Aguata LGA, electoral officials and security personnel are yet to arrive at the venue of the election.

People were so scared that they took to their heels at the sight of the vehicle conveying Channels Television crew.

Senator Andy Uba is expected to cast his vote here.

7:45 am: At Nnewi North Local Government Area, it’s a quiet morning as the electorate are still enjoying the comfort of their beds while the streets are deserted.

However, a few residents are seen at the front of their houses in clusters while security operatives drive through the streets.

A police patrol van is seen in this screenshot taken on November 6, 2021.

7:12 am: Electoral officials are seen at several polling units in Awka the state capital setting up in preparation for accreditation and voting.

An electoral official pastes the list of registered voters in a polling unit at Community Primary School, Amawbia in Awka.

 

Electoral officials set up a polling unit at Community Primary School, Amawbia, Awka.

 

Excitement At Governor Obiano’s Lodge After Court Verdict

ObianoThe judgement of the Supreme Court, upholding the election of Mr Willie Obiano as the Governor of Anambra State has triggered jubilation and excitement at the Governor’s Lodge in Amawbia in Anambra State.

Songs of victory rent the air on Monday, as supporters gather to show support and felicitate with the governor over his victory at the court.

Governor Obiano was declared winner of the November 16 governorship election, that opposition parties said was marred by a number of irregularities.

At the banquet hall, it was entertainment for everybody as food and drinks flowed freely amidst merry making.

Members of the Executive Council amongst whom were the Secretary to the State Government, Oseloka Obaze and the Chief of Staff, Professor Joseph Asike, flanked the excited governor who addressed the press.

The governor stated that the victory was for everybody in the state which would strengthen his resolve to serve the people of the state better.

He extended a hand of fellowship to his opponents and called them to join hands to make Anambra the best as they all have no other home.

Through the court verdict, Governor Obiano defeated Senator Chris Ngige of the All Progressive Congress, APC and Tony Nwoye of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who were asking the court to upturn Obiano’s victory, citing cases of multiple voters registration amongst other irregularities.

Supreme Court Upholds Governor Obiano’s Election

Willie ObianoThe Supreme Court in Nigeria has upheld the election of Mr Willie Obinano as the validly elected governor of Anambra State.

In three separate judgements delivered by a panel headed by Justice Mahmud Mohammed, the apex court dismissed claims by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Chris Ngige and Mr Tony Nwoye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that he was not eligible to participate in the election on allegation of multiple registration.

The court held that Governor Obiano legally transferred his voters registration from Lagos to Anambra State when he relocated and as such the claims of the appellants cannot be sustained.

It dismissed the allegation of massive disenfranchisement of voters, stating that there is no law that says that the actual number of registered voters must vote, as voting is a voluntary exercise.

The election tribunal in Anambra State and the appeal court had in separate judgements dismissed the case of both Tony Nwoye of the PDP and Senator Chris Nigige of the APC.

The presiding judge in the Appeal Court hearing, Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba, pronounced the judgment on all the appeals against the election of the governor, dismissing all for incompetence and lack of merit and awarded 50,000 Naira cost against the appellant, Chris Ngige.

The Anambra State governorship election was held on November 16, 2013, with the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) ordering fresh elections in 65 polling units in Obosi ward of Idemili North Local Government Area.

The INEC had acknowledged that there were irregularities in the election, but said they were not enough to result in the cancellation of the election.

 

Anambra Governorship Election Petition: Obiano Wins At Tribunal

Willie ObianoAnambra State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Awka, the state’s capital, has dismissed all petitions against Willie Obiano, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, and winner of the November 16 governorship polls in Anambra State.

The tribunal chairman, Justice Ishaq Bello upheld the Governor Willie Obiano election and dismissed the petitions filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Tony Nwoye of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Chris Ngige of the All Progressive Congress, APC and the factional candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Chike Obidigbo, as lacking merit and substance.

The Judge also discountenanced the allegations of double registration against Obiano for lack of evidence by the petitioners. Counsels to Willie Obiano and that of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, commended the judgment.

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Victor Umeh, declared that APGA had been absolved of all factions and that the victory would determine the success the party would record in 2015.

Following the delivery, a train of APGA members and well-wishers stormed the government house where the governor, Willie Obiano, urged the jubilant crowd to celebrate peacefully as the victory was for the entire Anambra State.

 

 

2015 Elections: Electoral Commission To Overhaul Staff

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Nigeria says it will conduct a total overhaul of its staff in order to re-position it for the conduct of transparent, free and fair election in 2015.

At a four day retreat held in Kaduna on Tuesday organised for the Commission’s National Commissioners and Resident Electoral Commissioners, the head of the commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, said that the commission was looking forward to a likely amendment of the 2010 Electoral Act before the election.

He also ruled out electronic voting in 2015, as the system is prohibited by the country’s constitution.

Professor Jega explained that the overhaul was imperative to enable the commission maintained its integrity and earn the confidence of Nigerians in the forthcoming 2015 elections.

Deliberations at the retreat was centred on the theme; “Preparations, Plans and Challenges Towards 2015″.

The INEC chairman said that the need to review the existing Electoral Act was borne out of the desire to give the commission a legal frame work that would enable it conduct a better election in the future.

“The commission has sent its recommendation on the amendment to the National Assembly ahead of the 2015 polls,” he said.

Nigerians have witnessed several election irregularities since the inception of the present democratic dispensation in 1999, but Professor Jega said that the retreat would afford the commission the opportunity to further review some of the challenges it encountered in previous elections especially the recent governorship election in Anambra state that was marred with alleged irregularities.

The electoral commission accepted responsibility for the irregularities experienced in the Anambra governorship election, but said they were not enough to lead to a total conciliation of the election as demanded by some political parties.

The outcome of the Anambra election further created fear among the electorate on whether INEC would be able to handle a credible election as the nation moves into an election year in 2015.

With 11 months to the 2015 elections, the INEC boss is optimistic of conducting a free and fair poll.

He reminded the staff and other principal officers of the commission that all eyes were on them to deliver on their promises of giving Nigerians credible and transparent election in 2015.

Professor Jega urged them to work hard and requested that Nigerians should give the commission a benefit of doubt of conducting credible elections despite the shortcomings so far witnessed.

Success Or Failure Of Election Depends On INEC Ad-Hoc Staff – Igini

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Cross River State, Mark Igini, on Monday said the success or failure of any election in the country as conducted by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is largely dependent on the integrity of the ad-hoc staff the electoral umpire employs during elections.

He explained that INEC had about 12,000 staff and about 6,000 were directly involved in the election process. “During the last registration exercise, we deployed a total of 300,000 persons and for the election itself we deployed a total of 400,000 people (nationally),” Mr Igini said.

In light of the huge numbers of ad-hoc staff contracted for elections, “the success, outcome is largely in the hands of the other members of staff brought into the system for the conduct of election on that day. This is the practice everywhere,” he said.

On the integrity of the members of staff of INEC, he said the INEC chairman and those working with him had kept faith to their promise to ensure that the will of the people governs.

He expressed skepticism concerning reports of the Electoral Officer who compromised the election process in Anambra state at the governorship election which held in November 2013. “Compromising a process does not give only one meaning,” he said.

He also argued that it was not confirmed that the INEC officer compromised because there was a mix-up in election materials. “That mix-up, could it be deliberate? Was it a genuine mistake anybody could make? That’s a different thing all together,” he added.

He further said that reports of the compromise were opinions and not fact. “Information is better than opinion. You must get the facts first.”

Speaking on former elections held in the country as well as the preparedness of the electoral umpire to deliver in coming elections, Mr Igini, a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, stressed that there had been improvements in the past few years based on the decreasing number of election petitions.

“We must look at where we are coming from, look at where we are as we set concrete agenda for 2015,” he said.

According to Igini, the total number of petitions filed after elections in 2007 (which the National Democratic Institute (NDI), European Union and ECOWAS described as the lowest point of electoral discredit of our nation), were a total of 1721. (However), in 2011, after the election, in the entire country, the total number of petitions filed was just 724.

He complained that Anambra state had a history of high post-election petitions as the state recorded 145 election petition cases, the highest in the country in 2007. Also, in 2011, Anambra recorded 68 election petitions, also the highest number of cases in the country.

He stressed that elections are the collective responsibility of the people.

“All over the world, the outcome of election is a reflection of the commitment of the people (nation) to what they believe should be the ideal thing.

“Election day is a period to determine the commitments of all institutions, INEC and all other relevant stakeholders, particularly the political parties, politicians in getting the kind of election that the country deserved,” he added.

 

Ngige Sues INEC Over Anambra Election

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Anambra Governorship election Senator Chris Ngige has dragged the electoral commission to court over his dissatisfaction on the conduct of the poll.

Dr Ngige said that his party had instituted a preliminary suit against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), asking it to provide the party with the certified register used in the election

Other items he wants from INEC are the full list of the ad-hoc officials used in the election and the counterfoil used in the payment of the ad-hoc officials.

The APC candidate and his supporters boycotted the supplementary election that was held on November 30, insisting that the election was already flawed.

He had called for a total cancelation of the election citing cases of irregularities in the November 16 and 17 election before the supplementary.

Dr. Ngige, on a Channels Television programme, Sunrise, presented an alleged voters’ register showing minors registered for the election.

The electoral commission agreed that there were irregularities but insisted that they were not enough to cancel the election.

 

Money was given for Votes In Anambra Election – Chuks-Nwosu

Ben Chuks-Nwosu, Ifeanyi Uba Campaign Organisation Director General.A spokesman of the Labour Party’s candidate in the Anambra governorship election, Mr. Ben Chuks-Nwosu, has alleged that a representative of a political party was seen giving money to voters to buy their votes.

Mr. Ben Chuks-Nwosu, who is the Director General of the Ifeanyi Ubah Campaign Organisation, decried the rising trend of ‘Money for Vote,’ caused by incredible poverty in most communities in Nigeria, as a danger to democracy.

“As much as 3,000 Naira and 5,000 Naira was given out to voters,” he said.

On Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, on Monday,  he said that the issues was reported to the police and the party representative, whose name was not mentioned, when accustomed, claimed he was ‘giving money to his cousins’.

Mr. Chuks-Nwosu said there was need to tackle poverty, which he stressed, had taken away the enthusiasm to vote from the electorates.

He also alleged that the governorship election was systematically rigged in the state.

“The systematic rigging happened mainly in three ways: Translocation of the voters’ register, voters not being able to find their names when they went out to vote and missing voters’ register at polling units,” he alleged.

Mr. Chuks-Nwosu said that the time between accreditation and voting time was a big loop hole for fraud.

“Within that time parties behave in ways that are unrecognised by the electoral act,” he said.

He also said that poor voters’ education led to poor turnout of voters in the election that saw only 20.4 per cent of total registered voters voting in the November 16 and 17 elections.

A supplementary election was held on November 30 and the All Progressives Grand Alliance’s candidate, Willie Obiano, was declared winner by the electoral commission.

The spokesman of Ifeanyi Ubah, the Labour Party’s candidate, explained that his party did not participate in the supplementary election because there was no statement by the electoral commission that it would correct the errors that were identified.

“INEC was still tinkering with the voter’s register three days to the day of the election, when they were supposed to have displayed the last register that they are supposed to use and this is fraught with danger. It is fraudulent and it is against the electoral act. It puts the contestants that were not favoured in a disadvantaged position.

“Voters register was tampered with in a way that is detrimental to my candidate and it is a justiciable campaign if we go to the tribunal.

“We will make our point and leave a window of negotiation. All we want is to make Anambra State great again,” he said.

Mr. Chuks-Nwosu said that the party members would meet to decide whether it would contest the result of the election in an election tribunal.

 

Anambra Election: Chris Ngige Dismisses Result

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Anambra governorship election, Senator Chris Ngige, has dismissed the result of the election, alleging that the state government connived with the electoral commission to declare Mr. Willie Obiana of the All Progressives Grand Alliance winner.

The  Director General of the Ngige Campaign Organisation, Mr. George Moghalu, told channels television in a telephone conversation that the result was a sign of desperation both on the part of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega and the government of Anambra State.

“What happened in Anambra State on November 16 was not an election. It was a sham. INEC should stop embarrassing us. We had expected that we have passed this stage but most unfortunately we are worse-off,” he said.

Mr. Moghalu said that the supplementary election, which his party did not take part in, was a conclusion of a set agenda.

“INEC is expected to create an enabling environment for democracy to thrive.

“Announcing Willie Obiano as governor elect should not come to anybody as a surprise because that is the agenda,” he stressed.

The National Chairman of APGA, Victor Umeh, dismissed the widely the APC candidate’s claim

In a press conference, Mr Umeh stated that the characteristic manner of the APC, in slamming damaging allegations against any winning team whenever they lose in any election had kept recurring.

He said the claims that APGA connived with INEC to rig the election was to disturb the peace of the state.

Mr. Umeh advised the APC to desist from politics of violence, propaganda and falsehood and nurse their failure while waiting for the next electoral dispensation.

The APC had called for a total cancelation of the November 16 election citing series of irregularities in the process.

INEC said that the irregularities witnessed in the process were not enough to cancel the election and scheduled a supplementary election for November 30.

The APC rejected the decision of the electoral commission and advised its supporters to boycott the supplementary election.