Following last Saturday’s supplementary election to determine the eventual winner of the Orlu/Orsu/Oru East federal constituency of Imo State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Tuesday declared Jerry Alagboso of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the poll.
In a tensed atmosphere following the invasion of the INEC collation centre by the Police earlier today, the Returning Officer, Dr. Emma Anakuba, from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, said Alagboso scored a total of 22,475 to defeat the All Progressives Congress (APC), Edwin Iheanacho, who polled 20,814 votes.
He said, however, the results from two of the remaining four units were cancelled due to over-voting.
The declaration took place in the presence of the Imo state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. Francis Chukwuemeka Ezeonu; the National Commissioner in charge of South South, Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu; and her counterpart from Northwest, Abubakar Natuche, among others after the reconciliation of all the figures.
The Imo state Commissioner of Police, Bolaji Fafowora, who had earlier stormed the venue, Prof. Okey Ibeanu hall, to stop the announcement, was allegedly resisted by Ezeonu.
Iheanacho, had filed a petition in the tribunal after Alagboso won in the 2019 election as a returnee to the lower chamber of the National Assembly.
Daily Trust reports that an Appeal Court had also ordered the INEC to conduct a supplementary election in 18 wards in Orlu.
Also, Daily Trust had earlier reported that there was confusion at the INEC headquarters in Owerri as Police detachment led by CP Fafowora invaded the centre, asking the REC to stop the announcement of the results of the supplementary election
The election was stalemated last Saturday by thugs who invaded the collation centre at Orlu after results from 14 out of 18 polling units had been announced.
Following the directive from INEC headquarters, our reporter gathered that the collation of the remaining four units were ordered to be announced so that the eventual winner could emerge before the commissioner approached the REC asking him to suspend further announcement.
But his instruction was rebuffed by the REC and other INEC officials in attendance.
It took the intervention of Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu, who explained the guidelines to the Police commissioner before he allowed the process to continue.
But order was restored and the results were eventually announced at about 5:30pm.