Umeh becomes Anambra Central Senator amidst protest from Ngige

www.odogwublog.com reports that as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday declared Chief Victor Umeh of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) winner of the January 13 Anambra Central Senatorial rerun, Minister for Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has protested declaring the rerun that brought in Umeh as a charade.

Umeh, a former National Chairman of APGA, beat 13 other candidates, including current Labour and Employment Minister, Senator Chris Ngige of the All Progressives Congress (APC) despite his protest that he was not part of the election.
Sequel to Senator Ngige’s stance, his supporters boycotted the election, saying he had written INEC of his withdrawal from the race when the election was to hold.

The minister wondered why the electoral body “mischievously included his name on the list of contestants” after he had since January 2016 written the electoral commission to withdraw from the race. He threatened to sue INEC for trying to ridicule him and use his name to give credibility to the election.

The rerun recorded a poor turnout of voters with only 9.1 percent of voters accredited to vote and without the participation of major parties like PDP and APC made it to be one sided contest but peaceful. It was conducted in seven local government areas, which are Njikoka, Awka North, Idemili South, Dunukofia, Awka South, Anaocha and Idemili North. The APGA candidate won in all the seven areas.

The court had earlier on excluded a major party, the Peoples Democratic Party which had won the election in March 2015 from fielding a candidate in the rerun.

The election of its candidate, Senator Uche Ekwunife, was annulled by the Court of Appeal on the grounds that she was not properly nominated by her party. Her effort to revalidate her candidacy was rebuffed by various courts, including the supreme court.

Declaring the result of the rerun, the Returning Officer, Prof Charles Esimone, said Umeh scored the highest number of votes cast with 64, 878 (95.6 percent of the votes cast) and therefore was returned elected.

Esimone, who is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka said the total number of registered voters in the seven local government areas was 745, 828 out of which only 67, 872 (9.1 percent) were accredited.Chris Ngige, APC the candidate was second with 975 votes while Progressive Peoples Alliance came third with 116 votes.

Other parties that got votes were the Mega Progressive Peoples Party (MPPP), 111 votes; Labour Party (LP), 95; National Conscience Party (NCP), 72; Alliance for Democratic Congress (ADC), 57; United Progressives Party (UPP), 55; Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), 48 and Action Congress for Democrats (ACD), 33.

Votes were cancelled in four polling units in Awka South where there were cases of over-voting and in Agulu, Anaocha council where people were accredited manually as well as in Idemili South where over-voting was recorded in two polling units.

Dr Nkwachukwu Orji, the Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Anambra, thanked voters, election officials, observers and journalists for contributing to the success and peaceful conduct of the election.

Meanwhile , the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige on Friday night distanced himself from the Anambra  Central Senatorial rerun scheduled for Saturday.
In Statement made available to correspondents about 9pm on Friday, Ngige who contested the senatorial seat in the 2015 general elections asked his supporters to shun the poll, stressing that he was not in the race.
Describing the rerun as a charade, Ngige said he had in 2016 written to the Independent National Electoral Commission that he was no longer interested in the race.
He threatened to drag INEC to court if the commission should the commission publish  his name as a candidate on the  ballot paper for the poll.

His statement read in part," The attention of the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment that INEC has listed his name in the  rerun Election being conducted by the INEC on January 13 2018
"For the information of the General Public and voters and my  numerous supporters in Anambra Central Senatorial District I'm not participating in the said election which can be described as a charade.

" I had since by a letter dated 11th January 2016 withdrawn from this rerun when it was earlier scheduled for March 2016 in accordance with the provisions of sections 33 &35 of the Electoral Act 2010 for personal and  Family reasons. "My party APC promptly wrote the commission of its intention to organise a primary election for my substitution.
"A primary monitored by INEC was organised at Awka and the name of a new candidate that emerged was promptly submitted only for INEC to
reject the new candidate on 29 January.
My party the APC and INEC is in the Court of Appeal Abuja over this obnoxious  and illegal action of INEC with hearing on the matter fixed for 23rd of January which is still within the armbit of 90days ordered by court only for them to fix an 'election' for 13th in order to give an unfair advantage to the APGA candidate to go 'unopposed'.

I have met with INEC on this issue and I'm using this forum to inform that I'm
not participating in this Kangaroo election and listing my name on the ballot will earn them a litigation because it's an illegal action which will be roundly challenged in court.
"INEC actions which are biased, and jaundiced  will be viewed as an act intentionally undertaken to humiliate and ridicule my person. To be forewarned is to be  forearmed."
Umeh becomes Anambra Central Senator amidst protest from Ngige Umeh becomes Anambra Central Senator amidst protest from Ngige Reviewed by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu on Sunday, January 14, 2018 Rating: 5

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