Rochas Okorocha
Rochas Okorocha

Imo: APGA, PDP protest as Okorocha wins senatorial poll

NEWS DIGEST–Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha has been declared the winner of Saturday’s Imo West senatorial election.

The returning officer, Prof Francis Ibeawuchi, announced at the collation centre in Orlu on Monday that Okorocha of the All Progressive Congress polled 97,762 votes to win the election ahead of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Mr Jones Onyereri (68,117) and All Progressive Grand Alliance’s Osita Izunaso (30,084).

While Okorocha’s victory sparked jubilation among his supporters, his opponents and their supporters protested against the result.

Izunaso, who rejected the result, alleged that Okorocha didn’t deserve to win.

The ex-lawmaker, who dumped the APC for APGA last year, alleged in an interview with reporters after the announcement that Okorocha manipulated the poll.

The APGA chief, who was in the Senate between 2007 and 2011, said he had petitioned INEC over the development.

He claimed he won in seven out of the 12 LGAs in the senatorial district.

Izunaso said, “This is the worst election since the creation of Imo State. A lot of malpractices happened. No result was collated at ward levels.”

Meanwhile, a former member of the House of Representatives and PDP deputy governorship candidate in the state, Gerald Iroha, has accused Okorocha of electoral fraud.

Iroha, who addressed a press conference in Owerri on Monday, claimed the governor and his aides used policemen and soldiers to intimidate voters.

According to him, Onyeriri, who is a serving member of the House of Representatives, won the contest.

He claimed the original result from Oguta LGA indicated that the PDP defeated Okorocha.

Iroha said, “The result is fake and the returning officer has said he announced it under duress.”

Also, the PDP rejected the outcome of the Ohaji Egbema/Oguta/Oru West House of Representatives poll won by Kingsley Uju of Action Alliance.

Spokesman for the party in the state Damian Opara claimed in an interview with reporters in Owerri on Monday Uju used police and soldiers to rig the poll.

Opara, who alleged that the final result announced by INEC did not conform with the figures announced at the polling units, urged the electoral body to declare his party’s candidate Obed Acholonu the winner.