Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
Protest erupted at the Independent National Electoral Commission office in Benin City, when women from Ovia South-west Constituency, protested the declaration of election in the area as inconclusive by the Returning Officer, Prof. Francis Omoruyi.
The women during the protest, said they wanted the electoral umpire to declare the APC candidate, Sunday Aghedo as the winner of last Saturday’s state assembly election.
The protest was on the heels of call by the chairman of Coalition of Registered Political Parties (CRPP), Dr. Samson Isibor, who alleged irregularities in several voting centres and massive vote-buying by agents allegedly loyal to the Peopels Democratic Party (PDP) led government in parts of Edo South senatorial district, Edo Central and Edo North.
He said the coalition would consider legal options to address the situation if the electoral umpire allowed the noticed irregularities unaddressed.
At the INEC office, spokesperson of the women, Mrs. Angela Okpame, while commending INEC for the conduct of the said: “We voted for Hon Sunday Aghedo in 2019 he was denied inauguration and so for four years, Ovia South West had no representation and by 2023, God did it again, we voted for him again to return to the house.
Hon Sunday Aghedo won the election, the result has been uploaded only for one man, Professor Omoruyi that wants to rub the name of INEC in the mud, announced that the election was inconclusive.”
Also, a petition by counsel to Aghedo, Ogbankwa Douglas said Aghedo won the election based on results declared at the wards by the “Returning Officers at the Ward, with copies of the prescribed Form EC8 Series, with no incidence whatsoever and with the results returned, being in full compliance with the Electoral Act, 2022.”
Also the state chairman of the APC, Col David Imuse called on the INEC to prevail on Omoruyi to release the results just as he expressed surprise that the returning officer is from the same Iguobazuwa that the Peoples Democratic Party (PFDP) hails, from receiving the protesters, INEC Head Voter Education and Publicity, Timidi Wariowei said he has listened to their complaints and the petition from Aghedo which he said the Benin office of the INEC would send to its headquarters where a final decision on the matter would be taken.