Cancel Imo governorship election, poll observers tell INEC
A cross-section of election observers accredited by INEC has called for the cancellation of the November 11 governorship election in Imo.
On Wednesday, a cross-section of election observers accredited by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) called for the cancellation of the November 11 governorship election in Imo.
“In over 2,000 polling units, results were uploaded and seen in the IREV, and the total number of votes allocated to candidates was higher than the actual number of accredited voters, which in all totality demerits the integrity of the Imo governorship election,” stated the observers. “We, therefore, call for the total cancellation of the November 11, 2023, Imo state governorship election.”
The election observers, led by the director of operations of She for She Initiative for Women and Girl Child, Kenneth Umez, demanded that the elections be cancelled while speaking to journalists in Owerri about the various irregularities that marred the Imo election.
The election observers documented instances of significant irregularities, vote buying, overvoting, and the hijacking of electoral materials in various council areas, including Okigwe, Orsu, Orlu, Ehime Mbano, Ikeduru, Oru East, Oru West, Owerri West, Ideato North, and Ideato South, among others.
The election observers urged INEC to address the people of Imo and Nigerians conducting the poll without using the BVAS in several polling units for voter accreditation.
In their statement, the observers pointed out the irregularities they witnessed on election day and the parts of Imo where they occurred.
“In Okigwe LGA, we observed that no result sheet was delivered to polling centres in all eleven wards. We also observed that the election did not occur in eight polling units,” said the observers. “The INEC and police authorities in Okigwe may have to explain where the collation for Okigwe LGA was done.”
The observers also claimed to have witnessed “desperate ballot box snatching as ballot boxes were snatched and delivered to the fortresses of political party actors” in Ehime Mbano, Ikeduru, and Ideato North.”
“The other areas observed without election are Oru-East LGA, Ideato-North, Ikeduru, Oru West, and Owerri West LGA. We noticed with utmost dismay that results from Form EC8A were uploaded for several polling units where the elections had not taken place, and these were visible on the IREV,” the group said.
The election observers behind the call for a cancellation of the Imo governorship election included the New Dawn for Development Initiatives, International Women and Youth Revival Initiative, Global Hope and Justice for the Less Privileged, Citizens Right for Peace and Good Leadership Initiative, Centre for Child Care and Youth Development, Women with Disabilities of Nigeria Support Foundation, and Women and Youth Empowerment for Global Change Initiative.
Governor Hope Uzodinma was announced the winner of the November 11 governorship election in the state with a total of 540,308 votes. He was trailed by PDP candidate Samuel Anyanwu, with 71,503 votes, and Labour Party candidate Athan Achonu, with 64,081 votes.