Mr. Ben Uwajumogu who was earlier this week avowed by Imo State Governor Rochas Owelle Okorocha that he would succed the embattled Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has been declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Imo North Senatorial District rerun election held on July 28.
Ekweremadu and his boss, Bukola Saraki, with two national assembly staffs are currently facing corruption charges bothering on forgery of Senate Standing Order.
Uwajumogu scored 56,076 votes to defeat Mr Athan Achonu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 43, 815 votes. Prof. Arinze Agbogu, the INEC Returning Officer for Imo North Senatorial District, who announced the result in the early hours of Friday, said the outcome was a summation of scores of July 23 and that of July 28 exercise.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that Uwajumogu, had scored 48,921 on July 23, while Achonu, of the PDP, scored 40, 142 votes which made INEC to declare the rerun inconclusive.
Agbogu said that available data before him showed that Uwajumogu had majority of lawful votes cast, and therefore returned elected for the Imo North Senatorial District.
Similarly, INEC declared Mr Nkenna Nzeruo of the APC winner of Oru East State Constituency, while Mr Collins Chiji also of APC was declared winner for Isiala Mbano State Constituency.
The two state constituencies’ elections were equally declared inconclusive due to reported cases of violence that marred the exercise in some communities in the two areas on July 23.
Uwajumogu told journalists in Owerri that he was highly elated over the victory, adding “my gratitude goes more to Gov. Rochas Okorocha whose structure helped me to win this senatorial election’’.
Meanwhile, the Imo State Governor, Okorocha has said the Deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu would soon be ousted from office with the assured victory of the All Progressive Congress(APC) in the Imo North Senatorial re- run poll held last Saturday, but declared inconclusive
This was as he slammed the Deputy Senate president for relocating to Imo state during the election.
The Imo state Governor , who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, stated that the position of Senator Ike Ekweremadu as the Deputy Senate president is at the moment under heavy threat as the APC Senator in the waiting from Imo State Benjamin Uwajumogu will take over the seat as it is an aberration that a PDP senator from the South-East is deputy to an APC Senate President because, before now, APC could not produce a senator from the South-East zone.
According to Okorocha , “Senator Ekweremadu had known that such development was not only feasible but inevitable and that was why he fully funded the candidate of the PDP in the re-run senatorial poll in Okigwe zone and also re-located to the state three days to the election date.
He added , the victory of the APC in the re-run poll for Okigwe senatorial zone is a victory for the whole of South-East APC in particular and the people of the geo-political zone in general”.
He alleged that the PDP in the state had never won any election since 2003, but had written results for themselves using intimidation and harassment to achieve their goal of producing results and forcing INEC to declare them winners on the basis of the false results.
However, he noted that with the results recorded in the last Saturday’s re-run election in the affected areas only shows the new spirit of APC in the state where Benjamin Uwajumogu is leading with 8,000 votes even though the election was declared inconclusive.
Meanwhile, Ekweremadu in a sreaction said the Imo State governor is on a wild goose chase. In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Uche Anichukwu, the Deputy Senate President he was not bothered by the “wishful” prospect of an APC senator from the South East.
Ekweremadu said contrary to the allegation by Okorocha that he was in Imo State during the rerun poll so as to influence the result, he was actually in his constituency for his annual Ikeoha Scholarship and Bursary Awards/Adult Literacy Day same day the rerun poll held, noting that the last time he visited Imo was in 2015.
He wondered how Okorocha would be able to appoint a deputy senate president for the Senate, when he could secure any principal office for any of the two House of Representatives members in Imo State.
“The Deputy President of the Senate visited Imo State for the last time in 2015. It is also instructive that the governor’s claim comes on the heels of another statement by some All Progressives Congress (APC) elements in Ezeagu Local Government Area on Sunday where they whined bitterly over the huge solidarity shown by the good people, stakeholders, and traditional rulers of Enugu State to Senator Ekweremadu during his annual Ikeoha Scholarship and Bursary Awards/Adult Literacy Day at the Council headquarters on the same Saturday, June 23, 2016.
“For the same party to also claim that the same Ekweremadu who was empowering his people at Ezeagu in a well reported event on the same Saturday was also in in Imo State at the same time to influence election is just another showcase of the buffet of lies, deceit, and confusion that has become the order of the day in the ruling party”.
“The Senate has a ranking rule, and if Okorocha was not able to secure a principal office, even Deputy Majority Whip for the two House of Representatives Members from Imo State, it is left to imagination how he would be able to appoint a Deputy President for the Senate. He is on a wild goose chase”.
He advised the Imo governor and APC leaders in the South East to “preoccupy themselves with ending the invasions and killings by purported herdsmen, gross marginalization of Ndigbo in the distribution of opportunities and the blessings of democracy as well as the worrisome trend of inconclusive elections”.
Senator Ike Ekweremadu is facing Senate Standing Order forgery trial with the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki and tow other officials of the national assembly.
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