YIAGA Africa, on Thursday, has said that the Supreme Court inflated the number of votes in its judgement on the March 9, 2019, Governorship election in Imo State, by 92,597 votes.
The nation’s Apex Court, had on Tuesday, declared Senator Hope Uzodinma, of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the winner of the election in the State, after sacking Chief Emeka Ihedioha, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The court also ordered INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return, CoR, issued to Ihedioha, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, and issue same to Uzodinma, a former Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation.
Reacting to the judgement, the Executive Director of YIAGA Africa, Samson Itodo, said that while the full judgement of the Supreme Court on Imo is being awaited, the Returning Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, should not have made a declaration, because the PDP Candidate did not fulfill the constitutional requirements.
According to him, that election was meant to be declared inconclusive, but he went ahead to make a declaration.
“The Supreme Court relied on results from over 300 polling units, where @inecnigeria declined to certify results, due to irregularities, none use of the Smart Card Readers, and violence. How come only two parties were on the results sheets from the over 366 polling units, in an election with 70 Candidates?
“This is the official results for the Imo State Governorship election, before the Supreme Court judgement: total no of polling units = 3,523; total no of accredited voters = 823,743; total no of valid votes = 714,355; total no of rejected votes = 25,130; and total votes cast = 739,485.
“The difference between the total no of accredited voters and total votes cast is 84,258. This includes cancelled votes and those areas where Smart Card Readers were not used. Based on INEC’s results, the gap between the PDP and APC Candidates is 176,946 votes. From the Supreme Court’s judgment, its appears the APC Candidate secured more than 176,969 votes from the 388 polling units, to win the election.
“Let us work with 176,969, pending the release of the Supreme Court results. 176,969 votes + 739,485 (total votes cast) = 916,431, exceeding the total number of accredited voters in the election, which stood at 823,834. Why the difference of 92,597 votes?” Itodo said.
He stated further that in Zamfara State, the Supreme Court declared APC’s votes as wasted, and ordered INEC to collate the valid votes, and determine the winners where the thresholds were met, and wonder why did the Supreme Court proceeded to collate and declare a winner in Imo?
His words: “Can the Supreme Court tell us the number of accredited voters, rejected and cancelled votes. Can the Supreme Court tell us the locations of the 388 PUs where results were not reflected, so a comparison can be made with the original results declared by INEC?”
He lamented that the Judiciary is setting a bad precedence for the nation’s elections.