The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday said Governor Hope Uzodimma was reelected in Imo.
Mr Uzodimma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was declared the winner of the statewide exercise that was held yesterday, November 11.
Results declared by the state’s collation and returning officer, Abayomi Fasina, said Mr Uzodimma scored 540,308 votes. His closest rival, Samuel Anywawu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), scored 71,503 votes. Athan Achonu came third with 64,081 votes for the Labour Party.
The results were declared despite allegations of violence and vote-buying, which electoral officers said were not sufficient to make any significant impact on the overall success of the exercise.
Mr Uzodimma now has a full mandate to govern the state for another four years. He had assumed power on January 15, 2020, based on a controversial judgement of the Supreme Court that fired the former elected governor Emeka Ihedioha.
Both Labour and PDP declined to sign the results, alleging the election was compromised by violence and corruption.
Abayomi Fashina, the state returning officer and vice-chancellor of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, made the declaration on Sunday morning that “Hope Uzodimma of APC, having satisfied the law, is hereby returned elected.”
The Labour chairman in the state, Calistus Ihejiagwa, was on Sunday morning, beaten and bundled out of the collation centre in Owerri after he insisted that the results collated from the local government areas and brought to the centre were different from what was on the Result Viewing Portal (IReV).
Around 11:00 a.m., while the exercise was still ongoing, there were reports of gunshots in the Ikeduru Local Government Area, where Mr Anyanwu came from, to scare away voters.
Vote-buying also took place in several polling units, one of which Peoples Gazette reported an unnamed INEC official was arrested by men Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission after he was caught with a bundle of cash given to him by an unnamed political party agent.
According to the electoral umpire, the number of registered voters in the state was 2, 419,922 with 2,318,919 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) collected. However, only 701,338 votes were validly recorded after the polls.