The Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) has officially declared the results of the Saturday's January 6, 2018 local government council elections, replacing councillorship candidates of the All Progressive Congress, (APC) who won in some areas with the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The election results which were declared at the commission's headquarters in Asaba few hours ago by returning officers of various local government areas, saw the PDP chairmanship candidates winning in 23 out of the 25 councils.
Addressing the press shortly after the results declaration, the chairman of the commission, Mike Ogbodu said, the election was postponed two local government councils, Ughelli North and Ethiope East following a crisis and rescheduled for Tuesday, January 9, 2018.
"In the areas where elections were held, the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) won the chairmanship seats in all the 23 local government council areas that have been declared so far. In the same vein, the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) have equally won 424 councillorship seat while the All Progressive Congress, (APC) won one seat in Aniocha North, Ward 2" adding that the result of the councillorship elections for Otor-Owhe ward 1 DSIEC ward 09 of Isoko North local government area is yet to be declared owing to an order of the high court sitting at Ibusa.
"It is quite significant to inform our stakeholders that in accordance with the provisions of section 46(1) of the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission, (DSIEC), law 2017, 59 councillors have been returned unopposed across the state in various electoral wards."
According to the DSIEC boss, "in pursuant to section 46 sub-sections (2) and (3) of the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission, (DSIEC), law 2017, elections were held in all other electoral wards and constituencies in the state except Ughelli North and Ethiope East local government council areas where elections were postponed in accordance with section 33(1) and (2) of the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission, (DSIEC), law 2017, which have been slated for Tuesday, 9, January, 2018."
It was reliably learned that governor Ifeanyi Okowa directed the commission to replace the name of the APC councillorship candidate, Mr. Emmanuel Chi Oweazim Jnr who won the election at Onicha-Olona ward 5 in Aniocha North council with 557 votes with the PDP candidate, Mr. Alex Ekehazia Okolie who polled 466 votes following face-off between the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa and the former house of Assembly speaker, Victor Ochei who hails from the ward.
A reliable source in the commission confided in SaharaReporters that governor Okowa also directed the commission to declare the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, (APC) in Aniocha North ward 2 following the understanding reached with the Minister of state for Petroleum, Ibe Kachukwu who is from that ward.
It was however observed that in some other areas where elections did not hold, the commission went ahead to declare PDP councillorship candidates as winners.
Meanwhile, in a statement signed by the chairman of the Delta state chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Jones Ode Erue, obtained by SaharaReporters, described the elections as a fraud following that the party has rejected the Saturday's council elections.
According to APC, "The election was conducted in substantial non-compliance with the provisions set out in the DSIEC Law 2017 for the following reasons: Sensitive election materials were not delivered as expected to most of the polling units where the actual elections were due to take place; Where materials were even delivered, they did not arrive on time as most were hijacked and re-directed along the way, and it was observed upon a close examination that the result sheets did not accompany the materials in most of the LGAs:
"Where result sheets were produced, they were in sharp contrast with the samples that were presented to our party officials during the DSIEC training exercise, and so were fake; Many Returning Officers were not at the Polling Units to conduct the elections nor to announce the outcome. For example, a DSIEC Returning Officer at Ozoro in Isoko North Local Government Area was arrested at a Hotel Annex in Ozoro facilitating illegal thumb-printing of votes, and was handed over to the Nigeria Police at Ozoro;"
"Violence marred the elections in a large number of LGAs and Wards where an election was due to take place; in fact, we gathered that the DSIEC Office at Ughelli was burnt down while election materials were not yet issued out. We are not shocked by the outcome of the election because we had issued out a note of caution previously, warning about the potential for active connivance between DSIEC and PDP officials or agents." APC stated.