Tuesday, 4 March 2014
BREAKING NEWS BY PUNCH Newspaper: INEC Cancels Anambra Central Senatorial Result
The Independent National Electoral Commission has cancelled the result of the senatorial election in Anambra Central Senatorial District.
It said a rerun would be fixed for a date to be announced soon.
The decision was announced at a press conference in Awka by the newly appointed Returning Officer for Anambra Central, Prof. Charles Esinone. The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Chukwuemeka Onukaogu, also attended the briefing, where he told newsmen that Esinone had been replaced the former RO, Mr. Alex Anene.
The major candidates in the election are a former governor of the state, Dr. Chris Ngige (Action Congress of Nigeria); ex-Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili (All Progressives Grand Alliance); and the incumbent, Chief Annie Okonkwo (Accord Party).
The declaration of the result ran into a deadlock when Anene said on Sunday that he was being pressurised by officials of the state government and APGA to declare Akunyili as the winner of the poll.
He had told newsmen in Awka that the interests promised him a house, scholarship for his children and N10 million if he declared Akunyili as the winner of the election and accepted the ‘mutilated’ result from Njikoka Local Government Area.
He said he rejected the gifts and was quitting the assignment because his conscience would not allow him to announce a mutilated result.
Ngige swiftly petitioned INEC, asking it to cancel the result in Anaocha Local Government Area because 22,000 votes were allocated in it to Akunyili.
However, at a separate briefing at her campaign office in Awka, Akunyili said that before the election, Anene was arrested with fake poll monitors and later released on bail. She alleged that instead of going to report to the police, Anene called journalists and raised allegations against her party.