The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi, says it has rejected the outcome of the governorship election held on Saturday, March 18, in Ebonyi, and vowed it will challenge the result in court.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday, March 19, declared Mr Francis Nwifuru, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the election.
Chief Ifeanyi Nworie, state chairman of the PDP, told a press conference on Thursday in Abakaliki that in addition to rejecting the result, the party has commenced a legal process aimed at reclaiming what he called “the stolen mandate” that the Ebonyi electorate freely gave to the PDP at the poll.
He also lamented the alleged violence; killing, armed thuggery, voter intimidation, vote-buying and irregularities which he said characterised the gubernatorial election in some parts of the state.
He noted that despite the seemingly undemocratic attacks allegedly meted out to the party supporters and faithful, the PDP was able to garner the majority of the lawful votes cast during the March 18 election and should have been declared the winner of the governorship poll.
He said: “PDP is challenging the outcome of the election in a court of competent jurisdiction; we are a peace-loving people and we remain obedient to the Constitution of the land and to the rule of law.
“We, therefore, state that we reject in totality the outcome of the governorship election and results of the House of Assembly election in some areas and we must reclaim our mandate at the court of law.”
The party further lamented an alleged use of the state security apparatus to hunt; intimidate and harass its leaders across the state during the poll.
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The party further highlighted other pervasive acts orchestrated to tilt victory in favour of the ruling APC, saying that such action runs counter to the electoral guidelines, the amended electoral act of 2022 and other extant electoral laws.
“Arising from these monumental irregularities, we state that the declaration of any other candidate instead of Dr IfeanyiChukwuma Odii is of no effect whatsoever.
“The results in our possession indicate otherwise, we make it clear that we are determined to prove that based on the valid votes cast as Odii scored the highest number of votes.
“Our candidate polled not less than one-quarter of the votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of all the Local Governments in the state and as such, he ought to have been declared and returned as the winner of the governorship election,” Nworie added.
The PDP Chairman also called for the release of all the party faithful being detained in various detention facilities in the state.
“We call on security agencies to immediately and unconditionally release all our members and supporters in various detention facilities in the state,” he said. (NAN)
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