The returning officer for Imo West Senatorial District, Francis Ibeabuchi, has declared outgoing governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha, winner of the Senate seat while “under duress.”
Prof. Ibeabuchi said he was “forced” to declare the results at the Imo West election collation centre in Orlu INEC office.
Premium Times had Sunday night reported how Prof. Ibeabuchi stopped the collation after announcing nine out of the 12 local governments in the district, saying he had been directed to “return to Owerri, the state capital.”
He was however held up at the centre by supporters of Mr Okorocha who insisted he must complete the announcement.
According to the “illegal results” Mr. Okorocha of the All Progressives Congress (APC) scored 97762 votes to defeat his two major contenders in the Orlu West senate race, adjudged by obsercers as not bein free and fair.
Mr. Jones Onyereri of the PDP got 63117 votes to come second, while senator Osita Izunaso of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) secured 30923 to come a third.
The declaration of Mr. Okorocha triggered protest and jubilations at the INEC collation office.
Meanwhile, the PDP candidate rejected the outcome. It alleged foul-play and alteration of results.
Imo State PDP Secretary, Ray Emeana had claimed in a statement on Sunday that his party won 85% of the votes cast.