The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has again called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to, without further delay, announce its candidate, Barr. Peter Mbah the winner of the Saturday March 18 governorship election in Enugu State.
DAILY POST reports that the winner of the Enugu guber polls is yet to be announced following controversies over the results from Nkanu East and Nsukka Local Government Areas.
While the Labour Party had written a petition rejecting the Nkanu East result, the PDP is also questioning the result from Nsukka LGA. The INEC national headquarters has since yesterday, Monday, taken charge of the collation.
Both camps have been holding protests a few metres away from the INEC Enugu headquarters demanding that their candidate be declared winner.
Addressing journalists on Tuesday, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and former member, House of Representatives, USA Igwesi said the people were running out of patience.
Igwesi said collation of the governorship election results had been completed, adding that INEC had no other thing to do than declare Mbah winner.
“This is the second phase of our protest, of our demonstration, that INEC should forthwith declare Peter Mbah as the winner of the March 18, 2023 gubernatorial election in Enugu State.
“We went to the polls on the said day, and with the results collated, we needed to necromancer or a soothsayer to tell us that Peter Mbah won that election/
“We are perplexed; we are surprised that INEC is still holding this result undeclared and we are aware of the Electoral Act, Section 64, Sub Section 8 that says that once the State Returning Officer collates the result, he doesn’t have to waste a minute in announcing and declaring that result. That is why we are surprised that up till this movement, INEC has refused to declare Peter Mbah as the winner of the election.
“We are also aware of the provisions of Section 103, Sub Section 1 of the same Electoral Act that said that if you are aggrieved, if you have petitions, you should go to the Election Petitions Tribunal. INEC does not usurp the power of the Election Petition Tribunal.
“INEC can only receive results; they don’t have power to look at the result; they should not look at petitions; I was a member of 5th National Assembly that helped in authoring this particular Electoral Act.”
While further faulting the electoral commission, Igwesi noted that, “I am saying that what transpired during the Collation of Presidential Election result on 25th February, should equally be applicable to Enugu State.
“On that occasion, Dino Melaye and other PDP agents, even agents of other political parties, raised an alarm that there were discrepancies, there were over-voting in the whole states of the Federation and that INEC should not go ahead with the collation of that result.
“INEC Chairman, Yakubu Mahmood told him that they are empowered by Section 64, Sub Section 8 to declare the result and he went ahead and declared the result. Why is he not doing the same thing in Enugu State?
“Why is he singing a different song in Enugu State; we are asking that Enugu State indigenes are running out of patience; for the same of peace, justice and equity, they should declare Peter Mbah winner.
“We have a charter of understanding from 1999, which means zoning. From 1999 to 2015, the circle got completed and now it is time to start from where it started. We don’t want anybody to distort the peace, understanding and seamless transition in Enugu State.
“We are begging them to come and declare Peter Mbah the winner of the election and as long as they keep holding this result, we will keep occupying Enugu.”