The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared Dr Chris Ngige as the real winner of the senatorial election in Anambra Central Senatorial District.
It had earlier been declared to undergo a rerun after a dirty trick had been sighted which warranted a major protest from Dr Ngige.
It had been earlier reported that the rerun date would be fixed.
In a dramatic turn over of events, INEC late on Monday declared Dr Ngige the winner putting paid to speculations that former Nigeria Communication Minister had been given undue mandate as the winner of the election.
The decision to do a rerun 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 Returning Officer, 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.
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.
Report by Nation
The controversy over the Anambra Central Senatorial District election has been laid to rest.
Ex-Governor Chris Nwabueze Ngige of the Action Congress of Nigeria (AC N) was last night declared the winner.
Returning Officer Dr. Alex Anene announced that Ngige polled 68,208 votes to defeat his closest rival, former Minister of Information Prof. Dora Akunyili, who scored 68,164 votes.
Mrs. Akunyili ran on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). Senator Annie Okonkwo of the Accord Party (AP) scored 23,346 votes. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate scored 18,578. Two people, Oguguo Okoye and Chudi Offodile, are battling for the PDP ticket.
The Returning Officer, who announced the result at the Tourist Gardens Hotel in Awka under tight security, said he had all authentic results duly written on Form EC8.
“No one else has the authority to declare the result of this election. No result was cancelled; all of them are intact”, he said.
A big row had broken out over the result as Mrs. Akunyili and Ngige claimed victory in the election.
Anene on Sunday alleged that his life was in danger and vowed to quit the job.
He said he was offered N10million, a duplex and a car to announce the result in favour of Akunyili, instead of Ngige, who, he said, won.
Last night, Anene said he wanted to complete his assignment.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Prof. Chukwuemeka Onukogu, had earlier announced the cancellation of elections in 10 wards across four local government areas. He ordered a rerun. He also announced Prof. Charles Esimonye as the new Returning Officer who would handle the rerun poll after Anene’s alleged resignation.
Onukaogu said areas where the rerun election would take place are: Enugwu-Ukwu Ward I; Nimo Ward I and III; Nri Ward II, which has two units; Obosi; – Umunachi; Nkpor and Umuoji.
The wards are in Idemili North, Idemili South, Dunukofia and Njikoka local governments.
Onukogu said he canceled the elections in the four local government areas following protest from Ngige.
Charles Odedo of the ACN had earlier declared winner of the election in Idemili North/South federal constituency.
Akunyili last night declined to comment on the declaration of the ex-governor as winner of the election.
A lady who described herself as the Personal Assistant to Akunyili said on the telephone that her principal “is not the right person to answer this question.”
“If you listened to news this night (yesterday) you would have heard the results that were announced. That is what we know,” she said.