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INEC Breaks Silence On Controversial Results Of Edo APC Governorship Primary

Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has announced its decision on the controversial results of Saturday governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State, South-South Nigeria.

Gatekeepers News earlier reported that the Edo APC primary produced three ‘winners’ – Dennis Idahosa, Monday Okpebholo, and Anamero Dekeri.

In reaction to the controversial results, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Dr. Anugbum Onuoha, on Monday, said the INEC would only reckon with the exercise conducted at the venue communicated by the national leadership of the party.

Onuoha said by the decision of the Supreme Court, only the national leadership of a political party and not the state leadership could determine the venue of a primary election.

According to him, in the Edo State case, the venue communicated to INEC by the APC national leadership was Lushville Hotel and Suites.

The Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, who is the Chairman of the Edo State Primary Election Committee, announced Idahosa as the winner at Protea Hotel.

The state Returning Officer, Stanley Ugboaja, on the other hand, held a parallel announcement, declaring Monday Okpebholo as the winner.

Ugboaja started the announcement at Lushville but finished it at Pastor Osagie Iyamu’s house.

Also, Ojo Babatunde, who claimed to be representing the returning officers in all the local government declared Anamero Dekeri as the winner of the election.

The trio of Idahosa, Okpebholo and Dekeri are currently laying claim to victory.

Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Ganduje, congratulated Idahosa, who was declared winner by Uzodimma.

The Edo State leadership of the party, has, however, rejected the results declared by Uzodimma, insisting that only the state Returning Officer could declare the winner.

Dekeri, on the other hand, stormed the national secretariat of the APC in Abuja on Monday, demanding to be issued with a Certificate of Return as the winner of the poll.

Meanwhile, the Edo State REC said INEC monitored the exercise and would only reckon with results declared at the venue committed to it by the national leadership of the party.

Onuoha, while fielding questions from journalists said, “The Supreme Court has taken a decision on the monitoring of party primaries, that party primaries are duties of the parties.

“Our own is to supervise and in doing such supervision, the party will tell us the venue. It is not the state chapter of the party that will tell us the venue.

“The national body of the parties will write to INEC national chairman of the venue, and the date and the time of the primary, and that we have followed strictly.

“Any political party primaries that was not minuted to us by our headquarters, we will not monitor. We were notified by APC and we monitored the one we were invited to at Lushville Hotel. I was there.”

The REC warned aspirants and political parties to stop campaigning for the governorship election with immediate effect or face sanction.

Onuoha said that the commission had yet to lift the suspension on the campaign, noting that parties and candidates were expected to begin campaigning on April 24.

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