The Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Emeka Ihedioha, has emerged the Imo State governor-elect.
He polled 273,404 votes to defeat 69 other candidates including his closest rival, Uche Nwosu of Action Alliance who scored 190,364 votes.
Announcing the results at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Owerri at exactly 10.08 pm on Monday, the state returning officer, Prof. Francis Otunta, said the All Progressives Grand Alliance candidate, Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, polled 114,676 followed by the All Progressives Congress candidate, Senator Hope Uzodimma, who scored 96,458 votes.
The Accord Party candidate, Ikedi Ohakim secured 6,864 votes.
He said, “We have been working since Saturday to elect a credible governor for Imo State. The total registered voters is 2,221,008; Accredited voters is 823,743.
“The total votes cast is 714,35; rejected votes 25,130; total valid votes is 739,485.”
Declaring Ihedioha the winner of the polls, the returning officer said, “I, Francis Otunta, hereby certify that I am the returning officer for the Imo state elections. That the election was contested and the candidates received the following votes.
“Ihedioha Emeka of PDP, having satisfied the constitutional requirements, is hereby declared the winner.”
The PDP supporters burst out in wild celebrations as they sang and danced out of the hall.
Before the development, tension had heightened in the hall following the delay in the declaration of the election winner with fatigued party agents harassing the returning officers and his assistants.
The situation almost got out of hand when a state official was seen speaking with some of the electoral officers.
Angry party agents rallied against him, questioning the propriety of his action.
After the declaration of the winner, the agents signed the original result sheets.
But the AA governorship candidate rejected the results, insisting that there ought to be a rerun “because the PDP did not meet the constitutional requirements.”