Kogi: INEC changes position, declares PDP winner

By The Citizen

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday reversed its earlier declaration that the Kogi-Central senatorial rerun election was inconclusive and declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Ahmed Ogembe, winner of the election.

INEC Returning Officer, Prof. Rotimi Ajayi, on Monday, at Okene, the headquarters of the senatorial district, said the presiding officers in charge of the areas that were initially cancelled, had copies of the results that were said to have been destroyed by hoodlums during the election.

He stated that INEC officials later used the copies with the presiding officers to compute the final results, leading to the emergence of Ogembe as the winner.

He stated that Ogembe got 46,503 votes to beat the candidate of the Peoples Progressive Alliance, Senator Nurudeen Abatemi, who scored a total of 32,169 votes while the Social Democratic Party candidate, Dr. Wokili Moses, got 10,064 votes to come third.

Ajayi said all the valid votes cast were 89,214 while 1,368 votes were rejected. He declared Ogembe the winner of the election.

It will be recalled that the Returning Officer of INEC, Mr. Salihu James, had said on Sunday that Ogembe scored 45,468 votes while Abatemi scored 31,163 votes and Wakili got 9,962 votes.

James had announced the cancellation of the results of Otutu ward. He also announced the cancellation of the results in two polling units at Upogoro in Okene and Inozomi wards.

He subsequently declared the rerun inconclusive following the cancellation of results in some areas over alleged electoral malpractices.

Meanwhile, Ogembe has assured the people of the district of his commitment to develop the district.

He said he would lobby the Federal Government towards revamping the Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mill, which he said had been abandoned since the past 30 years.

Speaking with journalists at the INEC office in Okene, Ogembe, who is the incumbent Chairman of Okene Local Government Council, said he knew the basic needs of his constituency and would attend to them.

He commended the people of Kogi-Central and INEC for what he described as a free and fair election, saying his victory reflected a popular choice. Punch