Protests, petitions flood INEC over PDP primaries in Anambra

By NBF News

Protests and conflicting results have continued to trail the primaries of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State seven days after it was conducted.

Already, publications and counter publications of results of the said primaries have continued to grace the pages of national dailies, confusing the party faithful the more.

One of the strongest and pathetic petitions/protests came from a legal practitioner and House of Representatives aspirant for Aguata Federal Constituency, Ozonma Nobis Elendu, who claimed the party leadership was about short-changing him by planning to give his victory to another aspirant.

Like many other contestants in the PDP primaries, Elendu told newsmen that despite his victory in the primaries, he was yet to be issued with a copy of the result of the election one week after the exercise.

In his petition to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuemeka Onukogu, Elendu narrated how he won the election two times but was yet to be declared or issued with a copy of the result sheets.

The petition reads in part: 'The PDP primary for the Federal House of Representatives in Aguata Federal Constituency was initially conducted on Friday, the 7th day of January, 2011.

After accreditation of voters, the four contestants namely: Ozonma Nobis Elendu, Mrs. Azodo Eucharia, Tony Offia and Mrs. Ndidi Okoye were presented by the returning officers who informed the aspirants and the electorate that the method of voting that will be used is Option A4.

'Thereafter the returning officer asked the electorate to line up behind the candidates of their choice. Overwhelming majority of about 90 per cent of the voters lined up behind Ozonma Nobis Elendu. When the other aspirants saw the overwhelming support given to me, Ozonma Nobis Elendu, evident in the manner the voters were queuing behind me, the other contestants protested against the use of Option A4 and threatened to deal with the returning officers if they ever count the votes. Following this threat, the returning officers ran away with the result sheets. Consequently, the primary election was ordered to be repeated on Monday, the 10th day of January, 2011.'

He noted that on the rescheduled date, the election held but on open secret ballot system, a scheme he said was orchestrated to enable them rig the election in favour of one of the contestants but added that after the election, the returning officers refused to count the votes.

'After much insistence by me and the electorate, the returning officers were constrained to count the votes in the presence of the contestants, the electorate and the law enforcement agents. Upon counting the votes, the respective scores of the contestants at the repeat primary ares as follow:

'Mrs. Ndidi Okoye, five votes; Tony Offia, 73 votes; Mrs. Azodo Eucharia, 145 votes and Ozonma Nobis Elendu, 189 votes. From the above result, I, Ozonma Nobis Elendu emerged the winner of the PDP primary for the federal House of Representatives in Aguata Federal Constituency.

'However, the Returning Officer, Mr. Afam refused and failed to issue me with a copy of the result of the primary election and up till present, he has not done so in spite of repeated requests made by me that he should issue me with a copy of the result.

'I am, therefore, as a last resort, constrained to present this report to you and to appeal to you to use your good offices to secure the mandate given to me by members of the PDP Aguata who elected me as their candidate for the House of Representatives, Aguata Federal Constituency.'