INEC Erred; Peter Obi did not win Anambra Election

Available information indicates that the INEC erred in its announcement of Governor Peter Obi as the winner of the February 6th 2010 gubernatorial elections in Anambra State. According to INEC’s electoral guidelines, the declared winner, incumbent Governor, Peter Obi  is required by law to win at least no less than 25% of votes in fourteen of the 21 LGAs – reflecting 2/3 of the entire LGAs. This is

 according to constitutional requirements of Section 179 [2] [a] and [b] which states as follows.

Section 179

2. a candidate for election to the office of Governor of a State shall be deemed to have been duly elected where, there being two or more candidates –

a. he has highest number of votes cast at the election; and

b. he has not less than one-quarter of all the votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of all the local government areas in the State.

By this requirement therefore, INEC erred by announcing someone that did not win as the winner.

Legal experts say INEC has no choice but to announce a run off election in accordance with Section 179 [3] [a] and [b] which states as follows:

Section 179

3. in default of a candidate duly elected in accordance with subsection [2] of this section there shall be a second election in accordance with subsection [4] of this section at which the only candidates shall be –

a. the candidate who secured the highest number of votes cast at the election; and

b. one among the remaining candidate with a majority of votes in the highest number of local government areas, the candidate among them with the next highest total of votes cast at the election shall be the second candidate”.

The table below shows the votes scored by the incumbent governor against the available votes in the respective LGAs. Careful examination of the percentages shows that Governor Peter Obi failed to meet the criteria to be declared a winner by the INEC.

He scored 25% and above in only 13 of the 21 LGAs – which is less than 2/3 of the 14 LGAs in Anambra State.

Votes received by the APGA Candidate, Mr. Peter Obi

LGA Available votes Votes Scored Percentage

Aguata 20468 6235 30.46

Ayamelu 22765 4322 18.98

Anambra East 7805 1889 24.20

Anambra West 11867 2941 24.78

Anaocha 20612 14693 71.28

Awka North 12209 3716 30.44

Awka South 16844 6082 36.11

Dunukofia 9028 1319 14.61

Ekwusigo 13017 4030 30.96

Idemili North 11778 1181 10.03

Idemili South 17221 2046 11.90

Ihiala 17042 5996 35.18

Njikoka 13753 5445 39.59

Nnewi North 11456 3234 28.23

Nnewi South 14083 2061 14.63

Ogbaru 11430 5280 46.19

Onitsha North 13501 6602 48.09

Onitsha South 17973 10017 55.73

Orumba North 16560 6298 38.03

Orumba South 9649 2589 26.83

Oyi 12171 1864 15.31

From this figure, it appears the INEC erred in its calculation of the results. As gathered from talking to officers with the INEC, results for Anambra West for APGA which reflected a 24.78% score was mistakenly approximated to 25% and counted as one of the LGAs won by Peter Obi.

Reacting to this development, the runner up in the election, AC’s Dr. Chris Ngige said: “we need to bring to light the injustice in this case. The announced winner did not meet the constitutional requirement of winning ‘not less than one quarter of all the votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of all the local government areas in the State’”.

He continued, “because of this travesty meted on me and the Anambra electorate, I have decided to take my matter to the election court for the invocation of the relevant provisions of the constitution dealing with second elections [run-off] following the inconclusive election of February 6th 2010.” 

Observers say the other candidates, Chris Ngige and Chukwuma Soludo of the PDP can challenge the results of the election as INEC had no legal basis to declare a winner in the first instance. “It has no option but to renounce its declaration immediately and order a recount to substatiate the anomaly or organise a run-off”.