The Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, has filed a petition in protest of the result of the All Progressives Congress senatorial primary election for Enugu-West Senatorial District.
Mrs Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagwu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on justice reform was declared winner of the election which Okechukwu was widely tipped to win.
The VON DG, who claimed to be the winner of the poll, disclosed on Monday that he had approached the APC primary election appeal panel to “recover his stolen mandate.”
Okechukwu accused the Enugu State Primary Election Panel, led by Prof. Moses Momoh, of “complicity” in the “allocation” of results to Ibekaku-Nwagwu.
Out of a total of 12,709 votes cast, the panel declared that Ibekaku-Nwagwu got 5,750 votes; Gbazuagu Nweke Gbazuagu, 4,015; Okechukwu, 2,344; and Pius Eze, 600.
But in the petition entitled, ‘Protest over allocation of votes to Mrs Juliet Ibekaku Nwagwu in Enugu West Senatorial District Primary Election,’ Okechukwu claimed that he got over 15,000 votes.
The petition read in part, “The allocation of the results was not only a brazen, utter imposition of candidate and without tact, but it clearly demonstrated the complicity of the Primary Election Panel led by Prof Moses Momoh; for I (Okechukwu) polled a total of 7,919 votes in Awgu, one of the five local government areas of the senatorial district.
“I humbly further submit that the results from the 81 wards (in the senatorial district) were in my favour as I led the other three contestants with over 15,000 votes.
“I am ready to furnish more evidence, if requested.”
Also, Okechukwu faulted the panel for declaring that a total of 12,709 votes were cast in the Enugu West senatorial primary election.
He noted that Ibekaku-Nwagwu lacked the capacity to defeat the PDP candidate, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who is going for a fifth term in the 2019 elections.
He alleged that Ekweremadu had vowed to stop him from getting the APC ticket for Enugu West in order to avoid stiff competition in the election.
“My fear as one of the foundation members of the APC is that in the general election, Mrs Ibekaku-Nwagwu lacks the gravitas to win Senator Ekweremadu.
“Earlier before the primary election, news filtered in that Senator Ike Ekweremadu, the incumbent, has vowed that he will make sure that Mr Osita Okechukwu is stopped from making the list.
“His reason is that he needs a weaker APC candidate, who will not enjoy the massive support I have among ordinary party members and the general public. This played out when a large segment of the senator’s supporters jubilated over her (Ibekaku-Nwagwu’s) alleged victory,” Okechukwu added in the petition.