Hours after Senator Hope Uzodinma polled the highest number of votes in the Imo state All Progressives Congress primary to emerge the winner, Hon. Uche Nwosu has declared himself as the winner with the highest number of votes.
Senator Uzodinma was declared the winner by the Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Ahmed Gulak in Owerri in the early hours of Tuesday.
Uzodinma was announced to have polled 423,895 votes while Hon. Nwosu recorded 10, 329 votes to place seventh out of the nine aspirants. The result sheet had the signature of Gulak on it as the returning officer.
After the declaration of the result, Gulak was reportedly missing by the Imo State APC when he was not found in his hotel room where he was lodged.
However, Gulak surfaced in Abuja where he said that he escaped being kidnapped while he was at Owerri, Imo State capital. He claimed that nine out of the 12-member committee were kidnapped while he left Owerri “under the cover of darkness at about 4:00am"
"Myself, Col. Igbanor and Hon Bernard Miko were the only three doing this job, as others disappeared, and we learnt that they were at the Government House," Gulak said.
“So, when we sensed that something was fishy, by 4.00am, we left Owerri after concluding the entry of the results.
“I was informed and the AIG Zone 9 called to inform me that they went for investigations and discovered that the governor himself and some policemen came and rounded up those members and took them to the Government House and until now, they have not been released and anything could have happened to them.
“The election was held, results generated and a winner emerged and the winner is Senator Hope Uzodinma.
However, in a controversial twist, Nwosu has declared himself winner of the primary after he "pulled a total of 455,655 votes against Hope Uzodinma who pulled 9,159 votes."
He posted the photograph of a document that declared him as the APC candidate for the 2019 gubernatorial election. The document ostensibly lacked the signature of the electoral committee chairman, Gulak, but had the signatures of eight other members of the committee including the secretary Honorable Henry Idhagbon, whom Gulak said "disappeared around 2.00 A.M."
I’ve emerged the @OfficialAPCimo Guber Candidate, I pulled a total of 455,655 votes against Hope Uzodinma who pulled 9,159 votes!
The next step shall be winning of the general election by God’s grace!
Thank you Imo APC!! pic.twitter.com/QVSfANJ5Uh
— Ugwumba Uche Nwosu (@Honuchenwosu) October 2, 2018
Prior to Nwosu's announcement, APC's National Working Committee, in a statement signed by the acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, said that the exercise in Imo has been suspended indefinitely.
More to follow...