UPDATE: PDP electoral panel says Ihedioha won free and fair; will stand by results.

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The Electoral Panel which conducted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship primary has restated that the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha indeed won the election and remains returned as winner.

Chairman of the panel, Hon. Terngu Tsegba said the panel stands by the results of the primary and that the controversy trailing its outcome is was uncalled for and misplaced.

In a statement yesterday, the chairman said the election was peaceful, transparent, free and fair and all aspirants freely signed up on the results that were released and which produced the deputy speaker as winner of the primary, adding that “there was no dissension whatsoever by the aspirants or their agents.”

The statement read in part:

“Our attention has been drawn to media reports of controversy over the results of the ‎governorship primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Imo State which was held on Monday, December 8th, 2014 at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri, the Imo State Capital.

“We wish to make the following points to set the records straight and clear any doubt about the conduct of the primary and it’s outcome that may have been planted in the minds of unsuspecting members of the public:

“The primary was conducted in a most peaceful manner devoid of wrangling, rancour, and bickering as duly accredited delegates, aspirants, agents of aspirants and members of the Electoral Panel as well as State Chairman of the party participated, observed and undertook the exercise in an orderly manner‎. The exercise was also witnessed and observed by the Media, INEC, Police and SSS.

“The exercise was conducted in accordance ‎with due process and in line with the guidelines set for the primary election and duly adhered to by the Electoral Panel as certified by delegates, aspirants and their agents in the full glare of the media which was fully present;

“The process of election started with strict and painstaking accreditation of all delegates. A total of 1064 delegates were accredited for voting. Voting, Sorting, Counting and Announcement/Declaration of Results was done in the open. Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha polled the highest number of votes, totaling 346 to beat his closest rival in the race, Senator Ifeanyi Ararume who scored 336 votes. The other candidates and their scores were also announced publicly. Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha was accordingly declared winner of the Imo governorship primary at the venue of the election.

“For emphasis, this outcome was arrived at, agreed to and announced to the anxious crowd at the stadium with the full consent of agents of all the aspirants gathered. There was no dissension whatsoever by the candidates or their agents.

“Having successfully concluded our assignment, we have submitted our Report to the National Secretariat of our party. All the materials, including used and unused ballot papers for the election are all accounted for and is in custody of the party for verification, if necessary.”

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