The candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, won the 25 February presidential election in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, South-south Nigeria, according to results uploaded on the INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV).
Mr Obi’s haul of votes in the area implies he, and not Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), won the presidential election in Rivers, contrary to the declaration made by INEC.
The result for Obio/Akpor council area, as declared by INEC, portrayed Mr Tinubu as scoring 80, 239 votes, with Mr Obi garnering 3,829 votes.
Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored 368 votes while Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party got 161 votes, this newspaper had reported.
Mr Tinubu was later declared winner of the election. Atiku came second while Mr Obi came third.
But PREMIUM TIMES’ review of the results from various polling units of the 17 wards in Obio/Akpor LGA as uploaded on IReV revealed a sharp contrast with the result declared by INEC.
However, winning Rivers does not mean Mr Obi would have won the presidential election. He still would have falling far short of winning the highest number of votes nationally and scoring 25 percent of votes in at least 24 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, as stipulated by the Nigerian constitution.
Given that Mr Tinubu was declared winner in Obio/Akpor, this newspaper’s review focused on the results of the votes scored by the APC and LP in the area.
By our tally, the APC got 17, 158 votes while the LP amassed 73,311 votes.
Obio/Akpor Local Government Area has 1,211 polling units across its 17 wards.
PREMIUM TIMES could only review results from 1,116 polling units uploaded on the IReV as of 16 March, representing about 94.13 percent of the results from the council area.
However, results from some polling units were either blurred or improperly snapped and therefore illegible.
Results from about 95 polling units, representing about 5.87 per cent, were yet to be uploaded within the period under review.
There were no results in some polling units either because the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System malfunctioned or people did not come out to cast their votes, as observed at Ake Hostel UNIPORT Polling Unit in Choba Ward.
This newspaper computed the available and readable results from the 1,116 polling units uploaded so far on the IReV within the period of the review.
In some polling units in Obio/Akpor, PREMIUM TIMES found that some results were altered in favour of the APC, with the original scores mutilated.
The result from Rumuorluoji Open Space II polling unit in Oro-Igwe Ward, for instance, showed that the APC originally scored 17 but the number, ‘2’ was added to the figure to read ‘217.’
For the LP, 227 was recorded, but the number ‘2’ was erased and altered to read ‘027.’
At the column meant for recording the scores in words, there were evidence of adjustments to suit the changed figures.
In Rumuokoro Ward, it was noticed that in 34 polling units, results earlier written for the LP were erased and the figures swapped with that of the APC.
PREMIUM TIMES, nevertheless, tallied the figures as published by INEC, despite the obvious evidence of adjustments and mutilations. In other words, the figures were tallied as they appeared on result sheets, even when there was evidence that such figures were tampered with.
In some cases, the results for the National Assembly elections were uploaded in some polling units instead of the presidential election results.
A result from the Civic Centre Hall Polling Unit in Rumuigbo Ward, for instance, showed that a result from the House of Representatives election was uploaded in place of that of the presidential election.
PREMIUM TIMES also tallied results from Degema Local Government Area uploaded on the IReV, and the findings confirmed Mr Tinubu won in the council area, although the score was slightly lower than the one announced by INEC.
However, this newspaper could not tally the results from some polling units in the council area because they were illegible or not yet uploaded within the period under review.
Obi was leading initially
Mr Obi was leading Mr Tinubu with over 23,000 votes by the time INEC announced the presidential election results in 21 of the 23 local government areas in the state.
The LP candidate polled 169,414 votes at the time, while Mr Tinubu scored 148,979 votes.
Mr Obi’s largest votes at the time came from Port Harcourt City Local Government Area where he scored 62,451 votes, while Atiku scored 7,203 votes, followed by Mr Tinubu, who scored 5,562 votes. Kwankwaso scored 301.
Results were still being expected then from two remaining local government areas – Obio/Akpor, where the State Governor, Nyesom Wike, hails from, and Degema.
With the results from Obio/Akpor coming in, and with INEC announcing that Mr Tinubu scored 80, 239 votes against Mr Obi’s 3,829 votes, the APC candidate was now in the lead and was eventually declared the winner of the presidential election in Rivers State.
Atiku scored 368 votes in Obio/Akpor, while Mr Kwankwaso scored 161 votes.
In Degema Local Government Area, Mr Tinubu scored 2,375 votes, while Mr Obi scored 2,212 votes. Atiku scored 3,108 votes, while Mr Kwankwaso scored 44 votes.
Mr Tinubu polled 231,591 votes in Rivers State as against Mr Obi’s 175,071 votes, according to INEC.
Atiku scored 88,468, while Mr Kwankwaso clinched 1,322 votes.
The collation officer for the presidential election in Rivers had adjourned the collation of results at some point over alleged threat to his life by some supporters of a political party.
There were reports of attacks and suppression of voters in the state.
Governor Wike, who is a member of the PDP, led other PDP governors to rebel against the national leadership of the party and its presidential candidate, Atiku, following disagreement over which of the north or the south should produce President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor.
The Rivers governor had contested and lost in the PDP presidential primary.
He then supported the APC candidate, Mr Tinubu in the presidential election, saying since Mr Buhari is from the north, the next president of Nigeria, for the sake of fairness, should come from the south.
Mr Obi, like Mr Tinubu, is from the south of Nigeria.