April 17, 2024
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…As hoodlums beat up electoral officials, journalists, destroyed cameras, laptops, phones

By Simeon OSAJIE

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There was pandemonium during Saturday 17th February, 2024 primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Edo State September 21 gubernatorial election as two rival aspirants, Senator Monday Okpebholo a.k.a. Akpakomiza and Mr. Dennis Idahosa, a.k.a. Denco both claimed victory from the exercise.

While Dr. Stanley Ugboajah, the Edo State Returning Officer for the APC primary declared Senator Okpebholo representing Edo Central Senatorial District as the rightful candidate of the party, Hope Uzodinma, Imo State Governor and Chairman of the APC primary election committee declared Hon. Dennis Idahosa member representing Ovia Federal Constituency winner.

Uzodinma declared Dennis Idahosa ‘Denco’ winner at Protea Hotel having scored 40,453 out of 42,381 votes cast to defeat the other aspirants.

Dr. Ugboajah, however countered, insisting that Senator Monday Okpebholo who polled 11,145 votes defeated the second runner up, Denco who scored 5,536 votes.

It was however a mayhem at Lushville Hotel, the agreed venue of the announcement of results by Dr. Stanley Ugboajah during which suspected political thugs attacked and disrupted the process.

The hoodlums beat up journalists, electoral officials and destroyed TVC laptops, television cameras and phones

Earlier to the disruption, Senator Okpebholo was leading in six out of the eight local governments that had been released. The local governments were Esan South-East, Esan Central,
Oredo, Ikpoba Okha, Esan West and Owan West while Dennis Idahosa won Ovia South-West and Akoko-Edo as announced by the state returning officer.

The electoral committee had temporarily suspended the announcement to wait for other officials to turn in their results when the hoodlums attacked the venue.

At the resumed announcement of the results at a private residence in uptown Benin, Dr. Ugboajah condemned the assault, adding that the State Returning Officer has the legal right to announce election results and declared Senator Monday Okpebholo winner.

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