The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Stephen Odey, winner of Saturday’s Cross River North Senatorial by-election.The Collation Officer for the by-election, Prof. Ameh Akoh of Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ikwo, Ebonyi, who announced the result, said Odey scored 129,207 votes to defeat eight other candidates.
Akoh said the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Joe Agi (SAN) scored 19,165 votes to emerge second while the candidate of the African Democratic Congress, Mr Gregory Agam, came third with 388 votes.
“I, Prof. Ameh Akoh of the Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ikwo, Ebonyi State, hereby declare that Dr Stephen Odey of the PDP having scored the highest number of valid votes is hereby declared winner of the Cross River North senatorial by-election.
“The PDP candidate is hereby declared winner in line with electoral guidelines,” he said.
The senatorial by-election followed the death of Sen. Rose Oko.
The party’s candidate, Mrs Maria Akwaji, also won the Obudu State Constituency seat in the House of Assembly.
Akwaji obtained a total of 32,166 votes to defeat her closest rival, Mr Abor Adaji, of APC who scored 3,546 votes.
The Collation Officer, Prof. Abel Ezeoha, of Alex Ekwueme Federal University of Technology, Ikwo, Ebonyi, announced the result after collation from different polling units.
Akwaji is the wife of the Late Goodwin Akwaji who died in July in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
By the result, she takes over the seat of her husband as member representing Obudu State Constituency.
According to INEC, nine political parties contested in the senatorial by-election and six in the Assembly by-election.
In his reaction, a PDP agent, Mr Thomas Aruku, described the party’s victory as well deserved.
“I see the victory as well deserved because among all the political parties in this election, it was the PDP that criss-crossed the 54 electoral wards.
“So, to me, we are just reaping the fruit of our labour,” he said.