By Jude Michael
The senator-elect for the Anambra Central senatorial district, Chief Victor Umeh, has assured all those who voted for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in this year’s general elections that the party has enough evidence to retrieve their mandate in the court.
Umeh, who spoke on a live radio programme, asked their supporters not to lose hope.
He said that his joy of winning the February 25 poll would not be complete without Obi reclaiming his mandate in court, noting that Obi got over two million votes in Rivers State but was shortchanged.
It will be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the winner of the presidential election amid controversy over the manual transmission of results rather than the promised uploading of results from the polling units to INEC’s server.
Umeh, while thanking the people of his senatorial district for voting for him, enjoined them not to despair over the rigging of the presidential election, stating that Obi will reclaim his mandate by the grace of God.
He maintained that Obi constitutionally won in no fewer than 30 states as against INEC’s claim of winning in 12 states.
Umeh disclosed that more than 38 senior advocates of Nigeria (SANs) have taken up the Obi election petition matter for free.
“I thank ndị Anambra Central for voting for me and I’m happy that I won. I promise to continue doing the things I’m known for by speaking for our people and contributing in debates for the progress of Nigeria, but my joy is not complete because of Peter Obi: he won the election but was rigged out. If the winner is not announced but the loser, the land will be angry and indeed the land is angry.
“By 4 a.m. on Wednesday, Igwe Mbaukwu called me with the sad news that INEC had declared Tinubu the winner of the election. I wonder why the declaration in those odd hours of the night and why INEC was in a hurry to give Tinubu [a] certificate of return in the evening of the day they declared him winner when National Assembly election winners have not been given theirs.
“It’s obvious that since INEC robbed the true winner of his victory, there has been no celebration, no dancing, no gunshots because the wrong person was declared winner. It was not what we asked to be bought for us at the market that was bought.
“INEC told us that Obi won in 12 states and got 25% in 20 states, which is not true, for Obi got 25% in 30 states from the real result available to us.
“From our calculation, Obi had a landslide victory in Lagos State and scored more than two million votes in Rivers State.
“The real result from one LG is out and that’s how it is in almost all LGs in Rivers state. In that LG, Obi got above 70,000 votes and APC got 3,000 votes but they changed it and gave Obi 3,000 votes and 80,000 votes to Tinubu. The votes allocated to us in Benue and Plateau were not what we got and I strongly believe that the court will do the right calculation and give us back our victory.
“It was possible in 2003 when Obi’s Anambra State guber election victory was stolen and it will be possible again.
“We’ve set up a situation room in Abuja on Friday after which I went with Obi to see the EU observers. 38 SANs drawn across Nigeria have offered their services pro bono and more are joining,” Umeh said, while promising to be part of the petition as he had been in 2003.