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The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in the early hours of Sunday declared Mr Jude Ogbeche winner of the Bye-election held on Saturday for the Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency.

The election which was characterized by shooting, snatching of ballot papers in some areas was a test for the the All Progressives Congress, APC and the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

The state governor, Mr Ben Ayade, had defected to the APC in 2021 after a protracted struggle for control of the PDP’s structure in the state.

His anointed candidate for the Northern Senatorial District, Mr Stephen Odey, was removed in controversial circumstances as a senator after being declared winner of the senatorial bye-election in 2021, forcing his defection to the APC.

Earlier in the day, the senator representing the district, Mr Jarigbe Agom, had reported attacks on his vehicles with his windscreens smashed while also alleging prevention of voters in areas he had huge support for the PDP’s candidate, Mr Mike Usibe.

In the face of alleged active participation of security agents from the government’s house in the election, Agom appealled “to all members and supporters of PDP to remain calm, as we call on the Heads of the various Security Agencies to intervene, because the DPO of Beteriku in Obanliku LGA, Supol Inyang is leading the Squad that is hijacking materials and firing live ammunitions in the Mbube area of Ogoja LGA.

“Materials for Polling Unit 008 in Mbube West, Ward 1, have been carted away by the team, headed by Supol Inyang, as directed by some APC political weaklings.

“We need an immediate intervention by the Security Heads, please. We do not want bloodshed.”

However, the election was declared conclusive with Ogbeche declared elected with 22,778 votes to the PDP’s 20,590.

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