By Victor Nwachukwu/Owerri
Collation and announcement of results have been suspended in Imo following protests at the INEC collation centre in Owerri on Monday.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that trouble started when the returning officer from Ideato South was asked by the Imo REC Prof. Francis Ezeonu to commence the announcement of Ideato South result.
No sooner had the returning officer sat down to announce the result than the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) agent, Mr Uche Onyeagocha, and his counterparts Paschal Onwukaike of Democratic Alternative (DA) and Steve Asimobi of Redemption Party (RP) protested the announcement of the results from Ideato South.
This led to an argument where Onyeagocha alleged that the Ideato South result favoured the Action Alliance candidate with an outrageous figure and as such should not be announced.
A verbal altercation among PDP, AA, AD and RP agents culminated in the tearing of the governorship election results for Ideato South.
Onyeagocha also while rejecting the announcement of the results, claimed that the PDP and other party agents were intimidated at the Ideato South LGA collation centre and prayed that the REC cancel the result.
In the midst of the violence that ensued, Onyeagocha and the others were arrested by the security operatives present while Ezeonu and the Imo Returning Officer, Prof. Francis Otonta were whisked away to safety.
This led to the suspension of announcement of results in Imo.
NAN reports that before the fracas, results from 11 councils had been announced in the state.
Results from 16 councils are still being awaited.