A former Governor of Kogi State, Abubakar Audu, has emerged candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state governorship election slated for Nov. 21.
Mr. Audu is being prosecuted by the anti-graft agency, EFCC, of misappropriating N11 billion of the state’s funds while he was governor between 1999 and 2003.
At the trial of the corruption case on March 4, the EFCC also accused Mr. Audu of ordering one of his aides to assault Haruna Ashade, an EFCC operative, for daring to take his photograph in court.
However, on Sunday Mr. Audu emerged winner of the APC governorship primary which was held in Lokoja between Saturday evening and Sunday morning.
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He polled 1, 109 votes to beat his closest rival, Yahaya Bello, who scored 703 votes.
A former Senator, Nurudeen Abatemi, scored 400 votes to place third .
Another aspirant, Sanusi Abubakar, scored 309 votes, while Hadiza Ibrahim, the only female among the 28 aspirants, scored four votes.
Out of the 3,548 delegates, 3,044 were accredited by the Electoral Panel, while 29 votes were declared invalid.
Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, the Chairman of the Electoral Panel, commended the aspirants for their maturity and commitment to the ideals of the party.
Mr. El-Rufai urged Mr. Audu and other contenders to quickly close ranks and work together to ensure the victory of the party in the coming election.
In his response, Mr. Audu thanked members of the electoral panel for making the election transparent , free and fair.
He called on other aspirants to accept the result in good faith and work with him in harmony in the interest of the party.
“ Let us work together in harmony , we have serious task ahead. To unseat an incumbent is not easy but we can do it,” he said.
Mr. Audu described the result of the election “as no victor, no vanquished’’ and praised all the aspirants for their courage and comport before and during the primary election.
Mr. Bello, who spoke on behalf of the other aspirants, described the primary election as transparent, free and fair and lauded the members of the electoral panel for their efforts.
He advised Mr. Audu to live up to his position as a leader and father, describing APC as a big family.
Mr. Bello, also advised the winner to carry all aspirants and stakeholders along , pledging that they would work with him to win the election.