The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Abubakar Audu, has emerged winner of the Kogi State Governorship election held on Saturday.
With results from the state’s 21 local governments now counted, Mr. Audu garnered 240, 867 votes as against the 199, 514 votes scored by his closest challenger, Ibrahim Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The APC candidate defeated the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate and incumbent governor, Mr. Wada, in 16 of the 21 local government areas in the state.
Mr. Audu has 41,353 more votes than Mr. Wada.
The local governments won by Audu are Ofu, Ida, Kabba Bunu, Yagba East, Yagba West, Adavi, Koton Karfi, Ankpa, Okehi, Ajaokuta, Ijumun, Olamaboro, Igalamela, Bassa, Lokoja, and Ibaji.
The PDP was victorious in five local governments namely Ogori Mangogo, Omala, Okene, Dekina and Mopa-moro.
Mr. Audu is returning as governor of the state 12 years after he was defeated by the PDP as he sought a second term.
He is being prosecuted by the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, of misappropriating N11 billion of the state’s funds while he was governor between 1999 and 2003.
Mr. Audu has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
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.
But despite his ongoing corruption trial, the former governor emerged winner of the APC governorship primary held in Lokoja on August 29.
He polled 1, 109 votes to beat his closest rival, Yahaya Bello, who scored 703 votes.
Once he is sworn in as governor in the next few weeks, his trial would have to be suspended as he would be covered by constitutional immunity from trial for the four years he would be in power.