Days after being declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), a former Rivers State Accountant-General, Siminialayi Fubara, on Wednesday clinched the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship ticket.
Mr Fubara, who is wanted by the anti-graft agency over N435 billion fraud, polled 721 votes to defeat a former Commissioner for Finance in the state, Isaac Kamalu, who scored 86, at the primary election of the party in Port Harcourt.
Mr Fubara, who hails from Opobo Nkoro Local Government Area of the state recently resigned as the state Account-general to focus on his governorship ambition.
His ambition is widely speculated to have the blessings of the state governor, Nyesom Wike, who is himself a presidential aspirant in the same party.
The chairman of the primary organising committee, Walter Mbotu, declared Mr Fubara winner having satisfied the conditions of the party guidelines and scored the highest number of votes.
Mr Mbotu, a professor, while addressing party members at Obi Wale Conference Centre, venue of the primary, said although 980 delegates were expected at the primary, 898 were accredited while eight void votes were recorded.
He earlier promised a free, fair and transparent governorship primary.
The Nation newspaper reported that Felix Obua got two votes, David Brigs scored four votes, West Morgan had four votes while Tammy Danagogo and George Kelly had 36 and 37 votes respectively, and others scored zero.
According to the newspaper, some major aspirants in the race like Mr Obua, former Secretary to State Government Tammy Danagogo, former Senators, Thompson Sekibo, Lee Maeba and former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Austin Opara were conspicuously absent at the primary.
Other aspirants, Isaac Kamalu, George Kelly and the only female in the race, Abbie Atedoghu were in attendance.
Officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were on ground to monitor the exercise as mandated by the law.
The primary had Mr Wike and head of security agencies in the state in attendance.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the state chairman of the party, Desmond Akawor, expressed happiness at the successful conduct of the State and National Assemblies primaries.
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