Ododo was declared winner of the election by the State Returning Officer, Prof Johnson Urama, who is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
“Ahmed Usman Ododo of APC, having satisfied the requirement of the law is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected,” the Returning Officer announced at a crowded collation centre in Lokoja, the state capital, on Sunday night.
The APC candidate recorded 446,237 votes to defeat his closest challenger and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Murtala Ajaka, who polled 259,052 votes.
Senator Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) finished a distant third with 46,362 votes, while Leke Abejide of the African Democratic (ADC) Party finished fourth in the race, polling 21,819 votes.
The governor-elect is a former Auditor General of Local Government in Kogi under the incumbent Governor Yahaya Bello. The latter, whose eight-year tenure will elapse on January 14, 2024, anointed Ododo as his preferred successor and vigorously championed his campaign.
Melaye had on Saturday night called for the cancellation of the election over allegations of compromise, irregularities, violence and vote buying.
The PDP candidate raised the alarm after pre-filled result sheets in the Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area of the North Central state circulated online.
However, INEC subsequently suspended elections in the nine affected wards in the local government and announced on Sunday that a fresh exercise would be conducted in these areas on Saturday, November 18, 2023.
But the commission said, “the decision to hold fresh elections is subject to the Returning Officer’s determination of the application of the Margin of Lead Principle.”
While making his declaration on Sunday, Urama said the total number of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in the affected polling units was put at 16,247, noting that the figure was insignificant to the margin of victory.