The second day of vote counting in a bitterly contested presidential vote started late on Tuesday and electoral officials hope to announce later in the day who will be governing Africa's richest and biggest nation.

Early returns from half the states have President Goodluck Jonathan winning nine states and the Federal Capital Territory and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari winning nine states. Buhari won 8.5 million votes to Jonathan's 6.48 million. A candidate must take at least 50 percent of all votes and at least 25 percent of votes in two-thirds of the states to win.

Electoral commission spokesman Kayode Idowu told The Associated Press he hopes for final results by the end of the day but results from only "a few" of the remaining states have been delivered.