Sunday August 01, 2021 8:23 PM

Imo by-election: More confusion as PDP candidate asks INEC to declare him winner

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Saturday’s  by-election for Imo North Senatorial District, Chief Emmanuel Okewulonu has asked INEC to declare him winner of the poll.

He dwelt on the fact that there are existing court judgements disqualifying both Senator Ifeanyi Araraume and Mr Frank Ibezim of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from participating in the poll.

He claimed that he won the election in accordance with the extant laws guiding elections.

In a press conference on Monday in Oweri, he said that none of the two APC candidates  took part in the Saturday’s Senatorial by-Election as regards to conflicting court judgements.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), being fully aware of this undisputed fact, could not, therefore, legally announce any person masquerading as the APC’s candidate, as the winner.

“It is in fact rather absurd, and an intolerable aberration for INEC to have allowed the APC to even purport to have participated in that election, or to record any votes thereof in its favour. In the history of elections in Nigeria, it has never happened that a political party is declared as an election winner without at the same time announcing the corresponding candidate of that winning party who is to benefit from its victory.

“INEC should stop playing the ostrich, and do the needful, in order to safeguard the sanctity and integrity of our electoral process. As an unbiased umpire which it ought to be, INEC should have given life to the series of judicial pronouncements barring the purported two candidates of the APC namely: Senator Ifeanyi Araraume and Mr Frank Ibezim, from the election, as no party ever field two candidates simultaneously for the same position in the same election.”

The state chairman of the PDP, Chief Charles Ugwu, said the party would explore all legal machineries to ensure justice  for its candidate.

Ugwu said, “We’re faced with a ridiculous situation where INEC is declaring an unnamed candidate as a victor in the election.

“There were two court judgements that stopped them. To that effect, APC didn’t field any candidate for that election.

“We repudiate the statement that APC won the election. It didn’t participate in the election,” Ugwu said.

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