The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner Imo North senatorial district bye-election held on Saturday but prevented by two court orders from returning any APC candidate.
According to the returning officer, Hakeem Adigun, who announced the result, the APC scored a total of 36, 811 votes to beat second placed Peoples Democratic Party, whose candidate Emmanuel Okewulonu got 31, 903 votes.
There had been conflicting court orders as to who is the true candidate of the APC.
A Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri had barely 24 hours to the election disqualified Ifeanyi Ararume as APC’s candidate.
On the same day, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja also disqualified Frank Ibezim from contesting the election under the platform of the ruling party. The court said Ibezim made false statements/declarations in the affidavit and documents submitted to the APC.
Reacting to APC victory, Governor Hope Uzodimma thanked the people of the senatorial district for voting overwhelmingly for his aprty.
He boasted that the victory has shown once again that Imo is an APC state.
Governor Uzodinma however claimed that with the recent Court of Appeal judgment and the statement from the APC National Executive Committee, Frank Ibezim is the authentic candidate.
If Mr. Ibezim had been disqualified by a court of competent jurisdiction before that election and that decision was not set aside by a superior court, it cannot be supported by law that Ibezim was the authentic candidate of the APC.