Imo North Senatorial Seat: Court Orders INEC To Issue Certificate Of Return To Ararume

Ifeanyi Ararume

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to Ifeanyi Ararume based on the result of December 5, 2020, Imo North Senatorial bye-election, having been declared as the valid candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Justice Taiwo Taiwo who delivered the judgment ordered INEC to issue the certificate of return within 72 hours.

According to him, with regard to the Appeal Court judgment in Abuja, the third defendant (Chukwuma Ibezim) remained disqualified.

The Judge held in a judgment that Senator Ararume remains the authentic candidate of the APC and should be declared the winner of the election.

Earlier, Justice Taiwo dismissed the Preliminary Objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain Senator Ararume’s suit filed by the APC and Chukwuma Ibezim.

READ ALSO: Embark On Immediate Electoral Reforms, PDP Tells Buhari, APC

Justice Taiwo, who described the application as “an attempt to arrest the judgment,” dismissed it for lacking in merit.

Ararume had, through his counsel told Justice Taiwo Taiwo to invoke the judgments of a Federal High Court and that of an Appeal Court to disqualify Ibezim and declare him as the rightful candidate for APC.

Prior to the bye-election held on December 5, 2020, Ibezim and Araraume had fielded themselves as APC candidates.

 

– Long Legal Tussle For Senatorial Seat –

Tunde Falola, who is the Counsel to Senator Ararume told journalists after the court ruling that the judgments of the High Court and later the Court of Appeal have conclusively disqualified Ibezim and therefore he cannot claim to be an aspirant or candidate in the Imo North Senatorial election.

In opposing Senator Ararume’s suit, APC had told the court that it never fielded him for the December 5, 2020, senatorial bye-election for Imo North Senatorial District of Imo State.

The party had, insisted that Senator Ararume lacked the locus standi to lay claim to the candidacy and urged the court to dismiss his suit.

Senator Ararume then dragged INEC,  APC, and Mister Ibezim before the Federal High Court praying for an order to compel INEC to recognise him as an APC senatorial candidate in the election won by the party.

He claimed that Ibezim, having been disqualified by a Federal High Court on account of supplying false information to INEC to secure clearance and same disqualification having been upheld by the Court of Appeal in Abuja had knocked off Ibezim from laying any claim to the outcome of the by-election.

But, the APC, through its counsel, Osho Daudu asked the court to discountenance Ararume’s claims insisting that his name was never forwarded to INEC but that of Chukwuma Francis Ibezim.

The counsel submitted that a Federal High Court judgment delivered in Owerri, Imo State which erroneously conferred locus on Ararume had been voided by Supreme Court and cannot confer any advantage on the plaintiff.

Emma Osayomi, representing Ibezim, in his own submissions, said that his client has approached the Supreme Court to challenge his disqualification on account of variation in his name.

The counsel argued that as at the election day,  the name of his client was on the INEC list and not that of Ararume and urged the court to dismiss Ararume’s claims and hold that Chukwuemeka Ibezim remains the APC candidate.

 

APC Wins Imo North Senatorial Election

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the just concluded Imo North senatorial district bye-election but unable to return any APC candidate.

The returning officer, Hakeem Adigun who announced the result said the APC scored a total of 36, 811 votes to beat his rival from the Peoples Democratic Party, Emmanuel Okewulonu who scored 31, 903 votes.

According to the electoral body, the decision not to declare any candidate as the winner is due to several court orders authenticating the true candidate of the party in the bye-election.

It could be recalled that 24 hours to the election, a Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri gave a judgment disqualifying 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.

Ibezim was disqualified on the grounds that he made false statements/declarations in the affidavit and documents submitted to the APC.

READ ALSO: INEC Declares APC’s Abiru Winner Of Lagos East Senatorial Election

Meanwhile, Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, has reacted to the outcome of the election where INEC declared APC the winner of the election without returning any candidate.

Speaking to journalists at the Government House in Owerri, Uzodinma thanked the people of the senatorial district for voting overwhelmingly for the APC, noting that the victory has shown once again that Imo is an APC state.

Governor Uzodinma, however, said he will not join any issues with INEC, adding that with the recent Court of Appeal judgment and the statement from the APC National Executive Committee, Frank Ibezim is the authentic candidate.

Imo Bye-Elections: Ararume, Ibezim Vote Despite Court Ruling

Photo combination of Senator Ifeanyi Ararume and Frank Ibezim

 

Candidates laying claim to the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket in the Imo State north senatorial elections have cast their votes.

This comes despite the uncertainties over who would be the authentic flagbearer for the party, following court decisions disqualifying both candidates in different judgements in Imo and Abuja.

The judgements were pronounced on Friday.

The first was an appeal court sitting in Owerri, the state capital which disqualified senator Ifeanyi Ararume as the candidate for the All Progressives Congress.

Delivering the judgment, the five-man panel noted that the November 6 judgment of the Federal High Court in Owerri which earlier declared Ararume as the authentic candidate had no jurisdiction under the law to entertain the matter.

Read Also: Imo North Election: Appeal Court Disqualifies Ararume, Orders Replacement With Ibezim

A Federal High Court in Abuja in a judgment on Friday also disqualified Mr. Frank Ibezim as the candidate of the APC in the Imo north senatorial by-election.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, disqualified Ibezim from contesting in the election on the grounds that he made false statements in the affidavit and documents he submitted to the APC and INEC.

Both, however, still went ahead to vote in the bye-election.

Imo North: Two Candidates Emerge In APC Primary By-Elections

 

Two candidates have emerged as winners in the All Progressives Congress (APC) Primary election for the Imo North Senatorial District by-election.

The elections conducted by two factions of the party were across the six local government areas and 64 wards, through the direct mode of primaries on Thursday.

The parallel results after the conduct of the exercise produced Ifeanyi Ararume as the winner of one of the APC factions scoring 22,944 votes, while Frank Ibezim emerged winner of the other APC faction with 13,637 votes.

Both results were announced by the APC Primary election committee Chairmen, Umar Gana, and Senator Surajudeen Bashir who monitored the parallel exercise.

Meanwhile, some other aspirants out of the 45 cleared by the party to contest in the election alleged illegalities in the entire process.

READ ALSO: Reps Caucus Demands Halt In Fuel Price Increase

The primary election conducted is to enable the party to pick its candidates ahead of the October 31 legislative by-elections that will be conducted in some states of the federation.

This follows the death of the Senator who represented the district, Ben Uwajumogu on December 18, 2019.

Uwajumogu occupied the senatorial seat after the Federal High Court ordered a rerun election, defeating the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Athan Achonu.

Mr. Uwajumogu scored 56,076 votes to defeat Senator Achonu who polled 43, 815 votes.

Imo: Our People Have Suffered, Ararume Pledges To Support Uzodinma


 

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Imo State has directed its members to support the new All Progressives Congress (APC) government in the best interest of the state.

At the meeting in Owerri which had in attendance the APGA Chairman, Henry Okafor, its governorship candidate, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume and other top officials, the party said following the recent development in the state, it is collapsing its structure into the APC in the state to form a coalition.

Araraume noted that the people of the state have suffered hence the need for the people to help the current administration in its quest for good governance.

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Nullifies Election Of Ihedioha, Declares Hope Uzodinma Imo Governor

“Our people have suffered over time. We need to make the government succeed because we need good governance in Imo. We need to make our contributions.

“The whole idea to aspire to be governor is to offer selfless service to our people. Somebody has emerged through the verdict of the Supreme Court, which is the highest court of the land. Therefore, we need to sensitise our people from the grassroots to the state level to support him,” he said.

 

 

Araraume’s remarks come five days after the apex court nullified the election of Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of Imo state.

The seven-man panel led by Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad unanimously declared Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as the winner of the March 19 governorship election.

Immediately after the verdict, Araraume congratulated Uzodinma and promised to support his government.

Imo Govt Approves 1.2bn Naira For Payment Of August Pensions

APC GovernorsThe Imo State government says it has approved the sum of N1.2 billion for immediate payment of pensions for the month of August 2016.

The Commissioner for Internally Generated Revenue and Pensions Matters, Ifeanyi Ararume, disclosed this in Owerri the Imo State capital while speaking to Channels Television.

He also said the state, Governor Rochas Okorocha, has also set up a committee to meet with the Labour Unions on how to offset pension arrears in the state.

The non-payment of pension and the arrears have been one of the major bone of contention between the Imo State government and Labour Unions in Imo State especially the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP).

The NUP have always accused the Imo State government of neglect and non-payment of pension arrears owed to pensioners.

Led by its Chairman, Mr Godwin Ezeji, the NUP had taken their agitations and request to the streets of Owerri with a massive protest against the government in order to press down their demands.

The payment, according to the government, will commence on Monday, September 19.

The commissioner also disclosed that the payment is at all levels from retired civil servants, public servants, retired pronto school teachers to permanent secretaries.

Buhari Nominates Chairman, Commissioners For NCC

NCCPresident Muhammadu Buhari has requested the Senate to confirm nominees into positions of Chairman, Executive Commissioner, and Non-Executive Commissioners of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The President made the request in a letter dated August 2, 2016, sent to President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki.

Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye (South West) was nominated as Chairman, while Mr. Sunday Dare (South West) got the nod as Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management.

Those nominated as Non-Executive Commissioners are: Aliyu Sa’idu Abubakar (North East), Clement Omeiza Baiye (North Central), Chief Okoi Ofem Obono Obla (South South), Pastor Ezekiel Yissa (North Central) and Senator Ifeanyi Ararume (South East).

The nominations are in accordance with Section 8(1) of the Nigerian Communications Commission Act 2003.

Supreme Court Adjourns Okorocha’s Suit To Jan. 2014

The Supreme Court in Nigeria has fixed January 24, 2014 for judgment on the suit filed by the governor of Imo State, Mr Rochas Okorocha challenging the decision of the Appeal Court in Owerri to allow Mr Ikedi Ohakim to join in the suit filed by Mr Ifeanyi Ararume.

Mr Ararume, who was the governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria in the 2011 governorship election, had challenged the constitutionality of the May 6 supplementary election that brought Okorocha to power.

Mr Ohakim was the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

At the resumed hearing of the suit in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, counsel to governor Okorocha, Mr Niyi Akintola adopted his brief of argument and prayed the court to rule in his favour.

The lawyer to the PDP, Mr Wole Olanipekun however informed the court of a preliminary objection he filed, saying the appeal by Governor Okorocha is an incompetent one.

Mr. Awa Kalu representing Mr. Ifeanyi Ararume, who did not challenge the suit, stressed that every litigant had a right of appeal.

It will be recalled that the Court of Appeal in a ruling delivered by Justice Hussein Mukhtar has dismissed Okorocha’s objection to Ohakim’s application and consequently made Ohakim an appellant in the case.

Okorocha in his Supreme Court appeal argued that Ohakim’s party, the PDP, had earlier challenged the subject matter of the suit at the election petitions tribunal and lost arguing further that the PDP also challenged the decision of the election tribunal at the Supreme Court and lost.

According to him, allowing Ohakim to challenge the high court’s judgment on appeal was to afford him the opportunity to pursue two remedies against the same infraction in two courts at the same time.

 

 

NGF Crisis: Reconciliation Moves Begin As Senate Delegation Visits Amaechi

Worried by the current challenges plaguing the country and the crisis in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Senators’ Forum of Nigeria paid the Rivers state governor and Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, a visit as part of its effort to resolve the crisis.

The Acting Chairman of the Senators’ Forum of Nigeria, Senator John .K. Brambaifa who led the delegation on a visit to the  Government house in Port Harcourt said they were “very concerned about the current political developments that is threatening the national polity and peaceful co-existence”.

According to him, the Forum in the discharge of its mandate resolved to consult major stakeholders in the country with a view to strengthening and consolidating the nation’s democracy.

On the NGF crisis, Senator Brambaifa recalled that the Senators’ Forum had already met with Plateau state Governor, Jonah Jang for peaceful resolution of the crisis.

While thanking the senators, Governor Chibuike Amaechi described them as patriots and spoke on the need to uphold democracy in the country where aspirants should simply accept victory or concede defeat, adding that he clearly won the NGF election.

Members of the delegation included Senators Nnamdi Ereobuna, Haruna Zigwaziz, M. T. Ombu (Jnr.), Abubakar Muadi, Ibrahim Mohammed, Ifeanyi Ararume, Sylvanus Ingele and Dogwa Jibril.