Tribunal nullifies Owerri West state constituency election, orders re-run


INEC-boxThe Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Owerri on Tuesday nullified the election of Ndubuisi Ikonne, representing Owerri West Constituency in the Imo State House of Assembly.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Chidi Ihemedu of the Peoples Democratic Party, who came second, had dragged Ikonne of the All Progressives Grand Alliance to the tribunal on the grounds that the April 11, 2015 election in Owerri West witnessed irregularities.

Ihemedu had prayed the court to among other things to cancel the election or declare him winner of the election.

In a unanimous judgment delivered by the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Abdullahi Sanya, the court ordered for a re-run in 11 polling units spread across seven wards of the constituency.

The tribunal after reviewing submissions made by the parties to the suit, stated that elections in the affected units did not meet the provisions of the electoral law.

The tribunal directed the Independent National Electoral Commission to organise the re-run within 90 days to determine the true representative of the constituency.

Ihemedu, who spoke with newsmen after the judgment, described it as victory for democracy.

He said: “This judgment has made me to note that there are still good men and women at the bench.

“This is a resounding victory and I can tell the tribunal made painstaking efforts to unravel the truth based on the evidence before them.

“And I thank God for today.”

Ihemedu said that God has given the country another opportunity to right the wrong that was done during the April 11 election.

He urged the people to come out in their numbers to ensure that he emerge the winner during the re-run election.

Dr. Collins Anya, Personal Assistant to Ikonne, who spoke on behalf his boss, expressed surprise at the judgment and added that Ikonne would after consultation with his legal team decide on what next to do.

Anya said: “There is no cause for alarm because the total number of registered voters in the affected wards is below 3,000.

“Based on the cancellation, we are still leading by over 2,000 votes and even if there is re-run, Ikonne will still win the election.” (NAN)

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