Frank Ibezim, one of those contending for the highly contested APC candidacy for the Okigwe Senate Bye-election, has stated that he intends to challenge a Federal High Court ruling, which banned him for life, from contesting elections or holding public positions.
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, handed down the judgement on the eve of the bye-election, barred Ibezim for life, from holding any public position in Nigeria, on the premise that he submitted forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, and the All Progressives Congress, APC.
A Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri, had on the same day, disqualified Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, who had earlier been declared the authentic candidate of the party by two High Court rulings. The Appeal Court declared Ibezim as the authentic winner of the primaries.
Ibezim while speaking to journalists, insisted that he remained the party’s candidate.
Ibezim hailed the Court of Appeal judgment which ruled that he was the party’s candidate, but faulted the Abuja Federal High Court judgment which had found him guilty of perjury, and went further to ban him for life from contesting elections and holding public positions in the country.
Ibezim, a former commissioner for Agriculture in Imo state, stated that he would appeal the High Court judgment, insisting that the information he submitted to INEC and APC were genuine.
Ibezim stated “…we are aware that the court of Appeal is higher than the Federal High Court. So, there is no basis to argue who is the authentic candidate of APC for Imo North bye-election. The Appeal court judgment had already declared me the authentic candidate of the party.
He went further to state, “As for the Federal High Court judgment in Abuja which banned me for life from contesting elections and holding public positions, we will look at it and definitely we will challenge it. Frank Ibezim is the authentic candidate of APC for Imo North bye-election as declared by a federal high court in Owerri. That is the most important thing.”