From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
The Movement for Accelerated Development in Okigwe Zone (MADOZ) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) Charles Oyirimba as the winner of the Imo North senatorial bye-election.
The Commission has declared that none of the candidates of the All Provressive Congress (APC), Senator Ifeanyi Araraume and Frank Ibezim, would be returned as winner of the election despite announcing the party to have won.
INEC had refused returning any candidate of APC following what it described as several legal issues the candidates were bedevilled with.
MADOZ President Chinedu Nwosu, briefing newsmen on Tuesday, noted that the legal issues which is also faced by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the leadership of their party in the state, has given him an edge to be declared winner of the election.
‘A day before the election of 5th December 2020, both Araraume and Ibezim (for APC), as well as Okewulonu, the PDP candidate, were involved in various courts as eligible candidates for the bye-election.
‘Furthermore, APC fielded two candidates, and/or supported both Araraume and Ibezim at the election, with the consequence that votes were neither separated nor recorded for any of them in their Individual names but, rather, posted jointly for APC.
‘The legal effect being that none of them could be said to be “duly elected” by majority of the legal votes cast at the election. The crucial question, in this regard, is how many votes were casted for Araraume, how many were casted for Ibezim.
‘How can any one of them be declared a winner of majority of the votes cast, from joint and inseparable recording of votes…’? Nwosu asked.
The group has threatened legal action should INEC eventully declare Araraume, Ibezim or Okewulonu winner of the election.
‘Let the APC ghost, un-named candidates that campaigned vigorously and separately untill the last legal date and their PDP counterpart continue to celebrate and give “High Fives” in euphoria; Oyirimba and APGA shall have the ‘last laugh,’ Nwosu boasted.