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Less than 24 hours to the Imo-North senatorial by-election, a three-man panel of the Appeal Court sitting in Owerri has invalidated the candidacy of Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Ararume and Ibezim had emerged at different factional primaries organized by factions of the primary committee despatched from the national secretariat. While a faction led by the chairman of the APC primary organising committee returned Ibezim, the other faction led by the secretary returned Ararume.
Ararume’s nomination was subsequently upheld by an Owerri High Court. Ibezim who is an ally of the minister of state for education, Dr. Emeka Nwajiuba is also fanatically backed by Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State. Ararume who is a power in himself was also backed by another foe of the governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha.
In the unanimous judgment, the trio of Justice U. Onyemenam, Justice J Y Tukur and Justice M.B Idris set aside the judgment of the High Court in Owerri which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to replace Mr Ibezim with Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as the candidate of the APC in the election.
The appellate court held that the lower court did not have jurisdiction to entertain the suit in the first place because the plaintiff was just a meddlesome interloper who did not participate in the primaries conducted by the party as such will not suffer any injury by the outcome of the primaries.
They, therefore, set aside the lower court judgment delivered on the 6th of November 2020.
THE EASTERN UPDATES