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Senator Athan Achonu has in the early hours of Sunday emerged as the Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate for Imo State ahead of the guber polls set to hold in November this year.
He emerged victorious at the primaries of the Labour Party held in Owerri on Saturday which was monitored by The Eastern Updates.
While announcing the result of the exercise, the returning officer and Abia-State governor-elect Alex Otti said Achonu polled 134 votes to beat his closest rival Major General Jack Ogunewe who scored 121.
‘I hereby return Athan Achonu as the LP candidate,’ he said, noting that the exercise was credible.
Senator Achonu was elected into the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2015 to represent Imo North on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
However, in December 2015, the Appeal Court sitting in Owerri, Imo State capital upturned his election at the instance of the candidate of the Accord Party that his party’s logo was not included in the ballot papers used for the 2015 National Assembly election. The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Benjamin Uwajumogu was then declared the winner of the polls.
So far, all three major parties for the November 11 poll have elected their governorship candidates.
They are Senator Hope Uzodimma of the APC, Senator Samuel Anyanwu of the PDP, and LP’s Achonu.
Uzodimma (Imo West), Anyanwu (Imo East), and Achonu (Imo North) were elected to represent their senatorial districts in the Red Chambers in 2015.
The Eastern Updates reports that the party had held parallel primaries at two different locations in Owerri, the state capital.
As at the time of filing this report, the two factions are laying claims to the authenticity and legality of the primaries.
A faction headed by Onyekwulisi Festus is conducting its primaries at Andreas Hotel along MCC Road while another group which has former National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Professor Ukachukwu Awuzie is conducting its own at the Landmark Event Centre in Owerri and has the Abia state Governor-Elect Dr. Alex Otti as the Returning officer and chairman of the electoral panel.