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The Action Alliance (AA) candidate in the 2023 House of Representatives election for Bende Federal Constituency, Ifeanyi Igbokwe, has insisted that he was not the one behind the petition challenging election of Benjamin Kalu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who is the currently the Deputy Speaker.
Igbokwe, who explained that he never filed the petition before the National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal, in Umuahia, the state capital, also pointed out that he did not authorise it or knew who did.
Announcing this while featuring in an Umuahia-based FM Radio programme, Igbokwe said he was shocked that someone used his name to file a suit/petition against Kalu.
Disclosing that the plaintiff of the petition, who impersonated him is yet to be identified at the tribunal, Igbokwe claimed to have formally written to the police and the Department of State Services (DSS) to apprehend the impersonator(s), including the lawyer(s) handling the petition.
He said: “Whoever hired the lawyers also hired the impersonator/s. I was at home drinking my tea and watching the news when someone called, informing me that I had a case in court against the Deputy Speaker.
‘I was surprised that people were calling me from my own place and constituency telling me about the court case, even as I had conceded defeat, describing it as the will of God.
‘Now, I am shocked that someone is even representing me. This is my poster and this is my voter’s card. This is my party card, so how come somebody is representing me and I didn’t know anything about it?
‘Even my lawyer was also surprised, because we all rejoiced over Kalu’s new position as Deputy Speaker. I told the people that he (Kalu) is my brother from Bende. So, why will I start fighting my own brother?
‘We have gone to court, sworn every affidavit and we are writing to DSS and the Inspector General of Police (IG), because I want to know the person impersonating me. I want to clear my name first. I want to tell the people of Bende and the entire Abia that I have accepted defeat, and I want to tell the deputy Speaker that I am not fighting him.