APEAL COURT DECLARES DEACON CHIKE OKAFOR WINNER OF IMO REPS SEAT, SACKS PDP REPS MEMBER

… Chike Okafor welcomes ruling, suspends celebration till after November 11 Guber Election

The Appeal Court sitting in Lagos has upheld the decision of the tribunal which declared Hon. Deacon Chike Okafor winner.

The three man panel made up of Justice B.A Georgewill, Justice B.B . Aliyu and Justice J.Folashade-Ojo, held that the tribunal was right in judgement, thus the appeal lacked merit.

 

Recall that the Imo State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, in Petition No EPT/IM/HR/13/2024 has nullified the return of the PDP candidate, Hon Jonas Okeke as the House of Representatives member for Ehime Mbano/Ihitte Uboma, Obowo Federal Constituency in Imo State.

In a unanimous decision the three-man panel comprising Justice Anthony Olotu Akpovi (Chairman), Justice Usman A.S Kudu, and Justice Ibrahim Mohammed declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress Party, APC Hon Deacon Chike Okafor, as the duly elected candidate of the election conducted on 25th February, 2023.

Hon Chike Okafor, an Economist, investment banker, former Commissioner for Finance, Imo State and a two-term federal lawmaker, who served as the 8th Assembly Chairman, Committee on Healthcare Services, Chairman Adhoc Committee on Non Oil Revenue and Remittances, and a very key Member of the Committees of Appropriation, Finance, Banking and Currency, among others in the 9th Assembly challenged the declaration of Jonas Okeke by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of the election on the grounds that the respondent was not duly sponsored and qualified to contest the election under the candidacy of the People Democratic Party, PDP.

In its judgment on the petition, the tribunal agreed with the petitioner that the candidate of the PDP was not qualified to contest the election, and subsequently ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Jonas Okeke, and issue same to Hon Chike Okafor.

Reacting to the Tribunal verdict, Hon. Chike Okafor expressed satisfaction with the unanimous decision of the Honourable Justices of the Appeal Court to restore the mandate of the people of Ehime Mbano, Ihitte-Uboma and Obowo federal Constituency, freely given, on that fateful Saturday, in February 2023.

He also extended his gratitude to the All Progressives Congress (APC), especially, in Imo State, for entrusting him with the ticket and to his numerous supporters for their untiring followership and belief in his capacity to deliver the dividends of Democracy to his immediate constituency, even as he can’t wait to join the 10th National Assembly to forge ahead with the drive to make the country better.

Finally, he declared that there will be no celebration of this Victory, by his team, until the November 11 2023 Imo Governorship election is conclusively won by His Excellency Sen. Hope Uzodimma, the leader of APC in the State.

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