From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
The Imo peoples Democractic Party has said that with the re-disqualification of Mr. Frank Ibezim by an Abuja Federal High court that the APC has no candidate in Saturday’s Imo North senatorial bye election.
The party also urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to disqualify the APC from participating from the senatorial polls.
The PDP also warned that it will resist any attempt to panel – beat an already void nomination via any substitution or replacement.
It would be recalled that the Appeal Court sitting in Owerri has earlier in its judgement has affirmed Frank Ibezim as the authentic candidate of the the APC and not Senator Ifeanyi Ararume .
In a Court of Appeal ruling today, 4th December 2020, Sir Frank Ibezim was affirmed as the authentic Candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Imo North Senatorial by- election and effectively ending the hopes of Senator Ifeanyi Ararume.
In a statement signed by Nze Ray Emeana, state secretary of Imo state People’s Democratic Party on Friday stated that following the disqualification of Mr. Frank Ibezim, by the Federal High court Abuja, and the judgment of the Appeal Court against Ararume, that the APC has no candidate for the Imo North Senatorial by-election.
The statement which read, “The attention of the People’s Democratic Party, Imo State has also been drawn to another Judgment by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja today, presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo in SUIT NO FHC/ABJ/CS/1229/2020 between ASOMUGHA TONY ELEBEKE VS. FRANK IBEZIM and others wherein the Honourable Court held that Hon. Frank Ibezim who was the first candidate dully submitted by the National leadership of the All Progressive Congress APC was not qualified for the election
Following the disqualification of Mr. Frank Ibezim, by this judgment and the Appeal Court judgement against Ararume, it therefore follows that the APC has no Candidate for the Imo North Senatorial by-election.
It added, ” the Peoples Democratic Party Imo State hereby calls upon the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to as a matter of urgency, disqualify the APC as a party from participating in tomorrow’s Imo North Senatorial bye-election as they have no candidate for the election.
The position of our Courts is very clear in a plethora of cases especially the recent case between DUOYE DIRI VS. DAVID LYON in the Bayelsa Gubernatorial election, that once a party submits the name of an unqualified candidate for elections, such party ceases to have a candidate for the elections. In the instant case where the Federal High Court has disqualified Mr Frank Ibezim on the grounds of fake or discrepancies in his personal records or credentials, the APC ceases to have a candidate for the Imo North Senatorial Bye-election.”
The PDP insisted that having fielded an unqualified candidate, the APC stands disqualified and cannot amend or substitute its candidate having not been qualified ab initio.
The party urge the people of Okigwe Zone to flatly reject the confused APC party as they have no candidate for tomorrow’s election. “Any vote for APC tomorrow is wasted vote”.
“The People’s Democratic Party, Imo State will stand with the good people of Okigwe zone as they go out to vote for the credible PDP Candidate, Chief Emma Okewulonu to represent them at the Senate come 5th December, 2020. “