From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
The Imo State All progressives Congress (APC) has been declared the winner of the Imo North senatorial bye-election conducted on Saturday by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Curiously, no candidate of the party was returned as the winner of polls.
Mr Hakeem Adikum, Returning Officer of the senatorial polls, who announced the results of the election, stated: ‘I hereby return the All Progressive Congress as the winner of having scored 36,811 votes to defeat the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Emmanuel Okewuluonu, who scored 31,903 votes during the senatorial bye-election held in Imo North on Saturday, December 5.’
According to him, APC won in five out of six Local Governments in the senatorial district, namely Okigwe, Onuimo, Isiala Mbano, Ehime Mbano, and Ihitte Uboma LGAs, while the PDP won in one local government area, Obowo.
The State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof Francis Ezeonu, disclosed that the electoral commission was unable to return a candidate from the APC as the winner because of several court orders for and against Ibezim and Araraume.
It would be recalled that 24.hours to the senatorial polls, the Owerri division of the Appeal Court had sacked Senator Ifeanyi Ararume and reaffirmed Mr Frank Ibezim, who was earlier sacked by a lower court, as the candidate of the party. However, shortly after, an Abuja High court also disqualified Frank Ibezim for perjury.