– Senator Ararume has lost his bid to go to the ninth Senate with the APC’s victory in the last Imo North senatorial by-election
– The Supreme Court rejected his request to be made the candidate of the ruling APC
– Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal will also on Saturday, February 6, give a ruling on the alleged fake documents submitted to INEC by Ararume’s rival, Ibezim
The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeals filed by Senator Ifeanyi Ararume in which he sought to be made the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the December 5 Imo North senatorial by-election.
The Nation reports that the court on Friday, February 5, affirmed the judgments of the Court of Appeal in Owerri which had rejected Ararume’s requests.
The court ruled that after reviewing all the arguments by parties and the records, it found that the appeals lack merit.
Other members of the panel, Justices Augie, Uwani Abba-Aji, Samuel Oseji and Emmanuel Agim, all agreed with the lead judgment.
Imo APC saga
Both Ararume and Chukwuma Francis Ibezim claimed to be the candidate of the APC in the Imo North senatorial election which was conducted on Saturday, December 5.
Before the election, the two APC chieftains approached the court to affirm their candidacy. This, however, led to another confusion as there were two conflicting judgements over the issue.
In one ruling, Senator Ararume was disqualified while the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was ordered to replace his name with Chukwuma Francis Ibezim as the authentic candidate.
However, in another ruling, Ibezim was also qualified over alleged falsification of the documents he submitted to INEC.
Nevertheless, APC participated in the poll with Araraume’s name on the INEC list.
Victory with no candidate
There was confusion on Sunday, December 6, in Imo when INEC declared the APC as the winner of the bye-election but named no candidate between Ararume and Ibezim.
INEC explained that this is because of the several court cases that surround the claim to the party’s ticket in the district.
Imo PDP candidate urges INEC to declare him winner
Following the crisis in the APC, Emmanuel Okewulonu, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the by-election urged INEC to declare him as the winner.
He asked the electoral umpire to comply with the court judgements disqualifying the APC contenders.
Okewulonu further argued that he won the election in accordance with extant laws.
Supreme Court’s verdict on Ararume: What next?
Though the Supreme Court has rejected Ararume’s appeals, the road is not yet clear for Ibezim.
According to The Nation, the Court of Appeal in Abuja will on Saturday, February 6, delivered judgement on the suit which disqualified Ibezim after finding that he submitted doubtful academic credentials to INEC.