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July 20, 2018

Imo guber: Ihedioha heads to tribunal

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Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, has filed a petition before the Election Petition Tribunal in Owerri, challenging the re-election of Governor Rochas Okorocha.

In the suit with Number EPT/IM/GOV/3/201 5, filed against Okorocha, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and 35 other respondents, Ihedioha insisted that the election was flawed by violence, intimidation, widespread malpractices and partisanship on the part of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Ihedioha, through his lead counsel, Chief Mike Ahamba (SAN), is praying the court to declare him winner of the election or alternatively, cancel the election and conduct a fresh governorship poll in Imo State.

He pointed out that the electoral process was fraught with substantial non-compliance particularly the extensive infringement of paragraph 28 of the guidelines for the 2015 election by declaring results on votes obtained without accreditation or in excess of accredited voters.

The PDP candidate alleged total breach of the principle of neutrality embedded in the Electoral Act as, “flagrantly” perpetrated by INEC staff and agents.

He urged the tribunal to order the governor-elect to return the Certificate of Return issued to him by INEC.

But in a swift reaction, Governor Okorocha through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo said Ihedioha’s action is a waste of time and resources as his journey to the tribunal would end in futility.

In a Press Release issued in Owerri, Onwuemeodo claimed that the real reason Ihedioha went to tribunal was “to use it to keep the hope of the remnant members of PDP in the state alive and to prevent them from defecting to APC as is the case at the moment”.

“Hon. Ihedioha’s trip to the tribunal would be the only consolation for the Imo PDP now.  That is his real reason for heading to the tribunal and not to contest Okorocha’s victory because he knows that if the governorship election is conducted 20 times in Imo, Governor Okorocha will still win”.


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