Okigwe Senate: INEC Refuses To Issue Ibezim CoR, AS Araraume Insists It’s Due Him …Nwosu: Supreme court never ordered INEC to give Ibezim certificate

A lawyer has dismissed news making the rounds that Mr Frank Ibezim has been declared winner of the hotly disputed Okigwe Senate Seat.

This is coming as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has reportedly refused to issue Certificate of Return, CoR, as winner of the December 5, 2020, bye election on the grounds that the Supreme Court never gave such consequential order in its judgment.

Also, it was gathered that Senator Ifeanyi Araraume another claimant of the seat on the platform of APC on Monday wrote INEC insisting he is still the rightful person for the CoR.

Shedding more light on the vexed issue of who between Mr Ibezim and Senator is the authentic candidate of the APC, a legal practitioner, Barr Emma Nwosu, opined that it was completely wrong for anyone to claim that the Supreme Court declared Mr Ibezim as the genuine APC candidate.

He stressed that the Supreme Court panel led by Justice Emmanuel Agim did not absolve Mr Ibezim of certificate forgery but, rather said that the process that led to slamming him with criminal perjury was faulty.

According to the lawyer the panel took that decision because it said the suit that led to his disqualification was statue barred, meaning it was filed outside the 14 days stipulated for filing all pre election matters.

He said: “The Supreme Court held that since Ibezim was disqualified by the trial court and Court of Appeal based on a case that has been found to be statue barred, such disqualification amounts to nullity.”

 That decision he further clarified meant that he, Ibezim, was freed of perjury so that he can hold political positions but not the contested Imo North Senate.

He said the panel never made any consequential order to return him as the candidate of APC.

Barr Nwosu’s argument seems to have been authenticated by reports yesterday in Owerri that INEC refused to issue CoR to Mr Ibezim when he appeared at its office in Abuja.

It was gathered that Mr Ibezim yesterday stormed INEC’s Abuja office for the purpose of been issued the certificate but was left stranded there for hours without been attended to.

Mr.Ibezim we learnt after staying hours without getting any positive feedback from INEC, quietly exited the place and went back home.

In the same token, this newspaper learnt that his rival Senator Ifeanyi Araraume wrote INEC few hours after the Supreme Court judgment demanding to be issued the CoR.

Sources close to the two term former senator said he promptly wrote INEC to inform that the judgement of the Supreme Court did not invalidate the orders made in his favour by the Federal High Court.

It was further learnt that the letter dated 19th April 2021 was written on his behalf by his lawyer Ahmed Raji SAN.

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