…orders INEC to conduct supplementary poll within 90 days
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA– The Imo Sate National and State House of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal has sacked a member of the House of Representatives, Ikenga Ugochinyere, who was elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
In a unanimous decision on Sunday, a three-member panel of the tribunal which conducted its proceedings in Nasarawa State, held that Ugochinyere was not validly nominated by the PDP to contest the Ideato North/South Federal Constituency election that held on February 25.
Consequently, it ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to within 90 days, conduct a supplementary election in the constituency.
The tribunal, in its lead judgement that was delivered by its Chairman, Justice Anthony Olotu Akpovi, specifically directed the electoral body to conduct the supplementary poll in 55 polling units where elections did not hold on February 25.
It held that the PDP and its candidate should be excluded from the supplementary election.
The judgement followed a petition that was lodged before the tribunal by candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Abazu Chika Benson.
Cited as 1st to 5th respondents in the petition marked: EPT/IM/HR/10/2023, were; INEC, Ugochinyere, PDP, candidate of the Labour Party, Obi Paschal Chigozie and his party, the LP.
It will be recalled that INEC had declared the PDP candidate, Ugochinyere, as winner of the election with a total of 13, 026 votes.
Whereas the candidate of the LP, Chigozie, came second with 5,696 votes, the petitioner who was sponsored by the APC, came third with a total of 2, 368 votes.