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Tribunal sacks Imo Reps member, Ikenga Ugochinyere


 John Owen Nwachukwu 

The Imo State National and State House of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal has sacked a member of the House of Representatives, Ikenga Ugochinyere.

Ugochinyere contested the election under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The tribunal ordered a supplementary election within 90 days in the state as it declared that Ugochinyere was not qualified to contest the Ideato North/South Federal Constituency election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared Ugochinyere winner of the election with 13, 026 votes.

Daily post reports that Obi Chigozie of the Labour Party, LP, came second with 5,696 votes, while the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Abazu Benson. came third with 2, 368 votes.

The APC candidate, Benson, approached the tribunal to seek a redress with a petition marked: EPT/IM/HR/10/2023.

INEC, Ugochinyere, PDP, candidate of the Labour Party, Obi Paschal Chigozie and his party, the LP, were listed as the 1st to 5th respondents

In the petition, the APC candidate insisted that Ugochinyere was not qualified to run in the election and also argued that all the votes that were credited to him were wasted votes.

The APC candidate told the court that contrary to the provision of the Electoral Act 2022, the PDP conducted its primary election at a venue that was outside the constituency.

In a unanimous decision on Sunday, the 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 election.

Delivering its judgement, chairman of the panel, Justice Anthony Akpovi, specifically directed the electoral umpire to conduct the supplementary poll within 90 days.

The tribunal also noted that the PDP and its candidate should be excluded from the supplementary election.

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