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Imo Guber: Supreme Court Affirms Achonu’s Candidacy, Legitimises Abure’s LP Leadership

The LP spokesperson said a panel of five justices cautioned the appellant for wasting the time of the court.

The Supreme Court, on Thursday, dismissed an appeal brought before it by one Basil Maduka against the Labour Party over the rightful candidate of the party in the Imo State governorship election on the ground of locus standi, and effectively validated the candidacy of Athan Achonu.

The apex court also said two other respondents in the matter were Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and the Lamidi Apapa-led candidate, Joseph Ukaegbu, alias Ikenga, whose request to seek a consequential order were rejected by the court, thus legitimizing the leadership of Julius Abure, in the LP.

Against this backdrop, Achonu, has hailed the court judgment affirming his candidature, and called on the Imo people to disregard all distractions and vote for him to bring good and exemplary leadership to the state.

At the same time, the leadership of the LP, on Thursday, passed a no confidence vote in  the Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Imo State, Sylvia Agu, and demanded her immediate redeployment.

A statement by the LP spokesperson, Obiora Ifoh, stated that a panel of five justices led by Iyang Okoro, cautioned the appellant for abusing court process and wasting the time of the courts all through from the lower courts.

“With this judgement by the highest court in Nigeria, the Lamidi Apapa’s plot to hijack the affairs of the Labour Party including the powers to nominate candidates has finally come to an end,” it stated.

Speaking to the media shortly after the judgment, counsel to the Labour Party, Okwudili Anozie, said, “Today at the Supreme Court, the antics of  Basil Maduka and his accomplice Joseph Ukaegbu, alias Ikenga, was put to an end as they met their Waterloo at the Apex Court.

“Today was a culmination of their deceit and lies to Imolites spanning from their misrepresentation of the true position of the judgments of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal.
“Upon the exposure and collapse of their lies before the Supreme Court today, Basil’s Counsel, with tails in between his legs, immediately withdrew his subterfuge appeal that was aimed at giving credence to Ukaegbu’s sham, non-existent primaries.

“The Supreme Court didn’t entertain Ukaegbu’s counsel’s ignorant attempt to seek a consequential order, which even a first year student of law knows cannot be sought by a respondent especially in this case, where the appeal was dismissed.

“Indeed, today has been a day of reckoning for evil doers, whose sole plan was to stop the aspiration of Imolites in their determination to Take Imo Back through Senator Athan Nneji Achonu.”

Achonu, who spoke to journalists in Abuja described the series of legal challenges to his emergence as the LP candidate as a psychological warfare by his opponents through sowing seeds of doubts on voters minds, which has now failed.

“I was not sued. I won a fair primary election, and courts never said I was not the candidate. It was a psychological warfare to make Imolites think there was a problem with my candidature, and dissuade them from voting for me.

“With this judgement, I make bold to again call on Imolites to come out massively to campaign and vote for me so that we can take back our State. I also challenge the press to help save Imo and Nigeria,” said Achonu.

Also, the Imo LP chairman, Callistus Ihejiagwa, who led other LP chieftains to protest at INEC’s headquarters in Owerri, said “The party is no longer comfortable with the current REC in the state, following what we observed during the House of Assembly Election, where INEC guidelines were not followed.”

He said the party’s demand was simple: “Remove the REC and follow the electoral guidelines stipulated by INEC. We are tired of politicians occupying leadership positions through the backdoor. Enough is enough.”

The LP boss further said Agu had not conducted herself in such a manner that showed that the electoral umpire would conduct credible governorship election in the state on November 11.

Chuks Okocha and Tony Icheku

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