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Imo senatorial tussle: High Court judge over rules Supreme Court judgement, orders INEC to issue certificate of return to Ararume

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Imo senatorial tussle: High Court judge over rules Supreme Court judgement orders INEC to issue certificate of return to Ararume

A judge of the Federal High Court Abuja has created confusion in the judiciary by over ruling a Supreme Court judgement which affirmed Sir Frank Ibezim as the authentic Senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Imo State.

Justice Taiwo today March 18, 2021 ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ignore the Supreme Court and issue Ifeanyi Ararume a Certificate of Return. Justice Taiwo, who described the application as “an attempt to arrest the judgment,” dismissed it for lacking in merit.

However, in a swift reaction to the judgement, Ibezim has now filed for Order of Stay of Execution at the Appeal Court.

Last month, Araraume had filed an order to set-aside a Court of Appeal judgement that sacked him as the authentic candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the Imo North Senatorial by-election that held on December 5, 2020.

The apex court, in two separate unanimous decisions by a five-man panel of Justices led by Justice Amina Augie, said it found no reason to dislodge the verdict of the Court of Appeal in Owerri, which declared Frank Ibezim as candidate of the APC for the poll

In the lead verdict that was delivered by Justice Tijani Abubakar, the Supreme Court, held that the appellate court was right to nullify the judgement of the Federal High Court in Owerri, which had earlier recognised Ararume as APC’s Senatorial candidate.
Messrs Ibezim and Araraume had fielded themselves as APC candidates prior to the election. Although INEC had declared APC winner of the bye-election, the commission did not return a candidate from the party. INEC hinged its decision on what it described as “several court orders” for and against the two major contenders.

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