THE Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, Rochas Okorocha, on Thursday, congratulated Senator Ifeanyi Araraume on his victory at the Federal High Court Abuja.
Ararume was declared the authentic candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the Imo North Senatorial bye-election held on December 5, 2020.
Okorocha’s congratulatory message was contained in a statement signed on his behalf by his Media Adviser, Sam Onwuemeodo, which was made available to newsmen in Ower.
In his message, Okorocha said, “Senator Ararume, having served in the Senate for two terms before now, will be expected to bring his wealth of experience to bear for the good of the people of Imo North, Imo and Nigeria in general.”
Reacting to the judgment, Ararume in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents simply said, “I am grateful to God. I thank God for His mercies.”
However, in his reaction, Ibezim dismissed the judgment as a miscarriage of justice, while accusing the judge who presided over the case as engaging in “Judicial rascality.”
He told one of our correspondents, “Today’s judgment is a sad commentary on our judicial process and democracy. Why Justice Taiwo decided to embark on this judicial rascality is still a surprise to me. The question is, on what premise did justice Taiwo deliver this judgment…. If it was a pre-election matter, it was filed out of time. If it is a post-election matter, Justice Taiwo does not have the locus to entertain it. It is the tribunal.
“Justice Taiwo is supposed to be reported to the National Judicial Council for judicial recklessness. The issue of who is the authentic candidate of APC for the Imo North bye-election was decided by the Supreme Court in its judgment on February 5, which went in my favor. Araraume was not a party to the bye-election.”
Earlier, Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, declared Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as winner of the bye-election on the grounds that Ararume was the duly nominated candidate of the APC for the election.
The judge also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to issue Ararume a Certificate of Return within 72 hours from the date of the delivery of the judgment to facilitate his inauguration as Senator by the President of the Senate.
Justice Taiwo dismissed the preliminary objection filed by the APC and Chukwuma Ibezim challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain Ararume’s suit.
The judge held that the objection lacked merit because Ibezim being purported by APC as its candidate in the bye-election had been disqualified by a Federal High Court and later Court of Appeal for supplying false information to INEC, to secure clearance to participate in the election.