The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the just concluded Imo North senatorial district bye-election but unable to return any APC candidate.
The returning officer, Hakeem Adigun who announced the result said the APC scored a total of 36, 811 votes to beat his rival from the Peoples Democratic Party, Emmanuel Okewulonu who scored 31, 903 votes.
According to the electoral body, the decision not to declare any candidate as the winner is due to several court orders authenticating the true candidate of the party in the bye-election.
It could be recalled that 24 hours to the election, a Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri gave a judgment disqualifying Ifeanyi Ararume as APC’s candidate.
On the same day, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja also disqualified Frank Ibezim from contesting the election.
Ibezim was disqualified on the grounds that he made false statements/declarations in the affidavit and documents submitted to the APC.
Meanwhile, Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, has reacted to the outcome of the election where INEC declared APC the winner of the election without returning any candidate.
Speaking to journalists at the Government House in Owerri, Uzodinma thanked the people of the senatorial district for voting overwhelmingly for the APC, noting that the victory has shown once again that Imo is an APC state.
Governor Uzodinma, however, said he will not join any issues with INEC, adding that with the recent Court of Appeal judgment and the statement from the APC National Executive Committee, Frank Ibezim is the authentic candidate.