BY RALPH EJIMKONYE
Senator Ifeanyi Araraume has written to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to issue him a Certificate of Return , as Senator elect for Imo North Senatorial zone.
Araraume’s request came a week after the Supreme Court had declared Frank Ibezim as Senator elect for Imo North Senatorial zone.
In a letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, through his lawyer, Ahmed Raji, Araraume insists that the recent judgments by the Supreme Court, does not invalidate the orders made in his favour by the Federal High Court.
The statement read:
“Although the Supreme Court in it’s judgement in Appeal No: SC/183/2021, between Chukwuma Francis Ibezim v Asomugha Tony Ebeleke and 3 ors and Appeal No: SC/182/2021 between APC v Asomugha Tony Ebeleke and 3 ors delivered on the 16th day of April, 2021, set aside the judgement of Court of Appeals, it is imperative to note that the appeals which culminated in the aforesaid Supreme Court judgement did not emanate from the judgement of Hon Justice Taiwo O. Taiwo delivered on the 18th day of March,2021 in a Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/1644/2020 between Senator Ifeanyi Godwin Araraume v INEC & 3 ors”.
“Again in its judgement in the aforementioned appeal, the Supreme Court DID NOT in any way or manner declare Chukwuma Francis Ibezim as the candidate of the All Progressive Congress for the Imo North Senatorial bye election of 5th December, 2020.
“It is absolutely clear that the Supreme Court did not and could not have made any consequential order declaring Chukwuma Francis Ibezim as the candidate of the All Progressive Congress for the bye election because, unlike Senator Godwin Ifeanyi Araraume, the said Chukwuma Francis Ibezim did not take part in all the stages of the Imo North Senatorial bye election of 5th December, 2020 in line with the combined mandatory positions of sections 285(13) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,1999 (Forth Alteration, No. 21) Act 2017 and Sections 141 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended)
“Put differently,it is imperative to state that unless and until the aforementioned valid and subsisting judgement delivered by Hon Justice Taiwo O. Taiwo is set aside by a superior Court, the Independent National Electoral Commission has no alternative than to comply with the said judgement, as the Supreme Court judgements did not, in any way, set aside the said judgement of Taiwo Taiwo J of the Federal High Court, whether factually or by implication”.
“In consequence of the above,we urge the INEC to immediately comply with the aforesaid extant judgement in SUIT NO: FHC/ABJ/CS/1644/2020 and the orders contained theirein, by issuing Form EC8E and a Certificate of Return to our Client, Senator Godwin Ifeanyi Araraume without further delays” the statement stated