Journalism of Courage

Appeal Court Reserves Judgment On Imo Reps Seat 


By Richard Anyebe

The Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri, the Imo State Capital has reserved judgment in the appeal filed by the sacked Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate representing Okigwe North Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Obinna Kingsley Onwunuariri.


The appellate court took the final arguments from both parties on Thursday and reserved the judgement at a later date.


Recall that the National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal in Owerri had on September 18 sacked Onwubuariri and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) rerun election in the constituency within 90 days.


According to the chairman of the Panel, R. Harriman, the petitioner, Princess Miriam Onuoha, of the All Progressives Congress, was able prove her petition beyond reasonable doubt.


Onwubuariri contested the election against his major challenger, Mirian Onuoha of the All Progressives Congress (APC).


During Thursday’s argument, Counsel to the APC candidate, Wisdom Durueke asked the court to dismiss the appeal of the Onwubuariri and uphold the decision of the lower court.


“My Lord, dismiss the appeal and uphold the decision of the trial court (lower tribunal) that supplementary elections should be conducted in the constituency because he (Obinna Onwubuariri) did not win and will never win,” Durueke said.


During a cross appeal, Onuoha had asked the court to declare her winner, having scored the highest number of valid votes cast.


Until the nullification of his mandate, Onwubuariri represented Isiala Mbano/Onuimo/Okigwe federal constituency of Imo State on the platform PDP.


He was first elected into the House of Representatives in 2015.

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