By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abujq
The All Progressive Congress APC has told a Federal high court in Abuja that it never fielded its chieftain, Chief Ifeanyi Ararume, for the last December’s senatorial by-election for Imo North Senatatorial district of Imo state.
APC insisted that Ararume lacked locus standi to lay claim to the candidacy and urged the federal high court to dismiss his suit.
The politician had dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, APC and one Chukwuma Francis Ibezim before the federal high court praying for an order to compel the INEC to recognize him as a APC senatorial candidate in the election won by the party
He claimed that Ibezim having been disqualified .by a federal high court on account of supplying false information to INEC to secure clearance, and same disquaification having been upheld by Court of Appeal in Abuja, had knocked him off laying any claim to the outcome of the by-election.
But APC through its counsel, Osho Daudu, asked the court to discontenance Ararume’s claims insisting that his name was never forwarded to INEC but that of Chukwuma Francis Ibezim.
The counsel submitted that a federal high court judgment delivered in Owerri, Imo State which erroneously conferred locus on Ararume had been voided by Supreme Court and cannot confer any advantage on him.
“My Lord, the case of the plaintiff here is predicated on the judgment of a federal high court in Owerri. I have a 10-point affidavit here showing that the judgment in Owerri has been nullified by the Supreme Court and nothing can be built on a voided judgment. The Supreme Court has spoken and that is final.
“I urge my Lord to dismiss the fresh case of the plaintiff and give effect to the decision of the Supreme Court.
In his own submissions, counsel to Ibezim, Mr Emma Osayomi, said that his client has approached the Supreme Court to challenge his disqulification on account of variation in his name.
The counsel argued that as at the election day, the name of his client was on the INEC list and not that of Ararume.
He urged the court to dismiss Ararume’s claims and hold that Chukwuemeka Francis remains the APC candidate.
Ararume through his counsel, Ahmed Raji SAN, had told Justice Taiiwo Taiiwo to invoke the judgments of a federal high court and that of Appeal Court to disqualify Ibezim and declare Ararume as the rightful candidate for APC.
Raji said that that the judgments of the high court and the Court of Appeal have conclusively disqualified Ibezim and he cannot claim to be an aspirant or candidate in the Imo North Senatatorial election.
Meanwhile, Justice Taiiwo Oladipupo Taiiwo has fixed March 16 for judgment in the matter.
APC disowns Ararume in Imo North Senatatorial Election tussle, Says He was Never Fielded
By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abujq