Okorocha’s Victory Affirmed, As Tribunal Throws Out Izunaso’s Petition
BY ONWUASOANYA FCC JONES
The National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal has upheld the victory of His Excellency Distinguished Senator Owelle Rochas Okorocha, as the duly elected Senator, representing the people of Imo West Senatorial District.
The tribunal dismissed Izunaso’s contention that the declaration was “made under duress”.
The tribunal ruled that none of the five witnesses fielded by Senator Izunaso’s team was able to prove the allegation of ‘duress’.
On the issue of qualification, the tribunal also ruled that the immediate past governor of Imo State, is duly qualified and was appropriately nominated by his Party, the All Progressives Congress [APC].
The tribunal which had to move its sitting to Abuja, for ruling, dismissed all the claims of the petitioner for lack of merit and declared the Senate Committee Chairman on Culture and Tourism as duly elected.
Joy in Imo as Owelle keeps his senatorial seat
Imo is agog with happiness, as news filtering in confirms that the National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal, which relocated to Abuja for judgement has affirmed the election of the immediate past governor of Imo State, His Excellency Owelle Rochas Okorocha, as the Senator representing the people of Imo West Senatorial District.
Senator Okorocha whose clear victory at the polls was challenged by the candidates of the People’s Democratic Party, Hon. Jones Onyereri and that of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Senator Osita Izunaso was affirmed as duly nominated by his Party, and his election on February 23rd, fully complied with the Electoral Act.
The Tribunal, which had to relocate to Abuja for the final judgement, dismissed all the prayers by the petitioners, for lacking in merit.
Across the State, especially, in areas constituting Imo West Senatorial District, majority of the people are in celebration mood, as they savour what some of them described as “the best news they have heard in a long time.”
At various markets, motor parks and offices in the State, the scenario is similar to when Nigerian soccer team wins the World Cup.
In Nkwere for instance, where the PDP Senatorial candidate, Jones Onyereri hails from, Mr. Anthony has declared free drinks to anyone that comes to Uwa Mgbede Recreation Bar, for the day.
The local welder says, he will be ready to spend any amount in celebration of Owelle’s victory, because the Imo West Senator is whom a true leader should be.
According to him:
“This is one of the happiest days of my life, since after the 2019 elections. Owelle is our Senator, and we voted him massively, but a few people in Abuja are trying to use some willing tools here to deny us of the credible and responsible representation which only Owelle can give us at this time.”
For Mrs Chioma Nwankpa from Oru West, the tribunal’s ruling represents victory for the people’s power. According to her, “majority of the voters in Orlu Senatorial District voted for Owelle, because we believe in his capacity to represent us well.”
Meantime, some critical stakeholders in the zone have urged the petitioners to accept the ruling in good fate and join hands with the Senator for the development of Orlu zone, Imo West and the Southeast at large.
They urged the PDP and APGA candidates to forego their right to appeal the judgement, as they may be interpreted as an affront on the people of Orlu zone.
According to a PDP chieftain in from Oguta, Chief Martins Uwakwe;
“I am a member of the PDP, but I am more interested in having a responsible representative for our people, and I believe that Owelle holds the ace in that regard.
“Most of us voted across Party lines, because there cannot be any comparison between Owelle and his challengers.
“Owelle is a better leader, as he is more courageous and more people oriented.
“I therefore join in calling on the two gentlemen to forget about appealing the judgement, as the judgement is fully in line with the wishes of the majority.”
Reports from across the country, also indicates that the celebration of Owelle’s victory is not just within Imo State or the Southeast, but across the length and breadth of the country, as all men and women of goodwill, join in celebrating the well-deserved victory of the most popular lawmaker in the country.