A state High Court in Owerri the Imo state capital has issued an order of interim injunction to the independent national electoral commission restraining it from recognizing Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as the winner of the December 2020 Imo North Senatorial candidate of the All progressives Congress (APC).
The injunction also restrains INEC from issuing Ararume a certificate of return or any other instrument in his favor in respect of the said election pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice in the suit.
According to Justice E.O Agaba of the Owerri High Court, this followed an application by motion exparte brought to it by The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), one Mr. Kelechi Soribe a member of the Imo State working committee of APGA, and five others against Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, INEC and the APC.
This latest injunction comes few hours after a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to Ifeanyi Ararume based on the result of December 5, 2020, Imo North Senatorial bye-election, having been declared as the valid candidate of the All Progressives Congress.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo who delivered the judgment ordered INEC to issue the certificate of return within 72 hours.
According to him, with regard to the Appeal Court judgment in Abuja, the third defendant (Chukwuma Ibezim) remained disqualified.
The Judge held in a judgment that Senator Ararume remains the authentic candidate of the APC and should be declared the winner of the election.
Earlier, Justice Taiwo dismissed the Preliminary Objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain Senator Ararume’s suit filed by the APC and Chukwuma Ibezim.
Justice Taiwo, who described the application as “an attempt to arrest the judgment,” dismissed it for lacking in merit.
Ararume had, through his counsel told Justice Taiwo Taiwo to invoke the judgments of a Federal High Court and that of an Appeal Court to disqualify Ibezim and declare him as the rightful candidate for APC.
Prior to the bye-election held on December 5, 2020, Ibezim and Araraume had fielded themselves as APC candidates.