The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner of the Imo North bye-election without returning a candidate.
After announcing the results scored by various political parties and their candidates, the Election Returning Officer, Hakeem Adikum said, “I hereby return the All Progressives Congress as the winner of the bye-election held in Imo North on Saturday, December 5.”
He stated that APC scored 36, 811 votes, while Emmanuel Okewulonu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came second with 31, 903 votes.
It was gathered that INEC’s failure to return any candidate as the winner of the election caused disquiet in the hall, as the supporters of the two persons, Ifeanyi Araraume and Frank Ibezim, laying claims to the APC ticket who were waiting to jubilate outside went home unannounced.
Speaking to newsmen, Prof. Francis Ezeonu, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Imo state, said a candidate was not returned as the winner of the election because of several court orders for and against Araraume and Ibezim of the APC.
But a judgement by the Court of Appeal in Owerri, on the same day, also sacked Araraume and asked INEC to replace him with Ibezim.