The Independent National Electoral Commission has said it will comply with the judgment of the Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri, Imo State, which sacked Senator Ifeanyi Araraume as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the December 5 Imo North Senatorial Bye-election.
The court, in its judgment delivered by Justice Uchechukwu Onyemenam on Friday, nullified the November 6 ruling of the Federal High Court which declared Araraume as the authentic candidate of the APC.
It also ordered INEC to replace the former senator’s name with Frank Ibezim, whom it said won the party’s primary.
Reacting to the judgment, the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, said the commission will comply with the order of the court as a law-abiding institution.
Okoye in an interview with our source on Friday afternoon said, “Since there has been a judgment of the Court of Appeal in reaction to the Imo North Senatorial District and we are served with a copy of that judgment or a certified true copy of the order, the commission will definitely comply with such an order.”
“It is at the point of making a return that the names of the candidates that are validly nominated come into force. So, if the Court of Appeal has given a judgment asking the Independent National Electoral Commission to carry out a certain act, the commission will definitely obey the judgment of the Court of Appeal because we are a law-abiding institution and we have the constitutional and statutory right to give effect to the orders of a court of law.
“So, we will definitely comply with whatever judgment the court gives. We don’t have a choice,” Okoye stated.