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Imo Guber Dispute: I Will Pursue My Case To The Supreme Court – LP Candidate Achonu Vows



Imo Guber Dispute: I Will Pursue My Case To The Supreme Court – LP Candidate Achonu Vows

The Labour Party (LP) candidate in the last governorship election in Imo State, Senator Nathan Achonu, has vowed to pursue his case against the tribunal’s affirmation of Governor Hope Uzodinma’s victory to its logical conclusion, even if it means going up to the Supreme Court.

News About Nigeria reports that Achonu made the disclosure in a world press conference on Sunday in Abuja.

“I will do everything legal possible to challenge the judgement on appeal up to the Supreme Court,” he said.

It should be recalled that in the November 11, 2023, election, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Governor Hope Uzodinma was re-elected after winning all the 27 local government areas in the state.

Reacting to the verdict of the election tribunal, which affirmed Uzodinma’s victory and dismissed his petition for lack of substantial evidence, Achonu expressed his disappointment and sadness at the judgment.

The tribunal had stated that Achonu failed to prove substantial noncompliance with the Electoral Act in the conduct of the election, citing his inability to produce the BVAS machine as evidence.

Achonu, however, said that the judgement has not deterred his belief in democracy and the judicial process but has instead emboldened him to insist on the right thing being done.

He expressed optimism that justice would be served in the long run.

Achonu alleged that INEC officers and collation/returning officers guilty of electoral offences are walking free.

He said: “Furthermore, I am going to seek an order of Mandamus compelling the Attorney General of the Federation to proceed against the several INEC officers and Collation/Returning Officers who have been guilty of electoral offenses and are walking the streets free while Nigerians are wallowing in poverty and insecurity which was occasioned by their acts.

“During the build-up to the November 11 governorship election, insecurity was used to unleash terror and brutality on political opponents.

“I narrowly escaped assassination from his men who tried to stop me from attending the church program at Obibiezena in Owerri North LGA.

“We defied all those terror and intimidation to campaign in the entire 27 LGAs and 305 wards including Omuma, Hope Uzodinma’s Ward, and hometown.

Achonu stated that he had endeavoured to ensure the BVAS machine was brought before the tribunal by obtaining an order compelling INEC to produce it, but INEC brazenly refused to abide by the order. He also alleged that INEC had extorted millions of Naira from him as a deposit for the cost of inspecting the BVAS machine, which never held, and INEC has held onto the money.

In a swift reaction, INEC denied taking any money from Achonu, challenging him to provide the bank accounts he paid into or name the officials he paid.

Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, stated that it is not in the character of INEC to “extort” individuals and that payments are made into the account of the Federal Government of Nigeria, not personal accounts.