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Okorocha wins at tribunal, says judiciary ‘aroma of Nigeria’s democracy’




Former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, has described the state’s election tribunal as the ‘aroma and backbone’ of Nigeria’s democracy.

A statement by the senator’s Special Adviser on Media, Sam Onwuemeodo, quoted him as making the comment after the National and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal affirmed him as the winner of Imo West senatorial district election.

The candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jones Onyereri, and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Osita Izunaso, had challenged Okorocha’s emergence at the tribunal.

They had asked the tribunal to sack Okorocha because he was declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission’s returning officer under duress.

Recall that the returning officer, Professor Innocent Ibeawuchi, had after the election claimed he declared Okorocha winner of the election at gunpoint.

But Okorocha, responding to the ruling affirming his emergence, described the “judiciary as the aroma and backbone of the nation’s democracy,” adding that “members of the tribunal are apostles of Justice.”

The statement read in part, “The tribunal had dismissed the two petitions from Senator Osita Izunaso of APGA and Hon. Jones Onyerieri of the PDP against the election of Owelle Okorocha as the senator for Imo West senatorial district on the grounds that they were not able to prove the allegations of duress and malpractice.

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“The former governor remarked that with this latest ruling by the Election Petition Tribunal, it is now obvious that he won his election through the ballot box and the issue of duress was a mere campaign of calumny.”

The statement further said that the former governor had “commended his two brothers, Senator Izunaso and Hon. Onyeriri for being good ambassadors of Orlu zone and appealed to them to join hands with him for the good of Orlu Zone people in particular and Imo people in general.”

By Ebere Ndukwu …

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