- A member of the House of Representatives, Chike Okafor (APC, Imo), has lost his seat
- Okafor, representing Ehimembano/ihitte Uboma/Obowo federal constituency lost his seat to Emeka Nwajuba of Accord Party based on a court order
- INEC national commissioner, Festus Okoye, during the issuance of certificate of return to Nwajuba said the commission is committed to obeying court orders
Chike Okafor, a member of the House of Representatives that represents Ehimembano/ihitte Uboma/Obowo federal constituency, has lost his seat to Emeka Nwajuba of Accord Party due to a court order.
Nwajuba got his certificate of return Monday, May 13, in Abuja from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Nwajuba was a member of the house between 1999-2003.
In his acceptance speech, Nwajuba commended INEC and the judiciary for retrieving his mandate. However, he called on the APC leadership to consider the southeast in zoning the speakership of the House of Reps to the region.
He said the APC has made steady progress between 2015 and 2019 in the zone, adding that zoning such position to the south east would lead to national stability, inclusiveness and consolidation.
The electoral body reiterated its commitment to neutrality in election disputes with a promise to provide all requested documents to parties concerned.
The commission, however, advised senior lawyers to re-examine the manner of sending junior lawyers to access sensitive election documents from it.
INEC national commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye during the issuance a certificate of return to Nwajiuba said the commission is committed to obeying court orders.
"On our own part, we are committed to giving all the political parties that are in election petition process whatever documents they want so long as we have those documents.
“We want to appeal to political parties, we want to appeal to lawyers engaged in election petition process to show leadership and show courage when dealing with issues around whether the commission has obeyed a particular court order or whether the Commission has not obeyed a particular court order.
“We are committed to obeying all court orders whether those court orders are in favour of the Commission or against the Commission. It is now left for the judiciary to use their interpretative powers to adjust on matters," he said.
Okafor, who is serving his first term in the House had few weeks ago declared his intention to vie for the position of the speaker of the 9th House of Representatives. Okafor made his intention known when members of Good Governance and Transparency Initiative (GGTI) visited him at his National Assembly’s office, Abuja.
Having won the return ticket, Okafor was banking on his ranking status until the latest development.
The Nation reports that lawmaker could not be reached for his reaction over the development as he was unreachable.
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