Imo state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof Francis Ezeonu, has once more embarked on yet another suicide mission with the hasty declaration of Hon. Chief Jerry Alagbaoso, as the winner of the re-run election held in Orlu, Orsu and Oru East Federal Constituency, while collation of results was still ongoing.

Remarkably, the same Francis Ezeonu had ordered Jerry Alagbaoso to be declared the winner in the major election on February 23, 2019, even when it was officially declared inconclusive by his commission and re-run ordered.

Ezeonu had summoned the candidates who participated in the first election for a deliberation on how and when to reschedule a re-run, only for the participants and their supporters to be informed that the result was ready and there and then, he declared Jerry Alagbaoso winner which development triggered up the chain of litigations that culminated in the eventual cancellation and re-run election which took place last Saturday, January 25, 2020, amidst another round of controversies.

In the instant case, Prof. Francis Ezeonu and his counterpart, Prof. Emma Anakwuba, who was said to have been procured from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, well known for annual upwards review of school fees as returning officer recruited for the job, on Tuesday, January 28, 2020, ignored a valid court order, restraining them from announcing anyone winner and ahead to announce Hon. Jerry Alagbaoso winner of the reported inconclusive re-run election in the federal constituency.

An Owerri federal high court presided over by Hon. Justice T.G Ringin had on Monday, January 27, 2020, granted an interim order restraining INEC, REC Ezeonu, RO; Anakwuba as the third respondents respectively from announcing the result of the inconclusive re-run election in a matter bought before it by Edwin Iheanacho and APC wherein they prayed for the interim injunction since according to the collation of results was ongoing with the APC candidate, leading with a wide margin when Ezeonu ordered Anakwuba to declare Alagbaoso winner.

Despite being duly served the court order restraining it from announcing the result of the election or declaring the 4th respondent or defendant, Alagbaoso as the winner of the inconclusive January 25, 2020, re-run election of the Orlu, Orsu and Oru East Federal Constituency, Ezeonu was alleged to have ordered Anakwuba to go ahead and declare Jerey Alagbaoso winner, thus risking contempt of court and imprisonment for so doing.

The court is expected on the next adjournment date which is Monday, 3rd February 2020, to determine why Prof. Francis Ezeonu and the returning officer: Anakwuba would not be committed to prison for this obvious affirmed of the clandestine moves by Prof. Francis Ezeonu and Anakwuba to declare Jerry Alagbaoso winner, the Imo State Commissioner of Police armed with the restraining order from a court of competent jurisdiction invaded the venue with his men in attempt to forestall the brigandage and infamy but Ezeonu could not have any of it.

In spite of all the protests, Ezeonu who was nominated for the job by his former vice-chancellor at UNIZIK, who is also a bonafide son of Mbaise, but allegedly working tacitly for the enthronement of a PDP candidate.

Reacting to the development, the Director-General (DG) “Edwin Iheanacho Campaign Organisation”, Chief Nwadike said, that they, “took a preemptive measure by going to court knowing what happened on the February 23, 2019, election in the Federal constituency”. He further observed, some persons in Imo INEC, were given specific instructions to declare someone’s winner irrespective of the outcome of the election. We are not surprised that in spite of a valid injunction issued by a court of competent jurisdiction, INEC which has been boasting of obeying rule of law, went ahead, in this case, to carry out the hatchet job.

It is expected however that while the case subsists at the federal high court, the INEC National Leadership would be responsible enough to withhold the Certificate of Return.

Chukwuma Amaechihttp://evergreennewsonline.com
A Certified Senior Editor/Creative Writer @Evergreennewsonline Media, Graphic Designer, Chemical Engineer, & a Radical Entrepreneur



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