In a significant ruling, a tribunal sitting in Enugu has nullified the election of Hon. Chijioke Okereke, the representative for Aninri/Awgu/Oji-River Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives under the Labour Party (LP).
The tribunal declared Chief Anayo Onwuegbu, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the rightful winner of the February 25, 2023 election.
The verdict followed a legal challenge brought by Chief Onwuegbu, who contested the election results because Hon. Okereke was not a valid candidate.
He had claimed that Okereke’s name was not listed on the result sheet as the LP candidate.
After a thorough examination of the evidence presented, the tribunal panel upheld Onwuegbu’s argument that Hon. Okereke was not a legitimate candidate in the election.
Consequently, the tribunal directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to Chief Onwuegbu, recognizing him as the duly elected representative for the federal constituency.
The case had drawn significant attention due to the inclusion of the former minority leader of the House of Representatives, Toby Okechukwu, on the list published by INEC for the election.
However, the tribunal’s ruling clarified the situation, emphasizing the necessity for valid candidacy during elections.