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Court orders INEC to conclude Oguta assembly election

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Owerri- A Federal High Court in Owerri on Wednesday ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conclude the Oguta State Constituency election.

 

The judge, Justice S.M. Shaibu, in his judgment, rejected the reliefs sought by Chief Eugene Dibiagwu that INEC should declare him the winner of June 29, 2013 re-run election.

 

Shaibu held that granting the plaintiff’s reliefs would “amount to shifting  the goal post at the middle of a football competition.

 

“Also, this will look like a relay race, athletes lined up to run and a whistle is blow and you discovered that one of the athletes did not observe the rule and you decide to call them back, you do not disqualify anybody at that stage.’’

 

He held that INEC did not declare anybody winner or issued certificate of return to any after the re-run, noting that it would be wrong for the court to do so.

 

The judge, however, urged the commission to complete what was left of its job in the constituency.

 

Dibiagwu of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) had urged the court to declare him as the winner of the poll.

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He urged the court to reject Chief Walter Uzonwanne as the candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the re-run poll.

 

He had argued Uzonwanne lost his candidature when he defected from  APGA to All Progressives Congress (APC) before the re-run election.

 

According to him, APC is not known in the contest because the party was not registered when parties fielded candidates in 2011.

 

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the constituency seat has been vacant since May 29, 2011 to date. (NAN)

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