A political group, Divine Mandate Movement (DMM), has rejected the sacking of Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, a member of the House of Representatives representing Ideato Federal Constituency, Imo State.
The Imo State National and State House of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, on Sunday, sacked Ugochinyere, who was elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
In a unanimous ruling, a three-member panel of the tribunal which conducted its proceedings in Nasarawa State, held that Ugochinyere was not validly nominated by the PDP to contest the Ideato North/South Federal Constituency election that held on February 25.
Ugochinyere’s challenger from the All Progressives Congress, Chika Abazu, filed the petition.
Reacting to the verdict, the DMM Chairman, Myke Ikoku, said in a statement, “A political party is only vested with the locus to file a pre-election matter that affects it or it’s own candidates.
“We are also aware that no court has the jurisdiction to entertain a suit brought by another political in that regard, hence our rejection of the tribunal judgement. We are also aware that the Supreme Court had litigated on the said matter in favor of the PDP candidate, Ugochinyere.”
“The Judgement of the Tribunal is against the relevant Electoral Laws and Guidelines and Regulations, hence it is a miscarriage of Justice on the people of Ideato Federal Constituency and Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere.”
The group did not only fault the ruling, it further stated that its support for PDP’s Ugochinyere to head to an appellate court so as to reclaim the mandate.
Ikoju stated, “On behalf of the Divine Mandate Movement, the immediate political structure of the Governorship Candidate of Imo PDP, Sen Samuel Nnaemeka Anyanwu, we reject the tribunal judgement in its entirety.
“And in solidarity stand by member representing Ideato Federal Constituency, Ugochinyere as he proceed to Court of Appeal to seek redress, while urging our teeming supporters, party faithfuls and particularly, members of Divine Mandate Movement in the federal constituency to remain calm and law abiding as we shall continue to lead the charge in the defense of our democracy and ensure that the will of the people expressed through the ballot is respected and restored.”