A frontline political associate, a die-hard loyalist of distinguished Senator Ifeanyi Araraume and Amauzuari, lsiala Mbano LGA born Hon. Jerry Ukachukwu Nwokoro (aka UBEST) has described the Friday, 6th November 2020 Federal High Court of Owerri judgment which upheld Ararume as the authentic and duly nominated candidate of lmo APC for the lmo North senatorial bye-election as a victory for democracy, for lmo North Senatorial District and the good people of Amauzuari.
While fielding question from a select group of Journalists in Owerri, the lmo state capital shortly after the judgment, the Umuahia based, lmo state born Philantopist congratulated senator Ifeanyi Ararume for the hard-won and long-expected victory. While extolling the wisdom of the Federal High Court justices who presided over the matter and subsequently delivered the judgment, UBEST further described the historic judgment as a reflection of the mindset of the generality of the good people of Okigwe zone and a confirmation of the dictum that the judiciary is the last bastion for the common man. He further likened the judgment to a Daniel presiding over the Federal High Court which, though sat in Owerri, but critically looked at the case before it on its merit, ignored the overbearing influence and antics or pressure and allowed the majority decision of APC delegates in Okigwe, lmo North senatorial District who voted for Senator Araraume to prevail by their judgment.
By the judgment, Nigerians and lmolites have renewed the confidence they reposed in the judiciary which before now, was under serious arguments and embroiled in several strings of doubts following their perceived and alleged cash and carry judgments, he cited his Amauzuari people particularly who in his words are core loyalists of Araraume because of their firm believe in Araraume’s human capacity development but became despondent right from the time Sir Frank Ibezim who they strongly believe was foisted on the party by some powerful elements within its rank in lmo state even when it was obvious he was not qualified and lacking in capacity to represent lmo North in the Senate based on the report of the screening Committee.
In the contention of UBEST, Ararume is one man who abhors injustice and is always prepared to fight injustice to a logical conclusion.
It will be recalled that during the count down to the lmo North senatorial primary election by APC, about 11 aspirants including Senator Ifeanyi Godwin Ararume (KSJI), chief Sir Mark Uchendu, Hon Chief Athan Achonu, Rt. Hon Dr Acho lhim, Hon Matthew Omegara, chief Eze Okoro, Sir Frank Ibezim and others participated. In line with the electoral Act (as Amended) screening and Appeal Committees were constituted with their individual statutory roles or terms of references duly outlined. It was expected that before an aspirant would emerge as a candidate of any political party, the nomination form of the aspirant must be thoroughly screened.
This Fundamental aspect of the Electoral Act was dully carried out by the screening Committee, which outcome saw to the disqualification of Acho Ihim, Chikwem Onuoha, sir Frank lbezim, Mark Uchendu, Eze Okoro chief Ogueri, Athan Achonu and others. The screening Committee in their findings discovered that the aforementioned aspirants including Frank lbezim who joined lmo APC from their former parties did not show sufficient evidence or proof of membership of APC for a minimum of twelve calendar months or a waiver to enable them to contest for the nomination as a senatorial candidate. The committee rather cleared Senator Ararume who is very meticulous both in business and politics, Adanne Chidinma Uwajimogu, and two other aspirants.
In a twist of fate, Frank lbezim had added encumbrance of not submitting the original certificate of his acclaimed University degree and birth certificate. In one instance, it was alleged that he claimed to have obtained a GCE certificate in May /June 1980, whereas such external examinations were held between November and December during the period under review. In another instance, he gave his age as 35, implying that he may have front-loaded his elemental body and spirit or was not even conceived in his mother’s womb by the time he sat for and passed the WASC examinations in May /June 1980 at Bishop shenanigans, Uboma Boys secondary school Etiti.
As if in agreement with the reasons given for his disqualification, which decision was subsequently upheld by an appeal Committee of APC, Frank Ibezim could not challenge his disqualification before the appeal Committee neither did he challenge it in any court of competent jurisdiction and never made any attempt to use available print, electronic and social media to address the issues bothering on communications and certificate forgery.
Though the National and state leadership of APC knew the implication of fielding a nonmember of the party or one not cleared by the Screening Committee for the Okigwe senatorial bye-election, the party leadership remained adamant, obdurately and disregarded the extant and relevant sections of the APC party constitution as it concerns the nomination and qualifications of aspirants by submitting the name of Sir Frank Ibezim who was not granted a waiver, and allowed him to contest for the primaries and submitted same to INEC.
An obviously aggrieved, embittered Senator Ifeanyi Godwin Ararume generally known to have made APC popular by sincerely delivering APC to victory having supported the re-election bid of Rochas Okorocha as governor in 2015, immediately challenged the unlawful declaration of Sir Frank Ibezim as flag bearer of lmo North APC Senatorial bye-election as an interested party in a suit pending before a Federal High Court.
Ararume as a loyal party man was busy exploring all peaceful avenues and available opportunities in resolving the impasse generated by the candidature of Sir Frank Ibezim as a result of the kangaroo primaries when one Mrs Uchenna Onyeiwu Ubá, approached the Federal High Court asking it to restrain the party (APC) leadership from submitting the name of Ibezim to INEC.
That was what prompted Ararume to join as an interested party in the suit meant to challenge the unlawful declaration of Ibezim as the candidate for the lmo North Senatorial bye-election. Hon Jerry Ukachukwu Nwokoro (UBEST) is excited that the judiciary did not compromise their integrity this time around as variously experienced in the elections petition tribunals and other judiciary matters.
He thanked the president, Mohammed Buhari, the lmo state Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, the leadership of the party, and the judiciary for not comprising nor interfered but rather watched and midwifed the delivering cum dispensation of justice seen and believed to have been done.
Hon Nwokoro Jerry prayed God to grant Governor Uzodinma the grace, wisdom, and ingenuity to navigate the socio-economic and infrastructural challenges starring us to our faces as a government and people as lmolites while urging him also to close rank and not to see the recent court victory of Ararume as a ploy to fight him in all frontiers but rather as an act of God divinely orchestrated to create a synergy to move the state forward.
He frowned at political jobbers whose stock in trade is to fan embers of disunity at every political strata which includes but not limited to Araraume, Uzodinma and Rochas Okorocha just to score cheap popularity.
He thanked and called on all lovers of democracy within the confines of lmo North senatorial zone to vote for APC and her candidate Senator Araraume in the yet to be announced Okigwe Senatorial bye – election by INEC.
He concluded thus, a vote for Araraume is a vote for the emancipation and Human capital development of the good people of Okigwe zone and Amauzuari in general.