The Imo State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, in Petition No EPT/IM/HR/13/2024 has nullified the election of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Hon Jonas Okeke as the member representing Ehime Mbano/Ihitte Uboma,Obowo Federal Constituency of Imo State.
In a unanimous decision the three-man panel comprising Justice Anthony Olotu Akpovi (Chairman), Justice Usman A.S Kudu, and Justice Ibrahim Mohammed declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress Party, APC Hon. Chike Okafor, as the duly elected in the election conducted on 25th February, 2023.
Hon Chike Okafor, an Economist, investment banker, former Commissioner for Finance, Imo State and a two-term federal lawmaker, who served as the 8th House Chairman, Committee on Healthcare Services, Chairman Adhoc Committee on Non Oil Revenue and Remittances, and a very key member of the Committees of Appropriation, Finance, Banking and Currency, among others in the 9th Assembly, challenged the declaration of Jonas Okeke by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of the election on the grounds that the respondent was not duly sponsored and qualified to contest the election under the candidacy of the People Democratic Party, PDP.
In its judgment on the petition, the tribunal agreed with the petitioner, that the candidate of the PDP was not qualified to contest the election, and it subsequently ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Hon. Jonas Okeke, and issue same to Hon Chike Okafor.