Raphael Ede, Enugu
Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, has asked the purported winner of the October 3 controversial senatorial primary elections of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu West senatorial district, Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagwu to stop dropping the name of Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka in a bid to justify a stolen mandate.
This was as protests continue to trail the senatorial primary.
Ibekaku had said, in a media report, that Fr. Mbaka, the Founder of renowned Adoration Ministries Enugu, had prayed for her victory against Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming senatorial election in Enugu West.
Okechukwu, in a statement issued, on Monday, said he has great respect for Fr. Mbaka and do not think that the clergyman would pray for the ‘stolen mandate’, which she was bandying about.
He said that Ibekaku-Nwagwu did not earn the results allocated to her in the primaries in a desperate bid to declare her as the winner of the Enugu West senatorial primary election.
Okechukwu, an aspirant for the primaries, said he has protested to the Appeal Panel in Abuja over the alleged allocation of unearned votes to Mrs. Ibekaku-Nwagwu in the primaries.
The VON DG said he was following due process in filing petition accordingly to the Appeal Panel, in a bid to recover his mandate from Mrs. Ibekaku-Nwagwu.
In a petition to the Appeal Panel for Enugu West sitting, in Abuja, Okechukwu stated that the allocation of the results was not only brazen, utter imposition of candidate and without tact, but clearly demonstrated the complicity of the Primary Election Panel led by Prof. Moses Momoh.
In the petition titled, “Protest over allocation of votes to Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku Nwagwu in Enugu West Senatorial District Primary Election,” Okechukwu revealed that the votes were wrongfully allocated inter alia: Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku Nwagwu – 5,750, Gbazuagu Nweke Gbazuagu – 4,015, Osita Okechukwu – 2, 344 and Pius Eze – 600, thus making a total of 12, 709 votes.
He said: “The allocation of the results were not only brazen, utter imposition of candidate and without tact, but clearly demonstrated the complicity of the Primary Election Panel led by Prof. Moses Momoh, for I polled a total of 7,919 votes in Awgu one of the five local government areas of the senatorial district.
“Evidence attached as Annex 1. Annex 11 is also attached. It is my candid view that the signatures be subjected to Forensic Test, if in doubt, to clear the air.”
He, therefore, appealed to members of the Appeal Panel to use their good offices in the interest of their great party and dear president, to rectify the unwarranted imposition of divisive Mrs. Nwagwu and validate his election as the candidate of APC, to avoid dissension and discontent among the rank and file of party members.