The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos, has affirmed the victory of the member representing Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala Federal Constituency of Imo State in the House of Representatives, Hon. Matthew Nwogu.
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Akwitti Chibuzor, had challenged the Labour Party lawmaker’s victory at the Imo State National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, but after the Tribunal upheld Nwogu’s victory, the aggrieved APC candidate approached the Appeal Court for respite.
Ruling on the appeal, the three-man panel of Justices led by Hon. Justice Gumel dismissed the appeal, saying that it lacked merit.
Reacting to the judgement, Hon. Nwogu said he’s elated, describing the judiciary as the last hope of the common man.
While urging the Judges to continue to do the right thing, he extended an olive branch to the aggrieved candidates, urging them to join hands with him and work together for the betterment of Aboh Mbaise nation.
Nwogu said, “So, after the election we won, they went to Tribunal in Owerri, the Tribunal struck out the PDP matter. The APC, the Court struck out the matter also, saying that it was defective and didn’t meet the requirements of the Electoral Act.
“And after they disrupted their case, they also looked into their whole case and said they did not have any merit and said they didn’t have a case. The PDP guy did not want to appeal after his matter was struck twice. The APC now went to Court of Appeal.
“But on Thursday, by God’s special grace, the Court of Appeal upheld my election. I want to say that I am highly elated about the judgement. It means that the court is still the last hope of the common man, and also that God exists.
“In so many cases, money cannot buy judgement. In so many cases, irrespective of how we feel about the country. In so many places, money cannot buy judgement. I am very happy now that the case is over.
“After all these months since I have won the primary, I’ve been dragged to court. Finally, God has answered our prayers now that all this is over. I feel very happy. I want to thank my family who have been there for me, giving me the support, especially my wife, who knelt down everyday praying for me, asking God to please grant our request.
“I also want to thank all the members of our constituency who have gone through thick and thin, because they know they gave me their mandate. It was a massive mandate.
“By God’s grace, I don’t think this election has been freer than it was. The election had been freer because it was because it was a massive turnout and people voted. I want to thank them and their patience. Because all these dragging around is all about money. As long as you’re paying lawyers and doing all the necessary things.
“But finally, not only God has given us a mandate, we are now going to be faced with the possibility of providing those necessities we came here to do. That is an effective representation of my people. Robust representation, actually making sure that we take home the projects that have to fit our places, making sure we provide the little we can do for the youths, the elderly, and the disadvantaged.
“We must become the voice of the voiceless and make sure that our people enjoy the dividends of democracy, this is what it’s all about. This is why I have been elected, and by God’s special grace since I’ve been elected, I have been able to move at least seven Bills on the floor that have gone through first readings.
“I have been able to move motions, one of the motions is on the extortion and the in-human treatment of our travellers in the South-East where they are dehumanised by security agencies and the Police, because they don’t have anybody here to speak for them and we are here to speak for them.
“So, for the judiciary, I will just say that they should continue to do the right thing because they know that they are the hope of the common man.
“To my constituents, I want them to be ready because the best is now to come to them. I’ll provide the best for them and they will enjoy this government. I want to thank the Speaker and the deputy speaker for all the committees where they allocated me and in any committee they gave me I promise to work effectively for the betterment of the National Assembly and the House of Reps.
“I want to thank you very much. All we need to do is to encourage the development of democracy. It is not about APC, it is not about PDP. It is about federal constituency. I extend my hands of friendship to all the constituents in any party they are, join me to make sure Aboh Mbaise is better.”