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                  Chief Athan Nneji Achonu

Contrary to various media reports on the preparedness of the two major political parties, namely, APC and PDP, as well as their candidates in the botched Imo North senatorial re-run election, fresh facts have emerged over how the People’s Democratic Party candidate for the poll, Chief Athan Achonu, plans to ensure that the long awaited re-run did not hold.

Information privy to this medium indicates that Chief Achonu, also known as the One Arm General, has assembled a retinue of legal practitioners to challenge the jurisdiction of the electoral commission to proceed with the re-run as directed by the Court of appeal,even when he is aware that what he is challenging is obtainable.

It was also gathered that the PDP senatorial flag-bearer has threatened to boycott the exercise should INEC proceed with the re-run.

An impeccable source at the Independent National Electoral Commission, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorized to speak, stated that the PDP candidate with his latest action, is prevailing on the electoral body to shelve further plans to conduct the re-run as according to him, the ninety days notice as ordered by the court had already elapsed.

In this regard the source continued, “Chief Achonu is seeking an injunction to restrain INEC from going further with the election,as well filed a lawsuit against the electoral body, urging it to compel INEC to declare him the rightful winner of the senatorial election conducted in the zone last year”,a situation that he is  aware, the no extent law of the country can grant him.

It would be recalled that after the court of appeal sitting in Owerri had nullified the return of Chief Achonu of the PDP as the duly elected senator for Okigwe zone and subsequently ordered for a re-run within ninety days, INEC complied by adopting February 20 for the re-run.

But in the build up to the D-day, things were widely reported to have gone awry, owing to the alleged insincerity and double standards of the members of staff in the Imo state chapter of the commission, which did not go down well with the All Progressives Congress and some other political parties involved in the rerun election.

Some of the weighty allegations against the top members of INEC were the sudden removal and subsequent replacement of key electoral staffers of the commission barely few hours to the commencement of the exercise.

This development which immediately sparked off protests against the commission however, did not excite the APC and other parties, as according to them, “the sudden action of the Imo state chapter of the commission clearly suggests that there was more than meets the eye”.

Reacting to the fresh moves by Chief Achonu, to stall the expected poll, an Okigwe born legal Icon, Chief Barr Ikemba Nwaokeke,  described such action as a desperate antics employed by Chief Achonu, to delay or truncate the chances of any other political party or aspiring senator from replacing him in the senate,since it has become obvious that he has been rejected by the people.

He wondered why Achonu who claims to be ready for elections would adopt a wicked strategy that is  against the general interest of Okigwe people, who are currently shortchanged on the floor of the Senate due to lack of a credible representative, adding that such action smacks of desperation and deceit on the part of Achonu, whom he said, is bent on seeking undemocratic ways of going to the senate,instead of presenting himself for a free and fair election as the constitution of the country demands.

Barr Nwaokeke, further urged people of the zone to remain calm and have faith in the ability of the electoral commission to perform its assigned duties diligently, assuring that Achonu’s idea of, “If it is no me,it can’t be anyone else” will surely be subdued by the Nigerian Constitution and the Electoral Act as amended, insisting that  re-integrating the zone back to the mainstream politics of the country for better democracy dividends remains the aspiration of every Okigwe Indigene.

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