News Beyond Boundaries

Revealed: Why only one Imo Senator voted for NASS leadership

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By Toby Prince

There were an uncharacteristic buzz, razzmatazz and glamour around the National Assembly on Tuesday. Being the inaugural day of the 9th parliamentary session, it was pretty much anticipated.

The buildings housing Senate and the House of Reps ‎wore new look ahead of the maiden meeting.

It was a grand opening that legislators, members of the press and the entire nation anticipate owing to the intrigues, drama and excitement that comes along.

Nigerians from each of the 109 Senatorial districts clung to proceedings as they develop, monitoring their representative.’

However, it wasn’t the same optimism for two districts. Even more shocking, both are in Imo State.

Rochas Okorocha from Imo West was denied access to the premises owing to an impending court case after he was denied Certificate of Return.

Similarly, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) suspended “all further proceedings and actions” on the Imo North senatorial election, which it earlier declared inconclusive in March.

According to Mallam Mohammed Haruna, National Commissioner and Member, Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC made the decision in compliance with an ex-parte order mandating it to do so.

In February, two days after the INEC office in Isiala Mbano Local Government Area in Imo North Senatorial District was set ablaze by persons suspected to be political thugs, INEC declared the senatorial election inconclusive, citing allegations of ballot box snatching, the kidnapping of electoral officers and manipulation of the process.

A rerun was held on March 9, but INEC still hasn’t declared a winner.

Before the rerun, Ndubueze Patrick, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was leading Uwajumogu, his closest challenger who is also the incumbent senator and the APC candidate.

Consequently only Onyewuchi Ezenwa Francis (PDP) – Imo East partook in the election that produced Ahmed Lawan as Senate President.

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