By Bukar Bolori
The Labour Party Imo North Senatorial candidate, Dr. Okorondu Nwachukwu, has petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission over moves by his party to withdraw his candidacy and conduct a fresh primary election.
Nwachukwu, who emerged the winner of the primary election conducted by the Labour Party and witnessed by INEC officials on June, 9, 2022, said he was still in the race, and at no time withdrawn as the senatorial candidate for Imo North.
He stated this in a petition dated July 13, 2022 to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, written by his lawyer, Emmanuel Adedeji.
Nwachukwu in the petition titled, ‘Re: Purported withdrawal as candidate of Labour Party for Imo North Senatorial Zone,” expressed shock that his party wrote to the electoral commission about his purported withdrawal as the candidate of the Labour Party for Imo North Senatorial Zone.
The letter read, “We are solicitors to Dr. Okorondu Nwachukwu hereinafter referred to as our client and on whose instruction we write.
“It was brought to the notice of our client that Labour Party wrote a letter dated 8th July, 2022 to the commission, informing the commission of his withdrawal as the candidate of the Labour Party for Imo North Senatorial Zone, and also informing the commission of the party’s intention to conduct fresh primary election.
“Our client hereby inform the commission that he did not at any time withdraw as the candidate of the Labour Party for Imo North Senatorial Zone, and that he never wrote any letter of withdrawal nor depose to any affidavit in support of any letter of withdrawal.
“Our client was shocked when he discovered that some persons concocted plans to mislead the commission into believing that he has withdrawn as the candidate of the Labour Party for Imo North Senatorial Zone.
“Our client state unequivocally that the purported letter of withdrawal and accompanying affidavit (if any was submitted by the party to the commission) were forged.”
Adedeji asked the commission to disregard the Labour Party’s letter regarding his client’s alleged withdrawal as the senatorial candidate of the party.
He also urged INEC to refer Nwachukwu’s allegation that his purported letter of withdrawal and accompanying affidavit were forged to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission for investigation.