I have never had any reservations about the good fortunes of Okigwe South Federal Constituency nor doubted the richness in quality of its human and natural resources.
Our politics is unique; our passion for service, sublime; and our hunger to deliver the greatest good to our people, unquenchable.
We have evolved to become a people who are bonded by our collective interest and common good, regardless of partisan inclinations.
I have always held strongly to the view that the sole purpose of holding political office, either appointive or elective, is to bring development to the immediate constituency.
And if we are indeed passionate about the development of our constituency, we cannot but rejoice at any and every prospect that has the potentials of accelerating development in Okigwe South Federal constituency.
For this, I join the good people of Ehime Mbano/Ihitte Uboma/Obowo federal constituency and indeed the people of Imo state to congratulate our son, and brother, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba on his nomination as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Young and passionate; driven by ideas and motivated for excellence, we both strive in our different ways for the same goal – the development of Okigwe South Federal Constituency.
This is why, as mortals, we must never play down the God-factor in the affairs of men.
Our eyes were fixated on one prize and everyone ran his best race. Now there are prizes after all, not just one prize, and Okigwe South is the better for it.
And as always, the will and counsel of God alone will stand.
Regardless of the politicking, the controversies and the litigations that followed; the eagerness to serve, yearning to add value and improve the lot of the people of Okigwe South, were perhaps, the most compelling considerations in the bids of Hon. Chike Okafor and Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba to win the House of Representatives seat for Okigwe South.
We both ran our best races; threw in everything we could to get the best outcome especially, the opportunity to serve our people.
For the records however, I won the primary election of my party held on 6th October, 2018. I also won the main election and was declared the winner by INEC and issued a Certificate of Return.
The litigation that brought us to where we are today was instituted at the FCT High Court by one Mrs. Uzoma Chioma MaryAnn who has largely remained faceless.
We have made enquiries in the three council areas that make up Okigwe South and nobody seem to know who she is.
Not even my coordinators in the 31 wards and 75 autonomous communities in the federal constituency have any inkling as to who she is.
She did not campaign anywhere within the constituency, and NEVER participated in the primary election of our party, APC.
Apparently, she does not exist anywhere.
In any case, the suit is now more like an open book to the public.
We were compelled to challenge in multiple appeals, the decision of Justice Bello Kawu of the Kubwa Division of the FCT High Court which had restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from accepting or listing Hon Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba as the candidate of the APC in the rescheduled National Assembly election.
The said order issued on February 12, 2019, and a subsequent order of April, 29, 2019 gave rise to the eventual emergence of my brother, Nwajiuba as the member representing Ehime Mbano/Ihitte Uboma/Obowo Federal constituency.
I, and my party, the APC in seperate applications approached the Court of Appeal to nullify the decision of the trial court on the grounds that it erred in law in holding that he was functus officio to set aside his order of April 29, 2019 and the entire proceedings in suit No. FCT/HC/CV/423/2018.
We submitted that the decision of April 29, 2019 and the entire proceedings in the suit is a nullity as it was made without jurisdiction, adding that a court can never be functus officio to set aside or revisit its null orders.
And this occasioned the miscarriage of justice against me.
Mrs. Uzoma Chioma Mary Ann who originated the suit knew that I and not Nwajiuba was the candidate of the APC for the Federal constituency seat and deliberately did not make me a party to the suit and the order made by the judge on April 29, 2019 was against me, and my party, APC who though was a party to the suit, but was not served with the processes, including hearing notices.
Notably also, the orders made by the court on April 29, 2019 were made without jurisdiction as they were made well outside the 180 days permitted by the 4th alteration to the 1999 constitution for the trial court to conclude pre-election matters.
The orders were made after the election at a time Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba who is now the beneficiary had decamped to Accord party and ran the general election under it’s platform, but did not win, and had filed an election petition at the National Assembly Election Tribunal in Owerri challenging my victory.
On Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at the court of Appeal, my learned Council, Solomon Umoh, SAN, and the National Legal Adviser of the APC, Babatunde Ogala urged the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the lower court.
They also asked the Court of Appeal to hold that the lower court lacked the jurisdiction to determine pre-election matters outside its geographical area under the provisions of section 257 of the 1999 constitution.
They submitted that both the decision of February 12, 2019, which gave birth to the ruling of April 29, 2019, were barred by statute having been made outside the mandatory period allowed by law.
Nevertheless, I bear no grudge or ill will against my elder brother Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba or any other person for that matter, as I believe that the issues surrounding the litigations that conferred the mandate on him are within his rights to pursue if only it will help him attain political power and present him with the desired platform to serve our people, and I have already reached out to congratulate him on the ministerial normination, and subsequent confirmation by the Senate.
I see all these as God’s special design to give Okigwe South the unusual advantage of speedy development within the four-year term of this adminstration through the instrumentality of strategically positioned sons of Okigwe South.
With Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba nominated as a minister, it becomes a win-win situation for Okigwe South.
I am particularly confident that Hon Nwajiuba’s closeness to the Presidency will ultimately pay off for Okigwe South in the sense that he will hopefully, secure a good ministry that would give him enlarged capacity to draw down democracy and good governance dividends to our people.
This is what we all seek for our people.
Furthermore, the goodwill and operational synergy between sons of Okigwe South in the Federal Executive and Legislature will ultimately accelerate development in Okigwe South and make Okigwe South the envy of every Federal Constituency in Nigeria.
Thus, Okigwe South will effectively become a notable stronghold of the APC in Imo state; providing the needed foothold for the resurgence of our party in Imo state and South-East, Nigeria.
However, we are mindful that the Appeal Court has reserved judgment on the Okigwe South House of Representatives seat, for a date that would soon be announced. We are confident that justice would be served and our mandate restored. And Okigwe South would have won yet again.
I hereby salute my supporters in Okigwe South for their steadfastness and unwavering loyalty, and commitment.
I also appreciate our leaders, political leaders, church leaders, traditional rulers and indeed the good people of Okigwe South for their understanding, good politics and development consciousness that places the collective good of Okigwe South far and above any trifling interest.
Whatever happens, it is a good deal for Okigwe South and her people. We have never had it this good.
Head or tail, our people shall win both ways; nothing broken, nothing lost..
Hon Deacon Chike John Okafor, B.sc, M.sc, Ph.d (in-view)