The issuance of Certificate of Return, to Mr Frank Ibezim, by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, came as a big political blow to Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, who fought gallantly to reclaim the mandate of the people of Okigwe, to represent them in the Senate.
Despite the Supreme Court ruling in Ibezim’s favour, Araraume had made what might be his last effort at stopping the issuance of the Certificate of Return, when he wrote to INEC, siting the fact that the Supreme Court ruling, wasn’t directly binding on him, and stating that the ruling of Justice Taiwo Taiwo, of the Abuja High Court, which ordered INEC to issue him with the Certificate of Return, was still valid.
With the turn of events, Araraume may have exhausted every appeal, or legal instrument, in his quest to displace Ibezim for the Okigwe Senate seat.
Despite what seems to be a calculated move to retire Araraume politically, there are other options open for him politically, should he still remain bend on staying relevant in Okigwe and Imo politics.
Political analysts are of the view, that Araraume may provide the opposition Peoples Democratic Party PDP candidate, Chief Emmanuel Okweulonu, or his former party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA candidate, Charles Onyirimba, fire power to displace Ibezim at the tribunal.
According to pundits, Araraume would rather have Okweulonu or Onyirimba in the Senate, than having it on record that he was defeated by Ibezim, who is a political newcomer.
Such record could have far reaching effects on his political structure in Okigwe, and across Imo State.
Araraume’s eye may however now be focused on 2023, as pundits believe that the battle waged against Araraume by Senator Hope Uzodinma, and Hon Emeka Nwajiuba, was all in a bid to stop him in 2023, when Araraume is expected to make his last run for the Imo governorship seat.
Pundits believe that Araraume may either gun for the APC seat, and attempt to wrestle it from Uzodinma with the help of former governor, and Senator representing Orlu zone, Senator Rochas Okorocha, or he might join other political alliances, and play a spoilers game for Uzodinma, giving room for another to unseat the Omuma born politicain.
Araraume has always played the spoilers game whenever he is displaced politically, and pundits are of the view that he might work in favour of the PDP in 2023, to unseat Uzodinma, as payback for fighting his Senate ambition.
Ibezim, despite his Supreme Court victory, now faces the uncertainty of keeping the seat he wrestled from Araraume, as the tribunal gets set to hear arguments.