In a fervent plea to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Department of State Services (DSS), Ifeanyi Chukwuka Igbokwe, the candidate representing Bende Federal Constituency of Abia State for the 2023 national assembly elections, has emphatically disavowed any engagement with the Umuahia Tribunal or any court of appeal regarding the election results, despite persistent claims to the contrary.
He maintained that these legal actions were perpetrated by impostors acting in his name.
During a press conference held in Abuja on Sunday, Mr. Igbokwe asserted his identity and clarified the matter. He explained, “Gentlemen of the Press, for purposes of proper introduction, my name is Honorable Ifeanyi Chukwuka Igbokwe. I am from Uzuakoli in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State. I was the candidate of Action Alliance (AA) in the last National Assembly General Elections, specifically running for the Bende Federal Constituency seat in the House of Representatives.”
“The essence of this press conference is to inform the entire world that I did not initiate any legal proceedings at the Tribunal to challenge the election’s outcome. I have already accepted the victory of Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, who currently holds the position of Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives,” he continued.
Mr. Igbokwe expressed his profound disappointment in continued reports of a lawsuit filed in his name against Kalu. He insisted that he was impersonated in this regard and subsequently called upon law enforcement agencies to unmask the culprits and bring them to justice.
He recounted his efforts to investigate the matter, sharing, “When we first learned of this issue, I and my legal team went to the Umuahia Tribunal, where the case was allegedly filed, to identify the individuals responsible. To everyone’s astonishment, no one, other than me, appeared before the court claiming to be Hon. Ifeanyi Chukwuka Igbokwe. It came to my knowledge that the impersonators had lawyers present in court, but they vanished before the Tribunal could call the case to order. We filed our legal briefs, and the Tribunal eventually dismissed the case.”
He went on to discuss his subsequent actions, “I subsequently filed a petition with the IGP and the DSS, seeking the apprehension and prosecution of those who impersonated me, as it constituted a criminal offense. I have submitted all the necessary documentation to the IGP’s office, implicating the State Chairman of my party, Tony Orji, and the National Chairman of Action Alliance, AA, Adekunle Aja-Oje in the matter. I expected the Police to take this case of impersonation seriously, but regrettably, no action has been taken thus far.”
Mr. Igbokwe also responded to a publication by Sahara Reporters, which accused Deputy Speaker Kalu of instigating the police to interrogate the national party Chairman of the AA. He clarified that he was the one who had filed the petition against his party’s leadership, as it was a case of criminal impersonation. He emphasized that his intention was to defend his integrity, regardless of the parties involved, and that those responsible would face the consequences of their actions.
In a startling revelation, he expressed his awareness that these same individuals had once again initiated an appeal in his name against Kalu. He firmly disassociated himself from this appeal, stressing that it was orchestrated by unscrupulous individuals aiming to obtain a judgment against the Deputy Speaker. He added, “I am the sole candidate of AA in that election, and if anyone were to approach the courts, it should be me. Once more, I challenge anyone claiming to be Ifeanyi Chukwuka Igbokwe, other than me, to reveal their true identity and counter my stance on this issue.”
Addressing any potential conflict with the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Igbokwe asserted, “I have no reason to oppose my brother, the Deputy Speaker, whom divine providence, the support of the country’s leaders, his party, APC, and his colleagues in the National Assembly have elevated to a position of privilege for the people of Bende, Abia State, and the Igbo community at large. I am not foolish enough to pursue a case that I know is unnecessary. I am holding this press conference to clear my name and emphasize that I have the constitutional right to denounce impersonation. Impersonation is a grave criminal offense punishable by law, and those responsible for the Appeal Court actions must reveal themselves for the world to see.”
In conclusion, Mr. Igbokwe called on the police, the DSS, and other security agencies to promptly identify and bring the impersonators to justice, ensuring that his name is cleared of any allegations regarding these legal actions.