Politics: Abia Guber: Court fixes Oct 7 for judgment in APC case Daily Parrot

A Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia has reserved Friday, Oct. 7 for judgment in the suit challenging the outcome of the APC gubernatorial primaries purportedly held in Abia on May 26.

A governorship aspirant of the party in the state, Chief Dan Eke, is urging the court to nullify the results of the parallel primaries organised by two other governorship contestants, Chief Ikechi Emenike and Chief Uche Ogah.

Eke’s grouse was that the two primaries were not conducted in compliance to the party’s guidelines and Section 84 (14) of the Electoral Act 2020 (as amended).

Joined as defendants in the suit are APC, Emenike, Ogah and INEC, which recognised Emenike as the candidate of the party for the 2023 poll.

Mr Obinna Nkume, the Council for Eke, told the court that Emenike adopted indirect mode of primary election as against the party’s directive for a direct mode.

He also said that Ogah’s direct primary was not supervised by the election committee set up by the party’s National Working Committee.

Nkume, therefore, asked the court to determine the case on its merit and declare the outcomes of the primaries invalid.

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Counsel for APC and Emenike, Mr B. C. Nwankwo and H.O. Afolabi (SAN), adopted their counter affidavits opposing the originating summons, supported with a litany of exhibits.

In their preliminary objections, they argued that the relief sought by the plaintiff was self-contradictory and lacking in merit.

They, therefore, urged the court to strike out the case for incompetence.

Mr Oliver Amuzie, Counsel for Ogah, in a dramatic preliminary objection, said that both APC and Emenike had no justification claiming to have won the primaries.

Amuzie said that it was ironical for APC and Emenike to allege that the plaintiff did not participate in either of the primaries yet alloted scores to him in their respective results.

He urged the court to discountenance their results as forged, hence should not be relied upon.

The INEC Defence Counsel, Bertha Amadi, said the commission was a neutral and uninterested party, but urged the Court to throw out the case.

After listening to the submissions, the Presiding Judge, Justice Evelyn Anyadike, said that the court would consolidate all the preliminary objections.

Anyadike, thereafter, adjourned the case to Oct. 7 for judgment.

Addressing newsmen at the end of the sitting, the plaintiff said that he was confident that the court would grant his relief to have the alleged primaries nullified.

Eke said that he was disturbed that the party could not provide a level playing field by conducting a valid primary election for the emergence of the most popular candidate.

He said that he was not particularly bothered about the N50 million paid for nomination and expression of interest forms but wanted to ensure that parties were compelled to do the right thing.

He said: “I am a true and loyal APC member but I am not happy that the party could not do the right thing.

“If the party will turn around to put things right, we can still come together as a united force to push out PDP.” (NAN)

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