By Wandoo Sombo
The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday affirmed Mr Uche Ogah as the All Progressives Congress(APC) governorship candidate in Abia for the March 2 elections.
Justice Anwuli Chikere made the declaration in his judgment on a suit filed by Ogah challenging the substitution of his name with that of Mr Ikechi Emenike by the Abia chapter of the party.
The court held that it was the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party that could conduct primaries to elect candidates for elections and not the state chapter.
It further held that it was the primaries conducted by the party’s NEC on Oct. 2, 2018, where Ogah emerged winner that was constitutional and not the Abia chapter’s primaries that produced Emenike on Sept. 30, 2018.
Ogah had gone to court to challenge the nomination of Emenike by the state chapter of the party as the Abia governorship candidate for the election.
He had raised three questions for the court to determine, saying that if the answers to the questions were in the negative, the court should grant him the following reliefs:
“A declaration that the APC having complied with all the relevant laws and its rules in nominating him as its Abia gubernatorial candidate for the 2019 general elections, the defendants nor any other person cannot remove, substitute or change his name unless he dies, resigns his candidature or is removed or substituted by a court of competent jurisdiction.
“A declaration that the purported gubernatorial primary election conducted by the Abia Chapter of the APC, nominating Emenike as candidate of the APC for the 2019 general election is unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.
“An order of injunction restraining Emenike from parading himself as the Abia State gubernatorial candidate of APC for the 2019 General Elections, having been nominated by the Abia Chapter of the APC instead of the National Executive Committee of the APC.”
The court granted all the reliefs sought by Ogah.
Emenike, APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) were named as first, second and third defendants respectively.