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Court dismisses APC senatorial candidate for Enugu East

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AN Enugu Federal High Court, yesterday, declared that the senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), for Enugu East Senatorial District, Prince Lawrence Eze  was not properly nominated for the contest having been an aspirant of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) when APC had its primary election.

The court ruled that the plaintiff, Adaku Ogbu Aguocha, who came second in the APC senatorial primary election held on October 2, 2018, was the rightful candidate, since Uchenna Ezemba, who won the primary had voluntarily stepped down.

Ezemba had shortly after the primary election announced his withdrawal to pave the way for Eze, who lost his bid to fly the PDP flag.

Eze, who lost the PDP senatorial ticket to a former governor of the state, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, crossed over to APC and was awarded the party’s ticket, with which he began his campaign ahead of the general election.

The development irked other contestants including the plaintiff, who vowed to seek legal redress.

Consequently, Aguocha approached the court to challenge the decision of the party to field the person, she said,  never contested the election and was not a member of party as at the time the primary poll was held.

She, among other reliefs prayed the court to declare her the duly elected candidate of the APC since Ezemba, who emerged winner of the primary poll had withdrawn from the contest.

The presiding judge, Justice Buba Ibrahim, in a detailed judgement, dismissed the objection raised by the defendant’s counsel that the case was statute barred, explaining that the matter which arose from an act of impunity, centred on wrongful nomination and not substitution.

Declaring that the application by the plaintiff had merit and therefore succeeded, Justice Mohammed asked the first respondent, APC to forward the name of the applicant to the third respondent, INEC, as the recognised candidate for Enugu East without further delay.

Describing the matter as a case of ‘monkey dey work baboon dey chop’ Justice Mohammed said it was a glaring injustice to impose someone that never contested an election, while those who laboured to participate in the contest were pushed aside. He, however, made no order as to cost.

Counsel for Eze, Ferdinand Ukwueze, told newsmen that  he was not in a position to say if his client would appeal the decision of the court.

 

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