UMUAHIA- Despite the judgment delivered by Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court,Abuja, which yesterday ,declared Dr. Uche Ogah as the governorship candidate of the party; the All Progressives Congress, APC, Abia State chapter, has declared that Chief Ikechi Emenike is still the governorship candidate of the party.
State Legal Adviser of the Abia APC, Mr. Vigilus Nwankwo, disclosed that the Court of Appeal had already affirmed Emenike as the duly elected candidate of Abia APC, hence the judgment of a lower court cannot alter the status quo.
He explained that the judgment delivered by Justice Binta Nyako which declared Dr. Uche Ogah as the governorship candidate, cannot be enforced until the final pronouncement by the Supreme Court.
His words; “In the eye of the law Ikechi Emenike still remains the candidate of APC in Abia. The said judgment delivered by Justice Nyako cannot be enforced or executed until the final pronouncement by the Supreme Court on the subject matter.”
He further stated the Court of Appeal,Abuja Division had on October 14, 2022, upheld the judgment of the Abia State High Court presided by Justice Benson Anya which on June 24, 2022, affirmed Emenike’s candidature in Suit No HUM/31/2022:IKECHI EMENIKE VS APC & 2 ORS.
Nwankwo noted that the appellate court gave the affirmation while dismissing the application filed by Obinna Oriaku Eze seeking to appeal against the judgment delivered on September 2, 2022 by the Appeal Court, Owerri Division Appeal No. CA/OW/269/2022.
He said; “The law is trite that judgment of the appellate court binds the court and parties. The judgment of the Federal High Court cannot override and is not superior to the said three judgments of the Court of Appeal.”
“Contrary to the judgment of Justice Binta Nyako today, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court had settled it in so many decisions that INEC and the court cannot determine who is the candidate of a political party where and when there are two competing primaries.”
Nwankwo urged party faithful to stay calm as there is no cause for alarm in the matter, adding that the mission to rescue and rebuild Abia state by Emenike is still on course.
Meanwhile the attempt by the Abia State chapter of the Action Peoples Party, APP, to nullify the governorship primary of the APC was scuttled on Friday as the Federal High Court, Umuahia, dismissed the case.
The Court also awarded N2 million as costs against APP, saying that it must pay N500, 000 to each of the four defendants.
The APP had instituted a case against the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and three others, including APC, and Emenike, asking the Court to declare the APC governorship primary held on May 26, 2022, null and void.
The APP in the suit marked; FHC/UM/ES/160/22, also claimed that the Abia APC primary was not monitored by INEC and that the delegates who participated in the said primary were not elected.
Delivering judgment on the matter, Justice Evelyn Anyadike held that the plaintiff lacked locus standi to challenge the outcome of the primary election of a rival party and further stated that it could not activate jurisdiction on the matter since the plaintiff failed to show that that it was an aspirant in the APC primary.
Justice Anyadike wondered why APP should be bothered about the primary election of a rival party knowing that primary election is an internal affair of the party concerned.
The Judge further berated the APP for abandoning the log in its eyes to start chasing shadows in order to remove a spec, if any, in the eye of the defendant.
Justice Anyadike further held that the post-election issue was status barred and should have been filed within 14 days whereas APP came to court to meddle in the affairs of APC 72 days after the primary election was conducted.