Abia APC Guber Ticket: Emenike remains Abia APC governorship candidate – Legal Adviser

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From  BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia

The All Progressives Congress in Abia State says the status of High Chief Ikechi Emenike as the governorship candidate of the party has not changed despite the judgment delivered by Justice Binta Nyako of an Abuja Federal High Court on Friday.

Justice Nyako, ruling on a matter brought before her by the immediate past Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogah, held that he (Ogah) is the authentic governorship candidate of APC in Abia State.

Reacting to the judgment, Legal Adviser of Abia APC, Mr. Vigilus Nwankwo, said that the Appeal Court had already affirmed Emenike as the duly elected candidate of Abia APC, hence the judgmentof a lower court cannot alter the status quo.

“In the eye of the law, Ikechi Emenike still remains the candidate of APC in Abia,” he said, adding that the said judgment delivered by Justice Nyako “cannot be enforced or executed until the final pronouncement by the Supreme Court on the subject matter.”

The Court of Appeal in Abuja had on October 14, 2022 upheld  the judgment of the Abia State High Court presided by Justice Benson Anya which had, on June 24, 2022, affirmed the candidature of Emenike in Suit No HUM/31/2022:IKECHI EMENIKE VS APC & 2 ORS.

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, in Appeal No. CA/OW/269/2022..

“The law is trite that judgments of the appellate courts binds the court and parties,” Nwankwo said, adding that “the judgment of the Federal High Court cannot overide 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.”

The Legal Adviser therefore declared that “there is no cause for alarm,” adding that “the mission to rescue and rebuild Abia state by High chief Ikechi Emenike is unstoppable.”

Meanwhile the attempt by the Abia State chapter of the All Peoples Party (APP) to nullify the governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was scuttled on Friday as the Federal High Court in Umuahia dismissed the case.

The Court 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 High Chief Ikechi Emenike, asking the Court to declare the APC governorship primary held on May 26, 2022, as null and void.

APP went to court claiming that the Abia APC primary was not monitored by INEC and that the delegates that voted in the said primary were not elected.

But in her ruling on the case marked FHC/UM/ES/160/22, Justice Evelyn Anyadike held that the plaintiff lacked locus standi to challenge the outcome of the primary election of a rival party.

The Court therefore dismissed the case, saying 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 it is a domestic affair of the party concerned.

The judge upbraided the APP for abandoning the log in its eyes and “started 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 bound 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 held.

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