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The Abuja division of the Federal High Court, on Monday, voided the participation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Andy Uba in the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State.
The Eastern Updates gathered that Justice Inyang Ekwo gave the judgment in a suit filed by the governorship aspirant of the party, Chief George Moghalu who was challenging the process and outcome of the June 26 primary of the APC that produced Uba as its candidate.
In his originating summons marked FHC/ABJ/CS/648/2021, Moghalu listed the APC, Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), and Andy Uba as 1st to 3rd defendants.
Justice Ekwo who completely agreed with the plaintiff, held that the June 26 primary of the APC which produced Uba as its candidate was not validly conducted. He also ruled that the primary breached the provisions of the Electoral Act and the APC guidelines for the conduct of the exercise.
The judge said the plaintiff had successfully demonstrated that the primary was not conducted in accordance with the law and the party’s guidelines.
‘Therefore, the case of the plaintiff succeeds on its merit,’ he said.
The judge, therefore, declared that the APC had no candidate in the Anambra governorship election by the non-inclusion of the name of Moghalu in the primary and the conduct of the poll in contravention of the Electoral Act and the party’s guidelines.
Ekwo held that since the primary was conducted illegally, the APC (1st defendant) cannot be a beneficiary of the November 6 gubernatorial election which produced the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Prof. Charles Soludo, as winner.
‘The 2nd defendant (INEC) is compelled to delist the name of the 1st defendant and 3rd defendant from the November 6 Anambra governorship election,’ he ordered.
According to the judge, any election conducted contrary to the 1st defendant guideline is in nullity.
‘The real issue was not whether accredited members of 1st defendant voted on that day, but whether the election was conducted in accordance with the election guidelines of the 1st defendant,’ he held.
He also said that the evidence of the police report confirmed that the election was conducted outside the stipulated time frame.
Ekwo, who described the conduct of the primary by APC as ‘crude and primitive,’ ordered that the N22.5 million paid by Moghalu as expression of interest and nomination forms be refunded to him since the party failed to comply with the provisions of the law and its guidelines.
The Eastern Updates recalls that Moghalu had, in July, filed the suit at the court, seeking an order removing Uba and APC from the list of gubernatorial candidates and political parties partaking in the Anambra governorship election on the grounds that the party had failed to conduct a valid primary.
THE EASTERN UPDATES