Appeal Court refuses to sack Ugwuanyi

Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi,

Supreme Court to deliver judgment on Abia election May 12
The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, yesterday declined to sack Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State over allegation of illegal nomination by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the April 11, 2015, governorship election.

In a judgment delivered by a three-man panel of justices led by Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson, the court struck out the appeal marked CA/A/157/2015, lodged by Senator Ayogu Eze.

Eze had prayed the appellate court to remove Ugwuanyi on the ground that he was not validly nominated by PDP for the gubernatorial election.

He further told the court that Ugwuanyi emerged from a kangaroo primary election, which according to him, was conducted on December 8 by some leaders of the party.

The appellant, through his lead counsel, Mr. Adebayo Adelodun, (SAN), insisted that Ugwuanyi was merely handpicked by some persons at the National Headquarters of the Party in Abuja, and that the purported primary election was organised with fake list of delegates.

He also argued that the primary election, which produced Ugwuanyi was in breach of section 87(4)(b)(I) of the Electoral Act.

But governor Ugwuanyi through his lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), prayed the appellate court to dismiss the pre-election case which he said, was lacking in merit.

In its judgment, the appellate court held that under section 87 of the Electoral Act, Eze, lacked the locus-standi to challenge Ugwuanyi’s nomination, having admitted that he did not participate in the primary that was conducted by the King Asara Asara-led electoral panel of the PDP.

It also held that the trial high court ought to have dismissed the case for want of jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has reserved judgment on Abia State governorship election matter till May 12.

Dr. Samson Ogah had filed an appeal, challenging the decision of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which set aside the ruling of the Federal High Court and affirmed the election of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.

Ogah is contending that governor Ikpeazu gave false information about his tax clearance certificate with which he contested the primary election, and as the second person in the primary election conducted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he said he is the rightful candidate to have won the 2015 election.

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