Appeal Court affirms Emenike as Abia APC guber candidate

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The Court of Appeal, Owerri division, reaffirmed the candidacy of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia State, Ikechi Emenike.

The appellate court, in its judgment on Wednesday, dismissed an appeal filed by Daniel Eke vs. APC & ORS in Appeal No. CA/OW/419/2022.

Eke, who was a governorship aspirant on the platform of APC in Abia, challenged the outcome of the May 26, 2022, primary election on the ground that the process did not comply with both the Electoral Act and party guidelines.

He lost the case at the Federal High Court in Umuahia, where it was dismissed by Justice Evelyn Anyadike on the ground that he lacked the locus to institute the matter. Not done, Eke went to the Appeal Court, Owerri to challenge the verdict of the court of the first instance.

However, in the decision read by Hon Justice Pemu Rita Nosakhare, the three judges on the appeal panel unanimously held that the APC’s indirect primary election, which produced High Chief Ikechi Emenike as the party’s gubernatorial candidate in Abia State, was valid.

The Appellate Court further held that APC has the right to determine its mode of primaries and conduct its primaries by any chosen method, as was done in Abia, where the party used an indirect mode to conduct its governorship primary.

The Court also ruled that INEC should publish Emenike’s name as the APC’s rightfully and validly nominated governorship candidate in Abia State.

Emenike’s candidacy has attracted the most litigation from within and outside the party. At the last count, no fewer than 24 suits had been instituted, some of which were filed by proxies.

However, the Abia APC gubernatorial candidate has so far won 23 cases, both at the court of the first instance and the appellate court.