Appeal Court affirms Gov Umahi’s candidacy Ebonyi South Senatorial Seat

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The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, on Friday, affirmed Governor David Umahi as the validly elected candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the Ebonyi South Senatorial District election.

The appellate court upheld an appeal that was lodged before it by governor Umahi.

It will be recalled that an aspirant for the senatorial seat, Mrs. Ann Agom-Eze, had gone to court to challenge Umahi’s emergence as candidate of the APC for the election.

Following Agom-Eze’s contention, the Federal High Court at Abakaliki, on July 22, dismissed a suit governor Umahi filed to be recognized as the authentic candidate of the APC for the senatorial contest.

The high court, in its judgement, ordered the APC to withib 14 days, conduct a fresh primary election to choose its flag-bearer for the election.

In line with the court order, the APC, on July 31, conducted a fresh primary election where Umahi was returned as the winner.

The APC subsequently expelled Umahi’s challenger, Agom-Eze for allegedly engaging being rebellious and for anti-party conduct.

Meanwhile, Umahi, who was dissatisfied with the high court judgement that earlier nullified his candidacy, lodged an appeal to challenge it.

He contended that the appellate court erred in law and occasioned grave miscarriage of justice against him, when he wrongly relied on Agom-Eze’s counter-affidavit against him.

While determining the appeal on Friday, the Court of Appeal held that the trial court was wrong in its decision.

It faulted the trial court for failing to uphold the initial primary election the APC held on June 9, where Umahi was elected and nominated as the senatorial candidate of the party.

The appellate court held that going by the records before it, there was no valid challenge against Umahi’s nomination.

It stressed that any action to challenge the nomination of a candidate must be brought to court within 14 days as stipulated by section 285(9) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

 

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