A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit filed by Senator Anyogu Eze, challenging the nomination of Honourable Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu State.
Senator Eze had asked the court to hold that a sister court presided over by Justice Adeniyi Ademola, endorsed the list used for a parallel governorship primaries of the party, which produced him as the authentic candidate of the party.
However, Justice Evoh Chukwu, in his judgement disagreed with the lawmaker, saying the primaries conducted with the harmonised list of the party in the state, which produced Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as the party’s candidate subsists.
He ruled that the order of the sister court was merely declarative and not mandatory.
Justice Chukwu also stated that only one primary was held by the PDP national working committee in line with section 89 of the Electoral Act.
The Judge held that Ugwuanyi was declared the candidate of the party after voting by delegates in the party’s primaries held on April 11 last year.
Supporters of the Enugu State governorship candidate, Honourable Ugwuanyi, received the news that the court had struck out the suit challenging his candidacy in cheers, celebrating the end of a case that had been postponed on four different occasions.
Addressing reporters at the end of the ruling, Alex Akoja, the lawyer to Senator Eze, said he would consult with his client to decide on whether to appeal the judgement.
Following the alleged manipulation of the result from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primaries held in Imo state last week, angry youths numbering over 1000 stormed the PDP state headquarters on Okigwe Road in Owerri, the Imo state capital, calling on the leadership of the party to allow justice and equity prevail and declare Senator Ifeanyi Ararume the winner of the primaries having scored the highest votes at the polls.
They called on the leadership of the party and the National Working Committee to look into the issue as a matter of urgency and rectify the discrepancies in the figures and immediately declare Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as the valid winner of the election with 336 votes.
Addressing the protesters, the State Secretary of the Party, Mr George Egwu, called for restraint, saying that the national leadership of the party is not unaware of the issues surrounding the governorship primaries in the state as they are working tirelessly to resolve the issue amicably.
In a related development, some group of protesters from Orlu Senatorial District of Imo state stormed the Government House in Owerri protesting the result of the senatorial primaries of the All Progressives Congress in the area saying it was marred with irregularities.
They accused one of the aspirants in the area of imposing candidates and forcefully hijacking ballot boxes with thugs to manipulate the process of the election.
They called on the state governor, Rochas Okorocha, to cancel the election and do a fresh primary election in the area.