- The APC has been barred by two separate courts from fielding candidates for the Owerri federal constituency and Okigwe south federal constituency
- Justice Bello Kawu held that the APC did not conduct any primary election for the House of Representative seat for Okigwe south constituency
- Tony Umezuruike has been ordered to replace Obinna Mbata for the Owerri federal constituency seat
Few hours to the 2019 general elections, two separate courts on Thursday, February 21, stopped two candidates of All Progressives Congress from participating at the polls in Imo state.
Vanguard reported that Justice C. J. Ringim of Federal High Court seating in Owerri, in the state stopped Obinna Mbata from running for the Owerri federal constituency.
Justice Bello Kawu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, also barred Deacon Chike Okafor from contesting for Okigwe south federal constituency.
It was learnt that Okafor lost his chances of participation at the polls following a suit filed by Uzoma Chioma Maryann, against the APC and two others.
The complainant urged the court to declare the primary election conducted for the federal constituency as “unconstitutional, illegal, null, void and of no effect”.
Justice Kawu, however, held that the APC did not conduct any primary election for the House of Representative seat for Okigwe South constituency and should not be allowed to field a candidate for the office.
He noted that the defendants did not show any appearance nor were they represented by counsel, even as he frowned that the defendants did not deem it fit to file counter affidavit, a development he said, “was admission to the averments”.
According to him, “It is therefore my declaration that the final report of the Electoral Appeal Panel, which recommended the nomination and submission of the second defendant’s name as the House of Representatives candidate of the first defendant for Okigwe South federal constituency of Imo state, is inappropriate, unlawful, null and void for failure to comply with the first defendant’s guidelines for nomination of candidates.”
The court therefore restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission from further recognizing, accepting or listing the name of the second defendant as the candidate of APC in the 2019 ballot paper for Okigwe south federal constituency, because the APC did not conduct primary election for the office.
In the same vein, Justice Ringim sacked Mbata and ordered that Tony Umezuruike to used as a replacement for the Owerri federal constituency seat.
Justice Ringim ruled that Umuzuruike is the candidate, having won the legitimate highest number of votes shown by evidence, during the primaries, against the name of the person earlier submitted.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that the Ogun state PDP deputy governorship candidate, Reuben Abati, has been suspended by the National Working Committee backed faction of the party.
He was suspended alongside 39 others who are members of the Bayo Dayo-led faction of the PDP, and also recognised candidates for state and national parliamentary elections, Daily Trust reports.
The faction, led by Sikirulahi Ogundele, which announced the suspension in a statement made available to newsmen in Abeokuta on Thursday, February 21, said they were suspended over alleged anti-party activities.
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