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Court rules tomorrow on Abia Central APC Senatorial ticket

By Leo Sobechi, Abuja
29 September 2022   |   4:56 am
The Federal High Court, Abuja, will, tomorrow, rule on the case of wrongful substitution of Sam Onuigbo as the winner of All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial primary for Abia Central

Samuel Onuigbo

The Federal High Court, Abuja, will, tomorrow, rule on the case of wrongful substitution of Sam Onuigbo as the winner of the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial primary for Abia Central District, which was held on May 28, 2022.

The court will determine whether a purported fresh senatorial primary was held on June 7; and if so, who conducted it since the Chairman and Secretary of the committee, Izuchukwu Okeke and Mangus Ochiogu, were delegated to the APC special convention and presidential primary held between June 6 and 8.

Onuigbo had filed the suit challenging the plot by APC to substitute his name with that of Chief Emeka Atama, who unsuccessfully participated in the party’s parallel governorship primary conducted by the Chief Ikechi Emenike faction, which used the direct primary election model.

In suit No FHC/UM/CS/113/2022, in which APC, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Atuma were joined as respondents, Onuigbo maintained that he contested the May 28 senatorial primary alongside three other contestants.

He claimed that while one of the contestants, Nkechi NWaorgu, withdrew from the primary, the second person, Kevin Ugboaja, did not show up, pointing out that he defeated Henry Ikoh with 157 to 152 votes at the end of balloting.

The plaintiff maintained that after the results were announced and submitted, he was surprised to hear that the name of Emeka Atuma was being listed as the winner of the primary. He added that not only was Atuma a governorship aspirant, he never featured in any processes leading to the senatorial primary, including the purchase of forms, screening and campaigning.

Onuigbo explained that a list of the only nine senatorial aspirants, screened and cleared by the APC screening committee, included: Ijeaku Emeaba, Enyinna Kasarachi, Samuel Onuigbo, Henry Ikoh, Kevin Ugboaja, Okonkwo Fabian, Nkechi Nworgu, Dr. Orji Kalu and Nwagba Okwuchi.

But, a twist in the matter followed two affidavits purportedly deposed to by the Chairman and Secretary of the Primary Election Committee, in which they contended that a fresh primary was held on June 7, 2022.

In the affidavit deposed to on their behalf by Charles Nneji at the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, the Chairman and Secretary claimed that having been declared inconclusive, Atuma was returned winner of the June 7 senatorial primary.

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