Supreme Court affirms Onuigbo as Abia APC Senatorial candidate
The Supreme Court yesterday affirmed Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo as the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Abia Central Senatorial District in next month’s general election.
The apex court in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim dismissed the appeal filed by Emeka Atuma challenging the decision of the lower court for lacking in merit.
The matter, with case No SC/CV/1626/2022, is an appeal filed by the APC against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Owerri Division, on October 4, 2022, which declared Onuigbo instead of Atuma as the duly nominated candidate from the primary organised by the party on May 28, 2022.
Shortly after Onuigbo was returned winner of the primary, Atuma, who was the first runner-up in the primary, started laying claims to the senatorial ticket.
Atuma argued that a repeat straw poll was held on June 7, 2022, even as he alleged that the national headquarters of the party cancelled the original senatorial primary. He, therefore, approached the party to submit his name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the nominee.
However, based on purported moves by some leaders of APC to substitute his name, Onuigbo had approached the Federal High Court, seeking, among other reliefs, that by virtue of Sections 29(1) and 84 of the Electoral Act 2022, Atuma did not participate in the processes leading to the conduct of the Abia Central senatorial primary.
Onuigbo had also argued that the APC National Working Committee (NWC) officially received the result of the primary, which was signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the National Assembly Primary Election Committee.
However, the Supreme Court found no merit in the case and accordingly dismissed the appeal and upheld the decisions of the Court of Appeal, Owerri.
Justice Agim in delivering the judgment also held that respective parties should bear their cost in the matter.