The Court of Appeal Owerri Division has dismissed the bid by the Abia State chapter of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to stop the All Progressives Congress (APC) from fielding its governorship candidate, Chief Ikechi Emenike, in the March 2023 poll.
The court ruled against the appeal filed by the Abia ruling party challenging the validity of the governorship primary of the APC that produced Emenike.
The Abia PDP, which claimed that the primary lacked due process, filed suit No. FHC/UM/CS/158/2022, PDP Vs INEC, APC, Emenike.
The plaintiff also included Uche Ogah among the defendants following his claim that he won a purported governorship primary.
But the case was on November 15, 2022, adjourned sine die by Justice Evelyn Anyadike following a judicial notice that an appeal challenging the validity of the APC primary was pending at the Court of Appeal Abuja.
Justice Anyadike had reasoned that proceeding with the case could lead to conflicting judgment since a court of coordinate jurisdiction had already delivered a verdict which the defendants appealed against.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the Federal High Court Umuahia, PDP had gone to the Appellate Court in Owerri, claiming that it was denied the right to a fair hearing.
But in its judgment in Appeal No. CA/OW/473/2022: PDP Vs INEC, APC, Emenike, Ogah, the Court of Appeal held that the trial court was right in adjourning the case instituted by Abia PDP sine die.
In the judgment delivered by Justice Rita Pemu, the appellate court affirmed that the APC gubernatorial primary conducted in Umuahia on May 26, 2022, was upheld, reiterating that Emenike remained the duly elected candidate of the party for the forthcoming election.
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