The federal high court sitting in Abuja, the nation’s capital city has ruled that Senator Andy Uba is not a valid candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2021 Anambra governorship election held on November 6.
The court in a ruling on Monday by the presiding judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo said the APC didn’t conduct a valid primary election.
Ekwo further instructed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to delete all records about Uba’s participation in the Anambra governorship polls from its records.
He also ruled that the APC should pay the plantiff, George Moghalu the sum of N22,500,000 which he paid for the expression of interest and nomination forms since the party failed to conduct a valid primary.
The Judge held that Moghalu was able to prove his case that Uba emerged from an illegal APC primary, hence APC does not have a candidate in the 2021 Anambra governorship election.
The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/648/201 was instituted by George Moghalu and has the APC, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Uba as defendants.
Moghalu in the suit, questioned the validity of the June 26, 2021, APC primaries that produced Andy Uba as the party’s candidate for the November 6 governorship election.
Justice Ekwo in his ruling said: “The real issue in this case, which both the first defendant (APC) and third defendant (Uba) seem not to understand is not whether accredited members of the first defendant voted on 26th June, 2021 but whether there was any primary election at all conducted in accordance with the mandatory provisions of both the Electoral Act (as amended) and first defendant’s Guidelines for the Nomination of Candidates for the Anambra 2021 Gubernatorial Election-Direct Primaries (Option A4).
“When a primary election is illegal, the fact that such illegal election was monitored by the Nigeria Police (or other security agencies) as averred in paragraph 25 (ii) of the third defendant’s counter-affidavit is of no moment.
“The combination of the evidence, in this case, by both the first and third defendants has created doubt in me that gubernatorial primary election of the first defendant for the nomination of its candidate for the Anambra State Governorship held at all or was held in accordance with the provisions of the Act (as amended) and first defendant’s Guidelines for the Electoral f Nomination of Candidates for the Anambra 2021 Gubernatorial Election Direct Primaries (Option A4).
“It is clear from the evidence in this case that the first defendant connived with the third defendant to conduct election outside the time prescribed by Articles 17 (vi) and 18(e), (g) and (i) of the first defendant’s Guidelines for the Nomination of Candidates for the Anambra 2021 Gubernatorial Election-Direct Primaries (Option A4) to the exclusion of the plaintiff.
“At the end, the votes in Exhibit MAM 9 of the third defendant were gratuitously award to other aspirants while the third defendant retained the highest votes. Now, the ingenuity of the first and third defendants has resulted in illegality and has backfired.
“In the end, it is my finding that the plaintiff has demonstrated upon a preponderance of the evidence that the gubernatorial primary election of the first defendant was not conducted in accordance with the provisions of sections 85 (2) and 87(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and Articles 17 (vi) and 18(e),(g) and (i) of first defendant’s Guidelines for the Nomination of Candidates for the Anambra 2021 Gubernatorial Election-Direct Primaries (Option A4).
“Therefore, the case of the plaintiff succeeds on the merit,” the judge said.
Download NAIJA NEWS app: