Anambra gov election: APC has no valid candidate — Court
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Anambra gov election: APC has no valid candidate — Court

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, yesterday, nullified the primary election that produced Senator Andy Uba as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the governorship election held in Anambra State on November 6.

The court, in a judgement that was delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo, held that the primary election the APC conducted on June 26, wherein Uba emerged as its flag bearer, was done in substantial breach of both the electoral guidelines for the conduct of governorship primary election, as well as the party’s constitution.

It held that the APC, having failed to comply with the law in the conduct of its primary, was therefore bereft of any valid candidate for the gubernatorial contest.

The judgement followed a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/648/2021, which was brought before the court by an aggrieved APC governorship aspirant in the state, Mr George Moghalu.

Plaintiff alleged that the party had in violation of its constitution and guidelines, handpicked Senator Andy Uba, in a kangaroo primary election he said was conducted around 6 pm on June 26.

Moghalu, who was among 14 aspirants that purchased forms to contest the Anambra governorship election on the platform of the APC, told the court that the said process that produced Uba, took place after all other aspirants and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had left the venue.

He accused the party of acting in breach of the mandatory provision of Article 18 of its guidelines, which he said stipulated that accreditation for such primary election must start by 8 am and end by 2 pm.

Consequently, he urged the court to nullify the APC primary election and order a fresh one.

Plaintiff had among other things, urged the court to compel INEC to expunge the name of both Uba and the APC from the list of names of political parties and candidates cleared to participate in the governorship election.

He also prayed the court to determine, whether a political party that fails to comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act (2010), the party’s constitution and its guidelines, by purporting to conduct a primary election without accreditation of voters, actual voting or casting of votes, collation of votes and announcement of results based on actual votes cast and counted, can validly field a candidate for the election.

More so, the Plaintiff, through his team of lawyers led by Chris Uche, SAN, prayed the court to declare that, by virtue of the APC’s alleged non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 and the party’s regulations and guidelines in the conduct of its primary in Anambra State, Uba “is not a candidate at the said 6th November 2021 gubernatorial election or at any subsequent postponement.”

He applied for a declaration of the court that the APC was bound to comply with all the relevant legal provisions in the conduct of its primary election after having demanded and received N22.5million from him and the other 13 aspirants.

As well as, a declaration of the court that has failed to comply with the relevant applicable laws, the APC, has no candidate for the forthcoming governorship election.

Aside from demanding a refund of the N22.5million he paid for the expression of interest and nomination forms, Plaintiff, prayed the court to restrain Uba from holding himself out or parading himself as the candidate of the APC in the said election.

Cited as 1st to 3rd Defendants in the matter are the APC, INEC and Uba.

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