The Court of Appeal in Abuja has scheduled a hearing for February 2 this year in two appeals seeking to overturn the December 20, 2021 judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja voiding Andy Uba’s participation in the last governorship election in Anambra State as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
THE NATION reports that a three-member panel of the appellate court, led by Justice Stephen Adah, chose the date on Friday to enable parties file all necessary documents.
The first appeal marked: CA/ABJ/CV/13/2022 was filed by the APC, while the second marked: CA/ABJ/CV/36/2022 was filed by Emmanuel Andy Nnamdi Uba (Andy Uba).
APC and Uba are contending, in the appeals that the Federal High Court in Abuja erred in law in holding on December 20 that the APC did not conduct a valid primary and therefore, did not present a valid candidate for the election.
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court had, in the December 20 judgment, found among others, that Uba was never a candidate in the election held on November 6 having emerged from an illegally conducted primary election held by the APC.
Justice Ekwo held that the plaintiff, George Moghalu (an APC aspirant for the election) succeeded in proving that the APC did not conduct a valid primary election from which Uba claimed to have emerged as the party’s candidate.
The judgment was on a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/648/201 with the APC, the Indecent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Uba listed as defendants.
Moghalu had queried the legitimacy of the governorship primary election purportedly conducted by the APC on June 26, 2021, which allegedly produced Uba as the party”s candidate for the November 6, 2021 election.
Justice Ekwo, in the judgment, 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).