APGA reacts to court’s cancellation of Anambra South senatorial primaries

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The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), has reacted to the nullification of its primary election for Anambra South Senatorial District by an Abuja high court.

The party, in a statement on Thursday, described the ruling as bizarre and questionable.

It also vowed to appeal the judgement at superior courts where it expressed confidence of getting the ruling upturned.

A high court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Apo, Abuja had earlier in the day voided the October 3, 2018 primary election held by the party.

The judge, Valentine Ashi, in a judgment on Thursday, held that the primary, which produced Nicholas Ukachukwu as the party’s candidate, was not held in substantial compliance with relevant provisions of the law.

Mr Ashi also nullified Mr Ukachukwu’s emergence as the party’s candidate and the certificate of return issued to him.

The judgment was on a suit marked: CV/3054 filed by Okey Chidolue, who claimed to have won the primary and sought to be pronounced the winner.

Defendants in the suit were APGA, its national chairman, Victor Ike Oye, Anambra State chairman, Norbert Obi, Nicholas Ukachukwu and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Mr Ashi rejected the notices of preliminary objection filed by some of the defendants, who had queried the competence of the suit and the court’s jurisdiction to hear it.

The judge also held that the plaintiff failed to prove his case against the 5th defendant, INEC.

The judge declined to make any order against INEC and also declined to declare the plaintiff the winner of the primary.

Instead, the judge advised parties to approach INEC and work out ways of overcoming the challenge now created.

The plaintiff had, among others, argued that the primary was marred with illegality and fraudulent conduct.

He claimed, among others, that the delegates duly elected at ward congresses were not the delegates who voted in the primary held at the Ekwulobia Township Stadium on October 3 this year.

But APGA in its reaction said the judgment should not be a source of anxiety or trepidation for anybody.

“The FCT High Court is only a court of first instance at the ground floor. Two courts are still upstairs”, said the statement signed by APGA’s Director of Publicity, Ifeanacho Oguejiofor.

“It is imperative to note that the FCT High Court did not declare the Plaintiff, Okey Chidolue as the winner of the Anambra South Senatorial District primary election of APGA”.

“Rather, and in a most bizarre manner, the Court after nullifying the primary election directed parties to go to INEC and sort themselves out”.

Mr Oguejiofor noted that over the years, APGA has always obtained respite from the Court of Appeal against questionable judgments of the high courts adding that ‘it won’t be different in today’s judgment’.

The party argued that not only did the court lack the jurisdiction to entertain the matter but also that its substantive judgment will not stand the test and scrutiny of an appeal.

“Consequently, Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu remains the party’s duly nominated Senatorial Candidate for Anambra South Senatorial District. APGA is poised to win the election come February 16th.

“Party faithfuls are therefore advised to remain calm and unperturbed by social media propaganda and misleading statements arising from today’s judgment,” the statement highlighted.

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