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Monday, October 2, 2023

Court Sacks Umahi as APC Senatorial Candidate

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Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, has been barred from contesting the senatorial seat of the Ebonyi South Zone.

A Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, on Friday, recognised Princess Ann Agom-Eze, as the Senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, for the Ebonyi South Zone.

Governor Umahi through his Counsel, Roy Nweze Umahi, had dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission, to the Federal High Court in Abakaliki, to compel the commission to recognise the governor as the authentic senatorial candidate for Ebonyi South senatorial District.

But Princess Agom-Eze, on Tuesday, approached the court and urged it not to recognise Governor Umahi’s Senatorial bid.

Umahi’s Counsel argued that the governor’s name should be recognised by INEC, hence the 1st winner of the Ebonyi South Senatorial primary election which took place at Afikpo North Local Government Area, in the state.

Mr. Austin Umahi (the governor’s younger brother), a contender, had withdrawn at the 2nd primary election conducted on June 9, 2022, wherein the governor was reported to have won unopposed.

Delivering his judgement on Friday, Justice Fatun Riman, cited section 115 of the Electoral Act 2022, saying the governor was not an aspirant and cannot participate in the election or pre-election matters of the All Progressives Congress as regards the Ebonyi South zone, whose primary held on the 28th day of May, 2022.

According to the above section of the new Electoral Act, the governor neither procured forms for nor participated in the election and cannot claim any right based on the primary election.

This is coming on the heels of a revelation by the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Akwa Ibom State, Mike Igini, that politicians who procured multiple forms were criminals and risk two years imprisonment.

Reacting, the Counsel to Mrs Agom-Eze, Barr Nwonu Nnaemeka, said his team’s argument was its client, upon the withdrawal of Austin Umahi from the primary, she should claim all her rights as regards the exercise, being the second runner-up.

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