A/Court upholds nullification of APC Enugu East Senatorial Candidate

A/Court upholds

nullification of APC

Enugu East Senatorial

Candidate

 

 

The Court of Appeal in Enugu has upheld the nullification of the candidature of Prince Lawrence Eze, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the Enugu East senatorial zone in the last election.

Eze had appealed against the judgment by a Federal High Court which nullified his candidature in favour of Adaku Ogbu-Aguocha

In a unanimous decision delivered by Justice I.I.Agube, JCA and endorsed by Justice J.O.K. Oyewole, JCA and Justice A.S.Umar, JCA, the Judges ruled that Lawrence Eze was never a candidate in the APC primaries held on October 2nd, and so could not have emerged the APC senatorial candidate.

The court noted that Eze rather was an aspirant in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) primaries held same day for the same position which he lost having scored only 23 votes.

The judgement described as “phantom” Eze’s claim that he participated and won the APC primaries.

In the judgement, the Judges followed up with a strong admonition for the APC thus, “…the imposition of the Appellant as the Candidate of the APC for the Enugu East Senatorial District General Election of 2019 even when he was a member of another Political Party (the PDP) was the height of crass impunity and violation of Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) as well as INEC and the APC Guidelines for the conduct of Primary Elections for the nomination or selection of its Candidate.

“The APC, particularly in this State, must be warned not to plunge itself into the self-same miasma or quagmire of Political confusion and impunity teleguided by money bags and God fathers that characterized the conduct of Primaries by the PDP that has brought the latter almost to its knees”.

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The judges continued the rebuke…”if the change mantra of the APC must be anything to go by, there must be strict adherence to the democratic principles and ethos as entrenched in the Electoral Act, the INEC Guidelines and indeed the Party Guidelines in the conduct of Primary Elections for the nomination of Candidates to fly her Flag at the General Elections and such process must exhibit patent transparency, equity and justice”.

In dismissing the appeal, the Judges however took judicial note of an earlier judgement in Appeal NO. CA/E/EPT/125/2019 between Kingsley Godwin Uduji and the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Independent National electoral commission (INEC) delivered on 12th April 2019 which held that there were no primaries conducted by the Enugu APC for candidates for the National and State elections held in February/March 2019.

This latter judgement is presently being appealed at the Supreme Court by the APC.

(C) The Nation

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