Thursday 6th December 2018, a Federal High Court sitting in Awka, Anambra State, has annulled the election of one Mr. Emeka Ibe as the chairman of the All Progressives Congress in the state.
Member of the party in the state and chairmanship aspirant, Chief Uzochukwu Onyekwere, had gone to court to contest the May 19 2018 state elective congress that brought in Ibe, unlawfully.
Respondents in the suit were Okey Ezea, Rep. Kingsley Chinda, and Chairman of the APC Congress Committee in Anambra, Ibe, the acclaimed winner and the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Onyekwere told the court that he was a bonafide member of the APC and is eligible to contest for the position of the party’s chairman in Anambra.
He sought the affirmation that the exercise was not conducted in accordance with the provisions of the party’s constitution Article 20 2017; and the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, section 223 as amended.
He alleged that all elections would be through democratic voting and that the exercise fell short of it.
Ibeh sought a declaration that he would not be punished after seeking justice through the court and that the May 19, 2018, Anambra APC congress be set aside.
For over two hours ruling, Justice Bature Gafai terminated the counter-affidavits of defendants which contended that the court did not have jurisdiction over the matter as it was an internal party affair.
Justice Gafai said the plaintiff a bonafide member of the party and having paid the mandatory nomination fee had the right to fair contest.
He therefore cancelled the election into the APC chairmanship position and ordered a re-run which will be supervised by INEC
The judge who did not grant the damage of N100 million sought by the plaintiff, however, did not give that for the repeat of the election.
But in reaction, Chief Tagbo Ike, counsel for the petitioner applauded the court for the judgment and speedy release of justice.
Ike, who described the election as a ‘sham’ said it was sad that a few people sat and produced their stooges as consensus and harmonised candidates and forced them on the people.
Ike said he would convey judgment to the party hierarchy for appropriate action.
The plaintiff, Onyekwere also lauded the court adding that he had been vindicated.
Onyekwere said he would go back and prepare for a congress election that would reflect the minds of the generality of party faithful.
“I thank God, if you must go to equity you have to go with clean hands, I have maintained that there was no congress in Anambra and the court has confirmed it.
“I will go and prepare, if I win, I win and if I lose I will be happy that justice has been served,” he said.