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ANAMBRA: Soludo loses again as court reaffirms Umeoji as APGA candidate

AN Owerri High Court has reaffirmed the election of Chukwuma Umeoji as the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) for the November 6 governorship election in the state.

The court also refused to recognise Victor Oye as the national chairman of the party.

In his ruling on the suit filed by Prof Charles Soludo and Oye, which sought to prevail on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove Umeoji as the candidate of APGA, Justice V. C. Isiguzo also refused to grant a stay of execution on the previous ruling of Justice B. C. Iheka of Owerri High court.

This ruling was sequel to an application for stay of execution and leave to appeal filed by Chief Oye wherein the court granted him leave to appeal but refused to grant the order for stay of execution but rather went ahead to reaffirm its earlier judgment.

The Court expressly stated that INEC cannot evade its duty to comply with the Orders of the Court declaring Umeoji as APGA candidate and therefore has a legal obligation to continue to carry out, obey and comply with the extant, valid and subsisting judgment of the Court delivered on 28th July 2021 which declared Umeoji candidate and ordered INEC to continue to recognize him and Jude Okeke pending the determination of the appeal filed by Victor Oye at Appeal Court Owerri.

The judge said he could not arrest Justice Iheaka’s judgement as the Owerri convention which produced Jude Okeke as the chairman of the party was valid.

The court said that INEC must continue to recognise Umeoji as the candidate of the party until Appeal Court rules otherwise.

The court directed INEC to accept and continue to recognize and publish the name of Umeoji who emerged as APGA’s governorship candidate in Awka as the candidate of the party and to mandatorily include his name in all electoral processes for the Anambra Governorship election.

An Appeal Court in Kano Division had, on the 10th of August, 2021, set aside another judgment of the Jigawa High Court which also held that Chief Jude Okeke is National Chairman of APGA and only governorship Congress held by him shall be valid without making any orders as to who should be the candidate of the party.

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