Court Sacks Ayogu as Enugu APC Governorship Candidate

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday declared Barrister George Ogara as the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Enugu state.
Ogara has dragged Senator Ayogu Eze, the national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, Prof Moses Momoh and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the court seeking nullification of Ayogu’s emergence as the APC’s governorship candidate for the 2019 general elections.
The trial Judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgement delivered in the suit ordered that Ogara’s name be forwarded to INEC as the governorship candidate of the APC in Enugu state, having scored the highest votes cast in the 270 wards of the 17 local government areas in Enugu.
Justice Ekwo, in the judgement asked the electoral body to recognise George Ogara as the candidate of the APC for the purpose of 2019 governorship election in Enugu state.
The Judge held that the direct primary election of the party that produced Ogara as the party’s governorship candidate in Enugu was in compliance with the party’s guidelines as well as the electoral Act.
He ordered Oshiomhole and the APC to forward Ogara’s name to INEC as the party’s flagbearer in the 2019 governorship election in Enugu state.
The Judge also restrained INEC from accepting any other name except that of Ogara, for the purpose of the 2019 governorship election in Enugu state, having scored the highest votes in the primary elections.
The court declared that the plaintiff, having scored the highest number of votes cast by members of the APC in Enugu State for the governorship direct primary election conducted on October 4, 2018 at the 260 Wards, is the nominated Candidate of the APC.
“Plaintiff’s name is entitled to be forwarded by the 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants to the 5th defendant as the candidate of the 2nd and 4th Defendants in the 2019 Enugu State governorship election.
“That the direct primary election for Governorship aspirants conducted on 4/10/2018, wherein the plaintiff emerged as the winner on 4/10/2018, having scored the highest number of votes cast in the said direct primary election for Enugu State governorship aspirants is consistent with and in compliance with the provisions of Section 87 (3) of the Electoral Act. 2010 (as amended) and Article 20 (iii) of the A11 Progressives Congress Constitution, 2014 (as amended)”, the court held.
Justice Ekwo then held Oshiomhole, Prof Momoh and the APC, 2nd to 4th defendants’ refusal, neglect and/or failure to forward the name of the plaintiff to the 5th Defendant as the Candidate of the 4th defendant and the refusal of INEC to publish the name of the plaintiff as the candidate of APC for the governorship election is contrary to the provisions of Section 87 (3) of the Electoral Act. 2010 (as amended) and Article 20 of the APC Constitution.
Wild jubilation had heralded the announcement of Ogara Tabugbo (GOT) as the winner gubernatorial primaries held 4th of October 2018.
The primary, which was rescheduled to 4th of October by the NWC of the party after the crisis that rocked the 30th of September primaries that was to be held at the UNEC mini stadium, saw Barrister Ogara winning the direct primaries with 57, 675 votes.
Declaring the results, the returning officer Chief S.N.C Nwagu, stated that the total number of votes collated from all 260 wards of the 17 local government areas of the state in the direct primaries ordered by the party leadership, was 128,166.
Out of this, Ogara polled 57, 675 votes to beat his closest rival Mr. Ifeanyi Nwoga who scored 38, 449 votes. Others in the contest were, Akubue Augustine, 11, 536, Eche Benjamin scored 12, 816, while Ayogu scored 7, 690.
Presenting the result to party faithful in Enugu and a cross section of observers, Chief Nwagu declared Barrister Ogara duly elected and the flag bearer of the APC for the 2019 governorship elections in Enugu State.
It will be recalled that Enugu State APC has been in a protracted conflict for the governorship ticket for the next general elections with multiple accusations of intimidation, fraud and impositions that led the NWC of the party to resort to direct primaries rescheduled to the 4th of October.
However, along the line, Ogara’s name was replaced with that of Ayogu. This pushed Ogara to approach Federal high Court for redress.

Author: News Editor

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