Appeal Court Affirms Emenike as APC Guber Candidate for Abia, Dismisses Suit by Ogah’s Camp

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The authenticity of Chief Ikechi Emenike as the 2023 governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Abia State was yesterday further affirmed by the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division.

The appellate court presided over by Hon. Justice B. Georgewill dismissed the appeal filed by the former Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Uche Ogah and his followers who sought to nullify the candidature of Emenike.

In its judgment on the appeal No. CA/OW/269/2022: APC & ANOR Vs Ikechi Emenike & ANOR, the appellate court dismissed the appeal for lack of merit and endorsed the judgment of an Abia State High Court which recognised Emenike as the real candidate of APC.

Following the emergence of Emenike as the governorship standard-bearer of Abia APC at the primary election conducted by the panel sent by the national leadership of the party, Ogah and his co-travellers had engaged in strenuous efforts to stop him.

The former minister, who had claimed that he conducted a “direct primary and won” even without any authorisation or supervision by the APC national secretariat was parading himself as a governorship candidate.

Ogah went from one court to the other seeking to stop the party from forwarding Emenike’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and also for him to be recognised as the party’s governorship candidate. All his efforts were fruitless.

Emenike on his part had approached the court to determine if having won the governorship primary, the party can refuse forwarding his name to INEC, more so as a court of competent jurisdiction had dismissed his purported suspension from the party orchestrated by Ogah.

It was based on this that Justice Benson Anya in delivering his judgment in suit No HUM/31/2022, resolved the matter in favour of Emenike on June 24, 2022

However, Uche Ogah and members of his camp were not satisfied with the judgment and proceeded to file “a questionable appeal” as they used the name of the party to file the appeal.

Ogah’s attempt to file an appeal against the judgment as an interested party was dismissed on July 19, 2022.

But his lawyers transferred the appeal from Owerri Division to Abuja and on July 31, 2022, the appeal was heard and judgment delivered 33 days later.

The Court Appeal Abuja has thus affirmed that APC was right in endorsing Chief Emenike as the party’s gubernatorial candidate at the trial court and going ahead to submit his name to INEC for recognition.

The appellate court also queried why anybody or a busy body would come to the court of appeal to seek an impossibility.

Meanwhile the leadership of Abia APC has described the outcome of the Appeal Court judgment as a victory for all party members.

The Chairman of Abia APC, Dr. Kingsley Ononogbu, said that the party recognises the right of every aggrieved member to approach the court to seek redress but now the appellate court has given its verdict the appellants should accept it.

Ononogbu again extended the olive branch to the aggrieved party members, saying that they should “come home and let’s hold hands together and build the party to win the 2023 election.”

“We should not be engaging in internal fighting. Our fighting should be in the political field against those holding Abia State down,” he said, adding that “the collective goal of Abia APC,  which is to rescue and develop Abia should supersede every personal interest.”

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