By Sam Oditah
Umuahia, June 20, 2022
An All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in Abia, Chief Daniel Eke, has asked a Federal High Court in the state to declare the outcomes of the May 26 governorship primaries in the state as unlawful and invalid.
Eke, a U.S.-based Chartered Accountant, urged the court to stop two chieftains of the party, Chief Ikechi Emenike and Uche Ogah, from parading themselves as the APC governorship candidates for the 2023 general elections in Abia.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Abia APC organised two governorship primary elections, which produced Emenike and Ogah as candidates.
While Emenike’s group allegedly adopted indirect mode of primary election, Ogah’s faction claimed to have adopted the direct mode.
Eke stated that APC’s National Working Committee (NWC) directed Abia to conduct direct primary election for the governorship aspirants.
In his suit, he argued that Ogah’s “factional purported direct primary election” was not conducted by the APC Electoral Committee Officers, led by Messrs Tonie Obiefuna and Chukwudi Kanu as Chairman and Secretary, respectively.
He also stated that Emenike’s adoption of indirect mode of primary election was in total violation of the NWC’s directives, guidelines and relevant sections of the party’s Constitution.
He, therefore, urged the court to declare that both Emenike and Ogah “emerged from invalid, unlawful and illegal factional primary elections conducted contrary to the Constitution of APC and Electoral Act 2022”.
Eke sought the court’s injunction restraining the two defendants “from parading themselves as duly nominated governorship candidates of APC”.
He also sought an order restraining the duo from contesting the APC governorship poll in the 2023 general elections.
He asked for an order to restrain INEC “from accepting or recognising and presenting the two defendants as the APC governorship candidates for the general elections in Abia”.
Eke stated that the greatest infraction in the conduct of the APC governorship primary elections in Abia was that “there were no correspondences to the aspirants and supporters, regarding the venue and time for the exercise”.
He alleged that the exercise was shrouded in secrecy.
According to him, there was no election from which the so-called delegates emerged, in the case of indirect primary election.
He urged the court not to allow the purported primary elections by Emenike and Ogah to stand but declare them a nullity.
The governorship hopeful alleged that he was unfairly and unjustly treated by the party’s NWC.
He asked the court to award N100 million damages in his favour and against Emenike and Ogah “for inducing and masterminding the infractions invalidating the APC gubernatorial primary election in Abia”.
In an interview with NAN in Umuahia on Monday, Eke said that APC risked not presenting a gubernatorial candidate in 2023.
He described the process that produced Emenike and Ogah as a charade.
In a reaction, the state Chairman of the party, Dr Kingsley Ononogbu, told NAN that he was not aware of the suit.
“I am not the Legal Adviser of the party so I don’t know what they are talking about and I am not in Umuahia,” Ononogbu said.