A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Monday, ruled out the participation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Andy Uba in the Anambra governorship election which held on November 6, 2021.
In a judgment, Justice Inyang Ekwo held that the June 26 primary of the party which produced Uba as its candidate was illegal and not validly conducted.
An aspirant in the APC primary election, Chief George Moghalu had challenged the process and the outcome of the primary election that produced Uba as APC’s candidate, suing the party, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Uba as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively.
Justice Ekwo, in alignment with Moghalu’s arguments ruled that the June 26 primary election breached the provisions of the Electoral Act and the APC guidelines for the conduct of the exercise.
He added that the plaintiff (Moghalu) had successfully demonstrated that the primary election was not conducted in accordance with the law and the party’s guidelines, saying, “Therefore, the case of the plaintiff succeeds on its merit.”
Justice Ekwo held that since the election was conducted illegally, the 1st defendant (APC) cannot be part of the election which produced the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Prof. Charles Soludo, as the winner.
The judge, therefore, declared that “the APC had no candidate in the Anambra governorship election by non-inclusion of the name of Moghalu in the primary election, and the conduct of the poll in contravention of the Electoral Act and the party’s guidelines.”
“The 2nd defendant (INEC) is compelled to delist the name of the 1st defendant and 3rd defendant from the Nov. 6, Anambra governorship election.
“Any election conducted contrary to the 1st defendant guideline is in nullity.
“The real issue was not whether accredited members of 1st defendant voted on that day but whether the election was conducted in accordance with the election guidelines of 1st defendant,” he said.
He also said the evidence of the police report confirmed that the election was conducted outside the time frame.
Justice Ekwo, who described the conduct of the primary by APC as “crude and primitive,” ordered that “the N22.5 million paid by Moghalu as expression of interest and nomination forms be refunded since the party failed to comply with the provisions of the law and its guidelines.”
In July, Moghalu had file the suit at the court, seeking an order removing Uba and the APC from the list of governorship candidates and political parties partaking in the election on the grounds that the party failed to conduct a valid primary election.
He also demanded N122.5 million as damages, which include “a refund for the fee paid for expression of interest and nomination forms and N100 million for the breach of contract to commence and conclude primary election”.