Anambra poll: Appeal Court declares Ozigbo PDP candidate

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… Awards N20m cost against Uba

ABUJA – The Court of Appeal in Abuja has declared Valentine Ozigbo as the validly nominated candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming governorship election in State.

A three-member panel, presided over by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, unanimously upheld the two appeals filed by Ozigbo and the PDP (CA/AW/223/2021 and CA/AW/234/2021)

The appellate court, in two judgements delivered on Friday, set aside the July 19, 2021 judgment by Justice A.O. Nwabunike of the State High Court sitting at Awka, declaring Senator Ugochukwu Uba as the authentic candidate of the PDP in the governorship election coming up in Anambra in November.

PDP had argued in its appeal that it conducted the governorship on June 26 at the Professor Dora Akunyuli Women Center in accordance with the provisions of the law and its guidelines, while Ozigbo claimed, in his appeal, that he won the primary election and was duly nominated as the candidate of the PDP for the forthcoming governorship election.

The appellate court, in its judgment on Friday found that the conducted by the PDP at the Professor Dora Akunyuli Women Center was duly conducted in accordance with the relevant laws.

It held that the purported parallel held at Saint Paul University Centre was null and void.

The Court of Appeal awarded N10million cost against Uba in each of the two appeals, bringing the total cost awarded against him to N20m

The appellate court came down hard on Justice Nwabunike for sitting on appeal over and adopting an earlier judgment by Justice Olukayode Adeniyi of the High Court of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), which the Court of Appeal, Abuja had voided on grounds of lack of jurisdiction in a separate case.

Justice Adeniyi had, in his judgement of June 9, 2021 sacked the PDP leadership in State and ordered the Chukwudi Umeaba faction of the party to conduct the June 26 primary, which eventually produced Uba,

Justice Nwabunike, in his July 19 judgment, adopted Justice Adeniyi’s decision and recognised the Umeaba- faction as constituting the authentic leadership of the PDP in State to conduct for the November 6 governorship election.