Federal High Court sitting in Enugu, Tuesday, February 19th, sacked the senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC for Enugu East Senatorial district, Prince Lawrence Eze declaring that he was illegally nominated for the election.
The court ruled that Adaku Ogbu Aguocha, the plaintigg, who came second in the APC senatorial primary election held on October 2, 2018, was the rightful candidate since Uchenna Ezemba, who won the primary had voluntarily stepped down.
Ezemba had announced his withdrawal from the race shortly after the primary election to pave the way for Prince Lawrence Eze. Eze who lost the PDP senatorial ticket to a former Governor of the state, Dr. Chinaroke Nnamani, decamped to APC and was awarded APC ticket.
Aguocha, who was annoyed of the injustice, approached the court to challenge the decision of the party to field the person, she said, never contested the election and was not a member of party as at the time the primary election was conducted. She among other reliefs prayed the court to declare her the duly elected candidate of the APC since Ezemba, who emerged winner of the primary poll had withdrawn from the contest.
The presiding judge, Justice Buba Ibrahim, in a detailed judgement, dismissed the objection raised by the defendant’s counsel that the case was statute barred, explaining that the matter which arose from an act of impunity, centered on wrongful nomination and not substitution. Declaring that the application by the plaintiff had merit and therefore succeeded. Justice Mohammed asked the first respondent, APC to forward the name of the applicant to the third respondent, INEC, as the recognized candidate for Enugu East without further delay.
Justice Mohammed said it was a glaring injustice to impose someone that never contested an election while those who laboured to participate in the contest were pushed aside. He, however, made no order as to cost.
Counsel for Prince Lawrence Eze, Ferdinand Ukwueze, told newsmen that he will study the court judgement with his client before further decision, noting that he was not in a position to say if his client would appeal the decision of the court.