Justice Kate C. Ogbonnaya of Federal High Court, Kubwa, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, has affirmed Chief Ikechi Emenike as the Abia State governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC). The court’s decision was given on Thursday, November 29.
Justice Ogbonnaya, also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognize Emenike as the rightful governorship candidate of the APC in Abia State.
It could be recalled that Chief Ikechi Emenike was declared the winner of the APC governorship primaries held on September 30 by the Dr. Emmanuel Ndukwe’s faction of Abia State’s APC. Prof. Okezie Abariukwu, Chief Returning Officer, announced in Umuahia that Emenike received a total of 274,133 votes to defeat other six contenders in the party’s governorship primary election. His name was, however, omitted from the list the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The omission of his name made Emenike to approach the law court for justice.
The High Court pronouncement has bring to pass Emenike’s earlier assurances to his supporters that the controversy trailing the APC’s governorship primary in Abia State would be resolved in his favour either by the court of law or the party’s leadership
He described the list of candidates forwarded to INEC as Adams Oshiomhole’s “private list” that would not stand the test of the law. (Oshiomhole is the national chairman of APC). “I believe strongly that that list is, perhaps at best, Gov. Oshiomhole’s ‘private list,’ which he used his office to forward to INEC. And I’m reassuring the vast supporters of the APC that it will not be the final list at the end of the day,” Emenike said, adding that “ultimately, we have to wait to and see how it pans out. A lot of us who are governorship candidates are in court. And as long as Nigeria is a country governed by the rule of law and practices constitutional democracy, the antics of one man cannot prevail. So, I believe quite frankly that the list is not going to be final. We are hopeful that at the end of the day justice will prevail.”