The fight for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) governorship ticket and chairmanship have swung back in favour of Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji and Chief Jude Okeke, both of whom have been recognised by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
This comes after the High Court of Owerri today dismissed a new court action brought by Victor Oye to stop Chukwuma Umeoji and reaffirmed its earlier judgement declaring the Owerri Convention, which produced Jude Okeke as APGA Chairman, valid and directing INEC to accept and continue to recognise and publish the name of Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji, who emerged as APGA Governors.
This decision came in response to Chief Victor Oye’s application for a stay of execution and leave to appeal, in which the court granted him leave to appeal but declined to grant him a stay of execution, instead opting to reaffirm its previous decision.
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The court specifically stated that INEC cannot avoid its legal obligation to carry out, obey, and comply with the court’s orders declaring Umeoji candidate and that INEC has a legal obligation to continue to carry out, obey, and comply with the extant, valid, and subsisting judgement of this Court delivered on July 28, 2021, which declared Umeoji candidate and ordered INEC to continue to recognise him and Jude Okeke pending the outcome of the case.
As a result of today’s ruling, INEC is prohibited from attempting to remove Umeoji’s name as an APGA candidate from its list, despite reports that it was under duress to do so.
On August 10, 2021, the Court of Appeal Kano Division overturned another judgement of the Jigawa High Court, which held that Chief Jude Okeke is the National Chairman of the APGA and that only the governorship Congress held by him is valid, with no orders as to who the party’s candidate should be.
The Kano Appeal Court did not go into detail about who should be the party’s candidate between Prof. Charles Soludo and Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji in a contentious decision that reversed their earlier ruling that the appeal was statute-barred because it was filed before the election, but still declared the judgement null and void for lack of fair hearing and jurisdiction without making any consequential decisions.
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