Few Days After Umahi Told His People To Reject Peter Obi, Court Nullifies His Senatorial Candidacy

by Opeyemi Alimi
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Umahi vs Obi

The Federal High Court, Abakaliki, on Friday, nullified a suit by the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi seeking to be recognized by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the Ebonyi South Senatorial District All Progressives Congress candidate, premiumtimesng.com has reported.

This is coming few days after the governor said that he’s not going to support the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, and told his people to instead, vote for the flagbearer of the ruling APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Governor Umahi, through his lawyer, Roy Umahi, had filled a case against the INEC, asking the court to ordered the electoral body to recognize him as the genuine candidate for Ebonyi South Senatorial District but the aspirant who came second in the first primary election, Princess Agom-Eze, on Tuesday, approached the court and urged it not to recognize the governor as the APC candidate.

Mr Umahi’s counsel argued that the governor should be recognized as the senatorial candidate by INEC after the initial winner had withdrawn and another primary conducted.

The primary which was conducted on May 28 was won by Governor Umahi’s younger brother, Austin Umahi and during the time, the governor was still seeking to be the Presidential candidate of the APC.

Premium Times gathered that, Governor Umahi, after losing the party’s presidential ticket, returned to Ebonyi. His brother withdrew from the race and the second primary election which was reportedly won by the governor unopposed was conducted on June 9.

When INEC published the names of senatorial candidates in the state, it left that of Ebonyi South Senatorial District vacant.

On Friday, the court disagreed with the governor’s submissions.

In his ruling, Justice Fatun Riman noted that INEC was right in rejecting Governor Umahi’s name as the APC candidate and held that the party cannot conduct a valid second primary without including the name of Mrs Agom-Eze who came second in the first primary.

The court further urged the party to conduct another primary election within 14 days.

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