ENUGU— The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON, have congratulated Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State on the Appeal Court judgment in Abuja which affirmed his emergence as the governorship candidate of the PDP duly elected at the December 4, 2014 primary election for the 2015 general elections.
Reacting to the judgment, the Enugu State chapter of the PDP in a statement signed by its chairman, Augustine Nnamani, said the Appeal Court verdict was a victory for democracy and the good people of the state, whom he said gave the PDP-led government of Governor Ugwuanyi the mandate to lead the state and have continued to show tremendous goodwill and support to its noble vision in advancing good governance and impact positively on their lives as true heroes of democracy.
Nnamani, while thanking God for the victory, appreciated the judiciary for rising up to its solemn responsibility of ensuring that justice prevails, stressing that the judgment was a clear indication that the third arm of government is the last hope of the common man.
This came as chairmen of the 17 Local Government Areas in Enugu State under the aegis of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON, through a statement by its state Chairman, Prince Cornelius Nnaji, also congratulated Ugwuanyi
on the victory, describing it as a true reflection of the wishes of the people of the state, especially those at the grassroots.
The PDP Chairman, in his statement maintained that Gov. Ugwuanyi’s emergence as the party’s governorship candidate in 2014 was a popular choice, urging a few individuals who are still aggrieved with the party’s decision to put their differences behind and join hands with the governor in moving the party and the state forward for the overall interest of the people.
He said: “Gov. Ugwuanyi’s emergence as our governorship candidate in 2014 was overwhelming and a popular decision, which saw to his landslide victory both at the primary and governorship elections.”
The recent judgment of the Court of Appeal only affirmed the unanimous decision, goodwill, solidarity and support, which our party members and the good people of Enugu State have continued to accord him and his administration for the entrenchment of good governance and people-oriented leadership in the state.
“The party therefore, wishes to call on a few persons who may still be aggrieved to drop their difference in the interest of the state and join hands with our visionary governor to move Enugu state forward. Our governor as a man of peace is ever ready and willing to accommodate all shades of interests in line with his administration’s peace and development initiatives.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja, had on Wednesday, dismissed the appeal by the former governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 general election in Enugu State, Senator Ayogu Eze, seeking to upturn the emergence of Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as the candidate of the PDP duly elected at the December 4, 2014 primary election in the State.
The Court in a judgment delivered by Hon. Justice Peter Ige dismissed the appeal for lack of merit as well as lack of locus standi by Senator Eze, whom the Court said, admitted by his affidavit evidence, that he did not participate in the primary election conducted by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP.
The Court also held that the High Court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit ab initio since Senator Ayogu Eze did not qualify as an aspirant entitled to challenge the outcome of the primary election as provided in Section 87 (9) of the Electoral Act.
He explained that in line with the Electoral Act “the aspirant must be an insider, somebody who participated in the primary authorised by the party”.
“The appellant admitted he was aware that another primary was conducted by Asara Asara, but that he did not participate.
“The appeal of the appellant lacks merit. The judgment of the lower court is affirmed”, he added.
It could be recalled that Senator Eze had approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking, among other reliefs, “A declaration that the plaintiff (Ayogu Eze), having been elected by the majority of the lawful votes cast at the primary election held on 8th December 2014, for the election of a governorship candidate for the 1stdefendant (PDP) where the authentic and authenticated list of delegates for the 1stdefendant (primary election) held on 1st November 2014 and sanctioned and recognised by the Federal High Court judgment of 24th November 2014 is the right candidate of the 1st and 2nd defendants (PDP and PDP National Working Committee) whose name must be submitted to the third defendant as their rightful governorship candidate for the general election of 2015”.
The lower court dismissed the case of Ayogu Eze as it held that the judgment of Justice Ademola did not compel the party to use any particular list of ad-hoc delegates for the primary election, hence there was no breach of Section 87 (4) (b) of the Electoral Act.
Meanwhile, the judgment of the Court of Appeal, today, was received with jubilation by supporters of Governor Ugwuanyi who were in court in their numbers.