By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, ABUJA
The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, on Wednesday, reserved its judgement on appeals seeking to set aside the high court verdict that nullified the participation of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and its candidate, Andy Uba, in the governorship election that held in Anambra State on November 6.
A three-man panel of Justices of the court, led by Justice Stephen Adah, adjourned the matter for judgement, after all the parties adopted their final briefs of argument.
While the first appeal marked CA/A/CV/13/2022, was lodged by the APC, the second appeal marked CA/A/CV/36/2022, was brought before the court by Uba.
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The Appellants, through their lawyers, Mahmud Magaji, SAN, and Abdullahi Aliyu, contended that the Federal High Court in Abuja erred in law when it held that the APC did not conduct a valid primary and therefore did not present a valid candidate for the gubernatorial election.
They argued that the trial court failed to properly evaluate the proof of evidence that was adduced before it to prove that Uba emerged through a validly conducted primary poll.
Meanwhile, whereas the 1st Respondent, George Moghalu, whose suit led to the high court judgement, urged the court to dismiss the appeal, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said it would abide by the decision of the court.
It will be recalled that the high court had in a judgement Justice Inyang Ekwo delivered on December 20, 2021, held that APC’s primary election where Uba emerged as its flag bearer, was done in substantial breach of both the electoral guidelines for the conduct of governorship primary election, as well as the party’s constitution.
It held that the APC, having failed to comply with the law in the conduct of its primary, was therefore bereft of any valid candidate for the gubernatorial contest.
The judgement followed a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/648/2021, which was brought before the court by an aggrieved APC governorship aspirant in the state, Mr. Moghalu.
The Plaintiff alleged that the party had in violation of its constitution and guidelines, handpicked Senator Uba, in a kangaroo primary election he said was conducted around 6pm on June 26, 2021.
Moghalu, who was among 14 aspirants that purchased forms to contest the Anambra governorship election on the platform of the APC, told the court that the said process that produced Uba, took place after all other aspirants and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had left the venue.