By Peter Okutu, Abakaliki
The lingering contention as to who was suitablly qualified as the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, for Ebonyi South Senatorial District of Ebonyi State, in the 2023 general election, has been laid to rest following the Federal High Court ruling on the matter in Abakaliki, Friday.
The candidate, Ann Agom-eze defeated Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State as the Court ruling favoured her against all odds.
Recall that she came second in the APC senatorial primary election for Ebonyi South Zone, which was conducted in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, as Governor David Umahi’s younger brother, Austin Umahi came first.
Austin Umahi withdrew from the election and relinquished the ticket to Engr David Umahi even as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC frowned at the development and omitted Engr Umahi’s name from their published list of candidates for the 2023 general election.
Vanguard reliably gathered that INEC never monitored the rerun exercise, which purportedly announced Engr. Umahi as the candidate of APC for Ebonyi South Senatorial district, come 2023.
Engr. David Umahi went to the Federal High Court in Abakaliki, through his counsel, Roy Nweze Umahi, to seek an order of court for INEC to publish his name as senatorial candidate for Ebonyi South zone even as Ann Agom-eze also applied to be joined in the suit.
Delivering the landmark judgment, Justice Fatun Riman cited section 115 of the Electoral Act, which forbids a person from standing two different primary elections in the same year.
He said in his judgment, that such a person, if found claiming to have participated in two primary elections risks a two year jail term.
He further affirmed that the authentic Senatorial candidate for Ebonyi South zone of the APC was Mrs Ann Agom-eze, since Mr. Austin Umahi withdrew from the race.
According to him, if Engr. David Umahi files an appeal, he stands to gain two years jail bounty.