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Anambra Guber: Again, Uba Loses as Apex Court Nullifies his Candidature

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For the third time, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last governorship election in Anambra State, Senator Andy Uba, has lost in litigations contesting the validity of the APC in the November 6 governorship poll in the state.

This is so, following a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court, which on Tuesday voided his participation alongside his party over breach of electoral laws and party regulations guiding the conduct of party primaries.

Uba had first lost in December 2021 when a Federal High Court in Abuja, in a judgment, held that the APC having failed to abide by the provisions of electoral laws guiding primaries cannot be included in the ballot for the November 6 governorship poll won by the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo.

Uba again lost his appeal seeking to set aside the judgment of the trial court last February, when the appellate court in its unanimous decision agreed that APC cannot be on the ballot in the Anambra governorship election for beaching its own constitution.

Dissatisfied, Uba again proceeded to the apex court hoping that judgment would be given in his favour.

However, this was not the case as a five-member panel of the Supreme Court, in its unanimous judgment, held that the APC breached its guidelines for the conduct of primaries and thus, failed to conduct valid primary election that produced Uba as the standard-bearer of the party in the Anambra governorship election.

After affirming the judgment of the Court of Appeal, the apex court proceeded to dismiss the appeals filed by Andy Uba and the APC marked: SC/CV/240/2022 and SC/CV/241/2022.

The Appeal Court, Abuja, had in February 24, upheld the judgment of a Federal High Court, Abuja, which disqualified Uba and his party, from participating in the recent governorship election in Anambra State.

The appellate court, in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Danlami Zenchi, dismissed the appeals brought by Uba and the APC against the judgment of the trial court for lacking merit.

Uba and the APC, in two separate appeals, had approached the appellate court to upturn the judgment of Justice Inyang Ekwo, which faulted the primary election that produced Uba and subsequently, disqualified their participation in the November 6 governorship poll.

The duo, in the suits marked CA/ABJ/CV/13/2022 and CA/ABJ/CV/36/2022, claimed that the trial court erred, when it arrived that the primary election that produced Uba was not conducted in accordance with the electoral laws and went ahead to void it.

They specifically prayed the court to set aside the decision of Justice Ekwo, delivered on December 20, 2021 and declare that they were qualified to participate in the election.

However, in their unanimous decision, the appellate court, in the judgment read by Justice Senchi, noted that the trial court was right in its verdict and resolved all the issues against the appellants.

The trial court had, in its judgment, held that Uba was never a candidate in the poll, having emerged from an illegally conducted primary election by the APC.

The judge held that the plaintiff, George Moghalu, succeeded in proving that the APC did not conduct a valid primary election, which Uba claimed to have won as the party’s standard-bearer in the November 6, 2021 election.

Consequently, he ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to delete Uba’s name from its record as a candidate in the election.

Justice Ekwo equally ordered the APC to refund to the plaintiff, the N22.5 million he paid for expression of interest and nomination forms since the party failed to conduct a valid primary.

Uba had emerged candidate of the APC at its primary election held on June 26, 2021.

But in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/648/2021, Moghalu, an aspirant in the APC primary election, challenged the process and the outcome of the primary election.

Moghalu contended that the APC did not comply with the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act 2010, the APC regulations and guidelines in the conduct of its governorship primary in Anambra State.

Culled from THISDAY

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