Appeal Court orders INEC to return Ozigbo as PDP candidate

Valentine Ozigbo wins PDP primary; to challenge Soludo, others

The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, on Friday, declared Valentine Ozigbo the lawful candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2021 Anambra governorship election.

Having considered the lawyers’ arguments, the panel of Justices led by Dongban Mensa dismissed the primary conducted by the Chukwudi Umeaba-led faction of the party which produced Ugochukwu Uba as its flag bearer and validated the candidature of Mr Ozigbo.

Mr Ozigbo emerged from a primary election conducted by the Ndubuisi Nwobu-led National Working Committee (NWC) on June 26.

On this ground, the court ordered the NEC, to immediately publish his name as the candidate of the PDP for the November 6 governorship race.

The appeal court also awarded N10 million against Mr Uba, a former senator and his lawyers for forum shopping.

The INEC on July 16 published the list of candidates for the Anambra election with no candidate listed for the PDP.

READ ALSO: Anambra Poll: INEC drops Soludo, Ozigbo, others

The commission, in its explanation, had highlighted court injunctions that emanated from the party’s internal crisis.

Following the parallel primaries, PREMIUM TIMES in July reported Mr Uba instituting a suit against INEC, PDP and Mr Ozigbo, challenging the latter’s candidature for the governorship election.

The Anambra High Court, presided by Obiora Nwabunike, ordered the INEC to recognise the former Anambra senator as the lawful candidate and awarded N10 million damages in favour of the plaintiff as cost of litigation.

Sequel to this, at least three different suits were instituted in relation to the Anambra PDP primaries with different court injunctions in favour or against contending candidates and the NWC members.

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