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Umahi Loses APC Senatorial Seat, Court rules

A Federal High Court in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital has struck out a suit filed by Dave Umahi, asking the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) to recognise him as a senatorial candidate of the APC.

The presiding judge, Fatun Riman had ruled that Ann Agom-Eze, who came second to Austin Umahi, the brother to the Governor Dave, was the winner of the primaries.

Austin had contested the primaries and won, only for him to later step down for his brother(Dave). However, the APC conducted another primary on June 9, during which Austin withdrew, and the Ebonyi governor reportedly contested unopposed and won.

However, although the APC had listed Dave Umahi as its senatorial candidate for Ebonyi South, he was excluded when INEC published the list of candidates for the 2023 elections.

The Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi was at the time of the APC Senatorial primary, participating in the APC Presidential primaries in Abuja, and therefore could not have taken part in the primary, the court said.

Riman said according to section 115 of the Electoral Act 2022, the governor neither procured forms nor participated in the primary, and as such, cannot claim any right based on the senatorial primary.

Nnaemeka Nwonwu, counsel to Agom-Eze, expressed satisfaction over the judgment.

“Yes, the court has ordered APC to conduct fresh primary to ratify the candidacy of our client, Ann Agom-Eze, who took the second position as governor’s younger brother has withdrawn,” Nwonwu said.

“The court has given 14 days from today, Friday, to conduct a fresh primary for the zone.”

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