From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Supreme Court has nullified the primary election of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which produced Jones Onyerere as its Senatorial candidate for Imo West in the February National Assembly election. The apex court nullified the primary election of the party on the ground that it was conducted in Owerri, the Imo State Capital instead of Orlu being the Senatorial Headquarters of Imo West.
In the primary election for Imo West Senatorial District, a former House of Representatives member, who represented the Nwangele/Isu/Njaba/Nkwerre federal constituency, Jones Onyeriri, won with 228 votes, to defeat his closest rival, Thank God Ezeani, who polled 118 votes, while Jerry Alagbaso got 57 votes.
In a unanimous judgment prepared by Justice Helen Ogunwumiji but read by Justice Emmanuel Agih, the apex court stated that the PDP by the judgement, has no senatorial candidate in the senatorial zone.
The judgment was in respect of an appeal marked SC/CV/1441/2022 by Nnamdi Thank God Ezeani against Jones Onyeriri and others (respondents).
The court had earlier decided on a similar appeal marked SC/CV/1440/2022 by Jerry Alagbaoso against the the Independent National Electoral Commission and two others. Delivering the judgment, Justice Ogunwumiji held that having conducted the senatorial primary election in Aladimma Owerri, outside of Orlu zone, the PDP had violated its own constitution and section 87 (9) of the Electoral Act.
The Act says that primary election to nominate candidate for a Senatorial District shall be held in the senatorial constituency, and not outside the Senatorial zone.