Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Abuja division of the Federal High Court has declared George Ogara as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State.
Justice Inyang Ekwo who delivered the judgment, ordered the electoral body to recognise George Ogara as the candidate of the APC for the purpose of 2019 governorship election in Enugu State.
In addition, it ordered that Ogara’s name is forwarded to INEC as the governorship candidate of the APC in the state, having scored the highest votes cast in the 270 wards of the 17 local government areas of the state.
Justice Ekwo, held that the direct primary election of the party that produced Ogara as the party’s governorship candidate in Enugu was in compliance with the party’s guidelines as well as the Electoral Act.
Consequently, he ordered the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, and the APC to forward Ogara’s name to INEC as the party’s flag bearer in the 2019 governorship election in Enugu state.
The judge also restrained INEC from accepting any other name except that of Ogara for the purpose of the 2019 governorship election in Enugu State, having scored the highest votes in the primary elections.
The court declared that the plaintiff, having scored the highest number of votes cast by members of the APC in Enugu State for the governorship direct primary election conducted on October 4, 2018, in the 260 wards, was the nominated candidate of the APC.
“Plaintiff’s name is entitled to be forwarded by the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th defendants to the 5th defendant as the candidate of the 2nd and 4th defendants in the 2019 Enugu State governorship election.
“That the direct primary election for governorship aspirants conducted on 4/10/2018, wherein the plaintiff emerged as the winner on 4/10/2018, having scored the highest number of votes cast in the said direct primary election for Enugu State governorship aspirants is consistent with and in compliance with the provisions of Section 87 (3) of the Electoral Act. 2010 (as amended) and Article 20 (iii) of the A11 Progressives Congress Constitution, 2014 (as amended),” the court held.
Justice Ekwo then held Oshiomhole, Prof Momoh and the APC, 2nd to 4th defendants’ refusal, neglect and/or failure to forward the name of the plaintiff to the 5th defendant as the candidate of the 4th defendant and the refusal of INEC to publish the name of the plaintiff as the candidate of APC for the governorship election is contrary to the provisions of Section 87 (3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and Article 20 of the APC Constitution.
Ogara had dragged Senator Ayogu Eze, the national Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, Prof Moses Momoh and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the court asks to stop Ayogu’s emergence as the APC’s governorship candidate for the 2019 general elections.