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Ebonyi: Gov Umahi loses APC senatorial ticket

A Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Friday denied Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial ticket for Ebonyi South zone.

Court recognized Princess Ann Agom-Eze, as the Senatorial candidate for Ebonyi South Zone in next year’s general election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday, published a list of 12 political parties that nominated candidates for the 2023 governorship race in the State and Umahi’s name was missing.

The Governor, through his Counsel, Roy Nweze Umahi, dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) to the Federal High Court in Abakaliki, to compel the Commission to recognize the governor as the authentic senatorial candidate for Ebonyi South senatorial District.

Meanwhile, Austin Umahi (the governor’s younger brother), a contender, had withdrawn at the 2nd primary election conducted on June 9, 2022, wherein the governor was reported to have won unopposed.

But Princess Agom-Eze who was one of the senatorial aspirants and placed second at the party’s primary, approached the court and urged it not to recognize Umahi as the senatorial candidate for Ebonyi South, claiming that she was the rightful candidate of the APC for the election.

Delivering his judgement, Justice Fatun Riman, cited section 115 of the Electoral Act 2022, saying the governor was not an aspirant and cannot participate in the election or pre-election matters of the All Progressives Congress as regards the Ebonyi South zone, whose primary held on the 28th day of May, 2022.

According to the above section of the new Electoral Act, the governor neither procured forms for nor participated in the election and cannot claim any right based on the primary election.

In his reaction, Counsel to Mrs Agom-Eze, Barr Nwonu Nnaemeka, noted that his team’s argument was that its client, upon the withdrawal of Austin Umahi from the primary, should claim all her rights as regards the exercise, being the second runner-up.

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