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SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENT - UGUWANYI

Enugu Guber Tussle: Supreme Court upholds Ugwuanyi’s election

  • Ekweremadu, Ayogu, Igwesi congratulate gov

Willy Eya and Godwin Tsa

The legal moves by a governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015, Senator Ayogu Eze to remove the Enugu State governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi from office failed yesterday at the Supreme Court.

The apex court confirmed the validity of his nomination by the PDP ahead of the 2015 governorship poll in Enugu State.

The appellant, Senator Eze who laid claim to the PDP governorship ticket in Enugu State having emerged through a parallel primary election, had asked the apex court to remove Ugwuanyi‎ over allegation that he was illegally nominated by the PDP to contest the April 11, 2015, governorship poll.

However, the moves backfired yesterday as the apex court awarded a N1 million cost against him in favour of the governor, after dismissing his appeal as lacking in merit.

The court in a unanimous judgment, resolved all the issues against the appellant.

The five-member Justices of the court thereafter, upheld the judgement of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal which earlier affirmed Ugwuanyi’s election victory.

Justice Kayode Ariwola, who presided over the appeal, berated the Senator for raising issues bordering on a subject matter the court had previously decided upon.

The court held that there was no point re-litigating on issues bordering on the primary election that produced Ugwuanyi. According to the court, by the provision of section 87 (4) and (9), the appellant who did not participate in the said primary election, lacked the locus standi to query the outcome.

Eze had in his appeal marked SC/248/2017, prayed the apex court to sack Ugwuanyi from office on the premise that he was not validly nominated by the PDP for the gubernatorial election. He told the court that Ugwuanyi emerged from a kangaroo primary election he said was conducted on December 8, 2014, by some leaders of the party.

Meanwhile, the appellant, Senator Ayogu Eze has congratulated Governor Ugwuanyi on his victory at the Supreme Court.

In a phone call on Friday, Ayogu told Ugwuanyi that now that he (Ayogu) has exhausted the judicial process, he was extending his hand of fellowship to him as he settles down to the remaining part of his tenure.

But in another statement he personally signed, Ayogu wished that the conclusion of the matter will lead to the unfolding of more development programmes that will directly touch the lives of Enugu people.

Also, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu congratulated Ugwuanyi, on his victory, describing him as a “God-sent agent of peace and development in Enugu State”. In a statement, his Special Adviser (Media), Uche Anichukwu said the Supreme Court had affirmed not only the verdict of Enugu State PDP faithful in the 2015 gubernatorial primary, but also the overwhelming acceptance of the governor among the people of the state.

He said: “This is victory, not just for Governor Ugwuanyi, but also more importantly a victory for peace, equitable development, and unusual transformation in Enugu State.”

Also, a former member of the Federal House of Representatives, Chief U.S.A Igwesi has commended the bold and courageous judgment of the Justices of the Supreme Court affirming Ugwuanyi as the authentic candidate of the PDP in the 2015 primaries of the party in the state.

The former lawmaker described the judgment as a landmark, saying it was an attestation of the supremacy of the good people of the state over the forces of evil and that it has gone a long way to proclaim and affirm that power belongs to God. He observed that the ruling was a true and proper reflection of the truth during the period under review and that the panel of justices who arrived at the decision were in tune with the truth of the matter and should not have settled for the opposite.

The former leader of Enugu House of Assembly observed that the generality of the electorate in Enugu State were not in any way astonished by the long awaited judgment, simply because they firmly believed that the massive and unprecedented democratic dividends being delivered by Ugwuanyi can never be truncated by evil forces who do not realise that there must be an end to frivolous litigation.

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Tokunbo David
Tokunbo David

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