Court Bars INEC From Removing His Name
The High Court of Owerri today struck out a fresh Court action brought by Victor Oye to stop Chukwuma Umeoji, d reaffirming its earlier judgment declaring the Owerri Convention that produced Jude Okeke as APGA Chairman valid and directing INEC to accept and continue to recognize and publish the name of Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji who emerged as APGA Governorship Candidate in Awka as the candidate of the party.
The court also mandated the election referee to continue to include his name on the candidates’ list for the upcoming Anambra gubernatorial elections.
By this judgement, INEC is bound to obey the judgment and continue to maintain the name of Hon. Umeoji as the candidate of APGA for the November 6 Governorship election.
This ruling followed an application for stay of execution and leave to appeal filed by Chief Victor Oye wherein the court granted him leave to appeal but refused to grant the order for stay of execution but rather went ahead to reaffirm its earlier judgment.
The Court expressly stated that INEC cannot evade its duty to comply with the Orders of the Court declaring Umeoji candidate and therefore has a legal obligation to continue to carry out, obey and comply with the extant, valid and subsisting Judgment of this Court delivered on 28th July, 2021 which declared Umeoji candidate and ordered INEC to continue to recognize him and Jude Okeke pending the determination of the appeal filed by Victor Oye at Appeal Court Owerri.
It would be recalled that the Court of Appeal Kano Division had on the 10th of August, 2021 set aside another judgment of the Jigawa High Court which also held that Chief Jude Okeke is National Chairman of APGA and only governorship Congress held by him shall be valid without making any orders as to who should be candidate of the party.
The Kano appeal Court did not delve into finding who between Prof. Charles Soludo and Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji should be the candidate of the party but rather in a controversial judgment and reversal of their earlier ruling that the appeal is statute barred for been pre-election but still set aside the judgment as a nullity for want of fair hearing and lack of jurisdiction without making any consequential order of who is APGA Chairman or Candidate.