The All progressive congress (APC) has disowned the immediate past Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uche Ogah, as its governorship candidate in Abia State.
The ruling party told the Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday that it did not conduct the primary election that purportedly produced Ogah as its governorship candidate in Abia for the 2023 general elections.
On the contrary, APC claimed that its National Working Committee (NWC) conducted a primary election monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which produced Ikechi Emenike as its official governorship flag bearer.
Through its lead counsel Professor Sam Eruogo, the party is asking the Federal High Court to dismiss Ogah’s suit on two grounds
The two grounds, according to the professor of law, are that the former minister, having not participated in the primary election conducted by the NWC, has no locus standi to challenge the legally conducted primary election.
Eruogo also told the court that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the issues of the Nomination of candidates for elective office by the party.
While presenting the defence of APC in Ogah’s suit, Prof Eruogo informed the court that the primary election laid claim upon by the former minister was unknown to the law in Nigeria because it was conducted by a faction of the Abia State chapter of the APC.
The APC further told the court that the claim of Ogah that he emerged from a direct primary election cannot hold because the Electoral Act makes it mandatory for a direct primary to be conducted in 184 wards of the state as against that of Uche conducted in one place.
Professor Eruogo, therefore, asked the court to dismiss the former minister’s suit.
Also in his own argument, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) who stood for Ikechi Emenike, prayed the court to uphold the nomination of his client on the ground that he emerged from a primary election lawfully conducted by the APC NWC.
He faulted the purported nomination of the former minister on the ground that no state chapter of any political party has the power to conduct a primary election for the selection of candidates.
The former minister had sued Ikechi Emenike, APC, Abdulai Adamu, and INEC, praying the court to compel APC to submit his name to INEC as the lawful candidate.
The former minister told the court that the direct primary election that produced him was monitored by officials of INEC and that a report to that effect was made available by the electoral act.
He urged the court to nullify the nomination of Ikechi Emenike and order INEC to publish his name as the lawful APC candidate.
After taking arguments from parties, Justice Binta Nyako fixed November 11, for Judgement.