Barristers & Solicitors
Court sacks Emenike, affirms Ogah as Abia APC guber candidate

•Emenike still our authentic candidate – APC

FORMER Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, was yesterday declared as the duly elected governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia State by Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court Abuja has declared.

In the judgment, Justice Nyako nullified the candidacy of Ikechi Emenike who was earlier recognized by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), acting on an earlier Appeal Court judgment, as the party’s candidate for the March 11, 2023 governorship election. The APC in the state had held parallel governorship primary elections that produced Ogah and Ikechi Emenike as candidates of the party.

On September 3, the authenticity of Chief Ikechi Emenike’s candidacy was further affirmed by the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division. The appellate court presided over by Justice B. Georgewill dismissed the appeal filed by Mr. Uche Ogah seeking to nullify the candidature of Emenike.

In its judgment on the appeal No. CA/OW/269/2022: APC & ANOR Vs Ikechi Emenike & ANOR, the appellate court dismissed the appeal for lack of merit and endorsed the judgment of the Abia State High Court which recognised Emenike as the authentic candidate of APC.

Reacting to the development, the APC said that despite the judgment declaring Ogah winner of the party’s governorship primaries, Emenike remains its authentic candidate. The party said the judgement cannot be enforced since the Appeal Court had already ruled on the matter.

Weighing in on the controversial judgement, the APC legal adviser in Abia State, Barrister V.C. Nwankwo, said “in the eye of the law, Ikechi Emenike still remains the APC candidate in Abia State.”

Stating his reasons in a statement on Friday, Nwankwo said: “First, Justice Binta Nyako’s judgment cannot be enforced or executed until the final pronouncement by the Supreme Court on the subject matter. Second, the judgment of the Abia State High Court by Justice Benson Anya of June 24, 2022, in Suit No HUM/31/2022:IKECHI EMENIKE VS APC @2 ORS affirmed the candidature of Ikechi Emenike.

“The judgment of Abia State High Court was affirmed by the Court of Appeal, Abuja in two separate judgments and also by the Court of Appeal in Owerri. The law is trite that judgments of the appellate courts are binding on the lower courts and parties. Again the judgment of the Federal High Court cannot override and is not superior to the said three judgments of the Court of Appeal that affirmed Ikechi Emenike as the candidate of the APC in Abia State.

“Moreover, contrary to the judgment of Justice Binta Nyako today, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court had settled it in so many decisions that INEC and the courts cannot determine who the candidate of a political party is where and when there are two competing primaries. Therefore, there is no cause for alarm. The mission to rescue and rebuild Abia State by High Chief Ikechi Emenike is unstoppable.”