The Supreme Court of Nigeria sitting in Abuja has restored Barr. Emmanuel Nnabuike Nwite as the authentic House of Representatives candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, for Ezza North/ Ishielu federal constituency in Ebonyi state.
It was gathered that the Apex Court, however, directed the Independent National electoral commission, INEC, to immediately publish the name of Nwite for the 2023 election.
Nwite who participated in the Primary election of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, held on 28th May; 2022, while his opponent, Mr Obinna Nwachukwu participated in that of 4th June 2022.
Not satisfied Nwite challenged the Primary held on 28th June 2022 wherein that produced Dr Obinna Nwachukwu who was purportedly declared winner, and argued that the electoral officers that conducted the 28th June 2022 primary election did not form quorum, and as such, was cancelled by the party.
It was gathered that Obinna Nwachukwu, Peoples Democratic Party and the independent National electoral commission, INEC are defendants in the suit.
The Supreme Court judge, Justice Lawal muhammed Garba, in suit No. SC/CV/1353/2022, ruled and set aside the judgements of the Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki and that of the Appeal Court wherein Obinna Nwachukwu won, and declared Barr Emmanuel Nwite as the authentic candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, for Ezza North Ishielu federal constituency in the 2023 general election.
The counsel to the plaintiff, Barr. Friday Ogazi, who spoke to newsmen said: “The Court has given a beautiful judgement, a correct and truthful one in favour of Barr. Emmanuel Nnabuike Nwite and declared him as the authentic candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP for Ezza North/ Ishielu federal constituency for the House of Representatives in the 2023 general election.
“The journey has been a long one, what actually happened was that, there was a purported Primary election that was held on 28th May 2022, by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. That election wasn’t a good one, because there was a lack of quorum by the electoral officers who supposed to do the accreditation was not there.
“Some people purportedly conducted the PDP Primaries for the House of Representatives on 28th May; 2022 and the Party actually cancelled it and the communicated INEC of the cancellation. They rescheduled a fresh primary election for the 4th of June 2022. That 4th of June election was duly held, and Barr Emmanuel Nwite was declared the winner.
“But, all of the sudden, they started turning things upside down, the party submitted the name of another person, one Obinna Nwachukwu. The reason they gave was that the Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki nullified the Primary election that was held on 5th May 2022, which did not affect the House of Representatives election held on 4th May 2022.
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“They kept on saying that every other primary held on 4th and 5th was cancelled that involved other candidates, which is not true. The Primary election of 4th has no problem, it was that of the governorship primary election held on 5th, May 2022, which Senator Obinna Ogba won was struck out.
“And so, the Federal Hugh Court here relied wrongly on the so called suit No. 88 and the court of appeals also relied wrongly on that, and also wrongly on the Anyichuks judgement at the Supreme Court. If you look at that Anyichuks judgement at the Supreme Court, that judgement did not decide anything concerning the House of Representatives, Senate or House of Assembly Primary elections. It decided only governorship.
“And so, when we approached the Supreme Court, the court agreed with us that our position is the correct one. Nobody challenged the cancellation of the 28th June Primary elections, they all accepted it because they all know that the Primaries held on 28th June 2022 was not a good one.
“With this, the Supreme Court has declared and directed the Independent National electoral commission, INEC, to replace and ensure that only the name of Barr. Emmanuel Nnabuike Nwite is placed as the duly elected candidate of PDP for the Ezza North/Ishielu federal constituency, in the 2023 general election” he stated.
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