A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Monday nullified the participation of the All Progressives Congress(APC) and its candidate, Andy Uba in the November 6 governorship election in Anambra state.
Justice Inyang Ekwo gave the judgment in a suit filed by an aggrieved member and governorship aspirant of the party, Chief George Moghalu, challenging the process and outcome of the June 26 party primaries that produced Andy Uba.
In his originating sumonns marked FHC/ABJ/CS/648/2021, Moghalu listed the APC, Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC)and Andy Uba as 1st to 3rd defendants.
Justice Ekwo who agreed with the plaintiff, held that the June 26 primary of the party which produced Uba as its governorship candidate was not validly conducted.
He held further that the June 26 primary election breached the provisions of the Electoral Act and the APC guidelines for the conduct of the exercise.
The Judge said the plaintiff had successfully demonstrated that the primary election was not conducted in accordance with the law and the party’s guidelines, “therefore, the case of the plaintiff succeeds on its merit,” he said.
Ekwo held that since the election was conducted illegally, the APC (1st defendant) cannot be a beneficiary of the November 6 election which produced the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Prof. Charles Soludo, as the winner of the poll outcome.
The judge, therefore, declared that the APC had no candidate in the Anambra governorship election by non-inclusion of the name of Moghalu in the primary election, and the conduct of the poll in contravention of the Electoral Act and the party’s guidelines.
“The 2nd defendant (INEC) is compelled to delist the name of the 1st defendant and 3rd defendant from the Nov. 6, Anambra governorship election,” he ordered.
According to the judge, any election conducted contrary to the 1st defendant guideline is in nullity.
“The real issue was not whether accredited members of 1st defendant voted on that day but whether the election was conducted in accordance with the election guidelines of 1st defendant,” he held.
He also said that the evidence of the police report confirmed that the election was conducted outside the time frame.
Ekwo, who described the conduct of the primary by APC as “crude and primitive,” ordered that the N22.5 million paid by Moghalu as expression of interest and nomination forms be refunded since the party failed to complied with the provisions of the law and its guidelines.