A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday declared George Ogara the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Enugu state.
Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) accept Ogara as the governorship candidate of the APC in Enugu state, having scored the highest valid votes casted in the 270 Wards of the 17 Local Government Areas of the state.
The judgment was on a suit by Ogara, in which he named Senator Ayogu Eze, APC’s National Chairman, a chieftain of the party, Prof Moses Momoh and INEC as defendants.
Justice Ekwo ordered INEC to recognize Ogara as the candidate of the APC for the purpose of 2019 governorship election in Enugu state.
The Judge was of the view that the direct primary election of the party that produced Ogara as the party’s governorship candidate in Enugu was in compliance with the party’s guidelines as well as the Electoral Act.
He ordered APC and its National Chairman to forward Ogara’s name to INEC as the party’s flagbearer in the 2019 governorship election in Enugu state.
The Judge also restrained INEC from accepting any other name except that of Ogara, for the purpose of the 2019 governorship election in Enugu state, having scored the highest votes in the primary elections.
Justice Ekwo declared that the plaintiff, having scored the highest number of votes cast by members of the APC in Enugu State for the Governorship direct primary election conducted on October 4, 2014 at the 260 Wards, is the nominated Candidate of the APC.
He said the failure of the 2nd to 4th defendants to forward the name of the plaintiff to the 5th defendant (INEC) as the candidate of the 4th defendant (APC) and the refusal of INEC to publish the name of the plaintiff as the candidate of APC for the governorship election, is contrary to the provisions of Section 87 (3) of the Electoral Act. 2010 (as amended) and Article 20 of the APC Constitution.
The judge further said: “Plaintiff’s name is entitled to be forwarded by the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Defendants to the 5th Defendant as the Candidate of the 2nd and 4th Defendants in the 2019 Enugu State Governorship election.
“That the direct primary election for Governorship aspirants conducted on 4/10/2018, wherein the plaintiff emerged as the winner on 4/10/2018, having scored the highest number of Votes cast in the said direct primary election for Enugu State Governorship aspirants is consistent with and in compliance with the provisions of Section 87 (3) of the Electoral Act. 2010 (as amended) and Article 20 (iii) of the A11 Progressives Congress Constitution, 2014 (as amended).”