State governor, Dave Umahi, might have hit a dead end as a Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, on Friday July 22, 2022 recognised Princess Ann Agom-Eze as the senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Ebonyi South zone for the 2023 general elections.
Governor Umahi, through his counsel, Roy Nweze Umahi, had dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to the court to compel the commission to recognise him as the authentic senatorial candidate for the Ebonyi South senatorial district.
But Agom-Eze, on Tuesday, approached the court to recognise her instead.
Nweze Umahi argued that the governor’s name should be recognised by INEC as the first winner of the Ebonyi South senatorial primary election, which took place at Afikpo North Local Government Area, in the state.
Austin Umahi, the governor’s younger brother and a contender, had withdrawn at the second primary election conducted on June 9, 2022, wherein the governor was reported to have won unopposed.
Delivering his judgment yesterday, Justice Fatun Riman cited section 115 of the Electoral Act 2022, saying the governor was not an aspirant and could not have participated in the election or pre-election matters of the APC as regards the Ebonyi South zone, whose primary held on May 28, 2022.
According to the cited section of the new Electoral Act, the governor neither procured forms for, nor participated in the election, and could not, therefore, claim any right based on the primary election.
Speaking to Quicktvafrica : the counsel to Agom-Eze, Nwonu Nnaemeka, reacting to the victory, said the team’s argument was that his client, upon the withdrawal of Austin Umahi from the primary, should claim all her rights as regards the exercise for being second in the run-up.
Umahi had contested and lost in the presidential primaries of the ruling APC to Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Umahi; his deputy, Kelechi Igwe; and 16 lawmakers in the state had been sacked in March this year from office by a High Court sitting in Abuja over their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC, but the judgment was later reversed by an Appeal Court in Abuja